The Ethical movement, also referred to as the Ethical Culture movement, Ethical Humanism or simply Ethical Culture, is an ethical, educational, and religious movement that is usually traced back to Felix Adler (1851–1933). Individual chapter organizations are generically referred to as "Ethical Societies", though their names may include "Ethical Society", "Ethical Culture Society", "Society for Ethical Culture", "Ethical Humanist Society", or other variations on the theme of "Ethical".
The Ethical movement is an outgrowth of secular moral traditions in the 19th century, principally in Europe and the United States. While some in this movement went on to organize for a secular humanist movement, others attempted to build a secular moral movement that was emphatically "religious" in its approach to developing humanist ethical codes, in the sense of encouraging congregational structures and religious rites and practices. While in the United States, these movements formed as separate education organizations (the American Humanist Association and the American Ethical Union), the American Ethical Union's British equivalents, the South Place Ethical Society and the British Ethical Union consciously moved away from a congregational model to become Conway Hall and Humanists UK respectively. Subsequent "godless" congregational movements include the Sunday Assembly, whose London chapter has used Conway Hall as a venue since 2013.
At the international level, Ethical Culture and secular humanist groups have always organized jointly; the American Ethical Union and British Ethical Union were founding members of Humanists International, whose original name "International Humanist and Ethical Union" reflected the movement's unity.
Ethical Culture is premised on the idea that honoring and living in accordance with ethical principles is central to what it takes to live meaningful and fulfilling lives, and to creating a world that is good for all. Practitioners of Ethical Culture focus on supporting one another in becoming better people, and on doing good in the world.
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