Next Meetup

New Atheism
How are we going to make the world a better place without depending on religion? In our December meeting we will view a 20-minute witty and literate video featuring philosopher Alain de Botton who notes that there are areas of secular life that are not going too well. People are in search of morality, guidance, consolation, and how to live. Without religion the secular world is “full of holes.” He suggests that there are aspects of religion that atheism should (respectfully) adopt. He calls his new version “Atheism 2.0” that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence. It is for people who are attracted to the ritualistic side, the moralistic, communal side of religion, but reject the doctrine. For those interested in previewing the Ted Talk before the meeting, here is the link: Alain de Botton, FRSL is a Swiss-born British philosopher and author. His books discuss various contemporary subjects and themes, emphasizing philosophy's relevance to everyday life. He published "Essays in Love" (1993), which went on to sell two million copies. Other bestsellers include "How Proust Can Change Your Life" (1997), "Status Anxiety" (2004) and "The Architecture of Happiness" (2006). The video will be followed by a discussion and sharing of ideas led by Ron Rubin. Your ideas and participation are welcome. As usual, we will meet from 6 to 9 PM upstairs at the Moonstruck Restaurant located at 449 Third Avenue at the Southeast corner of East 31st Street, New York. Please bring friends and family; have dinner at 6, if you can, but all are welcome anytime. We will start the video at 7:00 PM to allow time for discussion after. Note that because this meeting is being held in a restaurant, food and adult beverage of your choice will be available for purchase.

Moonstruck East Restaurant

449 3rd Ave · New York

What we're about

We meet for conversation, coffee, snacks and, ideally, a bit of truth-seeking. Our goal is to answer (or approximately answer) a well-crafted question. The group runs as follows: 1) The moderator selects one subject for discussion and a date for the meeting. Subjects can be as ephemeral as "love," "god," and "purpose," or as grounded as "politics," "environmentalism," and "family." 2) At the meetup, people are encouraged to propose a question related to the subject. The moderator will collect all of the questions in a list. 3) The group will then vote on the questions. In the first round of voting, each individual may vote for as many questions as they like. The top three will then go to a second round, where each individual may vote just once. 4) The question with the most votes is then discussed. Often, the discussion starts with a narrowing of the question, as it can be challenging to devise a question that can possibly be answered by a small group in just a couple of hours' discussion. If you have a subject you'd like to discuss, feel free to tell the moderator. A list of subjects will be kept and selected from at random each month. One final note: there is no obligation to engage in the discussion. While we encourage everyone to speak if they have something to say, we also welcome those who would rather just observe and learn from others. If you'd like to do background reading prior to an event, I recommend the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which can be found here:

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