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: The “UnChurch” Service
Sunday, August 20, 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.
This month’s speaker is Rebecca Armstrong, and her theme is “The Unchurch Service.” In her words, there has been too much reliance on blind faith or blind obedience to authority. Our question is: What would “religion” – or its non-faith-based alternatives – look like without that blind faith and blind obedience?
The program begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. We hope you can join us for the event, and we’d love it if you 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 .
By the way, we’d love your input on our programs! If you have an idea for a topic or speaker for Sunday Spotlight, please let us know. The easiest method is to use our contact form and write something like “spotlight suggestion” in the subject line.
UPCOMING EVENTS: SUMMER/FALL 2017
Event dates can also be found on our calendar page
Wednesday August 16th, 2017 7:30pm to 9pm
Ethics Discussion and Food: Do Red Lives Matter?
We often think of the civil rights, oppression and poverty of blacks, but fail to consider these same things in the case of our indigenous people. Come and discuss these matters and our personal ethics relative to the original inhabitants of our country. Ben leads.
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 August 18, 2017 10am to noon
Friday Morning Theory Discussion
Location: Holder’s Country Inn, 998 S. De Anza Blvd., San Jose CA 95129
In early August, Google fired a male employee who wrote an internal memo that questioned the company’s diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences instead of discrimination. The employee filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations board and a lawsuit is sure to follow. Let’s discuss: Is it ethical when companies fire employees for their diversity policies? Does freedome of speech include freedom of behavior? What does ethical behavior look like in a work environment? Molly leads, Ben hosts.
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 .
Wednesday August 23, 2017 7:30pm to 9pm
Media Night: Ted Talk: How We Can Face The Future Without Fear Together
It’s a fateful moment in history. We’ve seen divisive elections, divided societies, and the growth of extremism, all fueled by anxiety and uncertainty. “Is there something we can do, each of us, to be able to face the future without fear?” asks Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. In this electrifying Ted Talk, the spiritual leader gives us three specific ways we can move from the politics of “me” to the politics of “all of us, together.”
Soup is served at 6:30pm, video 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 .
Sunday August 27, 2017 11am to 12:30pm
Location: Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto CA 94303
Our book this month is Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves To Death.” We try to reserve the Greenmeadow Room upstairs in the Mitchell Park Library. There is limited space, so please RSVP via our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or contact us by email or this site’s contact form .
Sunday September 3, 2017 4pm to 6pm
Sunday Study Session: Mandatory Retirement
At what age is it no longer ethical to trust a person to make good decisions for others? Given that death from Alzheimer’s increases rapidly starting at age 75 (which implies our brains start to decline around then), let us discuss the ethics of the following statement: No person age 75 or over may hold a supervisory position in either the public sector or public companies. This includes all government entities, nonprofit corporations, and public stock companies. This limitation would not apply to completely private organizations.
Let’s give this issue some serious thought and consider if it is ethical or not to limit a person’s control over others based on a specific age, given what we know about how much our minds decline over time. Jason leads, Paula hosts.