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Platform addresses on ethical topics and issues recorded live from the Ethical Society of St. Louis. These lectures cover a number of areas including ethics, religion, values, and humanism. To discuss our podcasts please visit us on Facebook -

Platform addresses on ethical topics and issues recorded live from the Ethical Society of St. Louis. These lectures cover a number of areas including ethics, religion, values, and humanism. To discuss our podcasts please visit us on Facebook -
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Platform addresses on ethical topics and issues recorded live from the Ethical Society of St. Louis. These lectures cover a number of areas including ethics, religion, values, and humanism. To discuss our podcasts please visit us on Facebook -




In The Beginning: Our Origin Stories; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director, 22-Sep-2019

Human beings have always been fascinated by the question of our own origins: how did we come to be? Throughout history different cultures have created many stories to explain the birth of humankind. In this Platform we will examine some of these creation stories, to see what we can learn from the myths we have told about our ourselves.


Moving Through the Stages of Life; Kate Lovelady, Leader, 15-Sep-2019

Come learn about the Ethical Society’s themes for the 2019-20 year and how they relate to our lives personally and as a community.


Ethical Humanism and Christianity; Kate Lovelady, Leader, 25-Aug-2019

For this year's “compare and contrast” Platform address, we’ll look at what Ethical Humanism has in common with and where it differs from Christianity, in its many forms. Some of the founders of the first Ethical Societies had Christian backgrounds, and many members today grew up in Christian households of one kind or another. Christianity is also still the dominant religion in America. What is the relationship between Ethical Humanism and Christianity today?


How Do You Solve a Problem Like Religion?; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director, 18-Aug-2019

Ethical Humanism was founded as a new religion, a revolution in religious thinking which put people at the center, rather than God. Yet today, many would consider Humanism a non-religious philosophy, given that we do away with so much that is central to traditional religions. So what to do? How should Ethical Humanism – and Humanists in general – relate to religion?


Black Nonbelievers: Past, Present, and Future; Mandisa Thomas, 11-Aug-2019

Black Nonbelievers was founded in 2011 to provide support and increase the visibility of black atheists and religion doubters. Mandisa Thomas will discuss the organization’s historical context, its founding, its work, and her vision for the future. Mandisa Thomas, a native of New York City, is the founder and President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. As the president of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., Mandisa encourages more blacks to come out and stand strong with their nonbelief in the face of such...


The Spiritual Atheist: Finding Awe in the Natural World; Dr. Rich Feldenberg, 4-Aug-2019

In modern culture, the concept of a spiritual dimension to life is commonly associated with religion, the supernatural, or new age concepts. But more and more, the idea that there can be spirituality without religion, and without any appeal to the supernatural, is being recognized by non-believers as a fundamental quality necessary for living a fulfilling and meaningful life. It may finally be time reclaim the idea of spirituality and its benefits for humanists. Rich Feldenberg, M.D., is an...


Empowering Students to Take Action Through Voice and Choice: Ways to Help Young People Shape the Future; Dr. Karen Hall, 28-Jul-2019

Since July 2012, Dr. Karen I. Hall has served as the superintendent of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District, where she oversees more than 1,500 students, 275 employees, and a $25 million budget. She joined the MRH district as assistant superintendent in 2008, coordinating a wide array of programs: human resources, professional development, curriculum and instruction, federal grants, home visits, gifted instruction, and social justice training, among many others. Dr. Hall has held...


Lead By Example; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director, 21-Jul-2019

One of the most important roles we each play for others is that of mentor. People learn from example, and we can choose to set a good example by identifying our best qualities and relentlessly living up to them. At a time when there are so many poor examples in public life, it’s important to remind ourselves that by living up to our own highest standards—by being our best selves—we can help others to do the same.


Leading with Empathy; Dr. Will Ross, 14-Jul-2019

Dr. Will Ross grew up in a gritty, hard-scrabble ghetto in Memphis, Tennessee. His life was changed at age 15 when a prominent Jewish couple was able to send him to a summer program at a boarding school in New Hampshire, as well as provide financial support until he graduated from college. Mr. Wexner, a local businessman, and his wife, Shirley, were both active in the Civil Rights movement in Memphis and instilled in Will a strong sense of social justice and an embrace of Dr. Martin Luther...


The Diversity in Humanism; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director, 23-Jun-2019

Humanism is often presented as a tradition grounded in Classical teachings, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment – essentially a project of the West. Is this picture accurate, or are there more diverse expressions of Humanism than this? This Platform will explore the many diversities within the philosophy and tradition of Humanism, giving life to the rich and complex worldview the Ethical Society promotes.


The Challenges of Diversity; Kate Lovelady, Leader, 16-Jun-2019

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?


Who Raised You? Culture, Identity, and Liberation; Jia Lian Yang and Treasure Shields Redmond, 2-Jun-2019

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.


Struggling with Self-Worth; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director, 19-May-2019

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 wellbeing—so why is it so difficult?


What Do We Owe Future Generations?; Kate Lovelady, Leader, 12-May-2019

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...


Are Humans Bad for the Earth? Ethical Humanist Stewardship; Kate Lovelady, Leader, 14-Apr-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...


What Would You Risk to Defend the Earth?; Earth Defense Coalition, 7-Apr-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...


Respecting Diverse Expressions of Dignity; Kate Lovelady, Leader, 31-Mar-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, 24-Mar-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...


Darwin Day Evolution Celebration!; Claude Bernard, Daniel Sasson, Toni Wirts, James Croft, and Kate Lovelady, 10-Feb-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;...


How to Humanize People; James Croft, 10-Mar-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.