Lectures start promptly at 7:30PM and are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month September through May

9-9-2014Brilliance: Understanding the Creative Mind

Benneth Litwin, Author and Lecturer

Creativity is a repeatable state of mind.  Rearranging "the Known" creates "the New". Mindsets, thought relationships, process, and attitude will be discussed through the history of how this book was born.

Topics touched upon include lateral thinking, radiant thinking, humor, perfectionism, a la da Vinci, and tremendous productivity a la Picasso.  Who are the thought leaders, the agents of change in society?   Creative thinkers!

9-23-2014: Environmental Guilt and Shame

Sarah Fredericks, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, UNT

Survey data and qualitative studies of popular environmental literature indicate that guilt and shame about environmental degradation is a prevalent part of contemporary life.  Psychological research suggests that guilt and shame, whether about one’s own actions or the actions of one’s group, can inspire or inhibit action.  Combining these insights suggests that guilt and shame can significantly impact environmental initiatives including those to slow or combat climate change.  Yet environmental ethicists typically ignore moral emotions including guilt and shame as they assume that articulating norms, rules, or values will lead to ethical behavior.  These individualistic, rationalistic, idealistic forms of ethics cannot adequately address the collective nature of responsibility for anthropogenic climate change, the diffuse harms of greenhouse gas emissions, the failure of humans to live up to their ideals, and the blurry lines between perpetrators and victims.  Paying attention to collective guilt and shame, I argue, will help resolve these significant intellectual hurdles in climate change ethics and will suggest productive avenues for action about climate change.

10-14-2014:  Is God a Figment? A Psychology of Religion, Thoughts, Reflections, and Inquiries

Jeff Foster, JD, Ph.D. College of Positive Psychology

Belief in god(s) is ubiquitous and has been a central feature of human existence throughout time.   This lecture will take a close look at this phenomenon by examining it, testing it, and measuring it against standards used for rational thinking:  fact, reason, logic, evidence, proof and truth.

10-28-2014: Why Do We Sleep? Why Do We Dream?

David S. Alkek, MD

David S. Alkek, MD will present the latest scientific thoughts on the physiologic necessity  for sleep. All animals sleep, even at the peril of being helpless to danger. The most intriguing aspect of sleeping is dreaming. Why do we dream and why do we dream what we do? Dr. Alkek will discuss the neurologic basis of what is happening during sleeping and dreaming.


11-11-2014: Inter-Religious Dialogue

George James, Ph.D., UNT

Nothing has engendered more peace and love;  and nothing has bred more enmity than religions.  This talk will focus on understandings of various religions, and the possibility of dialogue among religions, comparing Christian traditions and that of other traditions.

11-25-2014: The World in 2034: Ethical Conundrums, Challenges, and Issues

Robin K. Olson, CPCU, MLA, Adjunct Professor, SMU

In the coming decades, the world will be characterized by four overlapping and convergent technological revolutions—genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence.  These revolutions will all take advantage of technology’s application of the law of accelerating returns.  But the legal and ethical issues are enormous.  Changes to the law and public policy are painstakingly slow; yet, technology does not wait. For example, what are the liability issues and ethical dilemmas we might face in 20 years with the growth in autonomous automobiles?  Who would be ethically liable for a loss caused by a defect in the algorithms?  The auto manufacturer?  The software company that designed the algorithm?  The owner of the car?  How would this be amended if it were a semi-autonomous car?

With the advances in genetics and nanotechnology, it may be possible to correct or mitigate brain disorders via implantable wireless chips.  This is already being accomplished for Parkinson’s patients and epileptics.  But what happens when “normal” people want an implantable chip to enhance their intelligence or memory?  What are the ethical dilemmas there?  This futuristic session will address many of these provocative topics and more. 

PowerPoint Presentation

12-9-2014: Happiness

David Naugle, Ph.D., Th.D., Dallas Baptist University

After an introduction that emphasizes a broken heart (with reference to a sculpture in the Nasher in Dallas), in this talk I will define happiness, discuss the history of happiness, happiness and human nature, America and happiness, the happiness business, Bob Dylan on happiness, C. S. Lewis on happiness, and other topics on happiness.