Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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Enemies and Empathy

  • Sunday, October 29, 2017
  • 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Green Hedges School


In our minds, human beings both create images of the enemy and feel deep empathy towards others.  We dehumanize those we label as threats and share the feelings of those we embrace.  How do we balance these two often-conflicting tendencies?  Can we find a way to protect ourselves while deescalating our own “fight or flight” reactions?  Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader at Baltimore and Philadelphia Societies, explores these opposing poles of psychological frameworks for relating to other people and their relation to Ethical Humanism.

Hugh Taft-Morales is Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia and the Baltimore Ethical Society. He serves as Vice President of the National Leaders Council of the American Ethical Union and is editor of the AEU’s Ethical Action Report. Hugh graduated from Yale University in 1979 and earned a Masters in Philosophy from University of Kent at Canterbury. He taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, DC, after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership. He served on the Board of the Washington Ethical Society from 2002 to 2006, the last year as President. In April of 2009 he graduated from The Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the American Ethical Union in 2010.

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