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. 3, May-June

Ashcroft, Eastwood, and Assisted Dying
The tragic and conflicted ending of Warner Brothers' 2004 movie, Million Dollar Baby, has raised what looks like a big flap. Some groups of disabled people are accusing Clint Eastwood, even Hillary Swank and probably Morgan Freeman, of endorsing assisted...
Can Peace Be Taught-And Learned?
When I asked myself twenty-three years ago if peace could be taught and learned, I queried a few academics on their views. But after listening to them orate I responded like a journalist: disbelieving half of what they said and having grave doubts...
Faith and Public Controversy
When we discuss political economy, resting our case on faith places it on wobbly foundations. By "faith" I mean a mode of believing based on acceptance or commitment, often despite systematic evidence to the contrary, or belief not based on supporting...
Graffiti of a Nicaraguan Survivor: War Doesn't Just Disappear with the Signing of a Peace Treaty and the Onslaught of Reconstruction Efforts. to Understand the True Cost of Any Armed Conflict, We Must First Consider the Lingering Effects of War One, Five, Ten, or Twenty Years from Its Official End
They killed you and they didn't tell us where they buried your body, but since then all our land is your tomb. Or let's say you came back to life in each inch in which your body is not. They thought they killed you with an order "fire." They...
High-Stakes Testing, Homework, and Gaming the System
Readers of the Los Angeles Times were recently shocked by published findings of the Harvard University Civil Rights Project concerning California school dropout rates. According to the study (presented March 24, 2005, at the Harvard conference, "Dropouts...
Humanist Profile: Edward O. Wilson 1999 Humanist of the Year
"We can say to the transcendentalists that there is a thousand times more to the human condition--more history, more complexity, more nobility--than you thought. There is more to being human than dreamt in your philosophy. And having arrived at this...
Iraq's Reconstruction: A Community Responsibility
In order to promote political and economic stability in Iraq, the United States should ensure that local communities are involved in the design and implementation of development projects. As other situations around the world have shown, development...
Iraq Withdrawal and MoveOn.Org
President George W. Bush told reporters in mid March that he has no intention of setting any timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. "Our troops will come home when Iraq is capable of defending herself," he said. Powerful pundits keep telling us that a...
On the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act
Operating under the banner of "moral values," some members of the U.S. Congress are threatening to destroy the very bulwarks of American liberty, including, paradoxically, religious liberty. In so doing, they threaten the very institutions that have...
Pursuing Passion after Three Generations
My great-grandmother Yente came to the United States in 1901. She lived in a tenement apartment in East New York, where she cleaned and boiled chickens every day. She had people to feed: her husband; her son-in-law, a short, stout fur trader with a...
RFID Report
In his article, "Technology and Tomorrow: A Challenge to Liberty" (the Humanist, November/ December 2004), Brian Trent discusses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and some of the concerns regarding their uses. RFID is the generic term for...
Teaching Humanities in New Ways-And Teaching New Humanities
At Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts, where I teach, our faculty are part of a generation of scholars, writers, and teachers now living out the dream of tenure. And it is a dream--of job security and freedom of speech and pen. In some ways the...
The Issue at Hand
In our previous issue, Michael Fitzgerald's lead article, "Goodbye, Mr. Fitz," showed some of the difficulties encountered by creative high school teachers in the United States who try to get past the fear and censorship that is endemic in the culture....
To Teach or Not to Teach?
We traveled to College Park for our daughter's graduation from the College of Education at the University of Maryland. After five years of study--working nights as a waitress, summers as a camp counselor, and borrowing money--she had earned her degree...
Truth, Death, and Journalism: We Kill Journalists, Don't We?
When John Swinton made the remark cited above, he was already retired from his positions at both the New York Times and the New York Sun. Privileged with the luxurious freedoms of retirement, Swinton cut loose with this oft-cited (usually cited incorrectly...
Will the Real Martin Luther King Please Stand Up
Today it's fashionable to recall Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights hero and passionate reverend. But sadly, amidst his legacy the entirely of his intellectual prowess and vast philosophical wisdom continues to go unrecognized. Particularly troubling,...