Hello Philosophy Fans!
I want to remind you that the May '09 Philosophy-in-LA Discussion group (http://philosophy-in-LA.tribe.net) is happening this Sunday, May 17, 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM-- please show up on time so you don't disrupt the meeting or miss the start of the conversation! New participants from all backgrounds, points of view and religious belief (or non-belief) are most welcome. We'll be at our usual venue, the Community Room of the Yahoo Center, 2500 Broadway, between Cloverfield & 26th, Santa Monica, 90404. Driving/ parking/ finding-the-room directions are at the end of this email.
If you belong to MyPC, or our Meetup site, please update your RSVP on those websites! FYI, mark your calendar with the dates of our next two meetings: June 28 at 5 PM (the 4th Sunday this time, since the third Sunday is Father's Day) and July 19 at 5 PM (the usual 3rd Sunday).
Directly after the meeting, feel free to join us for dinner and more conversation at Monte Alban, an inexpensive and tasty Mexican/ Oaxacan eatery about a mile from where we meet. Location and directions are at the end of this email.
The winner of the vote and this Sunday's topic of discussion is:
IS IT OKAY FOR THE STATE TO RESTRICT (OR DISCOURAGE) PEOPLE FROM HAVING CHILDREN, OR HAVING ADDITIONAL CHILDREN, OR RESTRICT WHEN THEY CAN HAVE THEM? Are there any procreative or reproductive rights? If so, what are they, and what, if anything, limits them? Put another way, when is it morally permissible for a person to procreate? Can the interests of a person who wants to have children be restricted in the name of limiting harm to society, or limiting harm to that person's future children? Why or why not?
One controversial example is that of the "one-child" policy in China. Is it a violation of parental rights, or simply a prudent social policy in conditions of crowding or overpopulation? Another example: Is it okay to discourage or prohibit teenagers (under 18) from having children? Is it inconsistent to place limits on teenage reproduction but not on adult reproduction?
OPTIONAL READING-- I have one article for you this month; inspire and clarify your thinking on the ideas by reading what philosophers and others have been arguing about: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/parenthood/
This Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on parenthood and procreation gives an overview of a range of controversies around childrearing and reproduction. While the entire article is worth reading, the parts relevant to our topic are the very interesting sections 3. Whether there is a Right to Procreative Autonomy and 4. The Morality of Procreation. These sections total to about six pages.
OUR WEBSITE & DISCUSSION BOARD-- I'll post all of this info on our club's website, as usual, and I urge you to post your ideas and reflections on the issue to the site, and read what others say (either before or after Sunday's meeting). Look for the discussion thread, "CHILDBEARING: should the state ever restrict it?" at or near the top of our home page, http://philosophy-in-LA.tribe.net
Most importantly, whether or not you post your ideas online, jot a few down and bring them to our discussion Sunday! Please bring a printout of this email (of the topic, at least) with you to the meeting.
FYI, here are the full vote-by-email results for the month, along with some unexpected demographic trends:
1) Altruism: Is There Really Such A Thing? Should There Be? (25.75 Votes) 2x as many men as women choose this.
2) Trust: What Is It, When Is It Worth It, And How Valuable Is It? (28.25 Votes) 2x as many women as men choose this.
3) Do We Have Moral Obligations To Dead People? (6.5 Votes)
2) Should We Restrict/Discourage The Number Of Children one has? (29.75 Votes) Many more "regulars" & men voted for this.
5) Torture/Interrogation: How Do You Define It, Should We Ever Do It… (8.5 Votes) 3x as many women as men choose this.
Each topic stays on the list until it wins or consistently receives a paltry number of votes. You may have noticed that the votes do not come in whole numbers. This is not because fractions of a person turn in votes, but because you receive one vote for your top choice, a half vote for your 2nd choice (if you had one), a quarter vote for your 3rd choice, and so on. Recent, regular participants at our gatherings have their vote doubled.
See you there!
Ps. One of our very long time, regular members, Eric Vollmer (email@example.com) , organizes a lively "Voice in the well" literary/ musical/ comedy event once a month. The next one is Thursday, May 21, 7:30 pm at Warszawa Restaurant in Santa Monica. The theme is "SEEING THE WORLD THRU SCI/Fi Eyes."
Pps. DIRECTIONS to the Community Room of the Yahoo! Center (formerly the Colorado Center), 2500 Broadway, at 25th St, between Cloverfield & 26th, Santa Monica, 90404-3065, 310-453-0333. From the 405, take the I-10 West, towards Santa Monica - go 2.2 mi. Take the CLOVERFIELD BLVD exit and turn Right on CLOVERFIELD BLVD. Go a half mile; turn Right on BROADWAY, go a quarter mile, park near 25th St. Parking is free on Sundays on Broadway & nearby streets, but much of 25th St is off limits; they will ticket you!
The Community Room is directly on Broadway at 25th St, at the corner of the building, a few feet from the "HBO Symantec" sign. It is directly across the street from the LA Art Institute and a bicycle shop. The room is not labeled, but you will notice its glass doors and plenty of windows with blinds on them. If you have trouble finding parking on the street, ample free parking is available in the parking garage beneath the building. The garage entrance is on the other side of the Colorado Center, so take Broadway to 26th St, turn right, take your first right (Colorado Ave); the garage entrance is at 2401 Colorado, on your right, just before Cloverfield. When you enter the garage, go straight as far as you can, turn right, go as far as you can and park near the 2500 building, where the "HBO" sign is. Walk up the stairs or take the elevator to "G" (the ground level), exit the building, take the short pathway until you can take a left (tennis courts will be in front of you), stop when you reach Broadway. The Community Room is a few feet to your left.
DIRECTIONS to Monte Alban restaurant, 1.17 mi./ 4 minutes from our meeting. They're an inexpensive and tasty Mexican/ Oaxacan eatery that's open till midnight, 11927 Santa Monica Blvd, West LA, 90025 (310-444-7736). Take Broadway to 26th st, go left, then a quick right on Santa Monica Blvd and you're there in 0.98 mi, past Bundy, on the left hand side at Brockton.