Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
Ethical Humanism promotes the idea that truth and ethics are discovered and created by human beings working together, learning to communicate across all lines of difference and to listen deeply and learn from each other. But how do we learn and teach appreciation for diversity? How do we react to differences between people and bring out the best in each other, when difference can also be a source of conflict?
In keeping with June’s “Celebrate Diversity” theme, Jia Lian Yang and Ethical Society member Treasure Shields Redmond will be discussing the genesis of their award winning podcast, Who Raised You? The Who Raised You? podcast is a kitchen table conversation with St. Louis’s artists, educators, and change makers that explores how culture, family, and intersecting identities pave our way toward liberation.\
Most of us struggle with self-worth sometime. Perhaps we don’t like how we look, or we think we haven’t accomplished much, or we worry about how others see us. Developing a secure and abiding sense of self-worth is perhaps one of the most important things we can do for our mental health and well being—so why is it so difficult?
The subject of this Platform was suggested by the winner of the Platform Topic silent auction item at this year’s Youth Group Dinner Dance. The generations to come after us are on many of our minds lately, as we grapple with the climate crisis and witness other fundamental changes in culture and politics. Ethics is about relationships; what kind of ethical responsibilities can we have with those who do not even exist yet? How can and should we take them into account when making ethical decisions?
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.”
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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