R: Man is Made to Work

We spend more time during our lives working than we do doing anything else, but why? Do we work to live or do we live to work? Is the thing we spend most of our time doing simply a necessary evil or it is the very essences of what it means to be human? 

Was Adam Smith right when he said that it is in the inherent interest of every man to live as much as his ease as he can? Or is work a part of being human, regardless of financial incentives? Is there something intrinsically valuable in laboring?

As Americans we work more hours than any other industrialized nation. As the Swedish increase their vacation days, Americans seek more hours in the office. Have we forgotten the role of leisure? Have we potentially transformed something that was good into something bad by becoming workaholics? 

Are our current conceptions of the workplace a perversion of virtuous work, and if so, what is the remedy? 

Join us and our alumni this Friday, February 19th at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room to debate this and other questions of work and leisure. All are welcomed!


R: Divorce Marriage From the State

I take thee as my lawfully wedded couple, to tax and to regulate from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, including all redefinitions, until death do us part. Modern day marriage has become a three-way contract between husband, wife, and the state. Is this the most unhappy of unions or is it a safeguard for the institution of marriage?  

As marriage rates plummet and divorce rates rise, we must stop and ask ourselves: has the government been an innocent by-standard or a evil perpetrator? Do government incentives and divorce laws corrupt the precious institution of marriage? Or do those regulations support the family? 

Since Obergefull v. Hodges many Conservatives have questioned the role of the State in marriage. Does a divorce between the little white chapel and the big white house solve the cultural debates of our era? Do we really care if the state validates our marriage licenses? Is the state too unpredictable? Or do state sanctioned marriages come with too many benefits to ignore? 

Join us this Wednesday, February 10th at 7:30 pm in the Calhoun Parlor to debate this and other questions of marriage and the government. All are welcome!


Alumni Weekend 2016

Buy Banquet Plate


R: Lose the Lottery

The first recorded lottery dated back to 1445 when a region in modern day Netherlands used a lottery system to raise money to build walls and town fortifications. And to this day, the government continues to use the lottery to raise money for schools, roads, and the elderly. But is it right for governments to exploit the weakness of its citizens to build the roads? Does the lottery undermine civic virtue? Or does it provided for the basics of society in a tax-averse political environment? How does a government lead its citizens away from vice and into a life of virtue? 

Moreover, what are the impacts of the lottery on the individual and society? What happens to the economy when our disposable income goes to gambling? What happens to an individual that comes by money so easily? With more lottery winners depressed, divorced, destitute or dead, is it even desirable to have that much money? 

Even with all these lingering questions, millions turn out to buy tickets every week. Do we justify our purchase with promises of better education, the thrill and mystery of gambling or is it thinly veiled greed? Is playing the lottery a part of living the good life? 

Join us this Wednesday, January 27th at 7:30 pm in the Calhoun Parlor to debate this and other questions on virtue and vice. All are welcome!


Edmund Burke Weekend 2015

EBW Banquet