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New Meetup: Socrates Cafe September Meetup

From: Andy
Sent on: Saturday, August 23, 2008 12:56 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Socrates Cafe!

What: Socrates Cafe September Meetup

When: September 6,[masked]:00 AM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: Let me begin by thanking everyone who attended our July meeting. We had our largest turnout since the inception of the group one year ago: 14 by my count. And we had a lively and fascinating discussion about the nature and value of patriotism.

Veteran-member Phyllis suggested the topic of our September meeting: undeserved suffering due to natural causes. More specifically, what is the meaning of such suffering for human life, and how can we come to terms with it? Here's a more helpful topic description from Phyllis:

This topic grows out of my sorrow at watching my 9-month-old grand niece suffer the side effects of the chemotherapy which will hopefully allow her to survive leukemia. Meanwhile, her parents must watch her suffer, often feeling helpless and wearing themselves out doing what they can. And listen to what people have said to them, hoping, I am sure, to comfort them. Probably with mixed effect.

Such as, "Such events occur to teach us something." To which, my niece, the baby's mother said, understandably: "I got the lesson already! And anyway, I don't see how my baby needed a lesson!"

So my questions are: How do we fit this and other kinds of seemingly unmerited suffering into our world view? How does it affect how we see ourselves, and perhaps other sentient beings, such as animals, in relationship to the cosmos as a whole? Whether that view be religious, philosophic, or otherwise? And what if any kinds of comfort can be gained by seeing individual examples of suffering like this in a larger perspective?

Note the new location for the September meeting -- and we have it only from 10:00-11:00 AM. The meeting room at the Panera at National and Elm has become quite popular: it is now encumbered by standing weekly reservations for most of the day every Saturday. We can talk briefly at our next meeting about a new meeting time and/or venue.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sept. 6th!

Your in Socrates,

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