On Wednesday, January 18, Grey Havens Group held its first Think & Drink event at Wibby Brewing in Longmont, Colorado as part of our Philosophy in Public Spaces Initiative. Wibby Brewing is a hopping place (pun intended). On this evening, the small, dog-friendly brewery was packed with canines and their human companions. There was even a shuffleboard league competing inches away from our tables but the conversations that took place in our small discussion groups were thoughtful and deep. Philosophy can happen anywhere!
This is how our philosophy discussions work: We begin with a theme and a text (or texts) related to that theme, whether the text is from a novel, a movie, TV show, or a work of visual art such as a photograph, painting, or sculpture. This time, our theme was “Decisions, Resolutions, Change,” and we shared readings from The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring and from the British sci-fi serial Doctor Who. We then asked our gathered thinkers to write down questions that came up for them in response to the texts, focusing on what they consider to be the “big questions.” Here are some of the questions they shared:
- Is choice (or free will) an illusion?
- Are there any decisions that we make that affect no one but ourselves or do all our decisions affect others?
- To decide is to cut off options. Is this always true?
- What decisions would you make differently after seeing the results of your choices?
- Who will I meet on the road ahead?
- Am I brave or foolish?
- Do we all have something “Tookish” inside us? (“Tookish” is an adjective from The Hobbit that suggests unconventionality and a sense of adventure.)
- Can you think out all the ripples [that come from a decision] or should you just get on with it?
- At what point do we battle with ourselves and hesitate in our quest to move forward?
- What causes fear and doubt? What instills trust?
- Is it courage if there is really no other choice?
We will discuss these questions and others again and again because we believe that we should never stop questioning. You can join in by attending our February Think & Drink at The Dickens Tavern in Longmont. This time, we will gather in a quiet room to sip our drinks and think together. The format will be a large group discussion. Different formats, different places, different faces, different topics, one big idea—philosophy is for everyone!
Contact us if you are interested in bringing philosophical inquiry to your organization or community group along the Front Range. Follow our Facebook page for more philosophical events. We look forward to thinking with you!