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 email@example.com.
Details of meeting held in Perth can be found here.
Meetings are held from 6.30pm on the second Monday of each month at the Orrong Hotel, 709 High St Armadale. Just 7 mins walk from the Armadale Station and on the no 6 tram line.
Upon arrival you will be issued with a name tag and can introduce yourself to the other guests. Attending the discussion is free but you are warmly encouraged to join us for a meal before the discussion to get to know some of the others in the group. Allow about $30 for food and drinks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
|9 July 2018||China-Australia relations||QUESTIONS – China Australia Relationship
1. Is there an enhanced security risk in allowing Huawei to build Australia's 5G network?
2. What action should Australia take in relation to the Chinese building Islands with rocket launches in the South China Sea?
3. What sould our attitude be towards China's Belt & Road program?
4. Should the NT government have sold the Port of Darwin to Landbridge a Chinese Govt. corporation?
5. How will the China USA trade war, started by the USA affect Australia?
6. Are we doing enough to promote cultural and sporting ties with China?
7. Should we be encouraging more Chinese students to study in Australia?
8. How does our Australia's attitude to China affect our relationship with the USA?
|12 February||Religious Freedoms for the Non-religious|
|8 January||An Aussie President|
|Meetings held in 2017|
|11 December||Sport||Questions for discussion:
*Prepare a definition of Sport.
*Which of these fit your definition?
- Yoga, Bowls, Formula 1, Horse Racing, Chess, Greyhound Racing, Body Building,
*Is there a net advantages to allowing betting on “sports”?
*Do high profile professional sports such as AFL, NRL, Soccer, Australian Open Tennis reduce health costs?
*Should the State Govt. be providing financial support for these events?
|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?
Access it here.
|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?
Information for first time attendees
Transport: The no. 6 tram passes by the venue and the Armadale railway station is nearby.
Protocol: Guests should arrive at 6.30pm. 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, and you are warmly encouraged to join us for a meal and get to know the others. Allow $30 for a meal and drink.
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 evening concludes around 8.30 to 9pm.
If you are planning to attend, it will assist the organiser if you let us know by emailing email@example.com 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.