Foundations of Ethical Humanism

15 Dec 2020 | 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm
Place : Course full
Cost : FREE
Email : For questions, contact Randy Best

Life and Destiny or Thoughts from the Ethical Lectures of Felix Adler (1903)
with Randy Best, Leader, Northern Virginia Ethical Society

Registration is closed but email Randy Best at if interested in him repeating course.

This three-session ZOOM course covers Felix Adler’s ethical/religious philosophy using a short booklet presenting excerpts from Adler’s lectures between 1876 and 1902. Originally published in 1903, it was reprinted by the American Ethical Union in 1944 as Life and Destiny. The 1944 edition includes an excellent introduction by Horace Friess, Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and Adler’s son-in-law.

This course will use the 1903 edition available for free online from Google Books. This version will be supplemented by distribution of a pdf of the Horace Friess Introduction from the 1944 reprint. Although the 1903 online edition has 141 pages, they are quite small – the 5” X 7 1/2” 1944 reprint has 74 pages. Copies of Life and Destiny are also available as “print on demand” from the Virtual Bookworm as well as used bookstores online.

The course divides the chapters of the book into three sessions, from the beginning to the end. Ideas presented in each chapter will be identified and discussed. Sessions will be participatory allowing for a full and free flowing exchange of ideas. Participants are encouraged to read the chapters before class and are invited to participate even if they are behind in their reading. Each session can take 25 students.

SESSION ONE: Tuesday, December 1st 2020, 7:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Introduction (from 1944 reprint provided by pdf to class participants)
The Meaning of Life

SESSION TWO: Tuesday, December 8th 2020, 7:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Moral Ideals
Love and Marriage
Higher Life

SESSION THREE Tuesday, December 15th 2020, 7:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Spiritual Progress
Suffering and Consolation
Ethical Outlook

About the Instructor:
Randy Best grew up in Ethical Culture and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader in 2004. Randy served as the Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle from 2008 – 2016 and as Leader of the Northern Virginia Ethical Society since 2016. He is also Dean of Leader Training for The American Ethical Union. Randy received a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Grinnell College, a Masters’ Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a graduate of the Humanist Studies Program.