What we're about

The Philadelphia Ethical Society is a community of individuals dedicated to nurturing more meaningful and engaged lives. We meet each Sunday at 11:00AM to seek wisdom, nurture compassion, and stoke humanist inspiration. We believe that deed is more important than creed, and we work as individuals and together to allow all people to be safe, educated and empowered. Our shared values include respecting the worth of every person, building ethical relationships, and establishing social justice. We are non-theist, embracing neither atheism nor theism, choosing instead to focus on “the hear and now” through cooperative naturalistic solutions to local and global challenges.

Here at our community home you’ll find thoughtful classes, humanist celebrations, and opportunities to join others working for social justice while having fun! In Philadelphia, since 1885, the Ethical Humanist Society has served as a meeting place for many progressive groups, including currently Pennsylvanians for an Alternative to the Death Penalty and Amnesty International. We are part of the American Ethical Union and are affiliated though this federation with the Secular Coalition for America. Visit us at 1906 Rittenhouse Square or on-line at phillyethics.org or contact Leader Hugh Taft-Morales at LeaderHugh@phillyethics.org.

Upcoming events (5+)

Designer Genes: Ethical Implications of Altering the Human Genome

Philadelphia Ethical Society

The Greater Philadelphia Thinking Society, in the PES Auditorium In November, 2018 at the Second World Summit on Human Genome Editing, the birth of the first “CRISPR” babies (a pair of twins) was announced in Hong Kong. A “rogue” Chinese scientist, acting against guidelines created by national and international scientific societies, reported that he had used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to edit the DNA in human embryos and that the mother recently gave birth to two apparently healthy babies. The objective was to eliminate a gene that is believed to lead to HIV susceptibility. Scientists and politicians in the US and China) were surprised and outraged. Some of them are calling for increased regulation of human genetic research by government or scientific societies. Realistically, there is no way to stop the editing of human genes. At this event, co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Ethical Society, we will discuss ethical, social and economic implications of human genetic alteration, and the potential benefits of curing diseases and correcting or eliminating birth defects. We will also consider the potential for creating custom-designed babies with enhanced physical or mental abilities, and how these presumed benefits might be prioritized. Sandy Catz and Hugh Taft- Morales will be co-hosts. After a brief introduction to gene editing technology we will break into small discussion groups. Refreshments will be served. For more details and to RSVP, please visit either the PES Meetup website (https://www.meetup.com/phillyethics/) or the Thinking Society Meetup website (https://www.meetup.com/

Book discussion: The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Philadelphia Ethical Society

Hugh Taft-Morales will lead a book discussion on the book, "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass" about one of the most impressive historical figures in American history. All are invited, but please read the book first!

A Girl Stands at the Door: Desegregating America's Schools

Philadelphia Ethical Society

A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women who Desegregated America’s Schools Rachel Devlin, History Professor, Rutgers University Rachel Devlin offers the first new history of the struggle for school desegregation in more than four decades, revealing it as a grassroots movement led by girls and young women. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, young African American women and girls, almost exclusively, attempted to register at white schools, met with local white administrators and school boards, testified in court and talked with reporters about why they wanted to attend schools with white students. After Brown vs The Board of Education in Topeka, girls would continue to lead the effort, by volunteering, in vastly disproportionate numbers, to desegregate all-white schools in every region of the country. Devlin received her PhD from Yale. She is the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University, and author of Relative Intimacy: The Fathers, Adolescent Daughters and Postwar American Culture, and A Girl Stands at the Door.

Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK)

Philadelphia Ethical Society

Our Kids’ Ethics Program for children ages 6-12 is inspired by the motto, Deed before Creed. In class, the children develop vital critical thinking skills through discussion, stories and projects. Subjects relevant to their lives such as kindness, fairness, and respect in their relationships are an intrinsic part of the curriculum. If you have questions, please contact Nick Sanders, [masked]

Past events (216)

Philadelphia Stoics, Ancient Philosophy for Modern Times

Philadelphia Ethical Society

Photos (61)