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.
Sunday Spotlight: Origins, plus membership meeting
Sunday, June 18, 2017 11am to 12:30pm
Neutra House, 183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022
Join us one Sunday each month to hear from an inspiring, active speaker who will share information about an organization working to make our community and our world a better place. Topics run the gamut from basic needs to social justice to the environment. We welcome you to participate not only by listening and engaging in thoughtful dialogue, but also by reveling in uplifting music. We provide coffee, tea, and a welcoming space for inquiring minds and open hearts to learn from one another.
The June meeting spotlights someone in Ethical Culture who will tell us the story of how they became who they are. Our annual membership meeting follows the presentation.
The program begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. We’d love it if you’d stay afterward for a beverage and light refreshments and to share your thoughts. 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 .
UPCOMING EVENTS: SPRING 2017
Event dates can also be found on our calendar page
Sunday May 28, 2017 11am to 12:30pm
Book Club: “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger
Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303
For our first Ethical Book Club, we’ll be discussing “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging” by Sebastian Junger. This is a short book, and is available as an audiobook read by the author (about 3 hours long). All are welcome, though please read the book before the meeting and come with at least one point for discussion.
Abstract: Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians — but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may help explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today. Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, “Tribe” explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that — for many veterans as well as civilians — war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. “Tribe” explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.
Friday June 2, 2017 10am to noon
Friday Morning Ethics Discussion: Covering For Others
Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose, CA. 95129
Let’s discuss the ethics of covering for or making excuses for others in our lives — children, relatives, friends, neighbors. When is it okay? When is it not OK? How do we respond to those who ask us to cover for them? We’ll begin with a short vignette
about parents and children and go from there. Molly leads, Roy hosts.
This is a restaurant with a $5.99 breakfast. We don’t pay for the room except by ordering food, so please consider this when you join us for the discussion
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. 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 contact us by email or this site’s contact form .
Sunday June 4, 2017 4pm to 6pm
Sunday Study Session: What is Ethical Culture?
Want to know more about Ethical Culture? Attended some of our gatherings but don’t really know what Ethical Culture is all about? This discussion will introduce Ethical Culture to new folks, refresh the ideas for those who have been around a while, and offer lots of ideas for discussion. We will review some of the documents created around the ideas and ideals of The Ethical Culture Society, as well as some of the current writings on Ethical Culture.
Sunday June 11, 2017 10:30am to 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 .
Friday June 16, 2017 10am to noon
Friday Morning Theoretical Ethics: The Ethics of Competition
Location: Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose, CA., 95129
When is it OK to give everyone a trophy for participation, no matter who wins? Do the winners get a separate trophy? Jan leads, Molly hosts.
This is a restaurant with a $5.99 breakfast. We don’t pay for the room except by ordering food, so please consider this when you join us for the discussion.
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. 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 .
Wednesday June 21, 2017 7:30pm to 9pm
Wednesday Ethics Discussion: Automation and Our Relationships With People
With more jobs being automated (think grocery store check out stations and ATMs), what responsibility do we have to the
people whose jobs are being replaced by machines? Should I go to the human grocery clerk or the human bank teller, or use the machine? When driverless cars and trucks arrive, what do I owe to the jobless truck drivers?
Soup is served at 6:30pm, discussion starts at 7:30. 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 .
Wednesday June 28, 2017 7:30pm to 9pm
Media Night: A Tale of Two Walls
Let’s listen to a portion of JFK’s speech at the Berlin Wall in 1963. We’ll discuss the Berlin Wall and compare it to “Trump’s Wall.” Similarities and differences? Successes or failures? Lessons learned?
Food is served at 7pm, video starts at 7:30. Please RSVP for location details, as this event is held at a private home. (Note: Location changed to Molly’s house in San Jose, near Lawrence and Doyle.) Use our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can contact us by email or this site’s contact form .