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

Schadenfreude: Taking Joy in the Misfortune of Others

Wednesday May 22nd, 6:30pm

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

Why do we feel joy in another’s distress? Why do we take pleasure in celebrities’ misfortunes? Why do we secretly feel pleased when our best friends fail? Why do we smile when Donald Trump refers to Tim Cook as Tim Apple?

It’s known as schadenfreude, which translates from German as damage joy. According to Tiffany Watt Smith, not only is schadenfreude much more visible than it used to be, its effects are long-lasting.

We’ll watch a video with Tiffany Watt Smith. Then, we’ll talk about our own feelings and interpretations of satisfaction when another goofs.

Video: https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/schadenfreude-why-do-we-feel-joy-at-anothers-pain/p06x79s2

You can find Smith’s book, The Joy of Another’s Misfortune, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B88TVC3/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=

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.)


ECSSV Book Club: The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

Sunday May 26th, 11am to 12:30pm

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

• 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/


Friday Morning Ethics Discussion: Friday Free For All

Friday May 31st, 10am to noon

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

It’s the fifth Friday of the month! Let’s meet and discuss whatever is on our minds. Bring a topic and we’ll choose two or three to chew on — along with breakfast, too.

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!


Nationalism and Patriotism: Battle of the “isms”

Sunday June 2nd, 4pm to 6pm

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

We talk a lot about nationalism and patriotism these days. What do these words really mean? Are they the same? Or, are they different? What adjectives describe these concepts? More important, which of our behaviors and activities fit these concepts? How do we measure up instead of down? Molly leads.

Discussion begins at 4:00. 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 Morning Ethics Discussion

Friday June 7th, 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!


Coffee and Conversation

Sunday June 9th, 11am to 12:30pm

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!


Sunday Spotlight

Sunday June 16th, 11am

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 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.

The program begins at 11am and ends at 12:30pm, and we’d love it if you’d stay for a beverage and light refreshments 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!


Video Night With Discussion And Food: New Things – Do They Make Us Happy? Or Not?

Wednesday June 19th, 6:30pm

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

In 1769, Diderot wrote of his new luxurious red dressing gown which made him unhappy. Why? It clashed with his other things and he lost the sense of unity his older clothes provided. He then acquired new clothing to match his red dressing gown, even though he was not a wealthy man. This has been called the “Diderot effect”. Even today, marketers and economists use this concept to influence how we either buy new things to match what we already have or buy new things to match the fantasy of the new. Apple and IKEA are mentioned as examples. The video closes with this: Try not to forget the benefits of the old and the shabby!

Let’s talk! Share stories of how we see the Diderot effect in our own lives and ponder how we might be better people if we were aware of the Diderot effect.

Video link here: https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/why-new-things-make-us-sad/p06xj82h?playlist=the-story-of-human-emotions

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 June 21st, 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!


ECSSV Book Club: Twelve Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson

Sunday June 23rd, 11am to 12:30pm

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

• 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/


Wednesday Evening Discussion At Molly’s

Wednesday June 26th 2019, 7:30pm

Molly’s home (RSVP for location details)

Join us for another discussion 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.

Discussion starts @ 7:30pm and ends @ 9:30pm. Please RSVP for location details (you can use our Meetup page if you have an account there, or you can use our contact form.)