Next Meetup

Debating democracy over dinner!
Democracy 101: What is democracy? And what is it good for? Debate topic: do you support the idea of introducing a "competency test" for the vote? You have to pass a test to drive a car. And in the criminal justice system jurors can be disallowed if they possess obvious cognitive biases. And yet when it comes to the ballot box you need only be over age 18. What about informed 16 year olds (why exclude them)? Come and debate democracy, and consider proposals to improve the democratic process. What do you think should be done to improve the current state of politics?

Megalos Restaraunt

226 Princess St · Kingston, ON

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What we're about

This group is for people that want to meet new people in Kingston AND engage in deep, meaningful conversations about topics in philosophy, ethics, politics, science, etc. "The unexamined life is not worth living" is the motto of our group. If you are interested in living an examined life, please consider joining us for some fun, deep conversations.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”. Those were the words of my intellectual hero Socrates, shortly before the Athenians sentenced him to death for challenging their beliefs. Socrates was considered a bit of a pain in the butt to his contemporaries because he was always asking deep questions like “What is the good life?” and “What is justice?”. Not everyone appreciates having their ideas and beliefs questioned. But the members of The Philosopher’s Club (Kingston) embrace, indeed celebrate!, the inquisitive mindset. We long for substantive conversations about all topics- ethics, politics, art, science, religion, law, evolution, economics, psychology, etc. We believe that the life of the active mind is the good life, and we want to continue to grow, learn and develop by engaging in civil discussion and debate with kindred spirits that live in our fine city.

Who am I? I’m a professor at Queen’s University. I am a secular humanist with a PhD in philosophy and I have had the good fortune to teach thousands of bright students in England, Scotland, Canada and the United States. While not a luddite, I will admit I loath the erosion of real (vs virtual) community and “cognitive presence” I see rampant in the hyper-social-media connectivity of the modern world. Very few people have the time or desire to meet in person and converse any more. A “re-tweet” or FB “like” are inadequate substitutes to meet our desire for substantive connection that is engrained in our evolved, pro-social biology.

People are often too busy texting away with their nose glued to their phone to meet and converse with new people in “real life”. Well, I have opted out of that virtual rat race, and this meetup group is my attempt to help forge an authentic, “conversationally-present” community of like-minded Kingstonians. I hope you will consider joining me!

Why join this group?

Answer #1: To meet new people! You like people, right?

Answer #2: To be happier! You like being happy, right? Science has shown that people are happier when engaging in meaningful conversations vs making small chat.

Format of the Group.

This meetup group is a social experiment. As such, the nature and frequency of our meetings will evolve depending on the size of the group and people’s interest. But at the moment I am planning on running two styles of meetings, what I shall call “informal” meetups, and “formal” meetups.

“Informal meetups” will take place at least once a month, at a pub, coffee shop or (when weather permits) a scenic location for walking. There will be no size limit on these events, or set topic to discuss. Just show up and chat about whatever deep topics or ideas you would like to discuss and debate.

“Formal meetups” will take place once a month. These will be lunch or dinner events, with an attendee limit of only 4 people. A table reservation for 4 people will be booked in advance. And with only space for 3 other people (besides myself), please be sure you attend an event you have booked to attend (or if you have to cancel, update it so someone else can take your place). For these formal events there will be a set “Conversation Starter” topic, to try to get people’s ideas going in advance of the meeting. The topics will be detailed on the event listed.

Hope to see you at an event soon, and we can engage in some substantive conversations together!

Cheers,

Colin

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