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1  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Medical Ethics Discussion Sessions on: April 02, 2008, 02:13:39 PM
Apologies for the late notice, but I'm afraid I'll have to postpone this evening's session on Medical Ethics as I've just got back from hospital with a hand injury that prevents me typing faster than about a word a minute. Slightly ironic I know...
New dates for these sessions will be posted ASAP. I think I should be able to just move them back a couple of weeks, with the session planned for tonight now on the 16th, and the other 2 on the 23rd and 30th, but will confirm ASAP.
Sorry about this,

Ronnie
2  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Medical Ethics Discussion Sessions on: March 26, 2008, 10:12:01 PM
Hi,

I've posted a new series of E&P discussion groups on the Wiki Events page. These are intended to cover various issues of Medical Ethics; there are currently 3 sessions posted, as follows:

Wednesday 2 April  7.30-8.30 pm: The ethics of medical research
Wednesday 9 April  7.30-8.30 pm: Euthanasia (assisted suicide)
Wednesday 16 April  7.30-8.30 pm: How should we allocate medical resources?

All will be held in the Japanese Garden.
For more info please follow the links above to the pages on the wiki. I'd be very grateful if you could add your name to these pages if you're interested in coming along.
If there is enough interest this series will be extended, with other topics to be suggested at the sessions above.
Hopefully see you there.

Ronnie  
3  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 21, 2008, 10:04:53 PM
Hi,

Thanks to those who came along to this last night, and made it a very interesting session.
There were loads of good points raised, many of which we didn’t have time to explore in detail. Below is a quick overview of the main points; if anyone has anything they’d like to add/discuss further, please post it below.

We discussed:

The boundary between physics and metaphysics – how far has the former encroached on what used to be considered the territory of the latter?

Arguments for/against the existence of God, and whether the arguments against are primarily scientific (i.e. empirical proofs) or philosophical (i.e. logical arguments).
With ref to this the following was suggested as interesting: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg19626294.200-does-god-have-a-place-in-a-rational-world.html
This led to discussion of the alternatives to belief in a divine being, with reference to the birth of the universe –
 - What existed before the big bang?
 - The instability of nothingness (making something inevitable); or the idea of a cyclical universe.
 - Is the idea of ‘nothing’ becoming ‘something’ conceivable?
 - Does refutation of a divine being just mean recourse to a different kind of faith?
This led us to discuss what it actually means to think something is highly probable (scientifically) if we can't properly conceive it. It was argued that it means something, but that as a species we may have the issue of trying to 'catch up' with our own knowledge, in order to fully understand it. It was felt that science is useful for proving certain things, but to extend those proofs to the wider world you need philosophy; and where we have no evidence, we go to metaphysics.

The nature of scientific ‘proofs’ - specifically the philosophy of Hume, who argued that you never actually experience the laws of nature; you just experience that one thing tends to follow another, which is no proof that they always will - different events happening one after another is no proof that one causes the other.

There was general agreement that advances in science will definitely throw up new philosophical questions – some of these are by their nature currently inconceivable, though others are already emerging: interesting to see New Scientist the other week talking of ‘intergenerational ethics’ with regard to issues raised by space exploration. This is a relatively new idea engendered by both scientific advancements and scientific awareness.

It was felt that the concept of the "goldilocks zone"  invites philosophical questions (the goldilocks zone is apparently the area around any star which is suitable for terrestrial life)  - this is not an area I know much about so if any of its exponents read this please feel free to elucidate!

Quantum theory - What is reality? -  Only that which can be measured/experienced, or that which is in some way ‘out there’?
It was suggested that Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and quantum theory in general have quite a few ramifications on philosophy, not least in making Laplace’s ultimately predictable universe impossible, and the debatable issue of whether the universe can still be deterministic with quantum theory (as some quantum behaviours appear distinctly random).

Finally there was general agreement that the Science vs. Philosophy/Belief debate is a battle that will never end, because no matter how scientifically advanced we become, human beings will always believe in something else, such as a God or other religious figure.

If any of those present feel I've missed or (more importantly) misrepresented anything please let me know.
There will hopefully be a series of sessions on issues of Medical Ethics coming soon - Kit Kat Kid and I will let you know once these have been sorted. Hopefully see you then.
Thanks,

Ronnie
4  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 20, 2008, 01:34:05 PM
Cool, did you see my PM about future sessions on medical issues? Be good to get these up and running in the next few weeks if you're interested.
5  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 19, 2008, 10:22:15 PM
Just to confirm this is still on tomorrow night (Wed 20th) at 8pm in the Japanese Garden.
Hope some of you can make it.

Ronnie
6  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 12, 2008, 08:54:42 PM
Hi,

As there weren't many of us around tonight we decided to postpone this discussion - I've moved it to 8pm on Wed 20th Feb, and amended the events page on the wiki.
If you'd like to come please can you follow this link -E&Psession - and add your name so I have an idea of numbers. Marko - I've removed your name from the updated wiki page even though you said you'd try to make it again, so if you can come please can you add it back on? Thanks.

Hope to see you then,

Ronnie
7  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 12, 2008, 08:08:11 PM
This is due to start now in the Japanese Garden if there's anyone around who fancies coming along.
8  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 11, 2008, 08:10:55 PM
Just a reminder that this is at 8pm GMT in the Japanese Garden if you fancy coming along.
9  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / New Discussion Session Tuesday 12th Feb 8pm GMT on: February 07, 2008, 11:29:45 PM
Hi,

I've posted a new Ethics & Philosophy discussion session on the Wiki events page, date and time as above.

The topic is 'Does science still need philosophy?' In this session I hope we can discuss the current relationship between philosophy and science, and how, as science increasingly answers questions that were traditionally pondered by philosophers, philosophy might still help us to frame and understand the discoveries of science.
If you're interested in coming along please follow the link below and add your name to the page on the wiki.
E&Psession
Hope to see you there,

Ronnie
10  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Last Appel on: January 30, 2008, 09:22:39 PM
Is Liony out on bail???
11  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Last Appel on: January 30, 2008, 09:19:16 PM
Don't worry Topper - it's a great idea with a really interesting scenario, and there's loads of interest, so it's definitely not doomed to fail.
I'm sure we can get it sorted for a time that works for you.
12  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Last Appel on: January 30, 2008, 08:58:52 PM
ahh you beat me to it!
I can do either tomorrow or an hour early on Saturday....
13  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Last Appel on: January 30, 2008, 08:57:30 PM
Hi Topper,

As Euphloozie said we've all had to go, but decided that we'd agree with you here when to reschedule the preliminaries.
Let us know what suits you and hopefully we'll get it sorted soon. There's a massive amount of interest!

Ronnie
14  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Last Appel on: January 17, 2008, 08:55:25 AM
Glad you like the sound of it Zzzzzz, Topper is the best person to tell you which roles are still available but I'm sure there's a place for you. There's been a lot of enthusiasm for this, so if this case is successful I'm sure there will be more in future and an opportunity to swap roles around.
And I'd still like to be clerk to the court please  :P
15  Schome Park Programme / Ethics & Philosophy / Re: Quotes... on: January 15, 2008, 01:11:27 PM
There is a very interesting short essay on absurdity in 'Mortal questions' by Thomas Nagel - if anyone has the time and inclination it's well worth a read - you can read this essay (Chapter 2, Page 11) on Google books, link is below:

MortalQuestions
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