What we're about

This is a group for those interested in intellectual conversation and a safe space to discuss ideas. Topics might include scientific theories, social issues, political and issues. Each meetup will focus on one topic, with everybody in the group given the opportunity to express their opinion, followed by debate. This meetup welcomes gentle, open-minded, generous folk who love rational thinking. We value rationality, compassion, generosity, curiosity, diversity and community-mindedness.

The philosophy of the group is inspired by Bertrand Russell in his essay “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism”:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Upcoming events (3)

“Practically Unlimited Energy”: The Promise of Nuclear Fusion

Brisbane Square Library

In a world struggling to deal with climate change, fusion offers humanity a virtually inexhaustible supply of safe, clean energy. So why is the running joke “that fusion is always 40 years away” and what are we doing about it?

This talk is for a general audience interested in alternative energy, solutions to climate change and the science & engineering of fusion.

We will cover:
• Why fusion energy?
• What is nuclear fusion?
• How to build a ‘Star on Earth’?
• The road to commercial fusion

Suggested discussion topics:
• Is fusion a key part of the solution to world’s long-term energy problems?
• Should the world be doing more to make commercial fusion a reality sooner?
• Is the end goal of commercial fusion worth a significant financial risk?
• How important is it that we invest in fusion NOW:
o to combat climate change?
o to deal with over-population?
o to deal with global inequity?
• What role should Australia play in the realisation of commercial fusion?
This event is held in the theatrette on level one of the Brisbane Square library and will be followed by (optional) social drinks at Jimmy's on the Mall.

Digging for Gold in Conflict

Brisbane Square Library

This event will be held in the theatrette on the ground level of the library and be followed by optional social drinks at Jimmy's on the Mall.

Conflict is central to our relationships – interpersonal, intergroup and international. It’s often seen as destructive but, when managed well, conflict can drive tremendous positive change.

In this talk David will discuss the structure of conflict, key drivers and behaviours, as well as touching on intervention options. Alongside this Shelley will delve into practical examples of political conflict, especially the Brexit campaign in the UK and repercussions of the 52:48 result that divided a nation.

Mission: Joy - Finding Happiness in Troubled Times

Brisbane Square Library

In this event, we will watch Mission: Joy, Finding Happiness in Troubled Times (trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nlUl5yNgIE&ab_channel=MISSION%3AJOY) and open the floor to discussion. The event is held in the theatrette on the ground floor of the City Library and is followed by optional social drinks at Jimmy's on the Mall.



Deeply moving and laugh-out-loud funny, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share science-backed wisdom of how to live with joy in troubled times.


Academy Award®-winning director Louie Psihoyos teams up with co-director Peggy Callahan on MISSION: JOY – FINDING HAPPINESS IN TROUBLED TIMES, a documentary with unprecedented access to the unlikely friendship of two international icons who transcend religion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Tutu. In their final joint mission, these self-described mischievous brothers give a master class in how to create joy in a world that was never easy for them. They offer neuroscience-backed wisdom to help each of us live with more joy, despite circumstances.

Inspired by New York Times bestseller The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, the film showcases the exchange between these two Nobel Peace Prize winners that led to that book. Consisting largely of never-before-seen footage shot over 5 days at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, the film invites viewers to join these luminaries behind the scenes as they recount stories from their lives, each having lived through periods of incredible difficulty and strife. With genuine affection, mutual respect and a healthy dose of teasing, these unlikely friends impart lessons gleaned from lived experience, ancient traditions, and the latest cutting-edge science regarding how to live with joy in the face of all of life’s challenges from the extraordinary to the mundane. MISSION: JOY is an antidote for the times.

Past events (430)

Photos (130)