The idea is that meeting up with people once a week to talk about the universe and whatnot sounds great, but maybe we could leave out all the declarations of fact regarding unknown propositions. Can we remain conscious after death? I don’t think so, but we can definitely talk about it. What’s it take to be a good person? What should we value in life? What does success mean? How do I achieve happiness? I have no idea, but I’d love to talk about it. These questions, and pretty much all of the rest of them, are up for discussion at The Church of Black Coffee.
Why the Name?
I like black coffee. I can probably come up with a metaphor though. Life is what it is, and without inquiry it can be kind of bitter, your questions and curiosity are what make it sweet. Get it? Life is black coffee and trying to figure out stuff is cream and sugar? Kind of falls apart if you like black coffee though, I’ll work on it.
Are there any fundamental beliefs required to be a member?
No. Although the belief that you can disagree with another person about important things and still be friends would be helpful. I mean, you should have some criteria for friends, like I’m not gonna be friends with a Nazi. It’s the belief that you ought to be able to disagree with people civilly, when possible, that would be helpful. So if Johnny believes in the christian God, and Lakshmi doesn’t believe in any gods at all, they should be able to talk about it without getting angry with one another. It’s more difficult than it seems, but that should be a goal.
Here’s a related belief: you ought to listen closely to people who believe things that you do not. That way, for any proposition p, you will have an opportunity to understand why people believe p, even though you do not. This may lead you to change that belief, if their reasoning is stronger than the reason for you disbelief. Otherwise, understanding their reasoning better will help you defend your own position. There is likely a spectrum between these two outcomes, but regardless, if you take the time to listen to a person’s position that person will feel respected, and vice versa, making it easier to have a conversation about something controversial without anyone getting hit by a chair at the end of it.
Where and where do you meet?
Our next meeting is at the Lynnwood Library Main Meeting Room, February 4th, at 12:00. See you there!