Archive for December, 2010

SAT Jan 15 – The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

WHEN:
SATURDAY, January 15, 2011 7:00 to 7:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Moral Landscape
Book by Sam Harris
Please read the book.

LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

DESCRIPTION:
Sam Harris’s first book, “The End of Faith”, ignited a worldwide debate about
the validity of religion.  In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most
people–from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists–agree on
one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values.
Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through
science has now become the most common justification for religious faith.  It
is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates
feel obligated to “respect” the hardened superstitions of their more devout
neighbors.

In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific
facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about
the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge.  Harris
urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being,
viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a
“moral landscape.”  Because there are definite facts to be known about where
we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer
limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of “morality”;
in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live
the best lives possible.

Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good
and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human
brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right
and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life.  Because such
answers exist, moral relativism is simply false–and it comes at increasing
cost to humanity.  And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human
values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as a
Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim
morality.

Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience
on the front lines of our “culture wars,” Harris delivers a game-changing
book about the future of science and about the real basis of human
cooperation.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-921-1156
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281 (h) 480-921-1156
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-921-1156

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.

TUES Jan 4 – Explore Atlas Shrugged Session 12

WHEN:
TUESDAY, January 4, 2011 7:00 to 7:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
Explore Atlas Shrugged Session 12
Podcasts and  discussion questions on Ayn Rand’s epic novel Atlas Shrugged
We will discuss the questions.

READINGS:
Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Chapter 1
Part 3, Chapter 1: Atlantis
Or:
Pages 699-751 in the larger Hardcover or Softcover
Pages 651-699 in the smaller Mass Market Paperback

AUTHOR:
http://www.exploreaynrand.com/1957/
These discussion questions and podcast were prepared by Diana Hsieh for
ExploreAtlasShrugged.com for people interested in creating their own Atlas
Shrugged Reading Groups, as well as for anyone wishing to study the novel in
more depth. They may be freely used for the study and discussion of Atlas
Shrugged, provided that this paragraph remains intact in any reproduction.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
The listed page numbers are for the larger edition, softcover or hardback.

Part 3, Chapter 1: Atlantis
Section 1 (701-733)
– What does Dagny see in John Galt on first meeting him?  Is it possible for a
person to see that much in another on first meeting?  (701-2)
– What critical information about Galt does Dagny learn about him on their way
to his house and then at the house?  What does she think of him? (701-16)
– What is the attitude of the inhabitants of the valley toward their past work
in the world and their present work in the valley? In what way are all the
strikers simply “living” in the valley?  (713-27)
– Why does Mulligan’s car rent for a rate?  Why doesn’t Mulligan allow Galt to
use it as a courtesy?  (714)
– Why is Dagny penniless in the valley?  Why won’t the strikers sell her any
gold?  (717-8, 727-8)
– Why is Dagny surprised that Andrew Stockton ruined a competitor?  What does
that tell us about the values of the valley?  Why do the strikers regard
competition as a positive good?  (724-5)
– What is Dagny’s response to seeing the powerhouse?  Why does it matter so
much to her?  (730-3)
– What is Galt’s oath?  What is its meaning and significance to him and the
other strikers?  (731)

Section 2 (733-751)
– What does Dagny want from the other industrialists in the valley?  Should
she care about their approval?  (734-6)
– Why does Dagny think that the strikers have given up?  Why don’t they think
that?  (737-8)
– What is the essential meaning of and motive for the strike?  (738-41)  Why
did each of the men at the dinner party go on strike?  Were they right to do
so?  How are their stories similar?  How are they different? (741-46)
– Why can’t Dagny embrace the valley, even though she has found everything
that she ever wanted in it?  Is Dagny’s choice either-or, as John Galt says?
(748-9)  Is Galt right to say that Dagny must destroy him if she chooses the
world?  (750-1)

Whole Chapter
– What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-921-1156
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281 (h) 480-921-1156
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-921-1156

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.

SAT Dec 18 – Solstice Party and Gift Exchange

Jackie & Lyman Hazelton are hosting the annual
Arizona Objectivists’ Solstice Party at their home on
Saturday, December 18, 2009 at 6 PM.  Note earlier
start time.

DINNER:
The traditional Pizza ordered out for $5 per person.
There will also be holiday sweets for dessert and
non-alcoholic beverages. If  you have special dietary needs or
would prefer an alcoholic beverage, please feel free to bring
what you require or desire, for yourself or to share.

GIFT EXCHANGE:
We will play a present guessing game to sharpen our logical
reasoning skills and get to know each other better. Please
bring a wrapped gift worth $15 or more which represents
something about yourself (but of course should be an object
that someone else might like). Before entering, place the gift
in a brown paper bag (at the door) and then give it to Lyman to be
put in the guest room. After dinner, we will draw numbers and begin
the present selection and analysis. Each gift will be opened, written
down on your list and analyzed.  Once all gifts are opened, you
must finalize your guess at who gave each gift.  Starting with the
first gift,  the real giver reveals himself/herself and explains the
gift selection.   Why, for example, he gave the CD and a
potato perched on a styrofoam couch. The person who gets the
most correct gets an additional gift from Jackie.  Ayn Rand’s
Collective  played this type of game at Christmas time. If you prefer
not to bring a gift, you can forego participation in the exchange but
may still assist in the guessing.

TOPIC:
Solstice Party & Gift Exchange

WHEN:
SATURDAY, December 18, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-921-1156
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281 (h) 480-921-1156
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-921-1156

BRING:
A $5 contribution for pizza and a wrapped gift worth $15 or more.
In previous years gifts included books, CD’s, alcohol, DVD’s,
tools, candy, gift baskets.

Hope you can join us.

Happy Holidays!