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. 73, No. 1, January-February

Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All-And What We Can Do about It
Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All--And What We Can Do About It by Sean Faircloth (Pitchstone Publishing, 2012) 164 pp; $14.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A friend recently passed on a slick magazine to me published...
Beyond the Box: The Occupy Movement's New Vision for Disaster Relief
The day after Hurricane Sandy flooded the lowlands of New York City, a flurry of media inquiries flooded the Occupy Wall Street PR team's inbox. Days before any aid organizations arrived, hundreds of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists had started coordinating...
Colobus Conundrum: What Tells Us More about Ourselves-A Primatologist's Observations of Monkeys in a Gambian Forest, or the Many Questions They Raise?
NO MATTER how deep I am in the forest, the sounds of humanity seep through, reminding me that the Abuko Nature Reserve in The Gambia is at once a mosaic of habitats, a home for the endangered red colobus monkeys and various other species, and simply...
Damned Good Company: Twenty Rebels Who Bucked the God Experts
Damned Good Company: Twenty Rebels Who Bucked the God Experts by Luis Granados (Humanist Press, 2012) 479 pp.; $9.99 (e-book) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I came to the humanist movement in the 1970s, not as a refugee or rebel against the abusive...
Done in by the Patriot Act: The Grand Irony of the Petraeus Sex Scandal
There's a delicious irony to the story of the crash-and-burn career of four-star general and former Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus. The man who was elevated to the ethereal ranks of a General Eisenhower or Robert E. Lee by swooning...
Editor's Note
"ONE OF THE PERENNIAL QUESTIONS for the human species," writes long-time humanist leader Michael Werner, "is: How shall we live?" Recognizing that humanism is an evolving tradition, he posed this question to three prominent humanist ethicists whose...
Election Reflection: Whither Now, Religious Right?
Pundits spent a lot of time chewing over the results of the November election, but most seemed to agree on one thing: the religious right lost big. Religious right groups had managed to put aside their uneasiness over Republican candidate Mitt Romney's...
Embroidering History: An Englishwoman's Experience as a Humanitarian Aid Volunteer in Post-War Poland, 1924-1925
Embroidering History: An Englishwoman's Experience as a Humanitarian Aid Volunteer in Post-War Poland, 1924-1925 by Jane Cooper (JMD Media, 2011) 147 pp.; $28.58 (paperback) $6.39 (e-book) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Jane Cooper's book, Embroidering...
Experiments of Living: An Ethical Stance for the Human Future
THROUGHOUT RECORDED history, ethical ideas have usually been traced to authorities. Most of the supposed authorities have been religious people, typically men who have claimed, or who have been credited with, a special mode of access to a divine revelation....
Humanism in a Shitstorm
"There are no atheists in foxholes." I'm sure you've heard this more times than you care to remember. I'm sure you've heard religious believers dismiss secular humanism as a shallow, breezily hedonistic philosophy that dries up and blows away in...
Paul Kurtz: (1925-2012)
Paul Kurtz (1925-2012) "We should not leave to theistic religion the ethics of empathy and compassion; these virtues are also essential for ethical humanism. Forming the bedrock for this are 'the common moral decencies'--that is, the general...
Seculars, Step Up!
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AS THE PLANE banks left and right, tilting its wings up and down, New Orleans comes into view through the small oval windows, glimpses of the city alternating with clear expanses of blue water. If I blur my eyes, it almost...
Spare a Thought for Philosophy: An Interview with A.C. Grayling
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "BERTRAND RUSSELL said, 'Most people would rather die than think; most people do,'" quips the British philosopher A.C. Grayling, leaning forward in his chair at a London cafe as though offering me a truffle of wisdom for my...
Speaking Prose All of Our Lives
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Oh, really? So when I say: Nicole bring me my slippers and fetch my nightcap," is that prose? PHILOSOPHY MASTER: Most clearly. MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Well, what do you know about that! These forty years...
With Liberty & Justice for All
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE WORLD urgently needs more liberty and justice, and therefore more humanism. The ethical system of humanism prioritizes these ideals at a higher level than any belief system that precedes it, since it values the life of...