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. 5, September-October

A Critique of Faith-Based Prison Programs
"Faith-based prisons" are the latest fad in a significant number of states' criminal justice systems, and their growth is an egregious threat to the constitutional democracy that George W. Bush, upon ascending to the U.S. presidency, swore to defend...
America's Traditional Values: The Conscience of a Nation
Discussion of "traditional values" has been prominent not only in political slogans and speeches but some polls indicate that they are an important concern for a significant segment of the electorate as well. Yet as a university professor who has researched...
Are Nonreligious Teenagers Really Deficient?
There is a short item that is now showing up in newspapers across the country that says, "according to an important new survey ... devout [teens] ... are better off in emotional health, academic success, community involvement, concern for others, trust...
Auditorium 5: Presenting Abuse, Racism, Torture, Savagery: Hollywood Pictures the Dark Side of American Prisons
ADULT $8.75 12pm Sat. 10/01/05 NC-17 Abuse, racism, torture, and savagery. The pictures show it all. The photographs taken at Abu Ghraib Prison are difficult to view. U.S. soldiers compelling nude Iraqi prisoners into sexually degrading poses....
Charter Schools Don't Solve Real Problems
In August 2005 the Humanists of Florida Association opened the first Humanist charter school: the Carl Sagan Academy. Although the academy's mission is admirable, the school is simply replicating the ideals inherent in public education. Qualities such...
Criminal Behavior and the Ethics of Biological Intervention
Humanity's long history of attempting to understand how the brain is structured and functions is a mixture of painstaking observations, brilliant insights, and spectacular errors. Knowledge in this area developed sporadically from antiquity through...
Ends and Means
Many people are outraged that George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses. Since Britain's Downing Street memo and other revealing information has come to light, more and more people are concluding that a primary excuse for the invasion...
From Attica to Abu Ghraib-And a Prison near You
A recent obituary in the New York Times told about Frank Smith, "who as an inmate leader at Attica prison was tortured by officers in the aftermath of the prisoner uprising of 1971 and then spent a quarter century successfully fighting for legal damages."...
Humanist Profile: Eleanor Roosevelt: First Lady, United States of America (1933-1945)
"I would not judge a character by his belief or unbelief. I would judge his character by his deeds; and no matter what he said about his beliefs, his behavior would soon show whether he was a man of good character or bad." --Eleanor Roosevelt, from...
Judge Allows Graduation in Church But
Earlier this year Jennifer Musgrove, at the time a senior at Palm Bay High, took on the Brevard County, Florida, school board over the decision that her school made despite objections to hold graduation in a church. In her federal lawsuit she was represented...
The Dirty Side of the Drug War
"In the United States, there are now more than 318,000 people behind bars for violations of drug prohibition, more than the number of persons incarcerated for all crimes in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined," writes Jeffrey...
The Issue at Hand
In this issue we apply the words of Feodor Dostoyevsky: "The degree of civilization in a society is revealed by entering its prisons." Anthony Papa, the artist whose painting illustrates our cover, allows us to enter one of those prisons, see what...
We Kill Journalists: Part Two in an Unfortunately Continuing Series
In the February 3, 2005, Art Voice I wrote a piece about what Newsweek calls "The Salvador Option," referring to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's stated intent to train and employ Salvadoran style death squads to hunt down and kill or "disappear"...
Why Humanist Communities Should Embrace Charter Schools
Education is a human right. As a society we are obligated to provide a quality education to all children equally and to provide this education free of charge. As Humanists we are understandably concerned with the quality of education provided to the...
Worth Noting
* The United States continues to impede efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS worldwide. It remains the only nation to explicitly ban federal funding of needle exchange programs, and now the Bush administration is demanding an "anti-prostitution pledge" of any...