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Salon: Past Events

Salon Information

Salon Program
Jefferson Center Salons present topics of interest to our community, and provide a forum for lively discussion afterward. Topics are selected by a committe of members. We serve refreshments contributed by volunteers and have a brief social time before the start of the program. Salons are typically held on the second Sunday of each month at 4pm at The Jefferson Center, 208 Oak Street, Suite 101 in Ashland. Guests of members and interested visitors are always welcome to join us. To volunteer for refreshments or make a suggestion for a future salon, please contact committee chair Diana Spade by clicking here.

01/10/2016 - 4:00pm The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Our January 10th Salon at Suite 101, Old Ashland Armory, will investigate the political and humanitarian issues of the Syrian refugee crisis. Len Eisenberg will discuss why the crisis emerged from the historical roots of the middle east. Richard LeVitt will focus on how the world—particularly the west—is responding to the crisis. Following this will be an open group discussion of alternative solutions to the crisis, given the political tensions in Europe and the US.

11/08/2015 - 4:00pm Christmas Trees and Pagan Roots

The November 8th salon will be held at The Haven, 1970 Ashland St at 4pm. David Fitzgerald will be giving an enlightening and fun filled presentation about pagan influence on Christian Winter Holidays. Have we forgotten the real meaning of Christmas? Or have the Christians? This talk from David's 'The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion" series takes a look at the ancient (and downright spooky) pagan origins and evolution of not just Yuletide, but all our winter season holidays from Halloween to New Year's Eve.
David Fitzgerald is an atheist, activist, author, and national public speaker. He was the co-founder and director of the worlds first atheist film festival as well as the Secular Student Alliance's Campus Organizer for California and Nevada. If you missed David's presentation last year, don't miss this one.
NOTE venue change to The Haven at 1970 Ashland St, Ashland OR. Entrance is in the back and parking is available front and back as well as in the near by street.

10/11/2015 - 4:00pm Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, and A.I.

Come to Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, 4-6 PM Oct 11th, to witness an imaginary meeting of minds between Ada, the earliest computer programmer, and Alan, the father of modern computing, born almost exactly one hundred years later. Their dialog will focus on the promise and peril of computing particularly what Turing called the "Lady Lovelace Objection" that computers will never be able to think or become conscious.

09/13/2015 - 4:00pm "In Pursuit of Happiness"

The September 13, 2015, 4-6pm Salon: "In Pursuit of Happiness", a round robin discussion, moderated by Surya Bolom will be at The Jefferson Center. Happiness is thought of as the good life, freedom from suffering, flourishing, well-being, joy, prosperity, and pleasure. Its pursuit is enshrined as a fundamental right in the United States constitution and is sought by most of us. But what do we really know about happiness? Can we study it? Are we born with it? Can we make ourselves happier? Who’s happy and who’s not, and why? What makes us happy? Researchers are learning more and more about the answers to these questions. Join us for a lively discussion!
We don't want to take up discussion time to show them but if you have the time review one or more of these TED talks (all less than 25 min) about happiness:
The Habit of Happiness by Matthieu Ricard
Happiness and its Surprises by Nancy Etcoff
The Surprising Science of Happiness by Dan Gilbert
Flow, the Secret to Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Surya Bolom, our moderator, is a retired Chiropractor, Yoga teacher and Jefferson Center Board Member. She presently lives in Ashland with 3 happy and 1 peevish cat.

08/09/2015 - 4:00pm Summer Vacation for JC Salons

The Jefferson Center Salons will be on vacation for July and August and will resume on September 13, 2015

06/14/2015 - 4:00pm Parental Influence on Religiosity

On Sunday, June 14th, at 4pm the Jefferson Center Salon will be a round robin discussion concerning Parental Influence on Religiosity. Long time Jefferson Center member, Noreen Hulteen, will be the moderator. Most social scientist agree that religiosity, particularly church participation, is a learned behavior. One learns his religion from those around him. Fundamentalist parents tend to bring up children who share the fundamentalist tradition; liberal religious views are found most often among those who have been trained to such views. This is a great opportunity to discuss your own religious or non religious upbringing and how it affected your beliefs as well as how it influenced your parenting. How will the fact that Millennnial's, which are the fastest rising group of "nones" as far as religious affiliation is concerned, effect the religiosity of their offspring? Please join us for a lively group discussion. This salon will be at the Jefferson Center in the Old Ashland Armory.

05/03/2015 - 5:00pm Skeptics, Delusions, Feminism, and Anger: An Interview with Carol Tavris

Carol Tavris, our very special spring speaker in the Thomas Jefferson Lecture Series, will meet with Jeff Center members and friends on Sunday, May 3rd, 5pm at Pioneer Hall, Ashland, for a discussion of her work and ideas. Our Book Group Coordinator, Sandra Coyner, will moderate and stimulate discussion with questions related to Jeff Center themes, but YOU can ask your own questions and participate in discussion and dialogue. See the announcement for the lecture on May 5 for further details about what Dr. Tavris will present about “Self-Justifying Delusions.” The Salon will not duplicate the lecture, but should make it even more meaningful.
Carol Tavris is a social psychologist, feminist, and contributor to “Skeptic” magazine, honored with an award from The Independent Investigations Group in 2010.

04/19/2015 - 4:00pm Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning

Freedom from Religion Foundation co-President Dan Barker will speak about meaning for atheists at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way in Ashland, at 4-6 PM. NOTE change in date to Sunday, April 19th.

Every thinking person wants to lead a life of meaning and purpose. Offering words of enrichment, emancipation, and inspiration, Dan Barker reminds us how millions of atheists lead happy, loving, moral, and purpose-filled lives without any need of a higher power.

03/08/2015 - 4:00pm “The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason”

The Salon on Sunday, March 8, at 4pm: "The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason." Why do some people persistently believe in the existence of impossible supernatural entities? Or reject well-founded science? Or vote against their economic interest? Or put America’s children at risk for measles? Or blindly ignore evidence in favor of fallacious reasoning? A common answer is that in such cases, emotion has overwhelmed reason—e.g. “politics of fear.” Since Jeffersonian times, important parts of our culture have believed that we can be reasonable only when we suppress emotion. Other parts of our culture want to elevate emotion above reason, at least some of the time. Both of these views assume that reason and emotion are opposites or even enemies. But recent brain science, as revealed in books read by the Jeff Center and Brain Books discussion groups, fairly blows this model out of the water. Emotion and reason are intertwined—in all of us, pretty much all the time. Sandra Coyner, as moderator, will lead us to share our experiences with this complex relationship of emotion and reason. She will also present a brief introduction to some evidence-based explanations of how we “know,” leading us perhaps to increased humility, and appreciation of our own flaws and of others’ integrity.

02/08/2015 - 4:00pm Networking with SOU Secular Student Alliance

At the February 8th (4pm) Salon, SOU Secular Student Alliance members (SSA) will be our guests and we will be focusing on forming an ongoing relationship with them. Len Eisenberg as facilitator will lead a round robin discussion, discussing not only why they joined the SSA but also how they came to acquire their secular world view and how that view affects their interpersonal relationships. In addition, they are looking for a community action volunteer project to become involved with so if you have ideas for that please be willing to present that to them for consideration. This will be a fun salon as we endeavor to infuse some youth into our organization. NOTE THIS WILL BE AT PIONEER HALL.