Welcome to the Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley

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.


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.



Event dates can also be found on our calendar page


Sunday February 12, 2017           10:30am noon

Coffee And Conversation

Location: Ada’s Cafe, 3700 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, CA. 94303

This recurring event happens on the second Sunday of every month at the Cafe in front of the library at Mitchell Park Community Center.  There is no predetermined theme, just friendly and respectful conversation.  RSVP if possible so we can arrange the tables.  If it’s raining or too chilly to be out in the open, we’ll be in one of the conference rooms inside the library or on the second-floor covered balcony that overlooks the library entrance.  Look for the little blue Ethical Culture Society sign and you’ll know it’s us!  You can RSVP using our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can contact us by email or this site’s contact form .



Wednesday February 15, 2017           7:30 to 9pm

The Ethics of Political Resistance

Just because they did it, does that mean it’s the right thing for others to do?  What principles guide resistance?  Let’s talk through some of the dilemmas involved in political resistance.

At Paula and Ben’s home in Saratoga. Soup at 6:30pm, discussion starts at 7:30. Please email us or use our contact form for location details and to let us know you’re coming,



Friday February 17, 2017           10am to noon

Theoretical Ethical Discussion: Ethics In The World of High-Tech Medicine

Location: Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose, CA., 95129

The Hippocratic Oath says “Do No Harm,” and 80 years ago – before antibiotics, organ replacements, etc. – the ethical discussion was usually perfectly clear: keep the person alive if you possibly can.  With today’s technology, however, some cases are less clear.  For example, consider the case of an elderly relative who was in pain and preferred to die peacefully with a strong dose of morphine, but was instead forced into major surgery that resulted in death after two weeks of great pain and intensive care.  Did the doctor make the best decision for the patient?  Did the doctor minimize harm?  Other difficult decisions involve fetuses and babies with minimal brain structures.  These days we can keep them alive for many years at great expense and with great sacrifice from the family.  Is this the ethical decision?

Please join this group and feel free to invite others! Bring your unique point of view and add to the discussion, which starts around 10:30. Please arrive early if you’d like to order food (highly recommended!). It’s OK to just show up, but it always helps to know how many people to expect. You can RSVP via our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can use our contact form .



Sunday February 19, 2017           5:30pm to 7:30pm

San Jose Day of Remembrance: Stand Up To Hate

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St., San Jose CA 95112

37th annual Jan Jose Day of Remembrance commemorating the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 sending Japanese-Americans to internment camps in 1942.  Featuring The Hon. Mike Honda, Samina Masood, performances by San Jose Taiko and Aswat Ensemble, and traditional candlelight procession through San Jose’s historic Japantown.

More information at www.sjnoc.org or (408) 505-1186.



Wednesday February 22, 2017           7:30 to 9pm

Video Night and Discussion: White Like Me

“White Like Me: Race, Racism, White Privilege in Amereca” has been called one of the best fils made on the unfinished quest for racial justice.  We will view the second half of the film (“But What About Us?” and “Shouldn’t We Be Colorbilnd?” followed by a discussion.  We approach the topic with curiosity, using sensitivity and compassion in our thinking. 

Video Night is at Paula and Ben’s home in Saratoga. Vegan soup is served at 6:30pm, followed by video/discussion at 7:30pm. Please email us or use our contact form for location details and to let us know you’re coming,



Sunday February 26, 2017 –  11am to 12:30pm

Sunday Spotlight  –  Spreading Democracy: Getting the Vote Out  –  Jean Lythcott from the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto

Location: Neutra House, 183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, CA  94022

Join us for our Sunday Spotlight! Each month we host an inspiring speaker who is active in making our community and our world a better place. Topics run the gamut from community service to social justice to the environment. We welcome you to listen and engage in thoughtful dialogue.

We provide the coffee, tea, a little live music, and the welcoming space for inquiring minds and open hearts to learn from each other.

Our guest in February is Jean Lythcott, representing the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto

It’s OK to just show up, but it always helps to know how many people to expect. You can use our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can contact us by email or this site’s contact form .