“Manners and Morals”

The philosopher and politician Edmund Burke defended manners as fundamental to our ethical lives. He claimed that, “Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in.” Is there a connection between the erosion of civility and unethical behavior? What, if anything, does South Park, talk radio, and on-line bullying say about the state of ethics in America? Leader Hugh Taft-Morales tries to explore this without sounding too cranky and old-fashioned.

Hugh Taft-Morales joined the Baltimore Ethical Society as its professional leader in 2010, the same year he was certified by the American Ethical Union as an Ethical Culture Leader. He also serves as Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia. His presence in Ethical Culture has been termed “invigorating.” Taft-Morales lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife Maureen, a Latin American Analyst with the Congressional Research Service, with whom he has three beloved children, Sean, Maya, and Justin.

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