Looking for the Truth

Europe before the elections – Europe before the elections

Three dozen philosophers, scientists, authors and economists will discuss the topc “Truth and what is real?” at the 10th European Tolerance Talks, which will take place this year from May 15th to 18th in Villach and Fresach. The topic is particularly relevant in view of the upcoming European elections in June and the various attempts by anti-democratic forces to influence them.

Addressing “the truth” is not easy but extremely topical, especially when it comes to combating the increasing uncertainty among the public as a result of the digitalization of society and with algorithms, artificial intelligence and ChatGPT. Only if we look behind the scenes of the digitalization machines can we regain security and confront the various conspiracy theories and doomsday prophets.

Balanced and truthful information is particularly important in the run-up to important election decisions. Every single citizen is therefore called upon to check the sources of their information before making a judgment or casting their vote. Of course, personal emotions and your own needs always play a role, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be seduced by false friends and radical slogans. In the end, there is no alternative to truth because it inspires and liberates people. Concealing and suppressing the truth leads straight to dictatorship and darkness.

May 15th: Ethics Forum in the Bambergsaal Villach

The well-known Czech author Radka Denemarková is expected to kick off the tolerance talks in Villach. With the novel “Hours of Lead” she painted an oppressive picture of Chinese society and how it deals with truth, and what untruth and lies do to people. In conversation with Renata Schmidtkunz, Denemarková will also report on how Chinese censorship reacted to her book and what consequences this had for her work. (Bamberg Hall Villach, 6.30 p.m.)

May 16th: European Forum with Armin Thurnher in Fresach

The great authority of left-wing intellectual journalism, Armin Thurnher, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Vienna city magazine Falter, was able to be won for the opening of the European Forum in Fresach on May 16th. He will get to the heart of “The whole Truth” and, above all, show perspectives for a new, perhaps better European policy. The program will then include attractive panels on the basics of finding the truth, the dissonance between truth and reality, as well as strategies and measures to defend against disinformation and manipulation. (Museum Fresach, 9 a.m.).

May 17: Economic forum on digitalization machines

The economic forum in Fresach on May 17th will open with a conversation by Berlin risk researcher and psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer about dealing with uncertainty, followed by a conversation with Berlin State Secretary Wolf Heinrich Reuter and business trustee Alfred Brogyányi on the question: “How much does it cost Truth?” In the afternoon, the Viennese computer scientist and philosopher Peter Reichl will speak about the truth of digitalization machines and the loss of corporeality. The highlight of the afternoon is a political discussion about how to deal with “statistics and other fairy tales”.

Tolerance Festival – Tolerance Prize – Poetry Slam

The supporting program of the Tolerance Talks 2024 consists of kitchen & fireside chats, the awarding of the Tolerance Prize of the city of Villach (on Thursday) and the fresh poetry slam on Friday evening 6.30 p.m. – on the topic of “Various Lies”. The traditional tolerance breakfast on Saturday, May 18th concludes the conference and once again invites all speakers, participants and visitors to an extensive exchange of information and opinions. Day tickets are available from 60 euros, and there is a 50 percent discount for pupils, students and teachers at Carinthian schools and universities.

Overview of the program items

May 15, 2024: 6:30 p.m.: Ethics Forum Villach (Bambergsaal)
May 16, 2024: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: European Forum Fresach. 6:30 p.m.: Tolerance Award Ceremony
May 17, 2024: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Fresach Economic Forum. 6.30 p.m.: Poetry Slam
May 18, 2024: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Gasthaus Zum Wirt, Fresach: Tolerance breakfast

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