This is a group for people who like to meet for a couple of hours in a relaxed atmosphere and talk (or just listen) about big ideas, mostly by asking questions and refining them. It is free, open for everyone and follows the common format of Socrates Cafes around the world. But most important it is just fun… of course, for those who actually enjoy intelligent conversations and can’t live without examining reality, society and life. The idea is to bring philosophy to the masses, to start socializing and form community of inquiry in process. This is exactly what Socrates-style of philosophy is about, but in practical terms it simply means a discussion group with emphases on questions, not the answers (which makes it different from university philosophy courses, self-help books and political/religious/new age movements). There are no speakers, no gurus, no high-minded monologues, no arrogant “experts” with indecipherable jargon and monopoly on right answers, no homework and no preparation. It is just and exchange of opinions on selected topic by simple (and not so simple :-) people. It is inherently democratic place where your opinion is on equal terms with the ones expressed by Nietzsche, Socrates or a guy around the corner… There is a moderator to channel conversation, loosely defined and very simple Socratic method of inquiry to guide participants and some basic rules: courtesy to others, observance of a topic of discussion and avoidance of any type of proselytism ). For more information read article about Socrates Café in "Ottawa Citizen" and FAQ on About page at http://www.meetup.com/ottawa-socrates-cafe/...
One of the personal traits most of us want ourselves to be described as is "I open minded, fair and not biased." As much as we believe we are unencumbered from thoughts often based on irrational, emotionally laden biases, we often are.
We cannot help being biased because our experiences often shape who we've become and our race, ethnicity, gender, height, weight, sexual orientation, place of birth, and other factors impact the lens with which we view the world. And these biases affect our daily decision making at our jobs and our social interactions: they impact our politics, sense of social justice, our morality... in effect, everything we do. Sometimes, the outcomes are neutral or positive, often times, they are negative.
So, what is bias? Are you biased? Have you encountered bias and how have you been impacted? Is bias nature or nurture? Why should we try to better understand and recognize bias?
Socrates Cafe is a social forum where we meet in person to engage in conversation on topics of interest: it is not an online discussion forum. As such, please refrain from preempting the event online, but by all means post links and questions you want to discuss on January 21st. Thank you in advance.