North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Dove Hunting? Is it appropriate as an NTOS event?

Dove Hunting? Is it appropriate as an NTOS event?

Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 586
Dove Hunting? Is it appropriate as an NTOS event?


Brief History of NTOS Events

On many occasions we have had suggestions for organizing social events of particular interest to a member who hoped to share that interest with others in NTOS.

In the first year of organizing NTOS, I generally responded that I thought we did not have sufficient numbers to support events having a specific interest or topic. I thought we should start with having broad social events that allow our participants to mingle and find each other for socialization and discussion as they find mutually interesting and enjoyable. But for this I was also criticized for not fostering our members' interests and abilities to meet each other.

Last year, as membership in NTOS was continuing to grow, I thought it would be worth trying to have more specific events. We started with adding a discussion group on "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" (aka "OPAR") by Dr. Leonard Peikoff. We then started inviting prominent Objectivists to speak to NTOS, starting with Craig Biddle, then Dr. Andrew Bernstein, and next Dr. John Ridpath. (If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to RSVP for Dr. Ridpath's visit to NTOS on October 13, 2007!)

This summer, as we now have 170+ members, I have started to further expand the NTOS calendar of events to include events such as: going to dinner after a movie, the "Rush" concert, happy-hour gatherings at a downtown Dallas area pub, Dallas Cowboys' games, a symphony, etc.

You can see our extensive current calendar list of about 20 upcoming NTOS events and RSVP at: http://aynrand.meetup...­


Now Dove Hunting?

A couple of weeks ago, Scott suggested he would like to share his interest in dove hunting with others in NTOS who might be interested.

I expected this might be controversial. In response to scheduling dove hunting as an NTOS event, we have had one member withdraw from NTOS and another question the appropriateness of dove hunting as an "official" NTOS event.

I take this as an opportunity for us to discuss standards for NTOS events. To my knowledge, we are the first Objectivist group to have grown large enough to have this as a serious issue!

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
Scott C.
Scott_Connery
Dallas, TX
Post #: 32
Sorry to cause any controversy. I just wanted to try and share some of my interests with the group. I won't be offended if you want to drop it as an official event.

That being said, I would like to think that everyone can just ignore any activities they aren't interested in (assuming they aren't contrary to Objectivist values) without getting too offended.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 558
As a Meetup Organizer myself, I understand why some would see that something like this shouldn't be listed as an "official" event.

Here is my main reason why: It is an isolated type of event that is geared to a very narrow focus within the group itself. I wasn't really expecting to see it posted on the NTOS calender myself. Personally, I don't have an issue with dove hunting (well - if you eat what you kill - I digress, that is a whole other thread in itself.)

Let me use an example from my own meetup group. I run the DFW Area Recruiter Meetup. We have about 167 members - the purpose of my group is solely socializing and networking with other recruiters in the DFW area. Well, one time I had the brilliant idea of posting a karaoke night. Sounded like a good idea right? Well...not so much. Only 1 other recruiter showed up, and what happened was I found it hurt the credibility of my group for a short period of time. So - next time I will post on the message board if a group wants to get together for karaoke, but I won't schedule it as a regular event. Ever. And how controversial is karaoke? The problem was that karaoke was too far off from the purpose of the group. They didn't need my group if they were interested in that.

I think it was smart of Scott to post here because he is interested in dove hunting with those in the group. However, I wouldn't put anything on the NTOS calender that may not have an appeal to many in the group. I thought perhaps a date would be posted on the thread, and people directed to contact Scott directly to organize it.

NTOS Organizers shouldn't be in a constant state of worry about offending others when posting an event. However, it probably would be wise to figure out which events could be considered too controversial to post as an official event. You want to keep the official events broad enough to appeal to those new in the group, as well as regular attendees.


There are also some types of events that are a little more personal. Again, I don't hunt, but I have to tell you I wouldn't be going into the woods with other people with fire arms if I didn't know them, or at least they had someone that I know with them. Kinda makes me nervous. Who knows if there is a Dick Cheney amongst them?

Regarding the person that left the group because it was posted: I don't know who this is, but there probably was other issues this person was having with the group that either were spoken or unspoken. You can never really tell how finicky people can be. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 560
Sorry to cause any controversy. I just wanted to try and share some of my interests with the group. I won't be offended if you want to drop it as an official event.

That being said, I would like to think that everyone can just ignore any activities they aren't interested in (assuming they aren't contrary to Objectivist values) without getting too offended.


I don't think you or Todd need to be sorry about any of this! I agree with you 100% - if someone doesn't like the event that is posted, just don't sign up for it. If they feel it isn't one that should be an official event, I think there is nothing wrong with telling Todd what they think about it. But even though hunting may seem controversial, again, I think there are other issues this person may have with the group to go so far as being offending and leaving.

You cannot really know someone's "heart" or mind all the time. No reason to have to tip toe through these things. You cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

Kudos to you Scott, for approaching the subject. See, you are someone that is interested in spending time with those in the NTOS community that share some of your personal interests/hobbies and getting to know them outside of the regular events. There is nothing wrong with that, and should be encouraged. And kudos to Todd for trying to help encourage that. I really don't want to belong to a group like this if I wasn't able to identify members within the group that I would like to socialize with outside the regular events in other settings.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 587
Sorry to cause any controversy. I just wanted to try and share some of my interests with the group. I won't be offended if you want to drop it as an official event.

That being said, I would like to think that everyone can just ignore any activities they aren't interested in (assuming they aren't contrary to Objectivist values) without getting too offended.


Hi Scott,

I'm not worried, and I don't mind controversy, either. This presents us an opportunity to discuss the purpose of our events and standards for selecting events.

-- Todd
A former member
Post #: 43
Perhaps an official NTOS event should be defined as one which can accommodate everyone in the group.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 588
Hi Sherry,

I appreciate your post. You make several interesting comments.

It [dove hunting] is an isolated type of event that is geared to a very narrow focus within the group itself. ...
...
... You want to keep the official events broad enough to appeal to those new in the group, as well as regular attendees.

How about these types of events:

Socials "@the Ranch" usually attract 30 -40 people (including children);
OPAR discussion group usually attracts about 5 -8 people;
Our first two Objectivist speaker events attracted 30 - 35 people;
Scarborough Faire has attracted 15 -20 people (about 1/2 children);
Dinner events (e.g. after a movie) usually attract about 8 -12 people;
The first happy-hour gathering at a downtown pub attracted 12 people;
The "Rush" concert attracted 12 people;
The first Dallas Cowboys' game looks like it will attract 10 - 15 people;
The symphony looks like it will attract 10 people or more;
The Galveston trip looks like it might have attracted about 10 people (but was canceled due to bad weather and scheduling issues for those who were interested);
Etc.

Can we define "too narrow a focus within NTOS"? For example, should we not have an "official" event if we estimate that less than 5 people are likely to attend?

Regarding dove hunting, I believe we have at least 5 people in our group who enjoy shooting guns for target practice and who own various types of guns. In the past, we have had a couple of suggestions for target practice and paintball. Is dove hunting too controversial for a different reason?

Right now, we have one standard regarding events, as stated on our "About" page under our "Community Standards":

[O]ur society should not sponsor any speaker, event, or other content that would materially promote ideas in conflict with Objectivism.

See: http://aynrand.meetup...­

Is there any further subject-matter limitation that we should consider?
Scott C.
Scott_Connery
Dallas, TX
Post #: 33
"Is there any further subject-matter limitation that we should consider?"

I do think that all of our officially sanctioned activities should try to demonstrate a good face to the public. For instance, I don't think a NTOS strip club event would be a good idea. While, I don't think this would be contrary to Objectivism (some will possibly disagree), I don't think such an activity would promote the growth of NTOS.

People would then look at the NTOS calendar and might get a very different impression about what our group is about than what we want. It also doesn't fit in very well with the family-friendly atmosphere I think we are striving for.

At this stage of membership size, I think having a wider variety of activities could help spur growth by attracting people who are somewhat interested in Ayn Rand, but not enough to show up for a meeting based around her ideas. Then, once they have met the people involved, they will hopefully show up for the main meetings.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 589
Hi Scott,

I appreciate your additional comments, too.

Regarding the types of "official" NTOS events we should schedule, I think we should be primarily concerned with the sensibilities of Objectivists. Perhaps we should also be concerned with the sensibilities of people who are just starting to be interested in Objectivism and who might still have concerns about animal rights issues, etc. And then, lastly, should we be concerned with our public image? What do others think?

While I would expect that the Objectivist position is that dove hunting and strip clubs should be legal, mere legality would surlely not be a sufficient subject-mater standard for selecting NTOS events. (Not that anyone is suggesting that it would be.)

Perhaps we can draw on an analogous standard we already have under our "Community Standards":

All participation on our website and message board must be socially acceptable to a cultured, Objectivist society. For example, avoid:

a. Member photos or statements likely to be disquieting to others who consider themselves Objectivist and might be interested in joining our society.
...


Should we consider adopting a similar standard for selecting our "official" NTOS events? Would dove hunting in particular be considered as likely to offend the sensibilities of Objectivists? Why or why not?

-- Todd
A former member
Post #: 10
I think it is totally appropriate to have posted this event. If it is offensive to someone, I can't imagine what they think that has to do with the society. I think that is a personal matter, no?

Anyway - I was very interested in the invitation. I have never had the opportunity to take my son hunting and I thought this could perhaps be it. I discussed it with him and he got very excited. I was going to inquire more about this and was very happy to have seen an open invitation for something new and exciting.

One of the values I hold in the society is the chance to meet new people and maybe do new things with those people. People of similar mind and various interests. I wish more people would open up with more invitations of various kinds. To me - when we are all interacting more actively as a society - then it truly will be more valuable. We just have to realize that even though we share a common theme, we do not share one mind (thank goodness).

Of course, not everything appeals to everyone. But I can't imagine or understand how there should be any offense to Objectivism in hunting. Life lives on life; a simple fact of nature and a fundamental truth in human survival. I think, in fact, that it can be an educational experience for children to hunt; it can be important to their understanding of the world they live in, the cycle of life, and the fact that what they see on their plate was once alive.

I'm kind of ticked off because I hope we don't start applying so many rules, regulations, and oversight - based on differences in opinion - that it just becomes a hassle. C'mon.

In summary: I appreciate the open invite and I would like to see more like it. I am sorry that someone was offended, but I don't think the offense warrants a big fuss. You can't make or keep everyone happy. It's no big deal.
Powered by mvnForum

Suggested Annual Donation

$10.00 (after 6 event visits)

This covers: Supporting operating expenses and advertising for new members!

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Please give any cash or check to any Organizer at an event. We also accept BitCoin: 14sioRkdEBcvvQavE4zbDbSwbsvscPAvF9 Thanks!

Your organizer will refund you if:

  • Each event may have a specific refund policy based on the nature of the event. General donations are not refundable. We may rely on any payment, so if you have any questions please ask an Organizer BEFORE making a payment!

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy