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. 62, No. 5, September-October

Arabs and Jews: Is There Any Light at the End of the Tunnel for Peace in the Middle East? or Is the Jewish-Arab War Condemned to Last Forever?
The war between the Jews and the Arabs in former British Palestine has been going on for eighty-one years. In 1921, the first Arab explosion against the Zionist pioneers announced the beginning of the fray. Hatred and suspicion have undermined any...
Are We Becoming a Nation of Depressives? by Many Estimates Depression Has Become the Scourge of Westerners. Already the Fourth Leading Cause of Disability in the Workforce, It Is Projected to Reach Number Two by the Year 2020 (after Respiratory Infections)
Psychiatrists have taken the position that the apparent increase in the incidence of depression is just a mirage--that this much depression has always been present in the population; it is simply better diagnosis and the decreased stigma associated...
Finding a God-Less Morality. (Humanism 101)
"All great truths begin as blasphemies."--George Bernard Shaw When certain people become distraught by such things as a terrorist act, rising HIV rates, or an increase in teen pregnancy, they often proclaim it's because we have drifted away from...
Free Markets and Retirement Security. (Humanistic Economics)
With the bankruptcy of WorldCom, workers have even more reasons to worry about retirement. Enron had already highlighted risks in some pension plans, but World-Com's demise has led many to distrust all the information they receive from corporations...
Humanist Resources
This section is for humanistic organizations, products, and services. The minimum charge for a listing (name and address) is $8.00. Each additional word is 50 cents. E-mail and Web addresses, as well as telephone and fax numbers, are $1.50 each....
Indefinite Detention and Other Tales from the New America. (Human Rights Watch)
When I lived in Central America, I found international borders to be particularly disturbing. It's not the bureaucratic hurdle one faces entering a country, though, it was the difficult pass to leave that scared me. "Are your papers in order?" "Did...
Jerusalem under Attack. (Up Front: News and Opinion from Independent Minds)
A suicide bomber recently blew himself up no more than 300 yards from my apartment in Jerusalem. The windows shuddered as the deafening sound rent the air. Then came a moment of silence, followed by the loud cry of sirens. A friend who witnessed...
Law versus Force. (Up Front: News and Opinion from Independent Minds)
An important marker of civilization has always been the ascendancy of law over the unbridled use of force. At the outset of the twenty-first century, we are faced with a pervasive dilemma. Reliance on force, given the power of our destructive technologies,...
Media Sizzle for an Army of Fun. (Media Beat)
If you call the toll-free number posted on the television screen during one of those upbeat U.S. Army commercials, a large envelope will be sent to you containing a white T-shirt sporting the slogan in big block letters: "AN ARMY OF ONE." The...
Mental Health Often Overlooked
In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 450 million people worldwide had a mental or neurological disorder. Twenty-five percent of the population can expect to experience one or more disorders within their lifetime. Mental illness...
Moral Consequences. (Letters to the Editor)
In regard to Daniel Elkind's article "The Moral Code and the Trials That Test Our Adherence to It" ("Philosophically Speaking," July/August 2002): while it is certainly true that humanists cannot and shouldn't blindly follow a priori ethical rules...
Parlaying Tragedy into Empire. (Watch on the Right)
The events of September 11, 2001, are said to have changed everything. George W. Bush announced that the United States would declare war against any nation harboring terrorists and sent U.S. armed forces into Afghanistan to oust the Taliban, eliminate...
Pharmaceutical Opportunism. (Up Front: News and Opinion from Independent Minds)
There are more corporate scandals than meet the eye. The headlines continue to scream about Enron, WorldCom, and Adelphia, and speculation mounts over investigations into Halburton, AOL/Time Warner, and other megacorporations. Now comes a thirty-two...
Statement of the Global Green Coordination on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
This press release/statement, issued April 10, 2002, and circulated worldwide, was endorsed by the Global Green Coordination, consisting of three elected delegates from each Green Federation--European Federation of Green Parties, Federation of Green...
Steven Weinberg 2002 Humanist of the Year
A little more than a year ago we might have been discussing such issues as the attempt by religious zealots to thrust intelligent design into public school curricula, the banning of research on therapeutic cloning, the limitations placed on embryonic...
The Axis of Conflict. (Letters to the Editor)
In "Bush's Axis of Evil," John Swomley complains that he doesn't like President Bush's selection of nations for the "axis of evil." In particular, Swomley is offended that "Bush produces no evidence to justify the selection of these nations while excluding...
The Issue at Hand
This issue of the Humanist is about breaking traditions--an endeavor readily associated with humanism because of the frequent humanist practice of challenging traditional faiths, mores, and social systems. When viewed negatively, such an endeavor...
The Seeds of Enmity: In Continuing the Discussion Begun in the July/August 2002 Humanist regarding the Origins of the Strife between Israelis and Palestinians, Events of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s Figure Strongly in the Unfolding Story. (Origins of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict)
On April 24, 1920, at San Remo, Italy, the League of Nations bestowed upon Great Britain a mandate to administer Palestine and Transjordan: France was given a similar mandate over Syria and Lebanon. The British mandate, which took effect three and...
Toward Peace and Justice in the Middle East a 2002 Unitarian Universalist Association Action of Immediate Witness
Because our Unitarian Universalist principles call us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice and equity in human relations, and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and Whereas the Reverend...
Trashing the First Amendment. (Church and State)
On June 22, 2002, a bare majority of the Supreme Court--Justices William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor--blithely brushed aside more than a half century of the Court's own establishment clause...
Under God Divides the Indivisible
All of us who comprise the 14 percent of Americans--that's about thirty million--who hold no religious or god beliefs should be pleased and profoundly gratified by the courageous June 26, 2002, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Newdow...
What's Literacy Got to Do with It?
Since the first rustic schoolhouses were raised in Puritan New England over 300 years ago, there has been an explicit belief in the economic, personal, and even spiritual power of literacy. Indeed, as we march through the first years of the twenty-first...
Who's Reading over Your Shoulder? (Civil Liberties Watch)
I hate the feeling of someone reading over my shoulder. Not only is it superficially distracting, but it often affects how I respond to the text. Being conscious of being watched inhibits my thinking because I find myself reading through my watcher's...