Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
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Life Expectancy in our Apocalyptic Age; Brian Vandenberg, PhD

August 23, 2020

When will things return to normal? Will they return? What is normal, anyway? We are in the midst of dramatic changes that pose fundamental questions about our life expectancies. See Brian’s blog for the text of this presentation.

Before retiring, Brian spent 37 years as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, served as Director of the Graduate Clinical Psychology Program, and published extensively on topics at the intersection of psychology, science, religion and existential concerns. He continues pursuing these issues in his blog, Decembersongs.com. Brian has been a member of the Ethical Society for over 15 years.

Let’s Tackle Loneliness One Friendship at a Time; Louise Jett

August 16, 2020

As a child, Leader-in-Training Louise Jett befriended a gruff stranger who lived next door. Their friendship remains close to her heart today. During this Platform, she will explore how humans crave connection and how we can tackle the loneliness epidemic one friend at a time, even during a pandemic.

Humanist, All Too Humanist: A Nietzsche Interpretation; Kyle Nienhaus

August 9, 2020

Friedrich Nietzsche is perhaps the most misunderstood philosopher ever, and even this is not fully understood. He has been portrayed for over a century as a nihilist or Nazi but this is a result of misunderstanding him, as he mentally collapsed just as he was beginning his magnum opus, never to recover. The truth is rather (I claim) that the aim of Nietzsche’s philosophy is toward Humanism. He brilliantly coined new words and new ideas to express his intentions, often leading new and casual readers into confusion. I aim to show his philosophy was Humanist, All Too Humanist.

Kyle Nienhaus is a Humanist philosopher and independent musician. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

The Climate Crisis and You; Jim Rhodes, PhD

August 2, 2020

We live in a fast-changing world confronted by multiple major problems. Ongoing racism, the corona virus pandemic, the global economic meltdown, and governmental dysfunction are all real and cry out for solutions. Yet, climate change may be the biggest challenge the world faces. The talk will summarize the climate crisis problem and what we can all be doing to help to solve it.

Jim has been a member of the Ethical Society since 1991 and he is a retired environmental engineer with a long term interest in global warming and climate change. He has written about the problem and has led discussions at both the 9:45 Forum and the Men’s group. He has also been active in the Sierra Club and he is a volunteer docent at the Saint Louis Zoo. His photography exhibit of landscape and other photos has been up in the building since March.

See the Slides (PDF 1.1mb) or get the PowerPoint file (PPTX, 315mb).

“OK, Boomer!” Ending the Generation Wars; James Croft, EdD

July 26, 2020

Boomers think Millennials are entitled and whiny; Millennials think Boomers are smug and out-of-touch; Zennials laugh at Millennials’ obsession with Harry Potter; And everyone forgets about Gen X. Why do people of different generations seem to hate each other so much? What’s the cause of the generational conflict? Are generations really a good way of categorizing people? And how can we declare peace in the generation wars?

Losing I, Finding We: An Exploration of Attachment through the Prism of Ethical Culture; Christian Hayden, Leader in Training

July 19, 2020

Ethical Culture does not have explicit tenants or commandments, but it does ask of its members/followers to commit to building ethical relationships, because we as a community feel they are imperative to social justice and realizing a better world. At the same time, many of us struggle to invite intimacy in our personal, romantic, and communal lives- why is that? And what ideas might lead us to better meeting our charge in the future?

Christian Hayden is a community educator who works in teen dating violence prevention. He is currently an Ethical Culture Leader-in-Training, and is a passionate photographer. He spent a year in Ghana with the Humanist Service Corps, and was awarded the prestigious Mossler Fellowship in 2016.

The Encampment for Citizenship, an Experiment in Participatory Democracy; Dr. Anne Klaeysen, Leader Emerita

July 12, 2020

The Encampment for Citizenship, founded in 1946 by Ethical Culture Leader Algernon D. Black and Alice (“Nanny”) Politzer, a prominent civic leader, offered an opportunity for “young adults of many religious, racial, social and national backgrounds” to learn “the principles and techniques of citizenship… through lived experience.” Black believed that young people could be a positive force in their communities if they developed critical thinking skills, youth activism, leadership qualities, and the courage to break free from stereotypes.

What We Leave Behind; James Croft, EdD, Leader

June 21, 2020

In death what do we leave behind to mark our life.

Juneteenth: A Reason to Celebrate?; Lois D. Conley

June 21, 2020

Juneteenth: A Reason to Celebrate?; Lois D. Conley, The Griot Museum of Black History, Founder and Executive Director

Turning Points in St. Louis LGBTQIA+ History; Dr. Ian Darnell

June 7, 2020

In this presentation, Dr. Ian Darnell will explore the rich legacy of LGBTQIA+ life and struggle in the St. Louis area. Covering a period of more than a century, he will highlight some of the key turning points that have shaped this complex and surprising history.

Ian Darnell serves as Curatorial Assistant for LGBTQIA+ collections at the Missouri Historical Society. A St. Louis native, he studied at Saint Louis University and earned his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has contributed to a variety of local public history projects, including The Griot Museum of Black History and Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis

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