Study Center | The Masonic Philosophical Society
The Ancient of Days

Minneapolis Study Center

The Masonic Philosophical Society has been growing throughout the world steadily. While we offer many different resources for our members to grow and learn online, there is simply no substitute for attending the Study Center nearest you. When you attend a Study Center of the Masonic Philosophical Society you will have the opportunity, not only to hear from a speaker, but to participate in the dialogue.

Minneapolis Study Center
St. Francis Church 3201 Pleasant Avenue SouthMinneapolis, MN 55408
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Does Fiction Build or Break the Morality of Individuals and Societies?
Date: 7/14/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Jamie Shuler
Synopsis: The effects of fictional literature on the human condition has been a topic of discussion among societies throughout time. Book bans and burnings, the FCC, even Plato had strong opinions on allowing fiction to be read by the masses. As Freemasons, we believe in freedom - including freedom of expression. What are the actual dangers of fiction, though? And if they exist, can we find the opposing power in fiction that would equally serve us?

Are the Mind and Body Two Distinct Substances?
Date: 9/8/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Doyle Slack
Synopsis: Rene Descartes posited that the mind and the body of a person are separate but united, constantly influencing each other. Later scientists and philosophers, such as Gilbert Ryle, believed that the body and its activities are what comprise the mind. With several different theories of the nature of the Mind and Body, it is important for Freemasons to determine where their thoughts lay because the Mason is taught to work to use his mind to control his bodies actions - but is this truly possible?

Can a society based on competition, brutality, and fear change its ways?
Date: 10/13/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Max Cumsille
Synopsis: Our modern world seems to be heading in a direction of more hate and division between groups and individuals. If this is not where we want to go, is there any way to stop the momentum of society and re-direct our path? We will analyze the book “Freedom of the known” by J. Krisnamurti, which defines the basis for any change we want to make in the current situation of Humanity.

What would our Founding Fathers think of the Supreme Court Today?
Date: 11/10/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Doyle Slack
Synopsis: Many of the Founding Fathers of this country were either Freemasons, or their ideals aligned closely with Masonic principles. They defined a system of government with checks and balances consisting of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. All of these have evolved over time, but the role of the Supreme Court has changed significantly, some would say far beyond what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

Does the quality of subjective ethics prevent the embodiment of morality?
Date: 12/8/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Lee Dunn
Synopsis: The responsibility to live ethically through the embracing of virtues is an opportunity presented in Freemasonry. For this discussion we will leave out religion, and try to find how ethics utilized in everyday life affects the efforts of morality in the greater society. Are there commonalities of ethics and morality? What might be the best system of morality and why?

Is Art the daughter of Freedom?
Date: 3/27/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Doyle Slack
Synopsis: Friedrich Schiller said that "Art the Daughter of Freedom", while Orson Wells stated that "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." Freemasons look to the arts and sciences as tools to make a better person, but are these lessons learned through independence or struggle?

Is Alice representative of the ideal human in Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?
Date: 5/11/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Jamie Shuler
Synopsis: Written in 1865, the tale of a 7-yr old falling down a rabbit hole and journeying through a nonsensical world has outlasted its own generation, seemingly permanently penned into the mainstream human consciousness. What exactly is it about Alice and her Adventure that we find so alluring, though? Is Wonderland a parallel of our same nonsensical Earth, and Alice the ultimate Heroine? Freemasonry is a system of ideals constructed to assist one’s evolution into a more perfect form, many of the traits undeniably exhibited by Alice during her journey.

What is Epigenetics and how does it affect our lives?
Date: 7/13/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Max Cumsille
Synopsis: When playing a song, knowing and reading the musical notes is as important as doing it at the right pace. In the score, the musical notes are placed sequentially, and different marks inform the musician about the style, speed and intensity with which they should be played. The human genome works in a similar way to a score, in which the DNA sequence contains instructions for producing proteins and other functional elements, and epigenetic mechanisms regulate how and to what degree they have to express themselves.

Is the search for meaning in life a moral obligation?
Date: 12/14/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Jamie Shuler
Synopsis: In his 1942 Philosophical Essay The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus proclaims “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” Camus believed man’s search for meaning and happiness was a moral obligation, posing the meaning of life as the most urgent of life’s questions. Does the Masonic ideal to seek truth, paired with the duties to speak truth, be tolerant, and practice solidarity, support Camus’ question in proclaiming a reason for the work that is living?

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest ... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Albert Einstien
Physicist
Personal Writings

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