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.

http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/01.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/09.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/09_IMG_0367.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/07_IMG_0356.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/02.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/05_IMG_0342.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/04_IMG_0337.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/10_CRC3794.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/01_CRC2643.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/CRC2638.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/CRC2022.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/relaxing-outdoors.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/07.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/lunches-for-the-homeless.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/making-food-together.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/light-a-lamp.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/lunches-for-homeless.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/June-photo.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/aboutUsPg1.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/10.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/12.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/13.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/July-7-4-painters.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/03.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_02271.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/05.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/5525177.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/IMG_2532.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/soup-on-weds-204x300.png
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/36585171.jpg
http://ethicalsiliconvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ECSSV_Platform20161120-4343.jpg

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: Individuality vs. Cooperation

Sunday, July 16, 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 by listening and engaging in thoughtful dialogue, with a little live music mixed in.  We provide the coffee, tea, and a welcoming space for inquiring minds and open hearts to learn from one another.

We’ll be mixing it up a bit in July, with a colloquy instead of a guest speaker.  Colloquy, an Ethical Culture tradition, is a vehicle for reflection and discovery that involves readings, music, and shared expression.  We will explore the tension between individuality and cooperation in our lives.  John will facilitate.  We hope you can make it.

 

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 .

We’d love your input!  If you have an idea for a topic or speaker for Sunday Spotlight, please let us know.  Use our contact form and write something like “spotlight speaker suggestion” in the subject line.

 



 

UPCOMING  EVENTS:  SPRING 2017

Event dates can also be found on our calendar page

 

 

Sunday July 2, 2017           4pm to 6pm

Sunday Study Session: Universal Basic Income (UBI)

A reprise on Universal Basic Income.  There was so much interest and a large enough group in June that the topic deserves more time.  Chris will lead.

Increasing advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to eliminate a large portion of existing jobs in coming decades, starting soon with the replacement of truck drivers by self-driving vehicles.  The already huge divide between haves and have-nots may only get much worse.  Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been much discussed recently as a way to remedy this; “free money” to all, a minimal but livable income, just for being human.  This flies in the face of American culture, yet has strong proponents among several high-tech leaders.  How to pay for it is a significant issue.  Also, how will people find meaning in their lives in a world where, currently, many find such meaning through their employment?  Let’s discuss the pros and cons of these and other issues of UBI.  Chris leads.

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 .

 


 

Friday July 7, 2017           10am to noon

Friday Morning Theoretical Ethics: Becoming Caregivers

Location: IHOP restaurant, 5403 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara CA 95051

PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION

As we age, so do our friends, families, and neighbors.  And as we age, we begin to realize our own limitations in how much care and support we can reasonably give to others.  Often, we find that the demands of caregiving are not only taxing but also put restraints on our own ability to live life to its fullest and put ourselves first.  It can be emotionally draining to consistently provide help to those we cherish, and the guilt that accompanies saying “no” is an additional burden.  How can we ethically solve this dilemma so that everyone involved is protected and safe?  Lots to think about, lots to discuss.  Ann leads, Molly hosts.

We will meet in the back room, towards the left as you enter the restaurant.  Breakfast is about $10.

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 .

 


 

Sunday July 9, 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 .

 


 

Wednesday July 19, 2017           7:30pm to 9pm

Wednesday Ethics Discussion: The Ethics of What We Eat

Peter Singer has 5 ethical principles he considers around food choices in his book, “The Ethics of What We Eat” (AKA The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter). They are: Fairness, Transparency, Humanity, Social Responsibility and Needs.  We’ll consider those as we reflect on the ethics of what we eat.  Paula leads.  (We promise no gory videos.) 

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 .

 


 

Friday July 21, 2017           10am to noon

Friday Morning Theoretical Ethics: Free Speech and Social Media

Location: IHOP restaurant, 5403 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara CA 95051

PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION

Harvard rescinds admissions offers over Facebook posts.  An issue of free speech or moral character?

Recently, Harvard rescinded the admission offers to 10 students to attend Harvard after learning of R-rated posts on a “dark” Facebook page.  (Article from the Harvard Crimson here )  Ethical question: Should one have the right to free speech in a private social media site with the expectation of no consequences of what one posts?  If not, is it truly free speech?

Harvard Crimson says: “‘As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character,’ the description reads.”

What do you say?  Molly hosts, Paula leads.

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 .