Philosophy

Ethical Culture Is Not Atheism, But What Is It?

 By Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader, Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County         What I want to do for my first address of the new season is what I have always done, and that is speak of Ethical Culture directly. It is my opinion, and I believe a well-grounded one, that Ethical Culture strives to shape […]
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Our Statement of Purpose

Ethical Culture’s 1980 Statement of Purpose: Its Antecedents and How To Describe What We Are Today At first it may seem odd to devote a platform discussion to Ethical Culture’s Statement of Purpose. Every week we find the four, pithy paragraphs on the back of our Sunday Meeting brochure. In addition, the
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An Introduction to Humanism and Ethical Culture

What is Ethical Culture? What does it mean to be a humanist? Whether you are a relatively new member of the Ethical Culture Society or a curious non-member, you are invited to attend an in-depth orientation to Ethical Culture and Humanism. The orientation will be presented by Dr. Joseph Chuman, longtime leader of
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Philosophy and Politics: Perfect Together?

Sharpen your philosophical acumen with a “Philosophy in Focus” discussion series that will delve beneath the headlines. The three-part series, which will cover the phenomena of Populist Movements such as the Tea Party and other topics, will be held at the Ethical Culture Society meetinghouse on Oct. 7, 14, and 21
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What Do We Owe Each Other

This seemingly simple theme was chosen by the group attending Socrates Café at Ethical on Monday. We began by exploring who the OTHER may be. Most expressed a greater sense of obligation to help our immediate family when they are in need than to aid strangers. But the question was raised: if we, as ethical […]
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Death: does it really exist?

Here’s a recap of our recent discussion on Death: does it really exist? There are two schools of thought about the distinction between living and non-living. One sees these two states as totally different and contrasting. The other sees existence in continual flux between organic and inorganic states of
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The Land of Now, Or: How Time Goes By

by Robert Gulack There once was a man who was certain that he was always right. He could prove it, he said – because, to the best of his knowledge, he had never been wrong. Well, we are all the prisoners of our individual perspectives. This man was merely an extreme example of the phenomenon. […]
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Personal Responsibility – An Optimist’s View

I want to start with two Disclaimers: What you are about to hear is not the traditional viewpoint of most speakers at this platform. I will be attacking some strongly held beliefs. My wife warned me that I will be creamed for many of the points I make, but she hopes that some of the […]
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How to Tell the Difference Between Right and Wrong

By Robert Gulack © 2005 by Robert Gulack The world we live in, David Hume tells us, is “the first rude essay of some infant deity who afterwards abandoned it, ashamed of his lame performance”; or the work “of some . . . inferior deity, . . . the object of derision to his superiors”; […]
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Why do people believe in God?

by Richard Bernstein One of our participants posed a question, which has been on everyone’s mind at one time or another: Why do people believe in God? Underlying the question is a need to reconcile the notion of a benevolent, omnipotent divinity with the omnipresence of evil, tragedy and disasters affecting so
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