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Ralph Seeking Roundtable Speakers
Volunteers needed to lead Roundtable discussions on the 1st Sundays. Contact Ralph Isler, risler1@comcast.net

(Memorandum from Ralph, below)

RET members,

In a moment of weakness I have, probably foolishly, agreed to coordinate the first-Sunday-of-the-month Roundtable meetings. I say foolishly because my schedule will again take me away from the Knoxville area for several weeks during the coming year, and it will prove a challenge to keep things running from a few thousand miles away.

It seems appropriate to swing back a little more to the traditional round table format for discussions while still keeping some meetings available for interesting guest speakers. So I am asking for volunteers to lead discussions on a topic of interest. It doesn’t have to take very much preparation. Once a topic is chosen, a brief outline of a few main points usually serves to guide the direction of the discussion, which tends to take on a life of its own in this highly vocal group.

Often a short article in Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer, Time or any other contemporary magazine can serve as a starting point. Or anything that has been bugging you about politics, philosophy, society, etc. can be a fair topic, and many of you who participate in RETDISCUSS seem to be bugged (or at least curious) about quite a few things.

I will lead the January 4 discussion with the title “Ask what your government can do for you – or not”.

If you have an idea you would like to explore with our group, please contact me at risler1@comcast.net, and I will schedule you for sometime during 2009.

Here are just a few other thoughts for possible roundtables:

Education in America - What should be taught - classical education vs, training? Are public schools failing and, if so, what can be done? What makes the Montessori method unique?

Should religion be completely exempt from some societal control? Should people who withhold medical treatment from their children because of religious beliefs be held culpable if this denial results in permanent injury or death? Should religious interference in the political process be strictly curtailed? Does the idea of Nonoverlapping Magisteria for science and religion make any sense?

Do we understand what quantum mechanics tells us about nature? Are our innate perceptions of space, time, and causality misleading when it comes to understanding the universe?. (Skeptical Inquirer, P. Quincy, July/August 2006. S.I. , Sept/Oct. 2008)

Ralph Isler

Posted by pking
Dec. 02, 2008