The Humanist Advocate

Rethinking the First Amendment

      Make no mistake. Social media has indeed distorted our reality. How do you know what you read is real? How can information authentication be trusted in today’s polarizing America? The Information Age has split our society and made us live in multi-dynamic realities. This is dangerous because it is only the beginning of what will become the new norm in a society that has become increasingly immersed in the virtual world.   The distant, far-from-actuality realities we…

2021: NOSHA is Alive and Well (For Now)

            Writing in NOSHA News fifteen years ago this month, Connie Gordon Schultz marked  the occasion of the first meeting of the “revived and reconstituted” New Orleans Secular Humanist Association after the crushing devastation Hurricane Katrina bore on the city, and perhaps prophetically, but certainly welcomed, the reunification was just in time for the group’s  annual winter solstice celebration December 18, 2005. About 30 members, some of which are shown in the photo, attended and…

A Robert Ingersoll Xmas Twofer

    A Christmas Sermon  (1891) The good part of Christmas is not always Christian — it is generally Pagan; that is to say, human, natural. Christianity did not come with tidings of great joy, but with a message of eternal grief. It came with the threat of everlasting torture on its lips. It meant war on earth and perdition hereafter. It taught some good things — the beauty of love and kindness in man. But as a torch-bearer, as…

Exhale

The modern humanist tradition, both secular and religious, appears to have escaped a serious threat to its progress, perhaps even its survival with the defeat of Donald Trump in the 2020 election for President. Trump’s incompetence as a leader and lack of inspiration as a visionary, coupled with his keen but bungling aptitude for authoritarian, anti-democratic, and demagogic persuasion and control, and his divisive rhetoric, mendacity, and self-dealing corruption  would have given him, had he won, free reign to further…

How America is Slipping Towards Authoritarianism

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis was just a symptom of a problem that America has and was one of many signals of how America has changed and how dangerous the resistance to that change has become. The dangerous part? The American right is showing increasing signs of tolerating authoritarianism with the involvement of police and federal officers to shut down all demonstrations that were the biggest since the Civil Rights Movement in 1964.    The Republican party has…

Beyond Humanism (Or Not)

The following post borrows its title from the magazine article that is its subject. The sub-headings are also similar.    The three inevitabilities of life: taxes, death, and criticism. We know not much good can be said of death, but there are some benefits from paying taxes, and often criticism can be a rich learning experience.  Not the obsessive, masochistic self-criticism of oneself, or the systemic mandatory progress reports or write-ups of the organization, or social shaming and bullying on…

Plagues and Protests

Is there a thread of connection between national and world events that have at once threatened the health and life of large swaths of the human population in the form of an extremely contagious viral invasion evolving into a global pandemic, and an uprising of protests in dozens of cities in the United States sparked, ostensibly, by the video of the clumsy yet brutally degrading execution of a black citizen—protests which have become, much as COVID-19, a worldwide phenomenon? If…

The Other Pandemic

    It wouldn’t take two people to argue about the volatility of the world right now in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. It also reveals how divided America has become. The cultural war on science achieved a partial victory among its champions unjustly when, as they claim, viruses can now be deemed as hoax and the number of people who died in the United States , totaling 75,000 as of May 8th 2020, is also a lie. But why…

The *Trolley* Triage

      With a little imagination, it is not hard to visualize Eduardo Morales feat of engineering as acting out in real time a classic thought experiment in the study of ethics and morality.    Morales was shuffling train cars with his engine at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro when he (self-admittedly) “snapped” and engineered (drove?) his locomotive engine off the end of the track and toward the hospital ship USNS Mercy. The ship was tied…

On Sticking Apart

This is the wa y the world ends     This is the way the world ends     This is the way the world ends     Not with a bang but a whimper.   T. S. Eliot “The Hollow Men” 1925 Sometimes the magnitude of a crisis doesn’t register with you until something—something large, small, something normally insignificant or unavoidably substantial—presents itself to you with the abruptness and urgency of a boxing glove sailing your way; and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s quotation “Hell is other people”…

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