The Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley is a vibrant, caring community dedicated to cultivating ethical growth and action in its members and in the larger world.
We are a democratic fellowship for people seeking a rational, compassionate philosophy of life without regard to belief or nonbelief in a supreme being.
We discuss ethical dilemmas that arise in our lives and in the world around us; hold programs to learn about ourselves, each other, and the issues of the day; and seek to be engaged citizens of our nation and our world. We collaborate with other organizations working for a more just and humane world.
The Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley (ECSSV) is an affiliate of the American Ethical Union. Ethical Culture is a humanistic religious, philosophical, and educational movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of life is working to create a more humane society. Our focus is on how we live our lives. Our faith is in the capacity and responsibility of human beings to act in their personal relationships and in the larger community to help create a better world.
UPCOMING EVENTS, SUMMER/FALL 2016
Event dates can also be found on our calendar page
Sunday, September 18 2016 11am to noon
Sunday Platform: Peace
Location: Neutra House, 183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos CA 94022
This platform will be a colloquy on the subject of peace. Colloquy is a unique form of dialogue popular in Ethical Culture, which provides opportunity for self-reflection and contemplation in a nurturing group environment. It involves exploring a theme with music, readings, and commentary. The intent is to help us live our lives with more awareness and in harmony with our values.
This event includes a pot luck lunch, so please bring something to share. It is OK to just show up, but it helps with logistics if we know how many people are planning to come. You can RSVP via Meetup or use our contact form.
Wednesday, September 21 2016 7:30pm
Ethics Discussion: When You’re Asked to Pray For Someone
Taken from a real incident, let’s explore the options when a nonbeliever is asked to pray for someone. Which value prevails, honesty or consideration? Or something else? Molly leads.
We serve soup at 6:30pm; the discussion begins at 7:30. Please contact us for location details.
Sunday, October 2 2016 4pm
Sunday Study Session: What is the Place of Reason in Ethical Culture?
In his book “Speaking of Ethics,” Joseph Chuman explores the above topic beginning on page 297.
Chuman writes: “I highly value reason and try to conduct my life by its guiding light. In the most intimate
sense, I measure my beliefs by the test of reason.” ,,, “I want not only my beliefs but my choices in life to be guided by reason. Without reason, we flop around lost, guided only by our hunches, our intuitions, and our impulses. We need reason as the basis of living a good, productive, and dignified life. And we need reason for the sake of sustaining an orderly and civilized society.”
“However glorious, reason remains a tool, an instrumentality, a means that enables us to achieve goals and
interests that themselves transcend reason and that reason has little to do with…. We are creatures of reason,
to be sure. And reason is essential to life, and it ennobles us. But our humanity extends far more broadly
than our reason does. We are also creatures of love and desire, compassion and aspiration, of devotion, of
hate and fear, of foibles and foolishness, of joy and sorrow, of courage and self-doubt, and irrationality, too,
and much, much more.” … “Ethical Culture…keeps us focused on interpersonal engagement and action….”
“I seek a humanism that is sensitive to human experience in its multiple manifestations; that is moved not
only by reason, but by matters of the heart that reason does not reach. I want a humanism that honors
reason, but is also moved by compassion and love.”
Becky leads. Please join the discussion. Refreshments served at 3:30pm, discussion starts at 4pm. This series of discussions about Ethical Culture is held on the first Sunday of the month at a lovely home in
downtown San Jose. Please contact us for details and to let us know you’re coming.
Friday, October 7 2016 10am
Friday Morning Ethics Discussion
Location: Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose CA 95129
Please join this group, and invite others. Bring your unique point of view and add to the discussion.
Lyon’s Restaurant offers a $4.99 breakfast and is spacious and quiet. We’ll be at a table upstairs; arrive a bit early to find us. See you there!
Sunday, October 9 2016 10:30am to noon
Coffee and Conversation
Location: Ada’s Cafe, 3700 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto CA 94303
There’s no set topic, just interesting conversation with interesting people. Ada’s Cafe is near the entrance to the Mitchell Park library in Palo Alto. We often sit outside, so if the weather is likely to be cool bring a jacket or a blanket. If you don’t see us, we might be inside the library in a 2nd floor conference room.
Sunday, October 16 2016 10:30am to noon
Sunday Platform: Prison Reform
Location: Neutra House, 183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos CA 94022
Jerry Elster will speak about prison reform. Mr Elster is a formerly incarcerated man who works for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as the Healing Justice Program Coordinator. His educational background comprises two Associate of Arts degrees (one in Ministry and another in General Education), a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and he is currently working on his PhD in Psychology. Jerry’s life journey has taught him how essential it is for people – including those who have been incarcerated – to speak and be heard in their own voices. He believes that people without a voice are people without hope, and his focus is on the achievement of full human and civil rights for everyone. His life pursuits are based on the Restorative Justice concept of universal healing.
We usually have a pot luck at this event, so plan to bring something to share. It is OK to just show up, but it helps with logistics if we know how many people are planning to come. You can RSVP via Meetup or use our contact form.