February talks will be:
First talk; Teresa Russell from Primary Ethics
"Teresa will discuss the work of Primary Ethics, the charity founded three years ago by the St James Ethics Centre. Primary Ethics creates curriculum for public primary school students whose parents want them to study ethics rather than scripture classes available in their primary schools. Teresa will discuss the curriculum as well as the recruiting, vetting and training of volunteers for ethics classes. She will give an update on the progress of this vital addition to the education of young children in NSW." -
Second talk; Bruce Long, philosopher from Sydney Atheists, The meaning of life.
Greeting fellow Sydney Atheists. I am pleased to be giving a talk about – of all things – the actual meaning of life!
For the religionist and faith adherent, the meaning of life must be supplied, inspired, defined, grounded in, and sustained by an external supernatural force, spirit, and/or deity or deities of some kind. The meaning of life begins and ends with doctrinal and faith commitments. Unlike theologians, professional (and aspiring) philosophers often venture no answer, opinion, or solution regarding the meaning of life. In philosophy, the question of the meaning of life is often treated as something of an in joke: “They’re going to answer what!? Oh well we can all go home then”. It is arguable that no philosopher will ever do better than author Douglas Adams, whose characters Loonquawl and Phouchg (Adams frequently righteously lampooned philosophers) and mega computer Deep Thought parlay about the question in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy:
“But it was the Great Question! The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything!” howled Loonquawl.
“Yes,” said Deep Thought with the air of one who suffers fools gladly, “but what actually is it?”
A slow stupefied silence crept over the men as they stared at the computer and then at each other.
“Well, you know, it’s just Everything… Everything…” offered Phouchg weakly.
“Exactly!” said Deep Thought. “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.” (The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Chapter 34, Page 32)”
I look forward to exploring the topic with you on the 14th February.
We do request at a minimum a two dollar donation from members to cover any costs we incur. We are not for profit and 100% of funds will go to operating the group. Non - members of Sydney Atheists should book at http://www.trybooking.com/EFJM
As the hotel is doing us a very good deal for the space, we hope that you will avail yourself of some of the fine food and beverage that they offer. Please note that donations or admission fees do not cover the cost of any food or drinks.
The dinner and talks will both be at the one venue, First Floor Strattons Hotel, 249 Castlereagh Street Sydney. Dinner will be available from 6.00pm whilst the talks will begin at 7.00pm.
You will be able to eat before or during the talks. We will also have a 15 minute intermission. This venue affords us much in the way of social possibilities as well as the talks. Please note that catering will not be available after 8.30pm. Meals are available from $10.00.Location:
249 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW (http://strattonshotel.com.au/Contact)
The nearest station is Museum, whilst Town Hall Station is a 5 to 10 minute walk. Cheap parking is available at 730 George Street, $9 flat rate 6 mins from the meetup hotel.
If you come in the door to the furthest right of the Pub on Castlereagh Street, then up the stairs to the right, and all the way to the top, there is a large room to the left.
Once a month the Meetup meets for a topical discussion with a special guest/s. Special guests in the past have been members of the meetup, who spoke on a topic of their choice, or experts from outside, speaking on a topic of their expertise. If you wish to speak, or know somebody who would like to speak to us, please contact Steve[masked] or Morgan[masked]. Slots are either 1 hour or part there of to make up the hour.
We usually attempt to record these talks and put them up on our youtube channel (http://youtube.com/sydneyatheists) pending time for editing and final speakers' approval. Filming is also dependent on copyright issues.