Does the current generation have the freedom and the right to remake society for its own benefit? Or, do we have an obligation to past generations to respect their conventions and values? This debate hit its high water mark during the period of the American Revolution. The concerns around which the debate was waged at the time were primarily political. But they go beyond politics to entertain deeper philosophical questions about how we in our time, or any time, acquire meaning in life. It seems self-evident that our associations with others ensure that we meet our obligations to those now living, to our own generation. But do we owe anything to past generations? To those now dead? At the same time, let's ask our our how our lives are made meaningful by the future. How are we altered by generations that will come after us and whom we will never meet? Are we obliged to them? And if so, why?
Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, will discuss these questions during his platform address.