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. 54, No. 6, November-December

A Modern Inquisition
This article is adapted from the speech delivered by Dr. Kevorkian upon receiving the 1994 Humanist Hero Award from the American Humanist Association at its annual conference in Detroit, Michigan. This is probably the first time that this august body...
Biology of the Soul
In 1972, the eminent theologian John Hick published a treatise entitled "Biology and the Soul," which he had earlier delivered as the Eddington Memorial Lecture at Cambridge University. As a biologist interested in issues at the interface between science...
Blues for Single-Payer
In June, Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded to the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., that the so-called single-payer health-care reform option isn't "politically infeasible" after all, as it has been characterized by politicians and the media ever since...
Cairo, Rome, and Beyond
Between September 5 and 13, 1994, representatives of the world's governments gathered in Cairo for the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development. Their goal: to consider and adopt policies for stabilizing world population...
Chance Encounters with the Moral Majority?
During the 1980s, I realized how powerful and pervasive an influence the idea of spirituality had become in a growing number of people's lives. Being a dyed-in-the-wool humanist and thoroughly secular Jew, I didn't pay close attention to the phenomenon,...
Death, Nothingness, and Subjectivity
For only death annihilates all sense, all becoming, to replace them with non-sense and absolute cessation. -- F. Gonzalez-Cruzzi, "Days of the Dead," in the New Yorker, November 1993 The words quoted above distill the common secular conception...
Final Act: Sorting out the Ethics of Physician-Assisted Suicide
The question of whether a physician should assist a patient with an intolerable terminal condition to end his or her life has been debated since the practice of medicine began. Philosophically, it's been a toss-up: Plato, Thomas More, Francis Bacon,...
Humanism with a Human Face?
Rather than write a grandiloquent essay on the topic "What Is Humanism?," I'll proceed in a less systematic way. Had I but world enough and time, each of the following subjects would deserve its own essay. At least their selection and order are not...
Oregon Ballot Measure 16
Ballot Measure 16 allows terminally ill adults to obtain prescriptions for lethal drugs. This measure would allow an informed and capable adult resident of Oregon, who is terminally ill and within six months of death, to voluntarily request a prescription...
Running out of Loaves and Fishes
This article is adapted from the Worldwatch Institute's Full House: Reassessing the Earth's Population Carrying Capacity, which was prepared for distribution at the Third United Nations Population Conference held recently in Cairo. (For complete details...
Suicide and the Law
Dr. Jack Kevorkian's attempts to assist terminally ill people to commit suicide may be controversial or even illegal, but there's still one sure way to get legal help for a quick and painless death: you need only commit murder in one of the 22 states...
Taking the Public Access out of Public Access
For several years, I have been a frequent guest on my favorite public-access television series to discuss censorship issues or secular humanism. My initial delight upon meeting the producer, cast, and crew of "Political Playhouse" has matured into...
Under the Volcano: Human Rights, Official Torture, and the Future of Mexican Democracy
This article is adapted from the address delivered by Acosta at the State University College of Buffalo, New York, this past summer. When describing the human-rights situation in Mexico, one must compete with an enormous disinformation campaign from...