SERIES 1: Curious
In this series, we will explore purpose, meaning and worldviews: What is a human being? Where do we look for meaning? What kind of people do we want to be when we are 50? As a sample discussion-starter, watch this clip of MIT professor, Alan Lightman, arguing that human identity is an illusion.
Watch clip (3 mins)
DISCUSS (15 MINS)
Question 1: Do you resonate with Prof. Lightman’s analysis of what a human being is? Where do you agree/disagree? What do you find attractive about it? What do you find troubling?
Question 2: Prof. Lightman advocates for following the Golden Rule “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Is there any intrinsic connection between this philosophy and his description of what a human being is? If so, what connection do you see? If not, where is the dissonance?
SERIES 2: Seeking Truth
In this series, we will test our worldviews. Where are the gaps in our current beliefs? Are all religions equally true – or equally false – or neither? What tools do we have for exploring our beliefs in a rigorous and respectful way? As a taster, watch this clip of Oxford professor, Ard Louis, arguing that science cannot ground our ethics.
Watch clip (6.5 mins)
DISCUSS (15 MINS)
Question 1: Prof. Louis argues that we cannot limit our understanding of a human being to our biological make-up. Where do you agree/disagree? What do you find attractive/troubling?
Question 2: Prof. Louis says that it is a “dangerous mistake” to think that science can ground our ethics. Do you agree? What potential dangers do you see with an attempt to base human value and ethics on science?
SERIES 3: Searching
In this series, we will explore science, success, pluralism and race. As a taster for the content you might encounter, watch this clip of Claremont professor, Sumun Pendakur, who identifies as atheist, and Emory professor, Andra Gillespie, who identifies as Christian, sharing their experiences as people of color growing up in America.
Watch clip (7 mins)
ASK YOURSELF (15 MINS)
Question 1: Have I wrestled with the big questions in the way Prof. Sethupathy describes?
Question 2: What questions do I have about my current beliefs?
Question 3: How serious am I about exploring the hard questions of identity?