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, in some way, 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’m not sure about any of it, but I have some ideas, and I’d love to hear what you think. 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, seemed like as good a thing to build a church around as any other.
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 for belief is stronger than the reason for your disbelief. Otherwise, understanding their reasoning better will help you defend your own position. There is 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.
When and where do you meet?
So far, we don’t, it’s just me shouting into the void. I’d love to have you engage in the conversation via the comments, or by emailing me. If I ever do manage to organize a physical space, I’ll let you know.