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New Meetup: Socrates Cafe February Meetup

From: Andy
Sent on: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 9:32 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Socrates Cafe!

What: Socrates Cafe February Meetup

When: Saturday, February 27,[masked]:30 AM

Mama Jean's Market
1727 South Campbell Avenue
Springfield, MO 65807

Everyone seemed really enthusiastic about the venue of our last Meetup, the meeting room at the recently expanded Mama Jean?s Natural Market on S. Campbell (just north of Sunshine). The Mama Jean?s folks were enthusiastic as well--about our patronage. So we?ll be back there for our next Meetup on Saturday, February 27th, from 9:30 to 11:00.

As usual, we had a lively and well-rounded discussion last time. Our foci were the psychological question whether genuinely altruistic actions (actions that benefit others and that are performed from purely selfless motives) are ever performed, and the moral question regarding the extent to which we ought to make sacrifices ourselves in order to help others. Perhaps New York Times op-ed writer Nicholas Kristof picked up our vibes. The day after our meeting, he published an article on altruism, which Carla pointed out to me. It makes the case that by helping others you can help yourself. (Of course, if the reason you help others is to help yourself, then you?re not being a true altruist, since the reason a true altruist helps others is just to help others.)

Our topic for next time comes from our distinguished senior member, Dr. Dave: Is diversity good? We all agree that diversity is good when we?re looking for an ethnic restaurant or an art exhibit. Diversity is the spice of life, right? But what about ethnic, racial, and religious diversity at universities and in communities? Is it to be celebrated, or should we acknowledge that life is best when we?re living around like-minded folks? (In a cursory investigation on the Internet, the best essay I found on this topic is ?E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century,? by Harvard?s Robert Putnam.) Dave wrote me that ?Denmark rates as the best place in the world to live.? By the standard of self-rated happiness, he?s right. By any other plausible standard, Denmark is very close to the top as well. And 91% of its populace is of Danish ancestry. I?ll give Dave the last word: ?The problems that diversity causes have not been discussed. Let us hear it.?

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