Utilitarianism is a theory of consequences. A Utilitarian believes that the morally right action is the action that produces the most good/happiness.

As special as you are, you are no more special than anyone else


It is not ego-based however, personal good is not considered – it is the scope of the relevant consequences that determine the morality of the choice. Maximising overall “good/happiness” is the path to an ethical life for a Utilitarian.

Utilitarianism is an effort to provide an answer to the practical question “What ought a person to do?” The answer is that a person ought to act so as to maximize happiness or pleasure and to minimize unhappiness or pain.

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The Ethics of Secrets

At the final campfire for 2022 we talked about secrets. What role they play in our lives, and whether are there some secrets that we have a ‘right’ or ‘duty’ to keep private and others that we have a ‘responsibility’ to tell.

To start the discussion, the following information about secrets was offered:

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caveat lector

There is a difference between “Stoicism” and “‘stoicism”; the word’s lowercase use as a noun and an adjective, meaning “not affected by or showing passion or feeling”, has been occurring since the 15th/16th Century. When capitalised, the term refers to the school of philosophy founded about 300 b.c. by Zeno of Citium, and takes it’s name from “stoa” – the Greek word for porch.3

The Daily Stoic provides a list of more recent Stoics, with the best known Stoics across all the referenced resources being Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

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Open Topic Hangout

Bring your beverage (and snack of choice if you want one) to wherever you most comfortably use your computer and come hangout round the 🔥virtual campfire🔥 to talk about life and the attitudes (theories) that act as guiding principles for behaviour.

Burning Wood Above Rocks

These sessions do not have a topic to get us started, so feel free to bring any ideas you want to discuss or hear the thoughts of others on.

As with all healthy campfire discussions, civility is a requirement but curse words are not uncivil by default. Disrespect of others is not okay. Intolerance is not okay. Different views are perfectly fine – as long as those views are not being projected onto others.

🌈 This campfire is LGBTIAQ+ friendly 🌈

Fourth Saturday of every month
2:30PM to 4 PM AEST/AEDT

RSVP on Meetup – hangout dates are available here

I don’t know if it’s Art, but…

If you look online, there are a host of opinions on what art and aesthetics are. As starting points for today’s campfire, I have a couple of resources to give us some common ground – particularly for those not familiar with aesthetics. I also provide information on a work that caused considerable controversy in 2000, when it was first exhibited and still raises key questions today.

Marco Evaristti‘s ‘Helena’ consisted of 10 blenders, each containing live goldfish and obviously connected to power. There was implicit in the installation the option for anyone viewing the piece to press an ‘on’ button – resulting in obvious negative consequences for the fish inside.

Saturday, June 18, 2022
2:15 PM to 3:45 PM AEDT

RSVP at Meetup

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Managing Risk in a Complex, Fragile World

How do we prepare for things to “go bad”?

The news cycle presents us with a litany of horrors from local to global, and most of us have inbuilt filtering strategies that enable us to not be overwhelmed on a daily basis. Life adapts for survival, and our human brain is no exception. So, what are our strategies for planning for the future?

Saturday, April 9, 2022
2:15 PM to 3:45 PM AEDT

RSVP on Meetup

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Creativity – a talent or a skill?

Hand Holding Ice Cream Cone Under Cloud
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels

Is creativity about talent or is it a way of thinking/seeing the world?

Is innovation a form of creativity or something that happens because of creativity?

If it is a skill, how can it be taught?

If a talent, is it reasonable to expect everyone to be able to come up with “innovative solutions” as so many workplaces seem to?

What does the phrase “a creative person” mean to you?

Saturday, 9th April 2022
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm AEDT

RSVP at https://www.meetup.com/campfire-philosophy/events/283734571/

Does it matter if we do not know where our food comes from?

With most Australians growing up in cities and most farms now run by corporations, we are increasingly removed from where and how our food is grown, processed, and packaged for our consumption. Even if you want to be a “responsible consumer” it can be hard to work out what is truth and what is “greenwashing”.

Does it matter?

Saturday, March 12, 2022
2:15 PM to 3:45 PM AEDT

RSVP at https://www.meetup.com/campfire-philosophy/events/282888246/

Continue reading “Does it matter if we do not know where our food comes from?”

Is there less stigma around mental health in Australia than 10 years ago?

Our politicians and celebrities are speaking more publically about personal experiences with mental health episodes and management with varying degrees of media compassion in response. Workplaces are talking the talk of mental health, neurodiversity and burnout.

Is any of this reducing the stigma around mental health in the day to day life of Australian’s?

Saturday, 12 February 2022
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm AEDT

RSVP at https://meetu.ps/e/KGTmL/Qb6nN/i