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Philosophy Club II

Last night I went to my second meeting of the Flower City Philosophy Club (FCPC from now on) at the Old Toad Pub. I hadn’t been there for a week and sometimes I have this pattern were I can stop doing something for a period of time and that thing stops happening. I’m not saying I’m integral to the meetings but that it is a pattern that can’t really be ignored.

Before I went to the first meeting I was a bit nervous. Without too much braggadocio, I can say that usually I am the smartest person in the room. Most people will verify this fact. It’s rare that I am completely out of my league. That being said my nervousness stemmed from the possibility that I could have been introduced to a group of people that were on a different playing field than I.

After the first meeting I wasn’t too worried, but then again the topic of the night was contemporary politics. Most of the arguments came from emotional places in their minds as heated elections are often want to do. It didn’t lend itself to really displaying the mental alacrity of the people in the group. Perhaps worse for this display, was that no one in the group really disagreed. There was one jackass that thought it could really help the Democrats if they lost this election, although he was immediately shot down by myself and several others.

Last night the topic that I walked in on was Philosophy of Religion; specifically they were attempting to come up with a clear difference between a cult and a religion. Very shortly deference was made to me. It was more than just keeping the “new guy” involved it felt (and perhaps this is my ego talking) like they were running ideas by me for acceptance. I should note that at the time they had no idea that i had taught the class on several occasions.

I wouldn’t say that my intellect is superior with this group but I can say that I am more versed in different and competing theories on the subject. My initial expectation of a group full of professionals (i.e. Professors and students) has been completely eradicated. Most of these people are dilettantes. Adding to that they all share common ideals which quickly leads to the stunting of discussion. Perhaps the biggest fault of the group lies in the fact that most of them are too liberal.

One person in particular struck me in this. He was unwilling to criticize anything that wasn’t the current status quo. Discussing things like cults can usually lead to some humor at the expense of the kool-aid drinking followers but I didn’t hear any of that. In fact, one person likened the kool-aid to the Catholic practice of the bread and wine. I appealed to the idea that the two things are only similar in the act of imbibing but that is where the likeness ended. Cracking a joke about what kind of sneakers the Heaven’s Gate people wore, which was shot down.

I like going because it makes me feel like a professor again, a feeling that I dearly miss. Next week we are not supposed to go to the bar but instead the leader of the group’s apartment, which is the alternating week schedule. Next week is consciousness and where it comes from. I think it will be fun to see how many people come prepared for that.

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