Thursday, December 13, 2018

Should Ethical Culture Be Trashed?

Ethical Culture was founded by Felix Adler in 1800s.  It was an offshoot of traditional jewish and christian churches, but basically sought to divorce ethics from religion, god, and supernatural, omniscient, and omnipotent entities or forces.

T Jefferson did the same thing in his 'Jefferson's Bible', which edited the bible by taking out all references to god and supernatural entities (like the devil) and events  (e.g. virgin birth, rising from the dead, walking on water).

These developments can all be seen as forms of humanism, or scientific naturalism.  They do not preclude 'deism' , but interpret 'the deity' as neither a natural, materialistic entity, nor as supernatural, but instead as a mystery---what Einstein called  Spinoza's god, and einstein visualized as mathematics. But others may see it as a turtle, a neme (M Josephowitz), meme or signifier, fractal (Jeremy Lent), category ( J Baez)  ultrafilter (Godel), spinet, twistor, knot, or quantum graph (maybe me2).

Ethical Culture has 6 principles, which to a large extent are the same as most other ethical and religious systems.  'Be all sweetness and spice, and everything nice'.    Be kind, caring, curious, inquisitive, creative, rational, healthy, compassionate, tolerant, open minded, and sharing, not greedy. 
  Don't hoard the wealth, nor take all the opportunities. 

I sometimes have gone to ethical society 'platforms' (their name for a sunday religious service , and very similar to them---choir, and their version of a sermon).

Unlike religion, they almost never mention god, and instead of prayer they have a moment of silence.
Many of their platforms are a mixed discussion of  of scientific theories, history of social justice movements, and then some more 'spiritual' discussions about 'transcendent experiances' and such.  I tend to be familiar with social history and science, so I learn little except some detail from those, but they are likely good for children or uneducated people who dont know these fields.

 I've been to kindergarten and sometimes wish a platform service could cover some material past 6th grade level.   The music is 90% easy listening, so that's poison to me.   Again, to each their own.  Many people like walking or hiking, but its inhumane to force a senior citizen on a cane or in a wheelchair to do a grueling 30 mile hike over mountains,  and its also inhumane to force some wild animal that lives in the mountains to take their excercize in a gymn or on a sports track.

Maybe some people need transcendence and discussions of it.  People into psychedelics write books on their transcendent experiences, as do mystics. The closest i get to that is my wilderness and nature experiences mostly.  I can talk for hours on that.  Its sometimes interesting to some, and boring for very many .  Sometimes its fun and ok, other times its a waste of time and a bad habit.  Reminiscing about the good times, instead of finding some new ones. Listening to these in a sense can be like watching porno---you have fun from watching others have fun.

Ethical Society has many families with children. Some people live through their children.  They like to or try to make their children happy, because it makes them happy to see their children happy.  Sometimes that makes children unhappy, because the children would prefer their parents go find something besides them to make them happy, and also because children can at times find ways to be happy all by themselves.

Often adults trying to make children happy involves shoving on them stuff that they may have enjoyed and think is fun.

I have some objections to Ethical culture.  The first thing I saw and objected to was when some obese woman who is a sunday school teacher there brought up some cuter little skinny kids to discuss what they did that day.  It turned out they made some sort of super sweet junk food snack.   When they grow up, they may regret learning that, since sugar is addictive.  (I've seen this many times---parents try to get their kids addicted to all this garbage food, meat, and so on, so when they grow up they are not very attractive any more, and hence won't go far from home.  Some men do this to their wives, and some females do this to their husbands.  Make em ugly so they wont stray. )

Next was their approach to service and sharing.  They had one group headed by someone with a PhD in international Relations who devoted his life to service.  Their group aims to get jobs and nice furniture to poor people.  Their view is the first thing you need is a a 'nice suit' so you are employable and some nice furniture for when you go home. 
They give out and deliver all this expensive 2nd hand furniture to poor people.  When they go back next year, they can't find half the people.   You don't need a phD to predict that.


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