The South Liverpool Debating Society began in August 2020 during the first Coronavirus lockdown and was a response to the lack of opportunity to discuss and debate ideas during this period.
The group was partly founded by members of community groups, which stopped face to face meetings during this time, and other Liverpool residents who simply felt compelled to seek out human contact in order to make sense of the unique set of circumstance that the country found itself in. The group always stayed within the laws that were current at the time and sometimes met in groups of six in Sefton Park, or sometimes not at all.
The format of debate was important because many groups had formed on the internet and elsewhere which attracted people who shared the same ideas and, as a result, society seemed to becoming more tribal and anyone with an alternative view was often demonised or simply not listened to. It was felt that it was important to listen to the best arguments of the people you disagreed with, and then to allow the possibility than one’s mind might be changed.
The main idea of the group is to freely debate the most pressing and important issues of the day in a manner that is considerate, dignified and respectful to others. There is no agenda apart from a shared desire to pursue the truth and to genuinely consider that some of our ideas and beliefs may be wrong.