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: Spreading Democracy, Getting the Vote Out
Sunday, February 26, 2017 11am to 12:20pm
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.
Our guest in February is Jean Lythcott, Ph.D., representing League of Women Voters of Palo Alto. Jean Lythcott is a science educator who retired after 55 yrs of teaching. About half this time she taught middle and high school students the sciences. Later, at Columbia University and Stanford University, she worked with Masters and Doctoral degree candidates toward understanding the intersection of the scientific discipline itself, how people build understanding, and the acts of teaching that join those two toward powerful ends. Having been a fish in water for those 55 years, Jeannie is now reconstructing herself for this new phase of her life’s path. Working with The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto on Voter Services is especially important and she is having a surprisingly good time at 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 .
UPCOMING EVENTS: WINTER 2016 / SPRING 2017
Event dates can also be found on our calendar page
Friday March 3, 2017 10am to noon
Friday Morning Ethics Discussion
Location: Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose, CA., 95129
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 March 5, 2017 4pm to 6pm
Sunday Study Session
Joseph Chuman’s essay “A Religious View of Life” from his book “Speaking of Ethics” page 265, will be the topic of the day. Chuman writes: “The very foundation of Ethical Culture, its defining characteristic, was intended to be a shared commitment to moral striving, to recognizing the supreme importance of attempting to live out a life inspired and guided by moral values.” He contrasts his view of the religious with the secular view of life. “To take a religious view of things is to see them over the long range, and not solely in terms of immediate gratification. … [A] completely secular interpretation of life is overly concerned with analyzing, manipulating, and employing the world for the sake of human ends, usually the end of human happiness.”
Sunday March 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 March 15, 2017 7:30 to 9pm
Ethics And Food: Immigration From the inside Out
Let’s discuss the many ethical challenges of immigration: numbers, ethnicity, integration of refugees and other newcomers, benefits and costs, law and ethics, and more. Molly leads.
Friday March 17, 2017 7:30 to 9pm
Friday Theoretical Ethics Discussion
Location: Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose, CA., 95129
Medical technology can prolong life in ways unimagined a generation ago. But should it? What do you want at the end of your life, if you have a choice? Searching for “Advance Health Care Directive” will get you many options, like the dot gov site with the CA directive, or the Kaiser site with their directive, or the Stanford site… you get the idea. Each one has the basics from the CA directive but adds more details. Bring your advance directive and let’s talk about what should be on it to express your values and desires, and whom to choose to speak for you when you can’t. This discussion is an extension of the February discussion of medical technology and the ethical uses of it today. Facilitated by Paula.
The discussion 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 .
Wednesday March 22, 2017 7:30 to 9pm
Video, Discussion, and Food: Crude Beyond Belief
Near Bakersfield, away from the major freeways, oil fields that stretch for miles. Each gallon of oil extracted takes 9 gallons of water to produce. That used water is salty and can only be used on salt-tolerant plants. Tour guide Tom Frantz takes us to the oil fields and comments on the issues. Join us for this eye-opening view of California oil production. The video was produced by WILPF Fresno.
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,