Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
John Baugh is Professor of Psychology, Anthropology, Education, English, Linguistics, and African and African-American Studies at Washington University. Baugh’s primary research interest has been the social stratification of linguistic behavior in multicultural and multilingual nations. In addition to his linguistic research, Professor Baugh directs the African and African-American Studies program, which strives to advance distinguished scholarship of and by people of African descent regardless of academic discipline.
Stephen Law is formerly reader and head of department in philosophy at Heythrop College University of London. He holds BPhil and DPhil degrees in philosophy from the University of Oxford where he was also a junior research fellow for three years. He has researched and published in metaphysics, epistemology, mind, philosophy of religion, and later Wittgenstein. His popular books include A Very Short Introduction to Humanism, The Philosophy Gym, and (for 12-adult) The Complete Philosophy Files. Stephen will be talking about science, scientism, the role of philosophy and religion, and what we can establish, if anything, from the comfort of our armchairs.
What does it mean to live an examined life? What parts of our life need we examine, and how? As we enter our year on The Examined Life, we will begin by asking how philosophical and spiritual examination of our lives can enrich us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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