Last Monday Brussels’ brand new WYA Chapter started, right at the heart of the European Union.
With representatives spanning 6 nationalities, the conversation was bound to be a lively, and sure enough, the first ‘soiree debat’ launched with a kick and the discussion lasted well beyond closing time.
The first Chapter meeting began with the sometimes challenging, but fundamental subject of human dignity.
“What is human dignity?!” began Nacho, our European Director of Advocacy. A brief moment of silence and awkward looks left the question in the air. But soon, after a presentation on some key Track A authors, including Buber, Malik and Lewis, the audience had got to grip with the notion of human dignity and was throwing ideas around.
Following the presentation (and some brain food in the form of sandwiches), the group reajourned in the lounge area of the WYA Flat, ready to start the most fun part of the evening… ‘le grand debat!’
After a few opening statements reaffirming the definition of human dignity, it soon became evident that not everyone was on the same wavelength. “Does our appreciation of dignity depend on the group to which we align ourselves?” someone asked. “Can you truly believe in the dignity of the person without aspiring to some form of transcendence?” another asked…
… And from then on in, the debate flowed in from all sides, exploring the expression of dignity from a person with severe disabilities to the dignity of the unborn child. And the one theme that kept cropping up time and time again, was the fact that for so many of us, dignity is considered in relation to others. Would we retain our dignity as humans if we were the last one alive on the earth? Or would we resort to animal instincts? And again, the debate descended into a whirlwind of opinions.
Finally, a couple of hours later, the evening finally wound down as we broached the topic of choice and human freedom, at which point we decided we’d best hold off until the next session.
So, with many thanks to those who attended the evening, with or without their contribution to the debate, we hope that the presentation and discussion unnerved your convictions just enough to return to the next session that will take place on Monday 19th March on human freedom. More info will follow on the facebook group.
If you would like to come to our next session, please drop Priscila an email on: email@example.com.
Et pour ceux qui ne sentent pas a laise en parlant en anglais, ne vous inquietez pas, nous sommes un group bilingue, et le debat aussi prend place en francais et en anglais!
Merci encore and we look forward to picking up where we left off next week!