What we're about
This is a chance to get together in a group of friendly people who gather in a pub atmosphere to discuss important ethical and philosophical issues in our lives and how we can better live together in a caring community and society. Although we only began using Meetup technology relatively recently, we are not a new group. We have had monthly gatherings for since 2012. When we meet, we usually have a designated speaker. Past speakers invited via out networks have included a Nobel Laureate, other internationally recognized figures and Australian politicians, to local members who are happy to present on subjects of interest. Some of our best meetups have emerged around issues raised on days when there was no planned topic.
We care about other people and the world we live in and respect the diversity of viewpoints. We agree to explore and discuss our different approaches to issues without dogma or rancor. Where our discussions lead us to conclude that there is a need for community action on some issue, we are happy to provide access to this Meetup forum for topical meetings to help organize and promote appropriate activities.
From our 2012 flier: "Do you doubt the existence of God? Do you worry about the undue influence of religion in our society? Are you horrified by the treatment of women by patriarchal religions? Do you support secular education? Separation of church and state? Religious organisations paying taxes? The use of evidence and reason to resolve ethical and political questions? The primacy of science over superstition? If your answer is “Yes” to any of these questions you are invited to attend"
Until recently our gatherings were held in Kyneton's Albion Hotel, with people attending from the length of the Calder corridor between outer Melbourne to Bendigo. Beginning in July 2018 we have moved our meetings to the Victoria Hotel, in Woodend, that offers the advantages of greater accessibility to some of our less mobile attendees, a better meeting room, closer to potential speakers from the Metro area and trains for people wishing to attend from Bendigo and Metro areas, and more parking in the vicinity. By meeting in a pub, attendees who wish to socialize over dinner can do so from 6:00 PM, with the formal presentation (if one) open to all beginning at 7:30 and concluding by 9:00 PM.
When extra large crowds are expected, we can hire a hall (but will also have to charge admission to cover costs).
Something to think about:
Australia was founded by Convicts. Its homicide rate is 1.8 per 100,000 population. The United States was founded by religious zealots. Its homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000.