October 13, 2009 · 7:00 PM
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Thanks to those who attended a good discussion on naturalizing morality. As Rick Heller suggested, maybe naturalists should put together a guide to the elements of secular morality and its naturalistic justification. Can't we do better than the 10 commandments?
Since secular Buddhist Stephen Batchelor (Confession of a Buddhist Atheist) is giving at talk at Harvard on October 8, 8 pm at Harvard Science Center, lecture hall D, it might be fun to follow that up with a meeting on meditation. What is meditation and why meditate? Do meditative states offer a more accurate and direct route to reality than ordinary conscious states? This raises some of the issues about consciousness we discussed two meetings ago.
I've reserved a table for us at Redline in the back room. NOTE: Parking is free at the garage adjacent to Redline (at the corner of JFK and Elliot streets) if you order food!
twc at naturalism.org
PS: if you have topics you'd like to discuss or other ideas for future meetups, or meeting spots you like, please suggest them.
PPS: If someone has a big living room where we could all gather to watch a film, it might be fun to see Knowing, which deals with predestination, free will, etc. Other suggestions for films related to our concerns most welcome.
General description of what we're about (this bit doesn't change from month to month):
Allies of Naturalism welcomes those interested in exploring and promoting a science-based, humanistic and progressive naturalism that can make a difference in our lives. To see what's involved in being a humanistic and progressive naturalist (more or less), check out Naturalism.Org, centerfornaturalism.org and the Guide to Naturalism at http://www.centerforn....
Essentially, naturalism shows our full connection to the world and others, leads to an ethics of compassion, and gives us far greater control over our circumstances. We don't need anything supernatural either above us or inside us to lead moral and meaningful lives: nature is enough. Naturalism is a viable alternative to faith-based worldviews such as traditional religions and new age philosophies, offering a set of ideas with positive personal and social consequences.
The meetings offer a chance to meet fellow naturalists in an informal, relaxed setting, but with at least some structure. That's to say that we'll try to have one or two topics suggested in advance for people to think about, and then discuss when we get together. Ultimately the focus and format of the meetings will be determined by participants, but will certainly include time for socializing and networking. Watch the discussion board for topic announcements and other details. Hope to see you there!