RSS will be taking part in a student forum with two other University of Auckland clubs – REAL (a Christian club) and the Islamic Society (AUIS). Three members of each club will be participating as speakers, and the forum will address a wide variety of issues. The four questions the groups have been asked to prepare a 10 minute talk on are (1) where did we come from? (the origins of humans, life and everything?) (2) why are we here/what’s the meaning of life? (3) what is the foundation of ethics? (4) what about an afterlife? (The questions tend to bring in a few theistic assumptions, so we might have a word to say about those.)
The format is a 10 minute talk by each of the groups very briefly laying down their views, followed by one to one and a half hours of questions from the audience. RSS will be representing a non-religious or skeptical viewpoint, although the club itself takes no official position on these questions (except that reason and evidence would be important in answering them) – a couple of our members are actually speaking on the Christian team. Since there’s no atheist/skeptics club and the majority of us seem to be non-believers of some sort, we’re happy to represent that range of viewpoints.
At this point there is no date for the forum; perhaps early in the second half of semester but we’re not sure yet. We’ve been preparing for the forum with weekly meetings, and this week we’re planning to pick some speakers, so if you’re keen follow us on Facebook or Google Groups and come to our meeting with a three minute talk on any of these topics, or just come along as an audience member to listen to the speakers and quiz them on their topics.