The Humanist

The Humanist is a magazine focusing on critical inquiry and social concern from a humanist perspective. Published by the American Humanist Association, The Humanist covers everything from science and religion to politics and popular culture.

Articles from Vol. 53, No. 3, May-June

Boom!
On the day of the World Trade Center bombing, New York felt like a city under siege. Radio and television stations were knocked off the air, and traffic patterns in and out of Manhattan were even more erratic than usual. It was the most dramatic bombing...
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Commemorating Thomas Jefferson
This year, Americans will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson. He is, perhaps, the most illustrious of our founding fathers. Jefferson wrote the epitaph inscribed on his tomb: "Here Was Buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of...
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Deceived, Again
Regular readers of The Humanist should need no introduction to Barbara Trent and the Empowerment Project, a group of activist documentarians and videographers based in Santa Monica, California. Their incisive and powerful documentaries Coverup: Behind...
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Democratizing the United States
Liberals have traditionally been concerned with liberty, rights, justice, and equality--in short, the ideals of "liberal democracy." True, the original liberals, beginning with Adam Smith's generation, interpreted democratic ideals as applying only...
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Faith, Science, and the Soul: On the Pragmatic Virtues of Naturalism
On the Pragmatic Virtues of Naturalism As a long-time fan of Stephen Jay Gould, I could hardly resist attending his lecture on immortality at the Harvard Divinity School. (The lecture was part of a semiannual series in which luminaries from various...
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Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Religion
On March 8, 1993, a committee of the Maryland Senate held a hear, ing on a bill that would compel public-school teachers and principals to "require all students to be present and participate in opening exercises on each morning of a school day and,...
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Hard Times for the Christian Right?
In February, I attended the fiftieth annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters Association, held--for the first time in decades--not within the Washington, D.C., "beltway" but in faraway Los Angeles. There, amidst the ruins of last year's...
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Humanism in China
I recall a distinction made in a book in my library--now unavailable to me in China--a book, as I recall, by Erich Fromm. It is that between Western logic and Eastern (or paradoxical) logic, the former as in the expression "it is either A or B " (exclusion)...
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Liberty and Its Limits
Liberty and individual rights are powerful ideas that have shaped the values of people in Western countries, especially the United States, and have given us a way of life that is unique among world cultures. The ideal of individual liberty is an important...
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Panic in the Pentagon
Once upon a time, I was a pacifist, but during the past dozen years of the royalist regime I served in the queer terrorist underground, ever ready to publish those ancient secret photos of the Scarlet Starlet (a.k.a. Nancy Reagan),, or to sodomize...
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Sexoids: Better Sex through Genetic Engineering?
The omnipresence of sex, as it is woven into the whole texture of our man's or woman's body, is the pattern of all the process of our life. -Havelock Ellis, English psychologist Surgical sex changes. Oral contraception. RU-486 "morning-after"...
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Sweet Land of Libertines? Fearmongering over Gays in the Military
Fearmongering Over Gays in the Military . . . Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mount. --William Shakespeare When...
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The Myth of Quantum Consciousness
A new myth is burrowing its o modern thinking. The notion is spreading the principles embodied in quantum mechanics imply a central role for the human mind in determining the very nature of the universe. Not surprisingly, this idea can be found in...
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The Right to a Decent Life
It is time for us to recognize that poverty, homelessness, health care, and public education are all civil-liberties issues. The absence of the basic necessities of human life for millions of Americans not only renders moot many of their rights as...
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To Choose or Not to Choose: A Politics of Choice
Postmodernism, at its best, stands for multiculturalism, decentralization of power, and the emergence of new foci of power other than the white heterosexual male paradigm. At its worst, postmodernism degenerates into a New Age naivete and shallowness...
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Truth in Advertising for Satan Seller?
It's pretty easy to look at a Jimmy Swaggart or a Robert Tilton and wonder how in the hell anyone could put their trust in these guys. The temptation usually is to make some unkind remark about the people who send them money-they're scared, bigoted,...
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