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. 65, No. 1, January-February

Dignity Is the Choice Anyone Can Make
I've read about living wills and death with dignity. I've heard of hospice, wondered about brain waves and respirators, argued with friends about moral versus legal laws. But I hadn't really addressed dying with self-respect--until it became an emotional...
Follow Nonexistent the Paper Trail: The Technological Advances in Electronic Voting Machines Rise Accountability Questions about Today's Democratic Process
After the U.S. map was fully colored in, polarized between the blue coasts and fringes on the one hand and the vast expanse of red in the middle on the other, after John Kerry gave his concession speech and blue voters started planning mourning parties,...
George W. Bush and the End of Conservatism
I remember when the Soviet Union collapsed. The American media went into a celebratory frenzy. With the intellectual depth of a squid, pundit after pundit lined up to pen "socialism's" eulogy. The "evil empire" was disemboweled. The former Soviet satellites...
"God Wills It!"
TWO SHOCKING MANIFESTOS were published during the second week of September 2004. Both deserve comment. The first, published September 10 in the weekly B'Sheva newspaper, declares that dismantling Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip would be a...
How to Celebrate the Inauguration: With the Outcome of the November 2004 Elections, Humanists, Progressives, and All Who Oppose the Right-Wing Extremism of the Bush Administration Are Called to Vigorous and Decisive Action
While January has symbolized new beginnings since the days of ancient Rome, January 20, 2005, is the date a man who is perhaps the worst president in U.S. history will be reinaugurated, promising more of the same, only worse. And with just forty-four...
Humanist Profile: Barbara G. Walker
Born July 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Barbara G. Walker turned toward religious skepticism early in childhood. Later, in her teens, she began to seriously study the Bible, ultimately concluding that hatred of women, and human beings in...
In the Name of God
The day after the election Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University, sent a congratulatory letter to George W. Bush. Sounding a bit cranky and, unsurprisingly, holier-than-thou, Jones III was not altogether in high spirits about America: "In...
I Teach, Therefore I Am
There's a strange dichotomy at work on the bookshelf in room 2115. At eye level, the center shelf showcases a handful of wooden knickknacks: a painted mallard figurine and an irregularly shaped basketball flank a fist-sized bust of Socrates. Above...
Tests and Conservatives: The Beat Goes On
American schools are not doing worse than in earlier times. Evidence seems to be that they are doing better, with the most dramatic gains coming from minority students, who now have closed some of the gap with whites in academic achievement. --Richard...
The Architecture of Ethics
PICTURE A SMALL, one-room cottage in the forest. Then watch as successive generations build onto it, gradually adding rooms. Eventually somebody adds a second story. The building design becomes more complex but the structure's functionality and versatility...
The Issue at Hand
In the immediate wake of the November 2004 elections there were some Americans who called for "healing the wounds of a divided nation," coming together, and finding unity on common values. Joe Volk, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National...
The Reality Mandate: Although Reality Is a Mere Commodity in the Faith-Based Universe of George W. Bush, a Truly Reality-Based Majority Must Prevail in the Next Two Years
On January 20, 2005, George W. Bush will inaugurate his second term as president of the United States, and the nation is still divided. In its first four years, his administration failed to protect the country from the attacks of September 11, 2001,...
Why We Are Still Losing the Winnable Cancer War
For more than thirty years we in the United States have been losing the war on cancer because we've used the wrong "generals" and the wrong strategies. The war has been and continues to be waged using screening, diagnosis, treatment, and related research...