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. 61, No. 4, July

Amnesty International Calls for Public Inquiry into Alleged Police Brutality
Canada, May 5, 2001: In the aftermath of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Amnesty International is calling for a public inquiry to investigate police tactics and behavior in handling the demonstrations which surrounded the meeting and conditions...
Beyond the Quest for Certainty
In 1929 the great American philosopher John Dewey published a book called The Quest for Certainty. It was one of his greatest works, but he was a thinker so out of step with prevailing ideas that few people could even understand his message--much less...
Bush's Compassionless Conservatism
A lawsuit was filed May 29, 2001, in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia against Tommy G. Thompson, in his capacity as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, in her capacity as acting director of the National...
Chronicle of a Protest
In preparing for the anticipated protests against the FTAA, Quebec City authorities encircled the entire venue of the Summit of the Americas with a 2.3-mile concrete and chain-link fence, later referred to by demonstrators as the "Wall of Shame." Within...
Cinema and the American Malaise
In keeping with the policy of the Humanist to accommodate the diverse cultural, social, political, and philosophical viewpoints of its readers, this occasional feature allows for the expression of alternative, dissenting, or opposing views on issues...
EXTREME Measures
Annie leans over the hospital bed to brush her son Benjamin's hair. "You're so handsome. You're the handsomest man in this whole nursing home," she declares and kisses him on the cheek. But Benjamin doesn't respond to these endearments. He can't. His...
Hiding out in Cyberspace
Few media eyebrows went up when the World Bank canceled a global meeting set for Barcelona in June 2001 and instead shifted it to the Internet (not yet held of press time). Thousands of street demonstrators would have been in Spain's big northeastern...
H. P. LOVECRAFT: Prophet of Humanism
When one encounters the name Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the first thing--if anything--that comes to mind is liable to be the word horror. And that is as it should be, since H. P. Lovecraft (or HPL, as he was and remains known) was first and foremost...
Jail Time for Jenna
I don't want to pick on Jenna Bush or her sister Barbara for their recent runins with the law. Really. I don't think they have a "problem" just because they want to have a beer when they are in college. In my day (ugh, I'm officially old), eighteen-year-old...
LETTERS to the Editor
A Rationalist Hindu View In response to "Theoterrorism As Statecraft" by Professor I. K. Shukla ("Up Front," May/June 2001), which is simplistic though well motivated, there are a couple of points I wish to make that the enlightened readers of your...
Listening to Anthony
Mansfield Training School in the gentle hills of northeastern Connecticut, like brick institutions for the mentally retarded all over the country, was closed within the past decade to the purpose for which it was originally constructed earlier in the...
On the Front Lines at the FTAA Protests
Throughout the event, police appeared to target medics: wherever my partner Leigh and I were treating people, tear gas canisters landed right beside us. Some medics were hit by rubber bullets. On those front lines we treated a lot of people through...
PLAN COLOMBIA: The Hidden Front in the U.S Drug War
You would never guess you are entering one of the most dangerous countries in the world when you step off a plane at El Dorado Airport in Bogota, Colombia. Walking down the softly lit hallway in the international arrival terminal, your first impression...
Reflections on TiVo
I pride myself on not being caught up in consumer culture. I went five years between computers. I reluctantly "upgraded" only after several newspapers I read online could no longer be accessed with my primitive browser. I do enjoy sports in the commercial...
Report from Norway
Norway is a land of stunningly beautiful mountains and fjords, progressive politics, and gracious, generous people. With living standards similar to those in the United States and a population about the size of Maryland's (a little over four million),...
The Demystification of Belief Systems
The Enlightenment era never came to an end, it was merely put on hold. At least this is a view held by many of the researchers who are trying to reconstruct a believable historical Jesus. Worldwide, approximately 200 scholars (mostly liberal theologians)...
The Virtue of the Weaponed Hero
From the ashes a fire shall be woken a light from the shadows shall spring renewed shall be blade that was broken the crownless again shall be king. THE POEM ABOVE, penned in Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien of his beloved king-in-exile Aragorn,...