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. 56, No. 1, January-February

Atheism and Activism: The Life and Work of Eliza Mowry Bliven
"Women are the mothers of all the men; and the men will think wrong, choose wrong, and do wrong till the women gain common-sense enough to quit believing and teaching religious follies; and instead, teach from the cradle all through boyhood the real...
A Trip to the Movies: 100 Years of Film as Art
"Film is the art of the twentieth century:" - Hans Richter. 1971 You can be grateful that my invention is not for sale. for it would undoubtedly ruin you:" - Auguste Lumiere, 1885 "It isn't worth it:" - Thomas Edison when asked if he wanted to extend...
Days One through Six, Etc
You keep on asking me that--"Which day was the hardest?" Blockheads! They were all hard. And of course, since I'm omnipotent, they were all easy. It was Chaos, to begin with. Can you imagine Primeval Chaos? Of course you can't. How long had it been swirling...
Democratizing Our Economy
The new Republican majority has pro posed an extraordinarily harsh agen da: eliminating subsidized housing, limit ing the duration of welfare benefits, and capping funding for school lunch pro grams. Kinder and gentler liberals like President Clinton...
Fearful Symmetry
Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments...
Hope for Humankind
In response to the honor accorded Ashley Montagu as the 1995 Humanist of the Year, I bring on his behalf a message of hope. It is based not on wishes, magic, or the supernatural but primarily on his 90 years of sifting and interpreting the evidence....
Love and the Relatedness of Things
I believe that love, however it is experienced as an internal feeling or manifest as an observable behavior, is really a fascination with, preoccupation with, and service to one's self Those behaviors we subsume under the word altruism I hold to be...
McKinney's Gambit: Will Proportional Representation Bring Down the House?
What we have tried to do is to take some lemons that were handed to us by the Supreme Court and make some lemonade" Thus spoke Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (Democrat-Georgia) at a late October 1995 press conference announcing her introduction of...
Prisoners of Sex?
The civil-rights movement, the moon landing, Woodstock, Stonewall--there have been celebrations within the last several years marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of each of these events. But for me, it is Stonewall that may be the most far-reaching,...
Promises We Don't Want Kept
One of the most dangerous of the fundamentalist Christian political groups active in the United States to day is the Promise Keepers. Led by Bill McCartney, the former football coach at the University of Colorado, Promise Keepers has been developing...
Rediscovering "Darkest" Africa
Expeditions can sometimes take unexpected turns. Such was the case for me on a recent expedition to remote regions of the Kalahari in Botswana, a nation in the heartland of central southern Africa. Anyone who has seen Jamie Uys' 1981 motion picture,...
Return of the Prodigal Father and Son
It was half a century ago that World War II ended. And the recent cerebrations and remembrances have led my mind back to the trip to Eastern Europe I took some months ago with my father, climaxing with a visit to Hungary, to Budapest, to the very building...
Stupidity, Philosophy, and the Press
The next time you're watching television and you see some drunken, face painted, shirtless in subfreezing weather football fan, remember that, in our democracy, his vote has the same value as yours. Or to come at the subject another way: these days,...
The Humanism of Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane is loud now," was the way Louis J. Budd, Duke University professor and longtime editor of American Literature, put it some years ago. Recently, Crane has gotten even louder: 1995 was celebrated by Crane enthusiasts as the one hundredth...
The Manufactured Crisis
Two of the most important contributions the United States has made to civilization are the principle of separation of church and state--indispensable to maximizing freedom of conscience and intellectual, religious, and personal liberty--and the institution...
The Nature of Promethean Ethics
Promethean ethics is that emphasizes the a proto-theory approach one should take toward ethics, rather than the exact formulation of a mete ethics or normative theory. It is based upon Greek mythology and the differences between the brothers Prometheus...
Trees and Volcanoes Cause Smog! (More Myths from the "Wise Use" Movement)
As I drive to work each day, there is a point on the Ventura Freeway, just before it drops into the lower parts of the San Gabriel Valley, where I am treated to a panoramic view of much of the Los Angeles basin. Almost invariably, the vista includes...
Values
Thanks to goading by the Christian right and the Republican Party, one cannot read a newspaper without encountering a reference to values. Some times they are advanced as a cure for unemployment, the trade deficit, the drug problem, or the welfare...
Watching the O.J. Verdict: Confessions of a Communications "Expert." (O.J. Simpson trial)(Column)
OCTOBER 3, 1995, 11:00 AM: The O.J. verdict is two hours away. I'm sitting on the couch in my home in Holland, Michigan, rereading Aristotle's Rhetoric. Opposite me, the VCR is silently taping CNN's O.J. coverage; I'll use excerpts in my mass media...