At this session of addressing the BIG Questions, we will grapple with issues of "ultimate reality." It will require a more discursive treatment of the god question than one might first imagine. We will review several different concepts of god and explore multifarious quests to understand ultimate reality. And, we'll take up the semantic nuances of god talk.
For some people "the god question" is still a salient one. And one that encompasses alternate representations of god--beyond traditional definitions--such as "life force" or "first cause." But we will go well beyond the classic arguments for and against the existence of "god." We will probe the more far-reaching question of less traditional spiritual types, deists, pantheists and naturalists: what animates the world? Throughout our discussion, we will explore intersections of knowing and believing between ourselves and those who hold different views from ourselves. In seeking clarity of our understanding of ultimate reality, we will be better prepared to grapple with the other existential and philosophical questions to come later in this series.
As with each session, we will begin with a power-point overview of the question of the day, interspersed with group discussion. While people are encouraged to participate throughout the year, anyone is welcome to come to as many or as few of the monthly sessions as they are able.
The sessions will be led by Audrey Kingstrom, humanist, naturalist and atheist with master's degrees in theology and education. I expect our discussions to be enriched by the experiences, perspectives and personal study of all of the participants.
Childcare will be provided upon request with one week's notice. Please contact Audrey directly at [masked] to arrange for childcare. Deadline--Oct. 5th--required notice for the October session.
The questions to be contemplated are as follows.
1. How do we know what we know?
2. Is there a god? Or first cause? Or life force?
3. What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?
4. How much control do we have of our lives?
5. Is there a “human nature?”
6. How do we determine right from wrong?
7. What is justice?
8. What happens when we die?
9. What constitutes living a good life?
Wherever you are in your life journey, whatever questions and curiosities you may have about the profound and existential questions of life: this series welcomes the inquiring mind, the pilgrim, the seeker, the doubters, the contemplatives. Many religions and ideologies are static systems of belief as they adhere to an unchanging given TRUTH. But as humanist, naturalist, agnostic, atheist, skeptic or “non-religious,” our assertions are more modest. We are open to new discoveries and information, and are willing to consider a revision of our worldviews based on an empirical approach to expanding, verifiable knowledge. And then, perhaps equally important, we are intrigued by how to live with the uncertainties that remain.