Philosophers' Café comes to Surrey

February 24, 2005, vol. 32, no. 4
By Terry Lavender

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Morality - can it be adequately defined? Does it assume superior forces of good and evil? That was the question that the patrons at Jabez coffee shop debated at the first Simon Fraser University Philosophers' Café to be held in Surrey.

Jabez owner Ron Helmer says the turnout at the first café exceeded his expectations. Participants had to pay $5 for the privilege of taking part in the debate and it was the first time a café had been offered in Surrey, so Helmer was pleasantly surprised when 20 would-be philosophers turned up.

“Everyone enjoyed themselves,” Helmer says. “Everyone had time to make their point known and all left with the thought of coming back because the conversations were so stimulating. The conversations could have gone on for hours and some did, as I saw a few standing outside discussing the topic an hour after the café closed.”

The second in the Café series was held Feb. 23 on the topic, “Is there evidence for the existence of an ultimately superior being(s) at work in our universe?” The next one, on March 30, asks, “If we can make a logical case for our existence, what is the nature of its essence: eternal or temporal?” Jabez coffee shop, which is located close to both the SFU Surrey campus and the Surrey Centre SkyTrain station, is one of two Surrey

Philosophers' Café locations. The other, the Semiahmoo branch of the Surrey public library, will host its first café on April 27, when it discusses, “Is commercial television too dumb for our own good?”

For more information about the Surrey Cafés, call 604-291-5215, email or visit the website at

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