Podcasts

Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
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Where We’ve Been; Where We’re Going; Leader James Croft, EdD

August 29, 2021

Prior to our planned reopening in September, James will look back over the 18 months the Ethical Society has been closed, and chart a course for the coming year. After a period of retraction and self-protection, our community prepares to welcome people once again: what can we learn from what we’ve been through, and what do we hope to achieve together?

The Dangerous Ideas of the Radical Left, According to the Radical Right; Michelle Ciurria

August 22, 2021

Are Marxism, critical race theory, and critical race feminism un-American ideologies that pose a threat to democracy, or defensible philosophies that help us understand wealth inequality under capitalism? Is Jeff Bezos, who recently spent billions of dollars to spend 4 minutes in space, contributing to society or stealing from the working class? Let’s talk about it!

The 12 Steps of Al-Anon – A Humanist Perspective; Member Andie Jackson

August 1, 2021

A whirlwind tour through the 12 Steps, as seen from Andie’s Humanist perspective.

Competition: A Team Sport for Life; Ann Skeet

July 25, 2021

Ann Skeet is offering a remarkable opportunity to revisit our understanding of winning and how we compete to achieve goals. We will consider what science offers to inform how we think about competition and together explore how a practice of personal ethical leadership, a blend of being and doing, shapes our approach to life and the goals we set.

Ann Skeet joined the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, the Jesuit university in Silicon Valley, as its senior director of leadership ethics in 2014. She researches, writes, and speaks about the ethical dilemmas of leaders and followers, corporate culture, and the ethical challenges of governance, and works with executives to shape and reinforce organizational cultures that encourage ethical outcomes.

It’s OK to Want to Win: The Benefits of Competition; Leader James Croft, EdD

July 11, 2021

Competition often gets a bad rap in progressive circles. The assumption is often that competition and collaboration are opposed, and that it is better to be collaborative than competitive. But human beings are both competitive and collaborative creatures by nature, and both have their benefits. So what are the benefits of competition, and why should we embrace our competitive side?

Conspirituality: The Toxic Mix of Conspiracy Theories and Spirituality; Jules Evans

June 27, 2021

The Platform will cover the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs.

Intuition, Reason, and Social Media; Gordon Pennycook

June 20, 2021

Contrary to the narrative that social media algorithms impact cognition, our research shows that people can and do override their intuitions and that reasoning often facilitates accurate belief formation. Although social media may impact what is salient to us when making choices about what to share with others, this is not intractable: Simple prompts that remind people to think about accuracy are sufficient to increase the quality of the news content that people share. This indicates that unreasonable behavior on social media is more a function of lazy thinking than of an inability for people to overcome social media algorithms.

Secularism: A Very Short Introduction; Andrew Copson

June 13, 2021

Secularism is a hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics – from the US to India – and a new, resurgent religious identity politics. In the last few years we’ve seen the resurgence of evangelical ethnonationalism in the US, Hindu nationalism brought to the fore by the BJP in India, and an ever louder drumbeat of horrors inflicted on Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang by the authoritarian Chinese government. What, though, is “secularism”, and why is it important?

Why Uyghur Unfreedom Matters: At the Limit of Digital Surveillance in Northwest China; Darren Byler

June 6, 2021

What are the economic and social effects of surveillance in Northwest China? Because Uyghurs–a Turkic Muslim ethnic group–have been framed by Chinese authorities as a threatening population in need of social control, their existence offers technology companies space and funding that is unavailable in other parts of China to develop new technologies. These new technologies can then be used to assist in the “legal” theft of their labor when Uyghurs are assigned to work in unfree conditions. Building on analysis of labor exploitation in other places, Prof. Byler will describe the way state power is channeled through infrastructure and institutions to intensify ethno-racialization and produce a “reeducation labor regime” at a frontier of global capitalism.

The Pandemic Pause: Using the COVID Crisis to Get Clarity; James Croft, EdD, Leader

May 30, 2021

The pandemic has forced all of us to pause many of the things which used to fill our daily lives, whether it’s our daily commute or our monthly get-together with friends. This – on top of the challenge of the virus itself – has been difficult. But it is also an opportunity: a chance to reassess our lives and get some clarity regarding what is really important, so that when everything reopens, we can start again more thoughtfully.

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