A Night Of Better Conversation: Life & Death
Death is a topic few of us enjoy thinking about and even fewer enjoy discussing. Woody Allen once wrote: 'It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.' But there are definite benefits to confronting our mortality. After all, it’s hard to ignore.
The imminence of death forces one to think radically differently about the value of life. The idea is that contemplation of death can lead to liberation. It confronts a fear that lurks in every soul, and by staring it in the face, potentially undoes it. The unexpected thing that happens in the process is that it throws the emphasis back onto the gift of life.
A Night of Better Conversation is a chance to engage with minds moulded by forces different to our own, and to go beyond our comfort zone by taking risks in what we are willing to share. Whatever your feelings are about life & death, join us for an evening of adventurous conversations, as we explore our our hopes, our terrors and our potential future selves.
The night will be broken into theory and practice. You will begin by learning a specific technique for better conversation and then invited to practice the technique with other people. As we explore the art, we'll consider whether it would serve us to more easily remember things, or to forget them? How do our memories provide us with access to the chief pleasures of life? We'll ask each other to consider that who we are might simply be a product of what we can remember, and if so, what enduring memories may have brought us to this sense of self.
18.00 Cake Wines Bar Opens
18.30 Welcome & Introduction
19.00 Technique 1 & conversation
19.30 Technique 2 & conversation
20.00 Technique 3 & conversation
20.30 Permission to Speak Freely
21.00 Event Concludes, Bar Open for Continued Conversation
“Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.”
― Bertolt Brecht
ABOUT A NIGHT OF BETTER CONVERSATION
Our lives are so often filled with superficial talk, from office chitchat to commentaries on last night's television. How can we have conversations that inspire us to think in new ways, that stimulate our curiosity and that prompt us to say things we've never said before? A Night of Better Conversation has been designed to help us enjoy rich and memorable conversations about things that really matter in life, inspired by the ideas of great thinkers and philosophers.
ABOUT TIM DEAN
Tim Dean is a philosopher and science writer. He has a PhD from the University of New South Wales on evolution and morality, and has an interest in ethics, the philosophy of biology, philosophy of science and moral psychology. He is an Honorary Associate in the Philosophy department at the University of Sydney. In 2015 he won the Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Professionals' Award for his writing on philosophy in New Philosopher, Acuity Magazine, Cosmos, ABC's The Drum and on Channel 10's The Project.