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Blog: Humanist Voices

Today is World Humanitarian Day

flooding refugees

Your village is wiped out in a flood. Your town is destroyed in an earthquake. You're a refugee from violent conflict. Where can you turn for help? Today is World Humanitarian Day, an observance and effort that will continue the rest of the month. We all can make an effort to help those less fortunate than ourselves who are facing disasters. Click here to learn more. 

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Journey to the 72nd AHA Conference: Part III

Part III: Church-State Separation and Constitutional Law

AHA conference

The 72nd AHA National Conference ran from Thursday, May 30 through Sunday, June 2. In Part I, I discussed the major speakers and award winners. Part II talked to Humanist philosophy and Children’s Rights issue. In the final chapter, I will relate the primary Church-State separation issues discussed.    

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Book Review: A Wicked War

A Wicked WarGiven all the conflict in the world today, gaining some historical perspective on militarism is a worthwhile endeavor. Consider the book A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U. S. Invasion of Mexico by Amy Greenberg that was published by Alfred A. Knoft in 2012.

Greenberg, a professor of History and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, took the title of her book from a quotation of Ulysses S. Grant who served in the Mexican American War. He told a journalist in 1879, “I do not think that there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico.” The conventional history of the war has treated it as justified, but Greenberg is sympathetic to Grant’s moral judgment. 

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The World Situation - Summer 2013 (Part III)

599px-The Earth seen from Apollo 17If you could do just one thing to improve the world, what would it be? Cure cancer? Unleash an army of creative geniuses into the world who would solve the toughest problems and make the greatest scientific breakthroughs? Raise everyone's emotional intelligence? Make sure Michele Bachmann never becomes president? What if there was "one" thing we could do that could potentially accomplish all of the above and much more? (Maybe even minimizing future Bachmanns.)

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Journey to the 72nd AHA Conference: Part II

Part II: Philosophy, Children’s Rights & Education

AHA conference

The 72nd AHA National Conference ran from Thursday, May 30 through Sunday, June 2. In part I, I discussed the major speakers and award winners. In part II I will discuss some of the other key talks I was privileged to attend … and there was much!    

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Book Review: Nonbeliever Nation

nonbeliever nation 1

Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans by David Niose is a book of utmost importance; his writing and handling of the subject are superb. Niose describes the new movement of secular Americans which began about 2001 as a counteraction to the hijacking of America by the Religious Right. In this new identity-oriented movement, atheists, humanists, and skeptics are coming out and joining up in increasing numbers and being conspicuous as nonbelievers.

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The World Situation - Summer 2013 (Part II)

599px-The Earth seen from Apollo 17The 'prime directive' of humanism is to understand the full truth of the human situation, minimizing ignorance while dispelling illusion, whether religious or secular. It pursues continuous learning, updating its knowledge and understanding from both science and general human experience, and is thus self-correcting and open to discovery. It follows that any humanist political agenda should start with these ideas as well. However, many of the world's political systems are still in thrall to a petrified idol--GDP--that emphasizes economic growth at the expense of other values and data about human life and the environment. That may soon be changing.

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World Population Day - Fertility Surprises Portend a More Populous Future

robert engelman 0On World Population Day, the Worldwatch Institute examines the UN's latest demographic projections and their implications, by ROBERT ENGELMAN, President of Worldwatch

World population reached 7.2 billion in mid-2013, according to United Nations demographers, with present and projected future growth propelled in part by unexpectedly high fertility in a number of developing countries. Based on current trends in global birth, death, and migration rates, the UN Populations Division projects a variety of future scenarios, with the three principal ones suggesting that world population will be somewhere between 6.8 billion and 16.6 billion at the end of this century. In the latest Vital Signs Online trend, I discuss these latest projections and what they mean for the environment.

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The World Situation - Summer 2013 (Part I)

599px-The Earth seen from Apollo 17

The future is a race between knowledge and ignorance, will and apathy--the progressive evolution of society pushing against a nonstop resistance that clings to its prejudices, privileges and power.  Where are we at now?  Do global circumstances encourage optimism and give substance to hope, or the reverse?  Are we collectively heading in the right direction, slowing emerging into a brighter planetary future?  That's for the reader to decide.  Here begins the Summer 2013 installment of The World Situation.

 

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