• Free Thought Forum (Discussions on Moral Philosophy, Science, and more!)

    Today’s Presentation Topic The Ideas and Ethics of Baruch Spinoza - This week, we are taking a look at a few great ideas from a brilliant but humble mind. Spinoza was one of the intellectuals who gave rise to the Enlightenment with no small amount of biblical criticism and a belief in the perfection of reality, as it actually is. Everyone is welcome (regardless of personal religious belief, political leanings, education, race, sex, etc.) to join our weekly open and civil discussions on moral philosophy, science, religion, politics, current events, and more! For more details about this particular event or our group, please visit our official webpage: https://www.freethoughtforum.org/draper-utah Meeting Schedule A WARM WELCOME (15 MINUTES) This is a great opportunity to casually meet other friendly and open-minded guests before the meeting formally begins. PRESENTATION (15 MINUTES) Our Local Group Leader will cover important announcements and give an educational or motivational lecture on a certain week’s topic. FREE THOUGHT FORUM (90 MINUTES OR SO) Guests and Members will gather into small groups around volunteer “hosts” who act as moderators to free and open discussions in which all participants are encouraged to contribute their thoughts in accordance with our “Five Rules for Civil Discourse.” Each Free Thought Forum exists to promote healthy civil discussion and celebrate the free exchange of ideas with an emphasis on granting all participants opportunities to share. We assert that one’s ability to voice their ideas and have them supported, contested, tested, and reviewed among peers (and in-person) is an indispensable tool in one’s honest search for the correct answers to life’s most important questions. Five Rules for Civil Discourse By participating in each Free Thought Forum, all guests, members, and hosts agree to abide by the following: 1. BE RESPECTFUL OF EACH OTHER’S TIME If a designated host senses that you have taken more than 5 minutes to make a point, he/she will insist that someone else is given an opportunity to talk. Do not to interrupt or talk over someone else. 2. CRITICIZE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE No one comes to an open discussion to be personally attacked. If you believe that an idea deserves criticism, it is essential that you address the claims or opinions themselves. This also applies to groups of people. There is nothing wrong with criticizing what a group of people profess, as long as the people themselves are treated with respect. Phrases such as “I disagree,” “what makes you say that?” or “what do you think of the counter-argument?” are all useful in keeping the conversation positive and inclusive. 3. AVOID FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OR UNSUBSTANTIATED DECLARATIONS Committing a logical fallacy or making bold claims without explaining the reasoning behind why you believe as you do can hinder productive thought and meaningful discussion. 4. BE OPEN TO SCRUTINY AND A DIVERSITY OF OPINION The objective of each meeting is not for someone to “win” or to “convert” anyone else. A discussion is not a debate. Rather, it is to allow each participant’s idea to compete in an open marketplace of ideas under to its own merits. 5. RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOST AS MODERATOR Your host (a trained volunteer) is much like a sports referee or a judge in a courtroom. In order to maintain civility and to promote productive dialogue, all participants agree to respectfully follow their Host’s facilitation and moderation.

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  • Volunteer Project: Spanish Fork Animal Shelter Clinic

    Spanish fork fairgrounds pandorosa

    The Southern Utah Valley Animal Shelter can use our help at a local pet clinic! These clinics are housed in public locations where pet owners can come and have their pets vaccinated and registered at a discounted price. Not only does this improve the health of pets in our community, but it also provides important preventative work that frees up the shelter to help more animals. Each clinic usually lasts about two hours and sometimes takes place on weekends or weekday evenings, so be sure to double-check the meeting times and locations. Volunteers must be 16-years-old or older. Point of Contact Carrie (South Utah Valley Animal Shelter)[masked] [masked] [masked] How We’ll Help The shelter mostly needs our assistance to: Set up chairs and tables Hand forms to visiting pet owners Hold-on to leashed animals while their owners are filling-out paperwork Ensure that the pets and owners have a friendly and orderly experience Type-up county licenses Leave the hosting location cleaned and organized and so forth. The ladies in charge of this project are super friendly and really appreciate all the help we can give! What to Wear Please dress for hours of work in the sun and interaction with animals. If you happen to have your own official volunteer hat or shirt, be sure to wear it! If not, you can order some of our Volunteer Swag from our online store, or come as you are! What to Bring Please bring your charged phone and a water bottle. We can provide sanitary gloves and carpooling options for our volunteers while the shelter usually provides additional water bottles or other snacks. We hope to see you there!

  • Free Thought Forum (Discussions on Moral Philosophy, Science, and more!)

    Today’s Presentation Topic Human-Caused Climate Change - Putting the political debate aside, what is the science behind all this talk of climate change, global warming, and ocean acidification? Is it as bad as the politicians say? How much of our climate is really affected by things like carbon emissions? Let’s check it out! Everyone is welcome (regardless of personal religious belief, political leanings, education, race, sex, etc.) to join our weekly open and civil discussions on moral philosophy, science, religion, politics, current events, and more! For more details about this particular event or our group, please visit our official webpage: https://www.freethoughtforum.org/draper-utah Meeting Schedule A WARM WELCOME (15 MINUTES) This is a great opportunity to casually meet other friendly and open-minded guests before the meeting formally begins. PRESENTATION (15 MINUTES) Our Local Group Leader will cover important announcements and give an educational or motivational lecture on a certain week’s topic. FREE THOUGHT FORUM (90 MINUTES OR SO) Guests and Members will gather into small groups around volunteer “hosts” who act as moderators to free and open discussions in which all participants are encouraged to contribute their thoughts in accordance with our “Five Rules for Civil Discourse.” Each Free Thought Forum exists to promote healthy civil discussion and celebrate the free exchange of ideas with an emphasis on granting all participants opportunities to share. We assert that one’s ability to voice their ideas and have them supported, contested, tested, and reviewed among peers (and in-person) is an indispensable tool in one’s honest search for the correct answers to life’s most important questions. Five Rules for Civil Discourse By participating in each Free Thought Forum, all guests, members, and hosts agree to abide by the following: 1. BE RESPECTFUL OF EACH OTHER’S TIME If a designated host senses that you have taken more than 5 minutes to make a point, he/she will insist that someone else is given an opportunity to talk. Do not to interrupt or talk over someone else. 2. CRITICIZE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE No one comes to an open discussion to be personally attacked. If you believe that an idea deserves criticism, it is essential that you address the claims or opinions themselves. This also applies to groups of people. There is nothing wrong with criticizing what a group of people profess, as long as the people themselves are treated with respect. Phrases such as “I disagree,” “what makes you say that?” or “what do you think of the counter-argument?” are all useful in keeping the conversation positive and inclusive. 3. AVOID FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OR UNSUBSTANTIATED DECLARATIONS Committing a logical fallacy or making bold claims without explaining the reasoning behind why you believe as you do can hinder productive thought and meaningful discussion. 4. BE OPEN TO SCRUTINY AND A DIVERSITY OF OPINION The objective of each meeting is not for someone to “win” or to “convert” anyone else. A discussion is not a debate. Rather, it is to allow each participant’s idea to compete in an open marketplace of ideas under to its own merits. 5. RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOST AS MODERATOR Your host (a trained volunteer) is much like a sports referee or a judge in a courtroom. In order to maintain civility and to promote productive dialogue, all participants agree to respectfully follow their Host’s facilitation and moderation.

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  • Volunteer Project: Payson Animal Shelter Clinic

    Payson Police Department

    The Southern Utah Valley Animal Shelter can use our help at a local pet clinic! These clinics are housed in public locations where pet owners can come and have their pets vaccinated and registered at a discounted price. Not only does this improve the health of pets in our community, but it also provides important preventative work that frees up the shelter to help more animals. Each clinic usually lasts about two hours and sometimes takes place on weekends or weekday evenings, so be sure to double-check the meeting times and locations. Volunteers must be 16-years-old or older. Point of Contact Carrie (South Utah Valley Animal Shelter)[masked] [masked] [masked] How We’ll Help The shelter mostly needs our assistance to: Set up chairs and tables Hand forms to visiting pet owners Hold-on to leashed animals while their owners are filling-out paperwork Ensure that the pets and owners have a friendly and orderly experience Type-up county licenses Leave the hosting location cleaned and organized and so forth. The ladies in charge of this project are super friendly and really appreciate all the help we can give! What to Wear Please dress for hours of work in the sun and interaction with animals. If you happen to have your own official volunteer hat or shirt, be sure to wear it! If not, you can order some of our Volunteer Swag from our online store, or come as you are! What to Bring Please bring your charged phone and a water bottle. We can provide sanitary gloves and carpooling options for our volunteers while the shelter usually provides additional water bottles or other snacks. We hope to see you there!

  • First Week Feast, Support Circle, and Open Forum

    Draper City Park

    Mark a New Month with Brunch! "First Week Feast" pot-luck events are more casual than our other meetings and only take place on the first weekend of each month. FIRST WEEK FEAST & SUPPORT CIRCLE (60 MINUTES OR SO) OPTIONAL: Please bring a fully-cooked/prepared potluck breakfast/lunch dish and a serving-utensil (or a drink) to share with our group and guests! Plates, eating utensils, and napkins will be provided. In our “Support Circle,” every participant is welcome to share a personal goal for the upcoming month and all other participants offer help, advice, and other forms of support. This allows us, as a group, to check-up with one another on a monthly basis in order to encourage continual personal improvement and progress. FREE THOUGHT FORUM (60 MINUTES OR SO) Guests and Members will gather into small groups around volunteer “hosts” who act as moderators to free and open discussions in which all participants are encouraged to contribute their thoughts in accordance with our “Five Rules for Civil Discourse.” Each Free Thought Forum exists to promote healthy civil discussion and celebrate the free exchange of ideas with an emphasis on granting all participants opportunities to share. We assert that one’s ability to voice their ideas and have them supported, contested, tested, and reviewed among peers (and in-person) is an indispensable tool in one’s honest search for the correct answers to life’s most important questions. Five Rules for Civil Discourse By participating in each Free Thought Forum, all guests, members, and hosts agree to abide by the following: 1. BE RESPECTFUL OF EACH OTHER’S TIME If a designated host senses that you have taken more than 5 minutes to make a point, he/she will insist that someone else is given an opportunity to talk. Do not to interrupt or talk over someone else. 2. CRITICIZE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE No one comes to an open discussion to be personally attacked. If you believe that an idea deserves criticism, it is essential that you address the claims or opinions themselves. This also applies to groups of people. There is nothing wrong with criticizing what a group of people profess, as long as the people themselves are treated with respect. Phrases such as “I disagree,” “what makes you say that?” or “what do you think of the counter-argument?” are all useful in keeping the conversation positive and inclusive. 3. AVOID FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OR UNSUBSTANTIATED DECLARATIONS Committing a logical fallacy or making bold claims without explaining the reasoning behind why you believe as you do can hinder productive thought and meaningful discussion. 4. BE OPEN TO SCRUTINY AND A DIVERSITY OF OPINION The objective of each meeting is not for someone to “win” or to “convert” anyone else. A discussion is not a debate. Rather, it is to allow each participant’s idea to compete in an open marketplace of ideas under to its own merits. 5. RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOST AS MODERATOR Your host (a trained volunteer) is much like a sports referee or a judge in a courtroom. In order to maintain civility and to promote productive dialogue, all participants agree to respectfully follow their Host’s facilitation and moderation.

  • Free Thought Forum (Discussions on Moral Philosophy, Science, and more!)

    Today’s Presentation Topic Great Ideas From Sikhism - As we continue to look for good moral teachings from around the world, we turn to a unique religion from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. You may recognize Sikhs by their turbans, beards, and swords, but their modern theism and peaceful worldview may be even more memorable. Everyone is welcome (regardless of personal religious belief, political leanings, education, race, sex, etc.) to join our weekly open and civil discussions on moral philosophy, science, religion, politics, current events, and more! For more details about this particular event or our group, please visit our official webpage: https://www.freethoughtforum.org/draper-utah Meeting Schedule A WARM WELCOME (15 MINUTES) This is a great opportunity to casually meet other friendly and open-minded guests before the meeting formally begins. PRESENTATION (15 MINUTES) Our Local Group Leader will cover important announcements and give an educational or motivational lecture on a certain week’s topic. FREE THOUGHT FORUM (90 MINUTES OR SO) Guests and Members will gather into small groups around volunteer “hosts” who act as moderators to free and open discussions in which all participants are encouraged to contribute their thoughts in accordance with our “Five Rules for Civil Discourse.” Each Free Thought Forum exists to promote healthy civil discussion and celebrate the free exchange of ideas with an emphasis on granting all participants opportunities to share. We assert that one’s ability to voice their ideas and have them supported, contested, tested, and reviewed among peers (and in-person) is an indispensable tool in one’s honest search for the correct answers to life’s most important questions. Five Rules for Civil Discourse By participating in each Free Thought Forum, all guests, members, and hosts agree to abide by the following: 1. BE RESPECTFUL OF EACH OTHER’S TIME If a designated host senses that you have taken more than 5 minutes to make a point, he/she will insist that someone else is given an opportunity to talk. Do not to interrupt or talk over someone else. 2. CRITICIZE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE No one comes to an open discussion to be personally attacked. If you believe that an idea deserves criticism, it is essential that you address the claims or opinions themselves. This also applies to groups of people. There is nothing wrong with criticizing what a group of people profess, as long as the people themselves are treated with respect. Phrases such as “I disagree,” “what makes you say that?” or “what do you think of the counter-argument?” are all useful in keeping the conversation positive and inclusive. 3. AVOID FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OR UNSUBSTANTIATED DECLARATIONS Committing a logical fallacy or making bold claims without explaining the reasoning behind why you believe as you do can hinder productive thought and meaningful discussion. 4. BE OPEN TO SCRUTINY AND A DIVERSITY OF OPINION The objective of each meeting is not for someone to “win” or to “convert” anyone else. A discussion is not a debate. Rather, it is to allow each participant’s idea to compete in an open marketplace of ideas under to its own merits. 5. RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOST AS MODERATOR Your host (a trained volunteer) is much like a sports referee or a judge in a courtroom. In order to maintain civility and to promote productive dialogue, all participants agree to respectfully follow their Host’s facilitation and moderation.

  • Free Thought Forum (Discussions on Moral Philosophy, Science, and more!)

    Today’s Presentation Topic De-Escalation Techniques - Our long-anticipated training for forum hosts is here! Aspiring moderators and forum participants alike are invited to learn how to bring people together for productive conversation. We will go over diffusion techniques, de-escalation techniques as well as effective tools in helping all participants follow the rules. Everyone is welcome (regardless of personal religious belief, political leanings, education, race, sex, etc.) to join our weekly open and civil discussions on moral philosophy, science, religion, politics, current events, and more! For more details about this particular event or our group, please visit our official webpage: https://www.freethoughtforum.org/draper-utah Meeting Schedule A WARM WELCOME (15 MINUTES) This is a great opportunity to casually meet other friendly and open-minded guests before the meeting formally begins. PRESENTATION (15 MINUTES) Our Local Group Leader will cover important announcements and give an educational or motivational lecture on a certain week’s topic. FREE THOUGHT FORUM (90 MINUTES OR SO) Guests and Members will gather into small groups around volunteer “hosts” who act as moderators to free and open discussions in which all participants are encouraged to contribute their thoughts in accordance with our “Five Rules for Civil Discourse.” Each Free Thought Forum exists to promote healthy civil discussion and celebrate the free exchange of ideas with an emphasis on granting all participants opportunities to share. We assert that one’s ability to voice their ideas and have them supported, contested, tested, and reviewed among peers (and in-person) is an indispensable tool in one’s honest search for the correct answers to life’s most important questions. Five Rules for Civil Discourse By participating in each Free Thought Forum, all guests, members, and hosts agree to abide by the following: 1. BE RESPECTFUL OF EACH OTHER’S TIME If a designated host senses that you have taken more than 5 minutes to make a point, he/she will insist that someone else is given an opportunity to talk. Do not to interrupt or talk over someone else. 2. CRITICIZE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE No one comes to an open discussion to be personally attacked. If you believe that an idea deserves criticism, it is essential that you address the claims or opinions themselves. This also applies to groups of people. There is nothing wrong with criticizing what a group of people profess, as long as the people themselves are treated with respect. Phrases such as “I disagree,” “what makes you say that?” or “what do you think of the counter-argument?” are all useful in keeping the conversation positive and inclusive. 3. AVOID FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OR UNSUBSTANTIATED DECLARATIONS Committing a logical fallacy or making bold claims without explaining the reasoning behind why you believe as you do can hinder productive thought and meaningful discussion. 4. BE OPEN TO SCRUTINY AND A DIVERSITY OF OPINION The objective of each meeting is not for someone to “win” or to “convert” anyone else. A discussion is not a debate. Rather, it is to allow each participant’s idea to compete in an open marketplace of ideas under to its own merits. 5. RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOST AS MODERATOR Your host (a trained volunteer) is much like a sports referee or a judge in a courtroom. In order to maintain civility and to promote productive dialogue, all participants agree to respectfully follow their Host’s facilitation and moderation.

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  • The Epic FIRST Meeting for a NEW Draper Group!

    The Clever Bean

    The time has come to form the second chapter of the Free Thought Initiative! We have heard you loud and clear, and are excited to announce that a new weekly forum will now take place in Draper, Utah! This first meeting of the Draper group will allow our executive board to gauge the interest and demand for free thought discussions in this area, so spreading the word about this event can make a dramatic difference! We have found fellow advocates for open-mindedness, continual self-improvement, and entrepreneurship in The Clever Bean, a coffee shop in Draper, whose managers have agreed to host our weekly meetings on Sundays from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. They can be found on Instagram, and on their website: https://www.thecleverbean.com/ There is no guest limit or cost to attend. In the event that this group grows much larger than expected, we will be happy to continue to create other charters just to the south or north of Draper, depending on the needs of those in attendance. We can't wait to meet all of you further north of our first group in Springville! Thank you for sharing this event and for letting us know about the need for public intellectual discussions in Draper! What is the Free Thought Forum all about? We help those in need of an inclusive, supportive, and free-thinking community by hosting public discussions on moral philosophy, healthy living, and science to improve the cohesion, health, and scientific literacy of our society. For more information, please visit our website: https://www.freethoughtforum.org