Humanist Perspectives: issue 193, Summer 2015

Issue 193, Summer 2015

cover of issue 193
Humanist Perspectives is a refreshing, rational analysis of modern events and culture and is available at select magazine stores or by online subscription.

Editorial

Humanism, Law and Tolerance by Christopher DiCarlo
A great deal has happened in Canadian politics this year which gives hope for greater secular values for all citizens and thereby, a greater sense of fairness and equity to those living within its borders. I’m referring to two Supreme Court decisions, the first of which deals with the use of prayers at the beginning of City Council meetings…….. The second […] involves the 9-0 Supreme Court decision in favour of physician-assisted death……

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Features

Sailing without a Map by Alana Westwood
“No science, no evidence, no truth, no democracy,” declared waving placards held high by hundreds of scientists, marching on Parliament Hill in the summer of 2012. The connection that troubled them […] has not been so apparent to federal Canadian policymakers. Since 2006, politicians have taken the knife to scientific and evidence-gathering infrastructure. They haven’t realized the consequences of their actions: stripping the radar and scuppering the boat…

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Secular Values can be Islamic Values by Zena Ryder
I had a profound experience last night. You know that feeling when you skip the small talk and you feel a deep connection with another human being, as a human being? That's what happened. But it was between what is perhaps an unlikely pair: on the one hand, myself, an outspoken atheist and, on the other hand, a teacher of Islam, whom I will call Hassan.

The Flickering Flame by Bruce McCullough
The two posters that were hung on people's walls as I was growing up were: ‘Stoned Agin’ with the melting head. Black light. Soft and satisfying to the touch, as scary as it was funny. The other one was ‘Smile! Pass it on.’ Corny, simple, but as time has gone on, perhaps not so simple.

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I Married a Humanist. An interview with Ralph Benmurgui
…..Yes, I am a progressive religious Jew….Spirituality and religion are not the same thing. Which is why my wife is a spiritual person as a Humanist and I’m a spiritual person as a practicing Jew. We’re both Jewish, culturally but both of us are engaged in spirituality which is a relational point, not an intellectual point. It’s about being in a relationship with this world. So to me, a humanist has a completely understandable spiritual path….

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On Being the Son of Dr. Henry Morgentaler by Abraham Morgentaler MD
My father, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, was many things to many people. How he thought of himself, though, was as a humanist. He believed fervently in the human dignity of each individual, and he valued reason and logical thinking as if it were his faith…

Humanism and Democracy by Jay Narveson
….. When we speak of human rights, we mean rights accorded to every human, just because they are human. Rights are supposed to be a sort of guarantee. If you have a right to life, and it is respected, that means that no one will kill you – you are guaranteed not to die at the hands of anyone else. Question: is democracy one of those rights? Can it be?

Book review

In addition, Humanist Perspectives offers a lively Letters-to-the-Editor section as well as Book Reviews, books available for review and snippets of international news of interest to humanists.

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