This House believes that it is better to be a happy pig than an unhappy Socrates.
John Stuart Mill wrote, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied”, implying that a life without philosophical inquiry and self reflection is meaningless. Socrates himself said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates and Mill may well be right, but why bother?
Self-reflection doesn’t get the world’s business done. It is easy to see the importance of disciplines like science, math, and technology. They offer students promising careers and directly improve the quality of our lives with tangible results such as medical breakthroughs and economic advancement. Philosophers speak of ideas that are abstract and appear to have little bearing on our practical lives. Philosophy is no longer the cultural force it once was. The big issues; values, morality, and the meaning of life are, for many people, addressed through religion. Is there any room left for philosophy, as a field unto itself, to offer unique contributions?
Join The Second Floor (T2F) for a Philosophy 101 debate between Shajia Sarfraz Haroon and Anthony Galli who will debate the role, merits, and value of philosophy in the 21st century.
Shajia Sarfraz Haroon
Shajia has a double major in Human Biology and Philosophy from the University of Toronto. An independent researcher in philosophy and religion, her research interests include metaphysics, meta-ethics and epistemology. In 2011, she was invited by the University of Cambridge and the International Society of Science and Religion to speak at the Belief in Dialogue Conference at the American University of Sharjah. Shajia has also recently worked as a lecturer at the Aga Khan University and is committed to bringing philosophy to the wider community.
Anthony has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and has taken several philosophy courses, in addition to independent study. He has worked in the fields of social service, teaching, and media. He is a musician and part-time actor.
Date: Friday, 22nd March, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F), 10-C, Sunset Lane 5, Phase 2 Extension, DHA, Karachi.