SOCRATES CAFÉ…

What we’re about.

This is the listing of past topics discussed at the Cleveland Heights/South Euclid/Tremont/Ohio City Socrates Café:

2012
October: How ought we respond to the global conversation regarding free speech?
September: Is every action motivated by self-interest?
August: Did Jesus exist?
July: Is all morality relative?
June: Does exposure to nudity in a non-sexual context injure children?
May: Where is the line between life and not life?
April: Is a world without guns possible?
March: What is a terrorist?
February: How much worse is it to do evil than to simply allow evil to occur?
January: Is greatness a matter of abnormal brain chemistry or structure?

2011
December: Which is preferable — true democracy or a benevolent dictator of your choice?
November: Do politicians simply reflect the population?
October: Would an independent military under the control of the United Nations bring peace?
September: Can we jump-start our economy with Federal infrastructure projects?
August: What is the soul and what does it mean to have one or even some?
July: What comes first: language or thought?
June: Does collective bargaining have philosophical roots in the Enlightenment’s Natural Rights?
May:
April: Why are we entertained by violence?
March: Can we treat all religious texts as Myth to be learned from?
February: Why do liberals not defend the 2nd Amendment as they do the 1st Amendment?
January: Snow Day

2010

December: How would an absence of Free Will change our legal system?
November: Agree or disagree — that which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.
October: Do maxims help or hinder conversation?
September: What does it mean to be passionate?
August: Should politicians be like superheroes: anonymous and unpaid?
July: How should we, as individuals, treat the homeless or those in need?
June: Does going to war ever make a country better off?
May: How can we know when to distrust an expert?
April: Are we on the brink of experiencing an evolutionary leap in consciousness?
March: Why do we have social events like Bar Mitzvahs, baby showers or house warmings.?
February:Is knowledge of the physical universe necessary to live a fulfilling life?
January: Should classrooms be segregated by intelligence level?

2009

December: Is our ability to reflect upon our actions pointless and even detrimental?
November: What does it mean for the media to provide balanced coverage?
October: Is youth really wasted on the young?
September: Do we have a right to health care?
August: Should we end compulsory education after the 8th grade?
July: Why are people so greedy? Why must we want?
June: What would be the effects of ending the institution of marriage?
May: Are labels — Italian, skinny, blind, zealous, socialist, lawyer, tall, etc. — helpful?
April: Should there be a maximum wage limit; is making too much money immoral?
March: Why do people think they need when they really just want?
February: Why does the thought of home make us feel content?
January: What is the ideal relation between the individual and the State?

2008

December: How do we encourage tolerance for differences?
November: What is the essence of beauty?
October: Should felons be forgiven after they\’ve paid they debt to society?
September: Is it ethical to eat meat?
August: Is competitiveness still good for humanity?
July: Where is Whitman\’s America? Did it ever exist? How do we get there?
June: What branch of science is most important?
May: Is the current attack on religion a good thing?
April: Should government have a role in social engineering?
March: Do the words it and thing cripple our language and conversations?
February: What is truth?
January: Is it vital for America to elect John McCain?

2007

December: Would you want to live for 1,000 years?
November: Is scientific consensus a good substitute for Truth?
October: Do we get the politicians we deserve? (Our 5th anniversary as a group)
September: Why do some people fear death?
August: What one bit of advice would leave for your legacy?
July: Do the reckless deserve our pity?
June: Do we need more or less alone time in our lives-?
May: Ought bankruptcy laws be abolished?
April: What\’s missing from the conversation?
March: Barak or Hillary?
February: Snowed out!
January: How would indisputable proof of an afterlife change us?

2006

December: Are cults different from religions, and if so, how?
November: What are the differences among faith, belief and knowledge?
October: What is wisdom?
September: Are we superior to all other animals so as to allow us to exploit them?
August: Are stereotypes every useful?
July: Is it possible for a person to understand an other person?
June: What is Authenticity?
May: If you had all the funding you required, what world problem would you tackle that could be solved in 10 years?
April: Are there objective measurement for art?
March: What is fairness?
February: Should societies have any sacred cows – i.e., topics that have special status and are protected from humor or ridicule?
January: How do children learn values?

2005

December: Can the United States justify the use of torture or does our position on cruel and unusual punishment preclude its use by the United States?
November: Is a winner-take-all, two-party political system the best for the United States, and if not, what might a multi-party system look like?
October: Should students be taught how to think critically, or should they be taught a set of facts?
September: Is it wise for Atheists to stay in the closet?
August: How do we understand poverty and what would be the minimums to be considered not living in poverty?
July: What is the basis for morality?
June: Is religion necessary?
May: Do we have a soul or are we just brains?
April: Is there a definition of patriotism that makes it worthwhile?
March: Is there an upside to having a secret life?
February: Why is belief in evolution stronger in Europe than in the US?
January: Is there meaning to life or do we make it up?

2004

December: To what degree should we try to live a just or moral life?
November: Are homosexual rights akin to the civil rights movement of the \’60s?
October: How do fairy tales influence children\’s expectations?
September: What is the function of marriage today?
August: Is there significance to the current 50-50 split on the election?
July: Do you have a right to pursue your own happiness?
June: Is loyalty a vice or a virtue?
May: Is the media dumbing down American discourse?
April: What is the nature of evil?
March: What role ought irrationality play in our lives?
February: What does it mean to live a successful life?
January: Is the U.S. anti-intellectual?

2003

December: What was the most important event in history?
November: Does science matter?
October: Is there a place for revenge?
September: Do we value wisdom?
August: Does humor require implying something negative about someone?
July: Would becoming a blended, race-less society be a good thing?
June: Why do we glorify the past?
May: Is there an unselfish reason to have children?
April: What is motivation?
March: What is love?
February: Is mankind becoming more or less moral over the centuries?
January: What is the difference between good art and bad art?

2002

December: Why is there genocide?
November: Can you have change without stress?
October: Can you know truth without knowing God?

4 Responses to “SOCRATES CAFÉ…”

  1. […] Last evening the Cleveland Heights Socrates Café group met. We asked: Are cults different from religions and if they are, how are they different? The question was prompted by Mitt Romney’s high profile as a 2008 presidential candidate. What followed was one of the best and far-ranging conversations we’ve ever had. […]

  2. […] Last evening the Cleveland Heights Socrates Café group met. We asked: If indisputable proof were presented that an afterlife either did or did not exist, how would this change individuals and society. Because the term itself is so loaded with baggage,the discussion center on the response: well, that depends upon what you mean by afterlife. […]

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