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The Ancient of Days

Bentonville 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.

Bentonville Study Center
902 SW 2nd Street, Suite D. , Bentonville, AR
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Are the ethical ramifications of eugenics so great that they may outweigh our pursuit to "build a better human?"
Date: 6/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Shawna De Puente
Synopsis: The term eugenics is derived from the Greek word “eu,” meaning good or well, and “genos,” meaning offspring. Conventional eugenics, or intentional selective breeding for improved genetic traits, has been performed on crops and livestock for thousands of years. Examples of modern eugenics today as it relates to humans include stem cell treatment, modifying or removing genes to prevent or treat genetic disease, selective reproduction and prenatal diagnosis such as amniocentesis testing. Will eugenics become common place? How will this affect population growth? With this exciting technological advance it is hard to wonder if Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World would become reality?

Are the Emerald Tablets still relevant to modern society?
Date: 12/30/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Vicki Jones
Synopsis: The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Table, or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of the Heremetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation into gold. It was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art and its Hermetic tradition. Indeed, the Emerald Tablet has influenced so many esoteric traditions and thought, but is does its teachings extend into modern society? Can its wisdom be timeless or was it specific to those who lived while it was being written? Join us as we investigate the Emerald Tablet to see if we can be the better for it.

What are the Mysteries of the Universe and Man?
Date: 12/30/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Russell Nelson
Synopsis: Is the Universe conscious? Early scientists imply that the cause of gravity was guidance by some subtle spirit. What is or makes the consciousness of man? Is life a chance event or caused by design? We will utilize the Masonic Principles of Tolerance and Inquisitiveness to answer these questions by exploring the viewpoints of science, religion, and also the esoteric approach to understanding the many mysteries of nature to ponder for further investigation and contemplation.

Is it wise to pursue artificial intelligence?
Date: 1/27/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Janet Lowther
Synopsis: For many years we have seen robots and artificial intelligences in popular media as variously benign or  villainous. In recent years futurists like Ray Kurzweil have extolled the potential for artificial intelligence, while other thinkers like Stephen Hawking have urged caution. Nearly 75 years ago Isaac Asimov proposed three Laws of Robotics to render artificial intelligences safe, but is it feasible to implement those laws or will learning machines develop an independent will on their own, simply as a result of their complexity? Freemasonry is dedicated to the improvement and advancement of humanity. Some futurists consider artificial intelligences as humanity 2.0. On the other hand they could well be the end of humanity as we know it. Where do you stand?

"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
Personal Writings

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