Rationalist Think Tank
The RSA holds monthly meetings (at this stage, only in Melbourne and Perth) for Members and others interested in discussing contemporary issues from a rationalist perspective.
If you would like to see a Rationalist Think Tank in your city, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of meeting held in Perth can be found here.
Meetings are held from 6pm on the second Monday of each month at the 505 Wine Room on the corner of Williams Road and Malvern Road, Hawksburn. Just 7 mins walk from the Hawksburn station and on the 72 tram line.
We are working on getting similar discussion events running in other Australian cities. If you would like to help host such an event, place contact email@example.com
|13 November||False Witness||The 9th. commandment: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour".
No, we are not doing a bible study. How should we as secular persons in a modern community act with respect to the truth?
1. Taking care that information we initiate is the truth.
2. Passing on information we receive but find doubtful.
3. Question providers of information we know or suspect to be false.
|9 October||Human Responsibilities||We have survived and prospered due to our intelligence, ability to communicate and development of technology. We are now by far the most influential species on our planet. What are the responsibilities of us earth people?|
|11 September||Democracy||Is the Westminster system of democracy the most suitable for Australia?
Are members of parliament working for their party or their voters? Access report here.
|14 August||Genital Autonomy||We considered three medical procedures and the related laws: female genital mutilation, male circumcision and intersex genital modification procedures. The Rationalist Society of Australia has produced a white paper, written by Johnathan Meddings and Travis Wisdom proposing changes to the law. Access it here.|
|10 July||Welcome to the World||We reviewed a proposed secular format for welcoming babies to our world. Read the report here.|
|12 June||Is the Australian tax system fair?||We considered the income tax tables, negative gearing and capital gains tax. Read report here.|
|8 May||The new Worldviews curriculum||RSA consultant Dr David Zyngier explains the new Victorian "Worldviews" curriculum; participants get to experience what it will be like in the classroom.|
|10 April||Government funding of the arts||All levels of government provide financial assistance to various cultural and artistic ventures. Why? How should any money be allocated? Should individual artists be supported by public funds?|
|13 March||Nudity||What harm is done when we unexpectedly see a naked Person? Should being naked in public be a crime? Are there enough clothing optional beaches, places?|
|13 February||Division of Time||We have changed our currency and measurements. We should now decimalise time, do away with days of the week and months plus have time unified world wide. Let's do it!|
|9 January||Drug Law Reform||1. Should personal use and possession of small quantities of marijuana be decriminalised? Would this result in a decreased or an increased in use?
2. Should other drugs also be decriminalised?
3. Do we support setting up pill testing stations at music festivals and perhaps other venues? How should the cost be meet? How would they operate and is there a danger of mistakes? Will the testing of pills on site increase use?
4. Are supervised injecting rooms a good idea?
|Meetings held in 2016|
|12 December||Driverless cars||Read report here|
|14 November||Rights and Responsibilities||Read report here|
|10 October||Improving 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act||Read report here|
|12 September||Federal vs State responsibilities||Read report here|
|8 August||World homo sapiens population||Read report here.|
|11 July||Euthanasia||Read report here|
|13 June||Abortion||Read report here|
|9 May||Australia's place in the world||Read report here|
Information for first time attendees
Parking: If coming by car you can park in the car park behind Woolworths, off Malvern Rd to the east of the hotel.
Transport: The no. 72 tram passes by the venue and the Hawksburn railway station is nearby.
Protocol: Guests should arrive at 6pm and go up to the first floor function room. Upon arrival, you will be issued a name tag, and can introduce yourself to the other guests. Seating is not allocated, join any table!
Eating/Drinking: Attending the discussion is free, although many attendees choose to order food. Allow $30 for a meal and drink, and note payment is to be made downstairs. Meals are brought upstairs to the discussion room. There are toilets upstairs.
Discussion programme: The group at each table discusses and endeavours to reach a consensus on questions set for the evening’s topic. It will help if you come with some initial thoughts on the subject. Tables appoint a person to facilitate the discussion and someone to record and report the group's deliberations.
The formal evening concludes around 9pm.
If you are planning to attend, it will assist the organiser if you let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by the Thursday before so we can notify the hotel of the expected numbers.
If you are unable to attend but would like to contribute you can send an email with your comments or answers for consideration on the night.
You can also register via Meetup.com. By signing up, you will be able see information on future meetings, introductions and lists of questions, as well as comment and see who else may be attending. You can RSVP yourself and up to one guest. Go to: https://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Rationalist-Think-Tank/ to join up.