Welcome to the Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley

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UPCOMING  EVENTS:  Spring 2019

Event dates can also be found on our calendar page

Sunday Spotlight: Housing Silicon Valley – Aligning Ethics, Ideals, and Policy

Sunday March 17th, 11am

Neutra House (181 Hillview Ave., Los Altos CA 94022)

Former Palo Alto City Council Member Cory Wolbach will share his insights on the local housing crisis, and the related political and policy nuances. Framing the topic as an ethical one, Cory will discuss the challenge of aligning our self-perceived ethical values, our broader vision for society, and the our preferred policies as applied in our proverbial back yard.

The program begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m., and we’d love it if you’d stay for a beverage and light refreshments after to share your thoughts.

Although it’s fine to just show up, it would be greatly appreciated if you RSVP so we have some idea how many people to expect and can set up the room accordingly. You can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form. Thanks!


Wednesday Evening Discussion and Food

Wednesday March 20th, 6:30pm

Paula and Ben’s home (RSVP for location details)

Ethical dilemmas from our daily lives will be the focus of the discussion. Bring ethical situations you personally face to the group for a hearty and thoughtful discussion. For instance, are you faced with an ethical choice and wonder what the right thing to do is? Does something you see in the media make you wince because you think it’s unethical? Did some person act in a way that received media attention because it was seen as very “moral” and it got you thinking about what you would do in the same situation? Bring it to the group for discussion!

Vegan dinner served at 6:30, discussion at 7:30. PLEASE do not bring any food or drink into the home. RSVP for location details (you can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form.)


Book Club: Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Sunday March 24th, 11am

Neutra House (183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos CA 94022)

This month, we’ll be discussing ‘Enlightenment Now: the case for reason, science, humanism, and progress’ by Steven Pinker

• All are welcome (though please read the book)
• Please bring along at least one point for discussion
• If you have chance, look over the list to help choose the next book http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/ecssv-book-club/

Abstract:

The follow-up to Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

WorldCat: https://www.worldcat.org/search?q=Enlightenment+Now+au%3APinker

Reviews:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/books/review/steven-pinker-enlightenment-now.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/buck-up-everyone-we-are-riding-along-the-enlightenments-long-path-of-progress/2018/02/23/5535b602-f24a-11e7-b390-a36dc3fa2842_story.html

Although it’s fine to just show up, it would be greatly appreciated if you RSVP so we have some idea how many people to expect and can set up the room accordingly. You can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form. Thanks!


Video Night With Discussion And Food

Wednesday March 27th, 6:30pm

Paula and Ben’s home (RSVP for location details)

Join us for another video exploring issues related to ethics. We will look into the deeper and more introspective questions in life. The goal of the night is to be inspired and motivated to pursue meaningful virtues in our everyday lives. Suggestions for videos under 30 minutes are welcome!

Vegan dinner served at 6:30, discussion at 7:30. PLEASE do not bring any food or drink into the home. RSVP for location details (you can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form.)


Friday Morning Ethics Discussion

Friday April 5th, 10am to noon

Holder’s Country Inn (998 S. DeAnza Blvd, San Jose CA 95129)

Using situations in life and from the news of the week, we’ll explore ethical issues of the day. The topic will change every month. Bring issues from your life or the news to share.

Although it’s fine to just show up, it would be greatly appreciated if you RSVP so we have some idea how many people to expect. You can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form. Thanks!


Sunday Study Session

Sunday April 7th, 4pm

BJ and Lawrence’s home (RSVP for location details)

Want to know more about Ethical Culture? Have you attended some of our gatherings but don’t really know what Ethical Culture is all about? Attend this gathering where we review some of the documents created around the ideas and ideals of Ethical Culture as well as some of the current writings on Ethical Culture. This discussion will introduce Ethical Culture to new folks, refresh the ideas for the folks who’ve been around a while, and offer lots of ideas for discussion.

Please RSVP for location details, as this event is held at a private home. Use our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can contact us by email or this site’s contact form .


Coffee and Conversation

Sunday April 14th, 11am

Neutra House (183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos CA 94022)

Coffee & Conversation sessions are informal, inclusive, supportive gatherings. We just talk about things that are on our minds, things that make for, or detract from, a fulfilling human life in the real world for ourselves and for other people. We listen to each other, share our thoughts, sip our hot drinks, and enjoy being together. We do this at Neutra House in Los Altos the second Sunday of each month at 11:00 in the morning. Linda and John will lead the discussion.

Although it’s fine to just show up, it would be greatly appreciated if you RSVP so we have some idea how many people to expect and can set up the room accordingly. You can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form. Thanks!


Evening Ethics Discussion and Food

Wednesday April 17th, 6:30pm

Paula and Ben’s home (RSVP for location details)

Ethical dilemmas from our daily lives will be the focus of the discussion.  Bring ethical situations you personally face to the group for a hearty and thoughtful discussion.  For instance, are you faced with an ethical choice and wonder what the right thing to do is?  Does something you see in the media make you wince because you think it’s unethical?  Did some person act in a way that received media attention because it was seen as very “moral” and it got you thinking about what you would do in the same situation?  Bring it to the group and we’ll discuss it!

Vegan dinner served at 6:30, discussion at 7:30.  PLEASE do not bring any food or drink into the home.  RSVP for location details (you can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form.)


Friday Morning Ethics Discussion

Friday April 19th, 10am to noon

Holder’s Country Inn (998 S. DeAnza Blvd, San Jose CA 95129)

Using situations in life and from the news of the week, we’ll explore ethical issues of the day. The topic will change every month. Bring issues from your life or the news to share.

Although it’s fine to just show up, it would be greatly appreciated if you RSVP so we have some idea how many people to expect. You can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form. Thanks!