May 2018 Philosophy Think & Drink

Our May Think & Drink was lovely.  In keeping with our ridiculous issues with taking pictures during our think & drink sessions (we’ve found it somewhat uncomfortable to sneak a pic and/or ask people to say cheese during “deep thoughts”), we have opted out of pics for this month.  We have, however, captured the gist of our discussion below.  Beginning with a riveting discussion about llama poop (thanks Thomas & Marie!)…seven questions — all worthy of pondering — were posed. 

Questions Thrown into the Ring

  • Is it more ethical to breed new varieties of crops to feed people realizing that will result in an increase of population or should we just let nature take its course & let people starve?  To whom/what are our ethical obligations?
    • On a similar note:  Is the future of feeding the world in conserving farmland or putting things in greenhouses?  More specifically, what approach ought we to embrace for our future?  Technological?  Or ecological?
  • Wherever we fall on the spectrum of how we view human nature, why do we lean that direction? Where do our perspectives come from?  And how does this influence our behavior?
  • What is our ethical responsibility for upholding agreements (as a country)?  is there a good reason to not uphold an agreement?
  • To what extent is etiquette preventing us from doing the “right thing”?  To what extent might it be leading us to do the “right thing”?
  • What is the value of play?  Is it just an offshoot of our humanity that serves no real function?  Or is there more to it?  What is the definition of play? 
    • On a similar note:  Why is work considered more of a norm than play?
  • If “never forgetting” is important to our not repeating, are we erasing history by removing monuments? And, if so, what might that mean relative to the repeating of various atrocities?

The Question We Selected as a Group

  • Is it more ethical to breed new varieties of crops to feed people realizing that will result in an increase of population or should we just let nature take its course & let people starve?  To whom/what are our ethical obligations?

What Philosophical Underpinnings this Involved

  • Questions about fairness & equity
  • Practical issues related to limits and distribution
  • Quality vs. quantity
  • Utilitarian & Deontological principles
  • Moral obligations & suffering
  • The Danish culture, happiness & individualism (thanks to the proddings of Thomas Baumeister)
  • And more….

 

Thank you to the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization (PLATO) for supporting philosophy in the community and helping us bring activities like these to the Helena community! 

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