The Chicago Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society
Invites you to:
A Tavern Debate
Resolved: Evil triumphs when good people fail to act.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." --commonly attributed to Edmund Burke. (His closest sourced quote is actually in Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents (1770): “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” - which may serve as good fodder for this debate, too).
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” --Epistle of St. James 4:17 (ESV)
Sacred and secular writers alike have posited that evil and/or guilt may result, or even proceed, from inaction. Other schools of thought only attribute such moral consequence to affirmative volitional acts. Philosophers, theologians, political thinkers and others are often challenged by the duties and privileges that may attach to any action or lack thereof. Does one commit – or at least contribute – to evil when s/he fails to take action? Come join the debate!
What is a Tavern Debate? It is a wholly extemporaneous (no notes allowed!) audience-participation debate on the resolution, conducted with provision of an open bar and food. The event format encourages serious thought tempered by rhetorical flourish, with a spirit of fun that – depending upon the individual participant – may be inspired by the open bar, being struck by a poetic muse, or just the chance to jump on a metaphorical soap-box and wax philosophical/practical/otherwise. Our audience usually includes a mix of conservative, libertarian, liberal, and contrarian thinkers, such that a good time is had by all who participate – whether as speakers or only as audience members. At the end of the debate period, the question is called, and a standing vote is taken to determine once and for all whether the resolution stands, after which the debate is adjourned and the bar is closed.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
5:30 p.m. Reception
6:00 p.m. Gavel Drops
$25 if paid in advance*, $35 at the door
($30 cash/check at the door with current Federalist Society membership card
or paid on-site membership sign-up)
SPECIAL STUDENT RATE: $10 –
Advance Purchase ONLY w/current Student I.D.
The Metropolitan Club
233 South Wacker Drive
Willis Tower, 67th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
The dress code at The Metropolitan Club is business casual. Business casual dress does not allow jeans, sneakers or sandals.
*To Register/Pre-pay, RSVP by Noon, October 27, 2012 at
Space is limited; we reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone not pre-registered
When & Where
Chicago Federalist Society
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors. In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community. The Society takes no set position on legal issues, but promotes debate on a variety of historical, current, and developing topics - confident that the truth will out, and it will triumph if men and women of integrity act in accordance therewith.