Each cafe studies a different question:
SOME SAMPLE QUESTIONS:
What is life?
What is a word?
What is compassion?
What is insanity?
What is an unexamined life?
What is good?
What is normal?
Is Capitalism Working?
Are Myths Bad?
Is democracy viable in a large society like ours?
How do you feel about the world we are leaving to future generations?
Facilitating Dialogue in the Socrates Café:
We come together for a conversation, a meaningful interaction in which the socialization is as important as the intellectualization. Come with an open mind and a willingness to suspend judgment so that you can listen respectfully to opposing views. Seek to understand rather than to persuade. Come prepared to discuss important ideas thoughtfully and honestly. Offer specific examples to back up what you may think are universally accepted views. Support your ideas and beliefs with understandable and reasoned positions because what you think is a given may be new to others or in opposition to what they believe. Respectfully question the ideas of others, and carefully examine what you perceive to be logical inconsistencies.
The goal is for all of us to become more expert questioners. This means that we must question our own views as well as those of others. Don't monopolize, or allow others to monopolize, the conversation. Remember, this is a community of inquirers, so we attempt to involve everyone in the inquiry, without putting others on the spot in a way that makes them uncomfortable. Be open and receptive to unexpected and unfamiliar responses, rather than attempting to steer the dialogue in a preconceived direction. It's not about striving for consensus. It doesn't matter if everyone begins and ends a dialogue with very different ideas and perspectives. There is never any need to try to force agreement. Socrates Café is a success when participants leave a discussion with more questions than they had when they came. Speak and listen from your heart as well as your mind. Enjoy the conversation and the camaraderie. [Mashed up from sister sites]
"One thing only that I know, and that is I know nothing"
Socrates 469 BCE - 399 BCE