Recent advances in automation are stripping out all manner of jobs: not just those of clerks, typists and warehouse workers. Almost any job involving a programmable process is vulnerable. Should we rejoice, and anticipate their emancipation from labour; or should we be very afraid for the basis of our society? Chris Bratcher thinks the latter. He believes the fall-out from the Industrial Revolution will seem trivial by comparison, and that the imbalance of power between capital (which reaps the benefits of automation) and labour is leading to permanent, but insupportable, levels of unemployment.
Thinking on Sunday
In 2014, the American Christian apologist W.L. Craig set out his eight reasons for belief in God in the bi-monthly magazine Philosophy Now, issue 99. In this talk, the validity of these eight reasons will be critically examined by atheist Norman Bacrac. Also assessed will be the morality of a God who seems to require us to have the logically impossible faculty of libertarianfree will.
The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) has been an undeservedly neglected figure in British academia for many decades. This neglect is in marked contrast to the considerable attention he received in the first half of the 20th century. Santayana’s range as a philosopher is wide, covering ontology, epistemology, ethics, the arts and sciences, religion, political and social issues. Also, his language possesses classic clarity. So, a revival of interest in him is long overdue – as is, indeed, a talk on him to the Conway Hall Ethical Society.
A panel of three will discuss the problems of contemporary war. The discussion will kick off with Derek Gregory’s view of the origin of warfare in human society. This will be followed by an examination of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the subsequent wars there by Vlaho Kojakovic. Then John Edwards will analyse the Russia-Ukraine conflict. After some general discussion amongst the panel, the audience will be invited to contribute their views on this vexed subject.
In 1215 bad King John was confronted by his rebellious barons and forced to concede them some rights, later enshrined in the Magna Carta. Amazingly, for the next 800 years, apart from a 12 year blip in 1648, the monarchy has continued in this country. Now, in 2015, some rebellious commoners called ‘Republicans’ are questioning the UK’s claim to be a true democracy unless its head of state is elected. The pros and cons of this issue will be debated, and the degree of audience support for rebellion estimated.