News and Announcements

No Noose is Good Noose?...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Tuesday, 17th May 2011 @ 1:15pm


 

Hi All,

Monday 23 May, 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

 
We had a tie in the Poll for the May meeting. 'I'll Drink To That' maintained its early lead right up to the last minute, only to be equalled on 64% by a late entrant fuelled by recent events. In the end I used my casting vote for the topic that had the highest number of 10 scores and so the topic for May is: 

Vengeance is Mine!: Is revenge ever an acceptable motivation? Should it be an alternative to due legal process?


When Osama Bin Laden was killed, some might say assassinated, Barak Obama said "Justice has been done!", Americans celebrated in the streets and David Cameron called it "a massive step forward".

However the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, sounded a rather different note: “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling, because it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done in those circumstances."

It will be argued by many that the immediate death and quick, anonymous burial at sea was at least expedient. Avoiding the protracted problems and publicity of a trial and the risk of an imprisoned Bin Laden remaining a continuing focus for his followers for many years.

But there is perhaps a feeling that this was more about Vengeance and Revenge than about Justice and the due process of Law. It's an expression of the old 'eye for an eye' philosophy and, as Mahatma Gandhi pointed out, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
 
This is about more than Bin Laden however. It sometimes seems that many of our concepts of Law and Justice, Punishment and Restitution are based more on the idea that the criminal should 'pay for their crime' than on any notion of rehabilitation or ultimate benefit to Society.

We describe prison as a 'correctional' institution despite little evidence that it corrects anyone and deride 'community' or 'educational' alternatives that are seen as a 'soft option'.

Some critics suggest that Justice is often determined by the headlines on the front page of The Sun and that both politicians and courts are overly influenced by expressions of raw public emotion. The modern version of the lynch mob - 'hang 'em and flog 'em!'

So perhaps the Osama incident should make us think carefully about our desire for Vengeance, its relationship to Justice and the operation of due legal process. Perhaps the public acclamation over his death is the thin end of a wedge that could undermine the very primacy of equal and fair treatment under the law for all that we claim to be trying to defend.

Is revenge ever an acceptable motivation?
 

As usual, so much to discuss!


Please also remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect. 
 

Action for Happiness

Posted by Ray Miller, Monday, 16th May 2011 @ 5:05pm

  • Why happiness?

    "We all want to be happy and we want the people we love to be happy. Happiness means feeling good about our lives and wanting to go on feeling that way. Unhappiness means feeling bad and wanting things to change"


    Lord Richard Layard
    Founder, Action for Happiness

    Tried the new Action for Happiness initiative yet? What do you think of it?

    Read what The Psychologist News has to say about it
    here.

Vote while you May...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 13th May 2011 @ 12:19pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 May - 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567

Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre
 

Just three days left to get your Votes in for the meeting on Monday 23 May at 8.00 pm.

The current leading topic is still:

 I'll drink to that: The role of alcohol and its consequences. Individual choice or a social issue?

There's at least one other late entry topic that has been catching up fast though, following the controversy over the death of Bin Laden. So do check in and make your preferences count.

You can see all the topics in the Poll area, so make sure you Vote

(Just a word to one particular member though: high numbers of multiple votes from the same ISP address in a short period of time are detected by the system and deleted. It's not that easy to bias the results!!) 

New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 May and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 May.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.

Suggest   Poll

Please remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect.

RSVP

Summer is here!

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 6th May 2011 @ 2:51pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 May - 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567

Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre
 

All the bank holidays gone and Beltane celebrated on Calton Hill to launch the summer solstice. What are you going to do for excitement now?

Well of course, you'll be looking forward to our May meeting. Voting is already under way for the meeting on Monday 23 May at 8.00 pm.

The current leading topic (with just over a week still left to Vote) is:

 I'll drink to that: The role of alcohol and its consequences. Individual choice or a social issue?

You can see all the topics in the Poll area and it's not too late to change the balance by Voting for your preferences. 

New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 May and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 May.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.

Suggest   Poll

Please remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect.

RSVP

End of an era but long live the Group!

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Monday, 2nd May 2011 @ 3:20pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 May - 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567

Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre
 

Well, that's it. Meetup has started the process of closing the old group and you will probably have received their automatic email inviting anyone else to take it over and pay the £100 a year they will not be getting from me any more. Unfortunately they don't just allow a group to close in these circumstances; they try to keep it going despite the clear message (included in their email) that we have moved.

Anyway, it provides another excuse for me to remind you about our May meeting. Voting is already under way for the meeting on Monday 23 May at 8.00 pm.

The current leading topic is:

 I'll drink to that: The role of alcohol and its consequences. Individual choice or a social issue?

Some new topics (suggested by you, the members) have been added to our discussion list along with some carried over. A few that have been hanging around for a long time have dropped out, but they can always come back if the interest is there.

You can see the topics in the Polls

New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 May and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 May.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.

Suggest   Poll

Please remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect.

RSVP

May madness (and I don't mean the wedding)...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 29th April 2011 @ 9:59pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 May - 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567

Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre
 

The move to the new site has been pretty successful with some 68 members having made the transfer. That's more active members than I anticipated and bodes well for a continued, lively future on our new web. Thanks!

I will be using the facilities of the new web to put up some additional material from time to time. There's already the psychology Research Digest and an interesting article on Psychology, Religion and Spirituality. Do check the News and Forum areas to keep up to date. The Forum area also allows for discussion between meetings if you have something to say. It would be great if more of you added a photo to your profile so we can all recognise each other at meetings.

Now, with distractions like the Royal Wedding out of the way (we really should have had a topic about that!) it's time to be thinking about the May topic. Voting is already under way for the meeting on Monday 23 May at 8.00 pm.

Some new topics (suggested by you, the members) have been added to our discussion list along with some carried over. A few that have been hanging around for a long time have dropped out, but they can always come back if the interest is there.

You can see the topics in the Polls

New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 May and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 May.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.

Suggest   Poll

Please remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect.

RSVP

The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group July Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 25th July 2011 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DH

    So you think?: What is consciousness? Good information processing? Self awareness? Could…

    • 10 people attended

Free Public Lecture

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Tuesday, 26th April 2011 @ 2:33pm

Hi All,

The British Psychological Society Annual Conference is taking place in Glasgow from 4-6 May. In conjunction with that event, there is a public lecture on the evening of 3 May and I've copied the details below.

I know the speaker, Tommy MacKay, well. He is a dynamic, yet very down to earth, psychologist who was named as a 'modern hero' by Gordon Brown in his book 'Britain's Everyday Heroes'. His strength is the ability to use psychology to tackle fundamental social issues. There is no doubting his Glasgow background. At a meeting in London he was challenged to explain his use of the word 'stooshie' he promptly described it as a bit like a rammie but not as bad as a stramash!

He is an inspiring speaker. Certainly one of those that inspired me. After all, anyone who can tell you that, when he got married, he had to promise his wife he'd give up his hobby of jumping off high bridges into rivers has to be someone worth listening to. (He promised he would only jump off lower bridges in future!)

I hope to get through to hear him and I am attending other parts of the conference. If you'd like to be inspired too, this is the guy to go and hear.


'Why tell the world about psychology?'

Tuesday 3 May 6:30-7:30pm at the University of Strathclyde, Room GH514,
The Graham Hills Building, 40 George Street, Glasgow

Winner of the Society's 2011 Annual Prize for Public Engagement
Professor Tommy MacKay gives an open lecture setting out his visionary
agenda that psychology is central to solving most of the world’s problems.

Drawing on his extensive experience in social issues including his unique
project that eradicated school children’s illiteracy in West Dunbartonshire
Tommy will discuss his belief that:

"Psychology will prove to have more potential to improve the human condition
than technology, economics or politics."

The lecture is open to the public so please spread the word.

No registration is necessary, for more information please visit our website.

-----------
The British Psychological Society is a charity registered in England and Wales
Registration Number : 229642 and a charity registered in Scotland
Registration Number : SC039452 - VAT Registration Number : 240 3937 7676

Easter eggcitement...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 22nd April 2011 @ 4:47pm


 

Hi All,

Monday 25 April, 8.00 pm

It's My Life!: But is it yours to end? Can suicide ever be a rational choice and, if so, when is it OK?


Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

 

Time to get ready for the April meetup on Monday.

Do try to get there in good time please, as it will help sort out the seating and make sure everyone is able to take part fully.

There is a summary booklet that can be read or downloaded from the site
Home page. As this is such a sensitive topic, I've also added a lot of information and advice in the Files area under the 2011/04 topic section.

However you need not read anything. We all have opinions, so just bring these opinions with you on Monday.

I shall be aiming to be at The Spoon Cafe Bistro around 7.00-7.30 pm to have a bite to eat before the Meetup starts. So feel free to join me early for some food. The Meetup notice will be on display on the tables.

Newcomers who don't immediately recognise me from my handsome photo can look out for Ed, the phrenology head, sitting on the table. He enjoys these nights out and is immediately recognisable as no-one else has writing all over their skull (usually!).

 
 

More Suggestions welcome!

The new Poll for May is already up, with several new Suggestions from you, the members. Keep your ideas coming in. You can add more suggestions for topics simply by clicking on the Suggestions link below.


The Poll will remain open for Suggestions until Sunday 15 May and you can Vote, or change your Vote, at any time until late on Monday 16 May. Just click on the Voting link below.


Please also remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect. 
 
 

Choose Life...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Monday, 18th April 2011 @ 11:46pm


 

Hi All,

Monday 25 April, 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

 
We have a winner in the Poll for the April meeting. Maintaining its early lead with a popularity of 69% is: 

It's My Life!: But is it yours to end? Can suicide ever be a rational choice and, if so, when is it OK?


Suicide is a serious topic. Many of us will have known someone who has considered suicide and a few may have lost someone they knew or were close to. Some of us will even have stopped to consider, at times of great personal distress, whether it might be an option. Two people in Scotland kill themselves every day!

Until 1961, suicide was a criminal offence and uncompleted suicide attempts could lead to prosecution. These days it is no longer a criminal offence although some people have been charged with breach of the peace or other civil offences and certainly aiding and abetting or encouraging someone to commit suicide remains a crime.

Nowadays we generally see suicide as a mental health matter. It is assumed that the balance of the individual's mind is disturbed and they may be sectioned under the Mental Health Act if they are considered to be a danger to themselves. Most will benefit from some sort of treatment and support. Many do not want to die, they just want relief from their suffering; physical or psychological.

But there is another side. Some would claim that it is their life and they have a right to choose whether to live it or end it. Voluntary euthenasia has hit the headlines as an issue many times for those with terminal illness but some would ask whether it should be a free choice for anyone who wishes to end their life. A bit like the 25c suicide booths in Futurama or the terminal options in Soylent Green.

But surely people are not thinking rationally if they contemplate suicide in this way? They may be depressed or deluded. Or are they? Could it be that suicide can be a rational choice made 'in a sound mind'? If so, what would the criteria be? How would we distinguish what 'a sound mind' was? Are they correct to believe they have a right to choose and implement their own means of death or are there social and ethical considerations that may override that 'right'?

How should we deal with people who may be suicidal? How can we deal with the aftermath?

One thing is clear. Talking about suicide and removing the stigma is one of the best ways of preventing unneccessary deaths.

As usual, so much to discuss!

There is a summary booklet that can be read or downloaded from the site Home page. As this is such a sensitive topic, I've also added a lot of information and advice in the Files area under the 2011/04 topic section.

 


Please also remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect. 
 

April showers...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 15th April 2011 @ 2:33pm


 

Hi All,

Monday 25 April, 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

 
Just over three days left to get your Vote in for the April meeting. The leading topic currently has a 69% popularity in the Poll, but the Votes continue to come so it could still change:
 

It's My Life!: But is it yours to end? Can suicide ever be a rational choice and, if so, when is it OK?


The Poll will remain open until late on Monday 18 April so make sure you get your Vote in. Everything can turn around at the last minute!
 


Please also remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect. 
 

Psychology Research for Dummies?

Posted by Ray Miller, Thursday, 14th April 2011 @ 2:25pm

  • 'Research' often conjures images of academic heads in the clouds. Psychology research, however, can be fun and applicable to day to day life.

    The Research Digest is an easy to read summary in plain language of some of the more interesting recent findings. It also has links to other useful material and events.

    Initially intended to grab the attention of students, it is great reading for anyone with an interest in all things psychological. You can subscribe online at www.researchdigest.org.uk and receive it every fortnight in your email.

    Or read it online here! I will be posting the latest edition as it comes in. Check the link under Updates on the Home page.

More than 65 members transferred

Posted by Ray Miller, Monday, 11th April 2011 @ 3:00pm

  • It's great to see that over 65 members have signed up here as the Meetup group runs down to its final weeks. The Group will continue to thrive on your lively input.

    We are advertising the meetings on Eventbrite and Eventful and, if you are a Facebook member, you can 'Like' us through the link just below our logo picture on the Home page.

    Don't forget to add a picture to your profile if you haven't already done so. It's good for members to be able to recognise each other at meetings.

    Thanks!

The Daffodils are blooming...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 8th April 2011 @ 7:56pm


 

Hi All,

Monday 25 April, 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

 
The transfer from Meetup is going well with over 40 members now signed up on Groupspaces. Thanks! The Meetup site subscription will run out at the end of next week and I expect they will close it shortly after that.

You will also have received a reminder email through the Meetup route. The mess of the formatting in that message is typical of one of the reasons for leaving. What you see when you send something is no longer what you get!

Anyway, just over a week to get your Vote in for the April meeting. There are currently two topics tied at the top of the Poll:
 

It's My Life!: But is it yours to end? Can suicide ever be a rational choice and, if so, when is it OK?

and

Human Rights (and Wrongs): Are there really 'Rights'? Which ones? Whose? Too many? Not enough Responsibility?

The Poll will remain open until late on Monday 18 April so make sure you get your Vote in. Everything can change at the last minute!
 


Please also remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect. 
 

Add an Image!

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 2nd April 2011 @ 4:51pm


Hi All,


It's great to see so many of you transferring to the new site at www.edinburgh-philosophers.com but we are missing one thing!

On Meetup, most of you had added images to your profiles so that we could all enjoy your features and recognise you at the meetings.

At the moment, out of 40+ members on the new site, I seem to be the only one to have a picture up (though some of you may feel I should just have left it blank!).

It would be great to see some more photos but it may not be obvious where to go to add them, so here are some easy links to encourage you:
 

Just click the button!

         

Alternatively, just go to: http://groupspaces.com/my/account/profile
 

It's the April Meeting (and no fooling)...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 1st April 2011 @ 3:27pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 25 April - 8.00 pm

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567

Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre
 

We have now made the move to our new site at www.edinburgh-philosophers.com and over 35 of you have already signed up here.

The Meetup site will close towards the end of April and you will now only be able to see updates, Suggest topics, Vote and access Files through the new site.

Time to be thinking about the April topic. Voting is already under way for the meeting on Monday 25 April at 8.00 pm.

Several new topics (suggested by you, the members) have been added to our discussion list along with some carried over. A few that have been hanging around for a long time have dropped out, but they can always come back if the interest is there.

You can see the topics in the Polls

New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 17 April and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 18 April.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.

Suggest   Poll

Please remember to RSVP. It always helps to know who to expect.

RSVP

Growing steadily...

Posted by Ray Miller, Thursday, 31st March 2011 @ 12:04pm

  • Less than a week into the full operation of the new site and already over 40 members have made the transfer from Meetup.

    The April Poll is up and running. New Suggestions have been added and some Votes have already been cast. Make sure you get your Vote counted!

    Thanks to all who have signed up here. You will get your updates through this site but I will also send out mailings using the Meetup system to remind those that have not yet registered here. That means you may get some duplication until the Meetup site eventually disappears later in April.

    I'm looking forward to many more great debates.

Money makes the group go round..

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 27th March 2011 @ 12:27pm

Hi All,

Monday 28 March - 8.00 pm

Money Money Money!: The root of all evil? Or is that love of money? Wealth, consumption and greed!

Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Time to get ready for the March meetup tomorrow.

Do try to get there in good time please, as it will help sort out the seating and make sure everyone is able to take part fully.
As usual, I've posted some thoughts in the Files area. Some varied thoughts that may get you thinking.



However you need not read anything. We all have opinions about Money, so just bring these opinions with you on Monday.

I shall be aiming to be at The Spoon Cafe Bistro around 7.00-7.30 pm to have a bite to eat before the Meetup starts. So feel free to join me early for some food. The Meetup notice will be on display on the tables.

Newcomers who don't immediately recognise me from my handsome photo can look out for Ed, the phrenology head, sitting on the table. He enjoys these nights out and is immediately recognisable as no-one else has writing all over their skull (usually!).

More Topics Welcome!

We will be moving completely to our new website at www.edinburgh-philosophers.com shortly after the March meeting.

 
Suggestions and Voting will now take place at that site and the links below will take you there.

Thanks for already signing up for the new site. This ensures you are kept up to date and can participate fully. Your input matters!

The new Poll for April is already up, with several new Suggestions from you, the members. Keep your ideas coming in. You can add more suggestions for topics simply by clicking on the Suggestions link below.




The Poll will remain open for Suggestions until Sunday 17 April and you can Vote, or change your Vote, at any time until late on Monday 18 April. Just click on the Voting link below.




Lastly, please remember to RSVP if you haven't already. It always helps to know who to expect. (This link is still back to Meetup for the March meeting only,)

 

The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group June Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 27th June 2011 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DH

    Live Long and Prosper: How long would you like to live? Are you taking action to live longer?…

    • 16 people attended

April Poll - open only at this site!

Posted by Ray Miller, Tuesday, 22nd March 2011 @ 10:31pm

  • Our move is under way and the Poll for the April meeting will only be available here at our Groupspaces site.

    It is already up and open, so get Voting or make some further Suggestions. Use the Quick link buttons on the Home page.

    New Suggestions can be included until Sunday 17 April and the Poll will close late on Monday 18 April.


The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group

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