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.

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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.

 


UPCOMING  EVENTS:  WINTER  2016 / SPRING 2017

Event dates can also be found on our calendar page


 

Wednesday January 18, 2017           7:30 to 9pm

The Ethics of Pay

Let’s talk about how we pay our employees.  We’ll briefly discuss salary determination and its many components.  Then we’ll take on the issues of wage gaps, from minimum hourly wages to exorbitant executive packages, separation agreements, cost of living adjustments, and much more.

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 January 20, 2017           10am to noon

Friday Theoretical Ethics Discussion

Are Principles Achievable Or Not?

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

Is being principled attainable or mythical?  Do people eventually always act in their own best interest, or can they ignore self-interest and stick to the principle?  If you believe killing is always wrong, would you condone the execution of a killer who committed numerous unspeakable and grizzly murders of young children?  If you claim to be a 100% believer of personal freedom, would you ever prevent a pregnant woman from getting an abortion?

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 .

 


 

Wednesday January 25, 2017           7:30 to 9pm

Video Night and Discussion: White Like Me

View “White Like Me” featuring Tim Wise in 2 sections.  “What Is White Privilege?” and “Isn’t Racism A Thing Of The Past?” total 36 minutes, and will be followed by discussion. 

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,

 


 

Saturday January 28, 2017        2pm

Ethical Action: Provide Dinner For The Unhoused

We will provide dinner for the unhoused at Grace Shelter in San Jose.  Meet at Paula and Ben’s house 2pm Saturday afternoon to cook together, making a main dish, salad, vegetables, and dessert.  At 6:45pm we will transport the food and ourselves to Grace Baptist Church shelter (132 S. 10th St., San Jose CA 95112) where the doors open at 7:15pm.  We will serve dinner to 25-35 guests starting at 7:45pm.  We eat dinner together, then clean up and leave so the guests can retire for the night.  You can join us for any or all of this.  You can participate without cooking with us by contributing to the cost of the food and paper goods needed for the meal, or by providing rolls or fruit.  Just let us know.

Please join us for this social event with a purpose!  Please RSVP, as space in Paula’s kitchen is limited.   You can email us or use our contact form for location details and to let us know you’re coming,

 


 

Friday Ethics Discussion

Scenarios: Casual Loans Among Friends Raise Ethical Issues

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

We will discuss ethical issues arising from a real-life scenario involving loaning money to a co-worker. 

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 5, 2017           4pm to 6pm

Sunday Study Session: Is Ethical Culture A Religion?

Is Ethical Culture a religion or a secular philosophy of life?  You can find many Ethical Culturists on either side of this divide.  For some, religion has too much negative baggage for comfortable association.  Others embrace the positive aspects of spirituality that religion can connote.  Join us to discuss “Four Types of Religious Humanism” from Speaking of Ethics by Joseph Chuman (p. 287), where these issues are addressed.  Chuman separates religious humanism into four types.  Are there more?  Fewer? 

Chris Cassell leads the discussion.  The meeting begins at 4 p.m., but come between 3:30 and 4:00 if you’d like to chat and eat delicious snacks before the meeting.  This discussion is held at a private home, so please RSVP for location details.  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 .

 


 

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,