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. 72, No. 4, July-August

America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty
America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty by Marty Klein, with foreword by Nadine Strossen, President, ACLU (Praeger, 2012; 2nd Edition) 232 pp.; $29.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] If I told you in 1979 that we'd be debating...
Classic Humanist
25 years ago ... To avoid the, dangers of youthful sex, you can be abstinent. But if you are indeed a healthy and normal adolescent, will you really totally refrain? Will you never masturbate, fantasize, pet to orgasm, or slip into occasional intercourse?...
Drones in U.S. Flight Paths: What Could Go Wrong?
On February 14 President Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 into law, authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles (known as drones) into the national airspace system by 2015. The first...
Editor's Note
"EVERYONE HAS A BOOK inside them" the late, great Christopher Hitchens averred, "which is exactly where I think it should, in most cases, remain." As an editor, one gets to know her contributors and may even form opinions as to which harbor books...
Evolution, Humanism, & Conservation: The Humanist Interview with Richard Leakey
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] RICHARD LEAKEY is a world-renowned paleoanthropologist whose career has been marked by famous scientific finds, political office, and conservation efforts. His family is equally accomplished in the field of anthropology, starting...
Humanist Profile: George Orwell (1903-1950)
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, in Bengal, India, where his father, Thomas, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. When Blair was a year old, he returned with his mother and...
Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM is a cherished American value," writes David Niose in his new book, Nonbeliever Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), "but religious predominance is not." Published in July, the book takes the reader through...
Prick the Bubbles, Pass the Mantle: Hitchens as Orwell's Successor: He Is Often Called Orwell's Heir Because of His Fervent Love for the Writer. in the End, Christopher Hitchens Was the Most Important Orwellian Thinker since Orwell
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHEN LOOKING back on the life of the late Christopher Hitchens one sees that his persona is oddly like that of Oscar Wilde's character Lord Henry Wotton from The Picture of Dorian Gray: loved by an assortment of people for...
Tending the Humanist Garden
When I stopped believing in God, like so many "come-outer" atheists who feel confident and even smug in their reasoning, I was ready to do battle with anyone on matters of religion. Even so, after these debates I always felt a little dirty knowing...
The Barton Lies: The Religious Right's Favorite 'Historian' Gets Hit with a Dose of the Truth
I've written in these pages before about David Barton, a Texas man who poses as a historian and is a hero to the religious right because of his work "proving" that separation of church and state is a myth and that the United States was founded as a...
The Social Conquest of Earth
The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson (Liveright, 2012) 352 pp.; $27.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Edward O. Wilson's latest book is structured around three questions: Where did we come from, what are we, and where are we going?...
The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating-Heart Cadavers-How Medicine Is Blurring the Line between Life and Death
The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating-Heart Cadavers--How Medicine is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death by Dick Teresi (Pantheon Books, 2012) 368 pp.; $26.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Did you know that in the...
Trust Me: You Believe in Gun Control
If you ask typical hyperpolitical gun owners (and I have, at Thanksgiving dinner) why it's important to own a gun, they'll bark about the Constitution. Yes, the Second Amendment: "The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed!"...
Was Adam Smith a Marxist?
If political conservatives were to read the work of their economic mentor, Adam Smith, they'd be forced to apply the same Marxist label to Smith that they apply to President Obama. In fact, as the founder of free-market economic philosophy, propounded...
What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2012) 244 pp.; $27.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Warren Chisum is a conservative state legislator in Texas. He has long campaigned for the re-criminalization...
You're Addicted to What? Challenging the Myth of Sex Addiction
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] PERIODICALLY, some famous politician, athlete, or entertainer gets caught with his or her pants down, damaging or even destroying their reputation, livelihood, and marriage. Within hours, my email starts buzzing, as media...