Humanist Perspectives: issue 206, Autumn 2018

Issue 206, Autumn 2018

cover of issue 206
Humanist Perspectives is a refreshing, rational analysis of modern events and culture and is available at select magazine stores or by online subscription.

Editorial

Do you celebrate diversity (and mass immigration) or are you an unreconstructed knuckle-dragging bigot? by Madeline Weld
index-editorialConservative Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier boldly stepped into a sacred cow patty on August 12th. In a series of six tweets, he questioned Canada’s ever-increasing diversity that he says will “divide us into little tribes” and bring “distrust, social conflict and potentially violence.”

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Features

Social Justice Warriors’ War Against the Enlightenment by Lorna Salzman
index-salzmanThe Enlightenment of the 18th century, whose principles enabled the rise of secular de­mocracy, egalitarianism and human rights, was made flesh in the French Revolution and inscribed in our Constitution as the foundation of our country’s statutes and political identity. It also made possible the scientific revolution that began in the previous century even as it provoked persecution of scientific free-thinkers by the Catholic Church, whose doctrines and power structures were directly threatened.

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“White Privilege” is Newspeak by C.A. Wordsworth
index-wordsworthNewspeak is the unofficial first language of Canada, overlying the two official lan­guages of French and English characteristic of Canadian identity, and forcing, insidiously, a uniform expression of values and identity that was never ours. What is Newspeak? In the words of George Orwell, who coined the word for his novel 1984, it’s a language “designed to diminish the range of thought” and which is used in his fictional totalitarian state to control the people.

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On Evil by Plato Mamo
index-mamoAnyone who claims to be a Christian must, at some point, consider the notorious problem of evil. If God is all-good and all-powerful he would eliminate all evil. But evil exists. Therefore, God cannot be all-good and all-powerful. It is entirely convincing: God, as conceived by the Christian, cannot exist. The only way to evade its force is to minimize or deny the existence of evil.

Western Civilization Part 3: Western Civilization in Modernity by Sophie Dulesh
index-duleshModernity or the Modern Age is defined as the post-medieval historical period; central to modernity is the emancipation from religion, specifically from the hegemony of Christianity, and the consequent secularization... The Reformation wars were deadlier than the Black Death or World War II.

Denying Darwin in the Era of “Fake News”and Anti-Science Fundamentalism by David Orenstein
index-orensteinThe long-term intellectual ability humans have developed to investigate, gather infor­mation and learn from the material world has led us on a continuous journey of discovery. But, in every generation, there have been seg­ments of the population that either cannot or will not adjust their worldview when new paradigms, once unknown, are uncovered and then reshape our world.

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Rotten Teeth or Dental Care by Glen Harper
index-harperOh God, I thought as he opened his mouth to talk with me, I don’t think he has any teeth...Not just one or two teeth were missing, as if per­haps he had been in a fight. All of his teeth were missing, except two tiny particles, barely white, sticking out of his upper gums at the front.

I am compostable, therefore, I was! OR: My nana died, but she still brings me flowers on my birthday every summer! by Martin Pariseau
index-pariseau>Having participated in Humanist Officiant/Celebrant training here in British Columbia, as well as being familiar with various communities of seniors claiming secular beliefs, I have heard a few interesting stories about how people would like their mortal remains to be disposed of.

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Some Enchanted Evening by John K. Nixon
index-nixonIt was my good friend Phil Jones who introduced me to the McGill Outing Club. We were both students at McGill University. The club was dedicated to outdoor activities, including hikes and other healthful pursuits, in the countryside around Montreal. It was late October, 1958, and the club had organized a Halloween weekend at its clubhouse in Shawbridge, in the Laurentian hills north of the city.

How Over-production and Peak Oil will Trigger the Next Depression by Bob Stevenson
index-stevensonIn 2011, Nicole Foss, co-writer at the Automatic Earth, spoke at a public forum in Ottawa. In her critique of present-day capitalism, she stated that one basic problem is that the system has no operating manual. There are no guidelines to control the system. Consequently the CEO of each corporation seeks to maximize profit for their company and no one is guiding the whole process. In addition, the system relies on a growth model that is based on finite resources. It’s not sustainable.

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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