The Charterhouse Scholars’ Society met once again in Bodeites to discuss the idea of a ‘Utopia’, as perhaps seen in the Indus civilisation around 2600 to 1900 BC; as well as discussing Steven Pinker’s book ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’, which comments on how violence has been declining globally in the short- and long-terms.
The meeting opened with a discussion on Pinker’s ideas, led by James Marmion and Tom Wainwright. They introduced the theory that the human race, as a species, is not violent by nature; and that there are a group of factors that have resulted in this modern change for the better: the rise of government and correction, as well as the rise of forces such as literacy and mass media which Pinker argues “can prompt people to take the perspectives of people unlike themselves and to expand their circle of sympathy”.
The next presentation was performed by Jonathan Hodson concerning the idea of a utopia; what defines a utopia, whether it is realistic idea, and whether this Indus civilisation could have been a ‘utopia’. This was followed by many thought-provoking questions, as always.
Finally, after food and refreshments, Charlie Reay (a new addition to the society) and Tony Zhang reported about the Indus civilisation and how they functioned in a ‘utopia’, with no significant ruler, no significant rich-poor division, and astonshingly no violence, with only one depiction of war in their entire history over a century of excavation. A unique civilisation, and additionally very interesting.
As always, the Scholars’ meeting was an entertaining, interesting event with a great atmosphere of both intellect and entertainment. Many thanks to Dr Aidonis for the event and the fascinating topic.
Max Small (g, 4)