January 27, 2019 @ 11:00 am
Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture
4450 Fieldston Rd
Bronx, NY 10471
Most weeks, voluntary donations are split between the work of the Society and an organization whose work in the world honors human worth.

Our Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on an uncomfortable reality of ethics: that we can, as the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius pointed out, commit injustice by doing nothing.  The excuse that “I didn’t do anything!” does not take into account that inaction that allows people to act in hurtful ways makes the world more unjust — and thus is itself an unjust choice.  “Doing nothing” equates to “staying on the path we’re currently on” or “letting happen what will likely happen” — which are choices.

Our inactions — from ignoring bullies to deciding not to vote to collective inaction on climate change — do have impacts on the world.  Often, we think we are not choosing, but we can usually find a choice not to pay attention or not to challenge what is possible, behind any inaction.  And sometimes, not acting may be the more ethical choice.  But it is a choice.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” – Elie Wiesel

Music by Lindsey Wilson.

Our Ethics Matters theme for January is Choice – The practice of making and acting on wise choices; opening up new options to choose from.

11 a.m. is gathering time, to meet and greet one another.  We start the formal program at 11:15 and usually end about 12:30.  After that, we have a time of informal conversation with some beverages and snacks.  Please feel free to bring some snacks to share!

Ethics for Children meets concurrently with our Sunday programs. Please join us!

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