Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
Welcome or welcome back to a new season at the Ethical Society! Enjoy highlights from Ethical Humanist history and reflections from two of our long-time members.
Join us as we honor the following member anniversaries:
50 years: Steve Maragides
30 years: Jim & Joy Pierce, Janet Morse, Mary Wittry, Mary Bumpus, Ed Schmidt
20 years: Paula Bertram, Dan Overmann & Mary Murphy-Overmann, Gene Lauver, Arlene Honeywell, & Robert Taylor
10 years: Tom & Kitt Rogers, Mary Ann Tipton, Maxine Stone, Bea Hollander.
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?
Andrea (Andie) Jackson, Ethical Society member, recently published her first book, “Who Am I and Where Is Home? An American Woman in 1931 Palestine.” This Platform will be about her ups and downs on the way to completing the manuscript, how the experience changed her, and what she learned from it.
Andie Jackson’s fiction and poetry have appeared in various journals, most recently in Star 82 (*82) Review, Gyroscope Review, Eyedrum Periodically, Heron Tree, and The Tishman Review. She has received two Pushcart nominations and one nomination for the Best of the Net Anthology. She has an MFA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Roy Overmann teaches political philosophy and international relations at Webster University in Webster Groves. He is the former President of the Rationalist Society of St. Louis and editor of its publication Secular Subjects. Roy also speaks about Humanism and Christian apologetics at various venues such as churches, high schools, universities, and seminaries. His Platform Address is entitled “My People” and is an exploration of both his personal and societies’ tensions between familial and global responsibilities and concerns.
Which is ethically better – to gain or to give? John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, recommended some of both, and insisted that giving was good. Let’s look at three recent public conflicts between self-interest and altruism: 1. Hillary and Donald in their debate about their personal income taxes; 2. Martin Shkreli’s provocative raising of drug prices; and 3. the disputes over increasing the minimum wage.
Alan Easton has a PhD in Biochemistry and worked for 18 years for Monsanto Company contributing reagents to pharmaceutical research. He has been a member of the Ethical Society of St. Louis since 1989, serving as President of the Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2012. For over 10 years Alan has participated at the Society in the Great Books reading and discussion group, a forum on the major ideas of western civilization.
How did we get to the point where it is more likely that your child will end up on the Sex Offender Registry than be molested by someone on it? Lenore Skenazy looks at who is on the registry, whether it is working, and what it takes to get labeled a “sex offender.” Prepare for a fun and interactive presentation—believe it or not!
Lenore Skenazy is founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, which launched the anti-helicopter parenting movement. She has lectured extensively, been on numerous talk shows, was profiled in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and appeared on The Daily Show. The mom of two says her job is “Fighting the belief that our children are in constant danger from creeps, kidnapping, germs, grades, flashers, frustration, failure, baby snatchers, bugs, bullies, men, sleepovers and/or the perils of a non-organic grape.”
How do you know whether the news you read, watch, and hear is real? Who is generating fake news? Veteran broadcaster Paul Harris checks the evidence, reveals his sources, and explains how to differentiate in a world of too much information.
Paul Harris has been on the radio for nearly 40 years, including 18 here in St. Louis on KTRS and KMOX. He has also been an op-ed contributor to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a nightly commentator on KMOV-TV Channel 4, and host of the nationally syndicated “America Week-end” show. He was a featured extra in the movie Mississippi Grind with Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, and Sienna Miller. These days, you can hear him Friday afternoons, 3-6 p.m., on KTRS, or follow him on his website, HarrisOnline.com.
Life can be tough, or even just routine – it’s easy to slip into mindless repetition of our daily tasks. What if, instead, we viewed our life as a work of art, constantly challenging ourselves to make our lives beautiful, engaging, and exciting? How would our lives look then?
Since the 2010 Supreme Court decision “Citizens United,” there has been an explosion of political donations from legally unknown sources, and a rise in special nonprofit groups that don’t have to report their donors or make public their political spending. That has made it much harder for the press to do its job, particularly during a time of financial stress that has prompted many news outlets to reduce their reporting staffs.
Jo Mannies is an award-winning journalist who has been covering Missouri politics and government for more than four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In 2009, she joined online news outlet the St. Louis Beacon, which in late 2013 merged with St. Louis Public Radio.
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