Best of Podcasts

Selected podcasts describing our Society and its philosophy
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Ethical Humanism and Judaism; James Croft, EdD, Leader

By Matthew Hile / September 2, 2020

While most Ethical Society members know that Felix Adler, the founder of the first Ethical Society, was the son of a rabbi and grew up Jewish, we rarely talk about the relationship between Ethical Humanism and Judaism. In this Platform – the first of a new annual series exploring the similarities between Ethical Humanism and other religious traditions – James Croft will trace the Jewish roots of Ethical Humanism and show how our philosophy drew heavily on the Reform Judaism of Felix Adler’s upbringing.

Ethical Humanism and Christianity; Kate Lovelady, Leader

By Matthew Hile / August 25, 2019

For this year’s “compare and contrast” Platform address, we’ll look at what Ethical Humanism has in common with and where it differs from Christianity, in its many forms. Some of the founders of the first Ethical Societies had Christian backgrounds, and many members today grew up in Christian households of one kind or another. Christianity is also still the dominant religion in America. What is the relationship between Ethical Humanism and Christianity today?

See all of the “compare and contrast” Platform addresses.

Ethical Humanism and Progressivism; Kate Lovelady, Leader

By Matthew Hile / August 27, 2017

It’s time for our yearly compare-and-contrast Platform! How is our tradition similar to and different from other traditions?

Ethical Societies promote a belief in the human potential to make continual progress toward kinder and fairer relations between all people. Progressivism is a political movement that supports social justice activism, usually to mitigate problems related to inequality, prejudice, and oppression of different kinds. Ethical Humanism historically tends to take ethical stances that align with progressivist positions, and a majority of Ethical Society members would likely identify as progressives (whether by that exact term or not). At the same time, Ethical Humanism is not a political movement, and the Society seeks to welcome people of a variety of political opinions. What, then, should the relationship be between Ethical Humanism and progressivism?

The Tao of Ethical Humanism; Kate Lovelady, Leader

By WebAdmin / August 28, 2016

Each August we look at the similarities and differences between the Ethical Society tradition and a philosophical or religious cousin. This year we will explore some of the history and lessons of Taoism as compared to Ethical Humanism.

How to Choose What You Believe; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director

By Matthew Hile / August 21, 2016

I am free to choose what I believe.
 — Core value

We may be free to choose what we believe, but how do we exercise our choice responsibly, with appropriate attention to evidence, reasons, and the views of others? This Platform suggests that while freedom of choice in belief is important, it must be balanced. We may be free to choose what we believe, but how do we exercise our choice responsibly, with appropriate attention to evidence, responsibility to provide public reasons for those of our beliefs which affect others.

Feet of Clay; Kate Lovelady, Leader

By Matthew Hile / June 19, 2016

I strive to live my values.
 — Core value

Our Core Value is to “strive” to live our values; we recognize that we will not always succeed in acting in accordance with our highest values. And of course, sometimes we are wrong about what is the right thing to do. But how do we react when others fail to live up to our values or expectations? Especially in this political season, what can we reasonably expect of our political leaders or would-be leaders? How can we judge them fairly?

Imagining the Future; James Croft, EdD

By Matthew Hile / May 15, 2016

I can learn from the past to build for the future.
 — Core value

Authors, artists, and filmmakers throughout history have tried to imagine the future, and the different visions they have created reveal something about our hopes and fears for humankind. What can we learn from visionary depictions of the human future, from the utopian to the dystopian, and how do you imagine our future?

Environmental Extremism; Kate Lovelady, Leader

By Matthew Hile / April 10, 2016

I am part of this earth, I cherish it and all the life upon it.
 — Core value

In a time when humanity is facing its largest environmental crisis since the Ice Age, what attitudes and behaviors are truly “extreme”?

I Disagree! Learning from People You Disagree With; James Croft, EdD

By Matthew Hile / March 13, 2016

I can learn from everyone.
 — Core value

In an increasingly polarized political environment, how can we learn from people we strongly disagree with? This Platform will explore the ethical importance of learning from those we disagree with, and offer some guidance as to how to do it.

Learning from the World Around Us: Naturalism; Kate Lovelady, Leader

By Matthew Hile / February 21, 2016

I learn from the world around me by using my senses, mind, and feelings.
 — Core value

“Naturalism” refers to a general worldview that reality in any useful sense is encompassed by what we can experience with our five senses and understand with relatively objective tools. This talk explains why and how Ethical Humanism uses naturalism as our common ground for ethical discussions, and what this means for how we relate to non-naturalistic arguments.