The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC/Ethical NYC) is the cornerstone of the Ethical Movement, founded in 1876 by Dr. Felix Adler. Throughout our history we have helped create significant community institutions that have had a long-lasting effect in promoting civil society.
What We Believe
Ethical Culture is a religion centered on ethics, not theology, whose mission is to encourage respect for humanity and nature and to create a better world. Members are committed to personal ethical development in their relationships with others and in activities involving social justice and environmental stewardship.
We believe all individuals have inherent worth and dignity, the potential to grow and change, a responsibility to strive for ethical growth, and a responsibility to create a better world.
As an Ethical Community we are all part of something that transcends the individual experience and are enriched through our relationships with others. As such, we have responsibilities to each other, to the Society, and to the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ethical Culture a religion? For those who view religion as a set of values to which people are committed and in terms of which they find a faith to live by, Ethical Culture is considered a religion.
Is Ethical Culture considered a religion by all its members? Some members associate the word "religion” with creeds and sectarianism. For them, Ethical Culture is a fellowship based upon a philosophy of life, emphasizing education, growth, and social service with the purpose of helping people live better lives.
Does Ethical Culture accept the idea of a god? Ethical Culture is nontheistic and humanist in emphasis and members are not committed to any theology. We leave belief in a deity up to the individual.
American Ethical Union
An umbrella organization of humanist, atheist, rationalist, secular, skeptic, freethought and Ethical Culture organizations throughout the world (currently 125 member organizations from 47 countries), founded in 1952. The IHEU works to build and represent the global Ethical Humanist movement that defends human rights and promotes Humanist values worldwide.