Podcasts

Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
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Brexit: A Guide for Confused Americans; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director

April 17, 2019

Brexit. For years that word has dominated international headlines as people throughout the world follow the seemingly endless saga of Britain’s quest to leave the European Union.

“Brexit is one of the most significant international affairs in many decades: it impacts the world economy and the politics and culture of every country in one of the most powerful regions of the earth,” said Ethical Society Outreach Director James Croft. “The dream of the European Union was that closer economic and cultural integration of nations would prevent further atrocities like the Second World War: with Brexit, that dream is starting to unravel.”

But what is Brexit, exactly? Why did it happen, and what does it mean for the United Kingdom and for the world? How could Brexit affect the USA, and what similar political and cultural currents are flowing in this country?

“When Britain leaves the European Union, the USA could be affected in numerous ways,” Croft said. “Right now, some US vacationers might be delighted that the fall in the value of the pound is making their trips to the UK cheaper. But the long-term picture is much more troubling: the exit of the UK from the EU could cause the economic growth of the EU to slow, which would hurt US exports and therefore the economy. Britain’s exit may embolden nationalist elements in other nations to push for their countries to leave too, which would compound this problem.”

“Brexit can be seen as part of a troubling trend toward nationalism and isolationism which is spreading across the globe,” Ethical Society Outreach Director James Croft said. “Numerous nations – including the US – are grappling with their self-image and trying to determine what sort of country they want to be. The competition between open and welcoming internationalist perspectives and closed and paranoid nationalist ones will, I think, be a defining feature of political and cultural discourse for decades.”

Are Humans Bad for the Earth? Ethical Humanist Stewardship; Kate Lovelady, Leader

April 17, 2019

Many religions have a concept of environmental stewardship that says humans have been given responsibility for the environment and other animals by a creator. Ethical Humanism embraces the theory of unguided evolution. Yet many Ethical Humanists are strong environmentalists. What is the basis for the Ethical Humanist environmental ethic? How do we decide ecological ethical questions? Some people argue that humans have been so harmful to the environment that the earth would be better off without humans; is this really true?

What Would You Risk to Defend the Earth?; Earth Defense Coalition

April 12, 2019

Earth Defense Coalition was born from the struggle for clean water in an increasingly polluted world. Everything we do is to serve the end of saving Earth not simply for its people but also the preservation of its natural ecological state and millions of species. We recognize that history proves a diversity of tactics a necessity to tearing down the machine, [including…] Nonviolent Direct Action…. We understand the intersectionality of struggle within imperiled groups whose way of life has been drastically harmed by the confluence of colonial, imperialist violence and ecological destruction. The ongoing colonization and brutality inflicted on people of color and indigenous populations worldwide is directly at the crosshairs of the Earth’s survival. We stand with our sisters and brothers to reclaim the sanctity of the planet and its trillions of hominid and non-hominid inhabitants.

Respecting Diverse Expressions of Dignity; Kate Lovelady, Leader

April 5, 2019

Our theme this month is Respect Dignity. How can Humanists ethically advocate for the dignity of our worldview to be respected? And what is the difference between having dignity and being dignified?–What are our biases about what dignity looks like?

Inequality in the United States; Mark Rank, PhD

March 24, 2019

This talk will discuss the causes and consequences of rising inequality in the United States. Mark Rank is Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. His most recent book, with long-time collaborator Thomas Hirschl of Cornell University, is Chasing the American Dream: Understanding the Dynamics that Shape Our Fortunes. This book explores the nature of the American Dream and the economic viability of achieving it through both extensive data analysis and in-depth interviews with a wide spectrum of modern Americans.

Darwin Day Evolution Celebration!; Claude Bernard, Daniel Sasson, Toni Wirts, James Croft, and Kate Lovelady

March 23, 2019

The theory of evolution by natural selection is now a cornerstone of science, and we are learning more about the process every day. For Ethical Humanists, evolution is fascinating for its own sake, but it also influences how we view humanity, our own lives and ethical values, and the rest of the natural world. So join us for this special Sunday—we will celebrate evolution through science, story, readings, and song; explore some of the emotions and questions that evolutionary theory raises; and talk about why evolution matters.

The Threats of Oligarchy and Dark Money to Democracy; Jeffrey Winters PhD

March 23, 2019

This recording is from the International Relations Lectures Series presented, for over 80 years, by the Tuesday Women’s Association and the American Association of University Women. The address is by Professor Jeffrey Winters.

Photo of Professor Winters.
Professor Winters

Dr. Winters is an internationally recognized expert on oligarchy in the United States and Asia, among other countries. Currently, he is the chair of the department of Political Science, Professor, and the Director of the Equality Development and Globalization Studies Program ant Northwestern University in Evanston IL.


Information on the 2019 International Relations Lecture Series.

How to Humanize People; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director

March 14, 2019

What does it mean to have dignity, and how can we respect the dignity of others? We can get a window into what it means to have dignity by looking at forms of dehumanization, times when people have had their dignity stripped from them – then try to do the opposite, and humanize them instead.

More Than Our Assumptions: What Are We Really Asking Of One Another?; F. Javier Orozco

February 24, 2019

In a world-culture that seems fascinated with communication and intersectionality, this reflection invites us to step back from our fast-paced cadence of life in order to examine more intentionally how human relationships and the desire for the common good demand greater self-awareness (honesty) and vulnerability (personal risk).

Javier Orozco is Executive Director of Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, overseeing the Office of Hispanic Ministry and the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

Drawing from his experience working across lines of religious difference, in this Platform Address he will share his experiences and thoughts on how we can build relationships with those who believe differently.

The Relationship of Caregiving; Kate Lovelady, Leader

February 17, 2019

Personal caregiving at home for family and friends used to be the only option for those who need extra assistance or help, whether temporarily or for life. Today there are professional options for caregiving both for services and housing, yet there are many ethical dilemmas involved in decisions about care: issues of cost and time, of fairness and priorities, increasingly of balancing multiple caregiving responsibilities. How should we approach such difficult and often heart-wrenching questions?

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