Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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Teaching Our Ethical Core Values

Monday, October 29, 2018 6:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

What do Ethical Culturalists believe?  What do they teach their children?  “Ethical Humanism, also called Ethical Culture, is an evolving body of ideas that inspires Ethical Societies.  Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.  For Ethical Humanists, the ultimate religious questions are not about the existence of gods or an afterlife, but rather, ‘How can we create meaningfulness in this life?’ and ‘How should we treat each other?’  Ethical Culture is clear about the essential role that ethical principles play in human relationships.  In order for human beings to have good lives, love must prevail, truth must be respected, honesty esteemed, justice secured and freedom protected.  Learning how to realize these ideals in our lives is the purpose of Ethical Societies” * 

The Comparative Religion class is about to begin the 1st of several House of Worship Tours on November 11th at 11 am at Temple Beth Torah in Chantilly, VA.  Your Sunday School Team wanted to schedule a special event to reiterate our 12 Core Ethical Values and our expectations of the student’s behavior and respectful demeanor on these tours.  We want our students to act as ambassadors of Ethical Culture and its core values as they are welcomed as guests into other local religious communities.   To accomplish this goal, we decided to ask our leader, Randy Best, to meet with the children to deliver this message.  This special class took place on October 21st and we had 14 students in attendance.  One of the most important core values of Ethical Culture is to treat others fairly and kindly and it is especially important when interacting with those who are different from us.  Specifically to "act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby ourselves"  Felix Adler.  As Randy stated in the class, this is a universal moral philosophy that is shared by all world religions and ethical philosophies. 

Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them  Matthew 7:1

Confucianism: Do not do to others what you would not like yourself Analects 12:2

Buddhism:  Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful Udana-Varga 5,1

Hinduism:  This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you Mahabharata 5,1517

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself Sunnah

Judaism:  What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.  Talmud, Shabbat 3id

Taoism:  Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain and loss as your loss Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien

Zoroastrianism:  That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

With the numerous hate crimes in the news just this past week, it is more important than ever to be vigilant about raising kind, considerate, tolerant, fair and open-minded children.  Children, who know that it is their inherent right to question the world around them and to choose what they believe.  Young adults, who will continue the work of creating a world full of peace and justice.  Teens, who will cherish the Earth and all life upon it.  Future leaders, who will learn from all of the unique individuals that cross their path and from world history to create a better future for us all.  Young adults, who will strive to live out their Ethical Culture Values and accept responsibility for their choices and actions. 

Ethical Humanism is a religion of relationships. Ethical Sunday School allows children “of all ages to engage in ethical concepts and experiences that promote lifelong ethical development.”  Our goal this year is to foster relationships within the diverse Northern Virginia Religious Community.  To give our children an opportunity to learn about different theologies and meet real people who practice these faiths, with an emphasis on what we have in common instead of that which divides us.  

Join us on Sunday and we can undertake this goal together!

*taken from 

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