If you are passionate about reasoning, and enjoy reasoning about your passions, then this is the group for you.
The purpose of this group is to explore the big-picture, deep and meaningful topics around life, the universe and everything. Topics covered will span across philosophy, sociology, politics, religion, economics, humanism, psychology, history, ethics, rationalism, environmentalism, science…..and whatever other disciplines that spark interesting thought and discussion.
My hope is for this group to fit into a network with other similar, already existing, meetup groups (centred around interesting and intellectual thought and discourse) and to provide another outlet with a different flavour and format and some different kinds of activities. This group is also supported by the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists who have very kindly offered the use of their premises on Symonds Street.
Going forward, we would like to experiment with different formats and group dynamics devices. For instance, there could be movie screenings, "fire side discussions", debates, brain-storming sessions, “thinking hats”, events, projects, charades, line-dancing… whatever works and provides for maximal attendance, enjoyment, and participation (ok – I was joking about those last two examples!)
To begin with though, the formula will be along the following lines:
• A monthly meeting. Probably usually on a Tuesday (to fit in with other groups).
• A set (and pre-announced) topic of interest which stimulates good conversation and maximal participation.
• A short video or speaker for the first 10-15 minutes just to introduce the topic and to get the brain cells activated (I am hoping to get some interesting, and ideally high-profile, speakers to volunteer their time).
• Followed by discussion and refreshments.
The ideal members of this group would be people interested in stimulating and intellectual thought and discourse and who enjoy socialising with other like-minded souls. As mentioned above, I am hoping that members of similar existing meetup groups will attend. I am also hoping that some members of the NZARH will attend. And of course, I am hoping that others, (who aren't in other meetups or in the NZARH) will also attend.
The only rules around attendance are:
1: If you don’t like your beliefs to be questioned and get upset when that happens, then this might not be the group for you.
2: If you are not able to discuss sensitive topics while avoiding personal attacks or other unpleasant behaviour, then this might not be the group for you.
For example, if you believe in right-wing politics, or global climate change, or you believe in the flying spaghetti monster, and are passionate about those beliefs, then that’s cool, as long as you are prepared to discuss and reason about those things in a respectful way. I personally like to have my ideas challenged and believe that we all stand to grow as individuals if we open up to a bit of Socratic introspection. If you agree, then I think we will all have a great time:)