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Sunday Platform – Joe Chuman: Ethics Over a Lifetime

October 13, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

There’s an adage that a person’s life should not be judged by the worst thing he or she has ever done. Yet dynamics in our society seem to make people more vulnerable to such assessment. We seem to live in a “gotcha” moment, when a person is readily excoriated for saying the “wrong” thing. It causes me to wonder whose interests are being served by such glib judgment. Society? The person so judged? The putative victim of their slights? Or maybe the person rendering the judgment himself? I am skeptical of the ability of those rushing to judgment allowing them to buy their own righteousness too cheaply.

I think that, as Ethical Culturists, we need to strive for something more substantive and dignified. If ethical assessment there be, I think we need to take in the entire frame of a person’s life. Has the person striven to live out ethical values with integrity over the long haul? Has the individual lived a life with honesty, respect and support for others? Has that person’s deeds been consistent with his or her words and aspirations? In short, I make the argument that ethics in the most enduring sense is vested in what we call character, and will expand on that idea in our talk today.

Shared Charity: This week’s shared charity is the Ethical Humanists of Atlanta, who meet for discussion, exploration and sharing on topics of ethics, living a life of meaning, and creating a world that is just, equitable, and sustainable. They endeavor, as do all Ethical Societies, to develop more meaningful and fulfilling friendships and a richer community by bringing out the best in others and thereby bringing out the best in oneself

Presider: Henryka Komanska

FREE and open to the public.

Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day.  While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public.  Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.


October 13, 2019
11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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