11/13/2008: Philodemic Philanthropy Debate

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This past Thursday the Philodemic Society met to debate whether Bill Gates or Mother Teresa was a greater philanthropist.  The Society happily inducted two new members this week; Mr. Nicholas Myers and Miss Emma Green.  The debate began with a keynote speech from Mr. Dan Huntley, who framed the debate, defining philanthropy as actions undertaken by one in the attempt to benefit humanity.  Opening for the negation was Emma Green, who gave a superb speech and reflected a talent sure to be appreciated by the Society in upcoming debates.  Mr. Myers then responded with a splendid rebuttal; his command of language echoing the masters of literature themselves. Miss Carolyn Kraemer rounded out the keynote debaters with a description of the selflessness of Mother Teresa’s acts throughout her life.

The floor debate was rather eventful, with the speakers on each side resolutely defending their opinions.  Centering the debate was a focus as to whether the amount of money that Bill Gates has given amounts to a greater contribution than the works of Mother Teresa.  Eventually, Mr. Merighi explained to the society that, though charity and selfless giving are important, the importance of monetary contributions in helping solve illnesses in areas of abject poverty is a greater contribution overall to humanity, and thus that Bill Gates is the greater philanthropist.  Mr. Merighi was awarded the speaker of the week award for his contribution to the debate.

After completing the keynote speeches, which included quite a memorable description of the power of mathematical graphs from Miss Green, the society divided the room and voted upon the issue.  It was determined by a vote of 18-24 that Mother Teresa was a greater philanthropist than Bill Gates.

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