See You Today at NYC Debate's 2013 YEAR-END SPECIAL EVENT

  • December 15, 2013 · 3:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

'Tis the season for spirited debates and conversations!

This event will consist of three parts: Conversations, Debate, and Charity Social for the Philippines relief.

PART I — Roundtable Conversations (3:00 to 5:00pm) — What does "happiness" mean to you?  Defining happiness can be as elusive as achieving it. Here are (non-exhaustive) examples of some of the popular forms of "happiness."

• Financial stability or prosperity.

• Fulfillment of one's romantic desires.

• Freedom from mental, emotional, or physical strain.

• Achieving a desired societal "status" or "class," thereby enhancing one's reputation (subjective or objective).

• Or simply, pursuing a lifelong dream.

Additionally, "happiness" affects us in many different ways. Therefore, we'll consider the following:

• How does it relate to other goals you may have, like success, wealth, fulfillment, fun, or service?

• What are some of the ways to achieve happiness that have worked for you?

• Is happiness influenced by genetics, upbringing, or one's immediate surroundings?

• Is happiness influenced by religion, philosophy, spirituality, ethnicity, or psychology?  What are your personal experiences?

• Is happiness best sought directly, or as an indirect byproduct from other activities?

• Have you ever given up anything to be happier? Or have you chose to be less happy to gain something else? Why?

For Part I, we'll break into small groups and discuss this topic based on personal experiences or anecdotal examples. Alternatively, we may select a subtopic of "happiness" based on suggestions from the participants and by a popular vote.

PART II — The Debates (5:00 to 7:00pm)

• Issue #1: Should a "pursuit of happiness" be a fundamental right, guaranteed to all persons? If so, would you support a Constitutional amendment from infringement of this fundamental right?

• Issue #2: The "War on Christmas" — is this an overt act of political correctness, mass media sensationalism, or secularization of a religious holiday? 

• Issue #3: Is it wrong to teach children that Santa Claus exists?

For Part II, we'll debate one of the three issues above — it will be selected by a majority vote of the participants.


PART III — The Shindig! (7:30 - 11:00pm) — In keeping with the holiday spirits, everyone is encourage to bring light snacks and beverages to share for the post-event social.  There's no formal agenda for this portion of the event and it's a perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow members. 

Finally, this event also has a charitable purpose, as it will be a fundraiser for UNICEF in assisting with relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Please bring a personal check payable to UNICEF in any amount that you wish to contribute (in the check memo line, reference "Dept. 1800").  Although donations are not mandatory, a donor will undoubtedly achieve a state of charitable happiness!  The checks will be collected by the event host and submitted on behalf of this group.


All attendees will be notified with the building address and additional details one day prior to the event.

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  • Steve P.

    Interesting article it saw. Mostly satire it seems but opportune.

    3 · December 26, 2013

    • thomas k

      Misery loves company . . .

      December 26, 2013

  • Mizan

    great to know - what is happiness - in one word from others. thanks everyone who've shared their observations. thanks thomas, patrick and yen for organizing the event. cheers. :)

    1 · December 16, 2013

  • Rhoda A.

    The meet up was happiness for me. Thank you Thomas, Patrick, Yen, and everyone who participated in our conversation. Well done and fun.
    Have a great holiday!

    3 · December 16, 2013

  • thomas k

    Thanks to everyone who attended today's event. Today, we put forward the best spirit of the holiday season . . . in a form of: 1) celebration;
    2) charitable giving; and
    3) intelligent exchange of ideas.

    All the best int the new year!

    3 · December 15, 2013

    • rory m.

      Thank you Thomas for all you do to keep the meet up working...

      1 · December 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was nice seeing you today...I want you to invite you all to a philosophical event I will be hosting this Saturday, here is the link!

    1 · December 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member


    1 · December 15, 2013

  • Olga

    I will come in 15 min

    December 15, 2013

  • Jay B.

    Sorry won't make it in time.

    December 15, 2013

  • Kalin

    Sorry, I wouldn't make it. Happy holidays and all the best!

    December 15, 2013

  • thomas k

    Hi everyone, a few final reminders about this Sunday's event:

    1) Charity fundraiser -- we'll be collecting donations for UNICEF as part of the emergency relief in the Philippines. Donations are not mandatory and you can donate in any amount that you wish to contribute. Please make the checks payable to the "U.S. Fund for UNICEF" (in the check memo line, reference "Dept. 1800"). No cash donations please.

    2) Venue address -- all RSVP'd attendees will receive a message by Saturday with additional instructions, including the building address.

    3) Your RSVP status -- if you're unable to attend this event, please update your RSVP accordingly so that we can get an accurate headcount. This will also allow those currently on the waitlist to attend.

    4) The after-hours party -- if you wish to stay for the party, please bring light snacks and/or beverages to share with everyone.

    2 · December 12, 2013

    • Conversations New Y.

      Happy Holidays, So sorry not to be able to make it due to Sunday family obligations but "Conversations New York" will donate the $100 to UNICEF as part of the emergency relief in the Philippines. Millions of children are affected by Typhoon Haiyan. They desperately need clean water, medical and emergency health kits, and protection against trafficking by being reunited with family. We can help them face the difficult days ahead.

      Donations are not mandatory; however, we invite
      you can donate in any amount that you wish to contribute and "Conversations New York" will match your contributions dollar for dollar up to the first $100. Please make the checks payable to the "U.S. Fund for UNICEF" (in the check memo line, reference "Dept. 1800"). No cash donations please.

      Ron Gross
      Conversations New York

      December 14, 2013

  • thomas k

    The event details have been emailed to all attendees. Kalin and Matthew -- for some reason, the message bounced back undeliverable. Please contact me directly for the event details.

    For those on the waitlist -- please contact me directly if you still wish to attend.

    Stay warm and looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!

    December 14, 2013

  • Yen

    December 14, 2013

  • Yen

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

    December 14, 2013

  • Jay B.

    This will be my first attendance for this debate meet up group. Excited about the topic.

    1 · December 1, 2013

    • thomas k

      Jay, glad you joined us and looking forward to meeting you at the upcoming event!

      December 5, 2013

  • Ronald G.

    Sounds like a WONDERFUL occasion -- terrific topic and questions, exhilarating people, lovely venue! So sorry not to be able to make it due to Sunday family obligations.

    1 · December 2, 2013

  • Olga

    I am trying to click "yes" for this day, but I am not sure that it worked . I want to come very much, please!

    November 20, 2013

    • Olga

      It worked--as soon as I typed this question. Thanks!

      1 · November 20, 2013

    • thomas k

      Great, Olga, see you on Dec. 15th!

      1 · December 1, 2013

  • Leah T.

    I have a commitment that day that ends around 5, but I'd love to show up for the second round!

    November 7, 2013

    • thomas k

      The event date has been changed to Dec. 15. Hope you can make it!

      November 8, 2013

    • Leah T.

      Terrific, now i can :D

      2 · November 9, 2013

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