Ethical Culture

Ethical Culture is a Humanist movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of our lives is to create a more humane society. We believe acting morally does not require belief in a god.

Members: 173
Latest Activity: Oct 7, 2016

Member Societies


The Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley
18980 Lynbrook Court, Saratoga CA 95070-3427


Washington Ethical Society
7750 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20012


Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago
7574 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie IL 60077


Boston Ethical Society
33 Garden St., Cambridge MA 02138-2408


Baltimore Ethical Society
306 West Franklin Street Suite 102, Baltimore MD 21201


Ethical Society Mid Rivers
260 Brown Road, St. Peters MO 63376

Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis MO 63117-1003


Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle
300 E. Main Street P.O.Box 3132, Chapel Hill NC 27515

The Ethical Society of Asheville
c/o 11 Woodmere Drive, Arden NC 28704-3203


Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County
687 Larch Avenue, Teaneck NJ 07666

Ethical Culture Society of Essex County
516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ 07040


Brooklyn Society For Ethical Culture
53 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn NY 11215

Ethical Culture Society of Suffolk
P.O. Box 134, Commack NY 11725

Ethical Culture Society of Westchester
7 Saxon Wood Road, White Plains NY 10605

Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island
38 Old Country Road, Garden City NY 11530

Ethical Society of Northern Westchester
108 Pinesbridge Road, Ossining NY 10562

New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West, New York NY 10023

Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture
4450 Fieldston Road, Bronx NY 10471

The Ethical Culture Society of Rockland County
8 Amber Ridge Road, Chestnut Ridge NY 10977-6700

The Ethical Humanist Society of Queens
73-12 35th Ve.' Apt. D55, Jackson Heights NY 11372-4218


Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia
1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia PA 19103


Ethical Society of Austin
3898 Old Bull Creek Rd PO Box 160492, Austin TX 78716


Northern Virginia Ethical Society
P.O. Box 984, Vienna VA 22183


Ethical Culture Society of Puget Sound
Tallmadge Hamilton House 5225 15th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98105


The Ethical Society Without Walls
2 West 64th Street, New York NY 10023

Discussion Forum

The Teachings of Ethical Culture

Started by Dave Salyers. Last reply by Dave Salyers Oct 18, 2013. 2 Replies

What's your moral code?

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Anthony Jordan Apr 19, 2013. 16 Replies

The Ethical Atheist’s Ten Commandments.

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Regina Goodwin Jan 23, 2013. 6 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Ethical Culture to add comments!

Comment by Ken Karp on September 24, 2011 at 6:35am

Live in or near northern New Jersey?

Come hear Dave Silverman speak about American Atheists' assertive (can you say, "in your face"?) advertising campaign that uses phrases like "You Know It's a Myth" in reference to belief in a god. You can also ask him about his organization's WTC cross lawsuit.

Talk about controversy!

Comment by James Smith on July 27, 2011 at 12:04pm

Interesting that you were also a vegetarian.  I did try it for quite some time but didn't do well.  Then I learned that the human digestive system is more like that of a pig (omnivores) than that of apes.  Apes are not strict vegetarians either, but are not well-equipped to catch and kill other animals.  I did conclude that most people eat far more meat than our bodies were evolved to do.


Yes, I agree that cruelty demeans us.  A Robert A. Heinlein quote I like rather well is, "There is only one true sin, hurting someone else unnecessarily.  Everything else is invented nonsense."  That can easily be extended to all living things, I think.


Yes, bringing out the best in oneself is certainly enlightened self-interest.  When you consider how it also helps others to do the same, how can it be wrong?

Comment by James Smith on July 27, 2011 at 11:34am

You pose a good question.  I have to admit I have not personally thought about it to other species.   I am opposed to being callous to suffering of anything.  While not a vegetarian by any means, I do appose animal testing, am for the humane treatment of all creatures. 


I cannot understand people who abandoned any animal, pet or otherwise that has come to depend upon humans for care and shelter. 


Mostly, I feel that, when you do what is truly best for yourself, mentally, physically, and socially, you will also do what is best for others.  Being kind and honest with others is ultimately best for yourself.  I doubt that any of us have a spotless record in that ideal, but it is certainly a goal for all of us.

Comment by James Smith on July 27, 2011 at 9:20am

Here is my take on ethics and religion.  From my blog at:

Enlightened Self-Interest

A popular theist argument for religion is “Without religion (god) we would have no morality or ethics.”  So without religion can there be morality?  Morality based upon fear of punishment or seeking rewards isn't really morality at all.  Perhaps what they are saying is that they would be evil without fear of hell.  Then they project that lack of moral courage upon everyone else.  I say to them, “Don’t judge others by yourself.  Your lack of ethical backbone is not universal." 

True moral behavior is based upon simple self-interest.  The guiding ethic is to truly act in your own best interest.  That would mean treating all people fairly, honestly and, as it says in the Hippocratic Oath, “Cause no harm.”  Religions invent all other “sins” to increase their control over people.

People can practice what I term enlightened self-interest.  An individual’s self-interest is best served by doing no harm to others except in defense of themselves or those in their care.  This thinking does not need threats of eternal punishment to follow, It only requires thinking about what will ultimately yield the best results for yourself.  Treating others fairly and generously is always better for yourself, personally, financially, and socially.   Those that co-operate and adapt have always been more successful.  

For example, robbing a bank may yield temporary wealth, but at the expense of either a prison term or a life of fear, running from the law.  Similarly, cheating others in business dealings may increase profits for a time.  Eventually, your reputation will be so poor that your business may fail.  This is a simple principle that, “It’s always cheaper to make a customer happy than it is to make him angry.”  This same idea can pay dividends in ordinary human relations.  For reasons I don’t understand, few businesses or people appreciate this idea.  Maybe it’s because they operate on deist principles?  Everything is forgiven if you repent before you die. Although that wouldn’t seem to help those you cheated, treated badly, or even murdered.

So should nothing be discouraged?  Should everything be permitted?  Capable, informed individuals could engage in any activity that interests them even if it puts them personally at risk. 

An example would be an automobile race.  It is certainly dangerous to drive at racing speeds and it is equally dangerous to stand near the race course to observe or record this event.  Two people may choose to do these things if they understand and accept the risks involved. 

One question that arises from this would be, what if one or both of these people have a spouse and children that depend upon them for financial and emotional support?  Should they still do this knowing that if they are injured or killed it will cause some degree of harm to these dependents?  If they choose to do so, does anyone else have the right to prevent them? 

Those are ethical questions that can and should be debated, but each person must be free to choose his own answer.  No other person, religion, or government should have the right to make these choices for us.  If you are keeping in mind that humans are often in error and thus prepared for all possible consequences, no matter how remote the possibility, you can do what you think best.

Comment by Allena Weber on July 27, 2011 at 9:02am
I am as moral and good as any christian-anyone who thinks morality comes from comes from God is mistaken.It makes sense to behave in a ethical way.
Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on April 22, 2011 at 10:29am
Do you want to send them to summer camp without God?
Check out Camp Inquiry
Camp Quest

Comment by Sharon Stanley on April 5, 2011 at 2:29pm
I loved that video, Geraldo!  Thanks for sharing that!
Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on April 3, 2011 at 10:23am


Imagine If All Atheists Left America

Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on January 30, 2011 at 5:06pm


Project 2048: Human Rights as Law.


[I think all of our Humanist organizations around the world should be signing on to this. Can we start a process to get all of our international affiliate free thought and humanist organizations to endorse this effort? - Gary]

The 2048 Project's mission is to educate students and the public about the evolution of human rights, and to provide a process to draft an International Bill of Rights that will be enforceable in the courts of all countries by the year 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

BOOK on topic:
2048: Humanity's Agreement to Live Together by J. Kirk Boyd 
Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on December 19, 2010 at 12:25pm

DADT and the Liberal support for militarism.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Liberal Militarist Diversion

"What remains unaddressed by critics... is the direct link between the rhetoric of the movement in favor of the repeal of DADT and the intensification of U.S. military involvement in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Even a brief consideration of the claims made by Choi and his fellow activists makes it clear that the campaign in favor of the repeal depends on an uncritical acceptance of U.S. militarism and military culture. ... what you will not hear in the statements by Choi is any reference to the oppression of foreign civilian populations at the hands of U.S. soldiers... . In fact, Choi has openly expressed his desire to redeploy to Iraq if reinstated in the Army. "  -

quote from the 60's anti war movement:
"What if they gave a war and nobody came?"
(source unknown)

posted by Gary



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