ThinkOlio Presents: Buddhism and Psychedelics: Moving Towards a Human Rights Culture

Friday October 13: 7:00PM 8:00PM

Buy a ticket HERE or at the door to attend. This event will take place in the Rare Book Room on the Strand's 3rd floor, accessible via the store elevator or at 826 Broadway.

In 1776 our American forefathers formally declared to the King of Great Britain (and the world): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...“ In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Though few would contest the nobility of these ideals, most would probably agree that we’ve yet to fully realize them as a culture. In other words, human rights are not self-evident and inalienable. And human dignity can hardly be considered inherent when we so clearly continue to violate it.

Part of the problem is that we don’t have a clear idea of how human rights exist. Our current concept of human rights has evolved from out of an outdated metaphysics that has no bearing on the actual of work of advocacy groups and NGOs on the ground.

In this Olio we explore how Buddhism can help us arrive at a more philosophically robust concept of human rights that entails more than just theory, but also a set of introspective tools for realizing a human rights culture. In our analysis we'll also consider new psychedelic research that I believe may also contribute to this goal.

Christopher Kelley holds a doctorate in Buddhist Studies from Columbia University, where he studied under the guidance of Professor Robert Thurman. He currently teaches at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and the New School University in the City of New York.

The presenting beer sponsor is Sixpoint Brewery.