The BHS Philosophy Club was invited by the Long Island Center for Inquiry to discuss the topic, "Who determines what is right from wrong?" in front of live audience of center members and the general public. The discussion was held in the auditorium of the Plainview Old Bethpage public library and approximately 75 people were in attendance. The students discussed the topics for forty five minutes followed by a fifteen minute question and answer period with the audience. The Long Island Center for Inquiry is the local affiliate of a national community of rationalists, skeptics, and humanists which sponsor local events, lectures, and educational programs. (www.centerforinquiry.net/li)
Discussion for the Center for Inquiry
Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
The philosophy club had the incredible opportunity to engage in a philosophical discussion with Christopher Phillips, author of Socrates Cafe` Mr. Phillip's book was the inspiration for both the Friday discussion circles in philosophy class and the philosophy club. In the mid-1990s Mr. Phillips started traveling around the country to bring philosophy back to the people-much like Socrates did when he stood in the public square in Athens and challenged people's ideas. He held discussions in schools, coffee houses, jails, senior citizen homes, etc. and these experiences led him to write his best selling book. The philosophy club was invited to meet in Washington Square Park on two different dates to engage in a discussion with people from all over the city, the country, and the world-there were people from as far away as Spain! For the first discussion (which ended up being held in a coffee lounge because of the rain) the discussion revolved around the question, "Why is it so difficult to live in the now?" For the second Socrates Caf. the question was "Do we appreciate what we have--why or why not?" At first the participants didn't know how to approach the question and started exploring what it meant to appreciate what they have, but so many other questions came to mind. What do I have? What do other people have? Should I be comparing myself to others? What does appreciate mean to me? Do I have to show appreciation in order to actually appreciate? Everyone had a unique view on the topic. Although not everyone agreed with everything that was said, everyone, as promised by Chris, left with more questions than answers.
Members of the BHS Philosophy Club traveled to Marist College to observe the Northeast Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. The students were able to observe colleges and universities such as Dartmouth, SUNY Albany, Buffalo State, Union, Manhattan, and the hosting school (Marist) compete against each other in a series of debates and really enjoyed the experience as well as gaining valuable strategies to use in the high school ethics bowl competitions that they will be competing in this Spring. Union College and Dartmouth College were the top two teams from the Northeast Regional and they will move on to the National Competition held in March in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, each team receives a set of cases which raise issues in practical and professional ethics in advance of the competition and prepare an analysis of each case. (see link: