ENGLEWOOD — If you were in a lifeboat with 50 people and 100 others were swimming toward it, who else would you let on board and why?
Joann Reed and Tammy Diehl led an inaugural discussion of the new philosophy group, Café Athena, Wednesday at the Elsie Quirk Library. The topic was Adrift in a Moral Sea, a passage from “Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor” by Garrett Hardin.
Survival and humanity were the primary themes. The discussion focused on the value of helping the less fortunate. Participants discussed assisting Hurricane Sandy victims and compared that with helping the impoverished in the Third World, particularly in Africa. They talked about whether efforts should be focused internationally or domestically.
They also discussed the impact humans have on the planet and how much the consumption of resources affects their natural surroundings.
“My main goal is to contribute and I always learn,” said Roger Glain, an Englewood resident who attended the meeting. “There’s always something someone says from a different point of view, but I’m a problem solver. I always look at things as something to be tackled and solved, to discuss them without saying, ‘Well, what could we do about that? What can we do about that? What should we do about that?’ To me, it’s kind of hopeless if you discuss the past without dealing with today and the future.”
Among the attendees were Sam Levin, 97, and Betty Kopp, friends of Diehl and Reed who met through other philosophy groups.
Reed said she was pleased and surprised at the turnout — the group was maxed out at 15.
With the name of Café Athena, Reed said she wasn’t sure the group would attract men. Her fears were unfounded.
The group’s name was inspired by Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.
“She’s very independent and we wanted independent thinkers,” Diehl said in an earlier Sun report.
The next Café Athena meeting is slated for Jan. 16 with the time to be announced.
For more information, call 941-473-4031.