Category Archives: humanism

The New Yorker praises atheism (sort of)

UPDATE: James Wood has responded politely to this piece in a comment below, which you can find here. ************* The article below (click on screenshot), by New Yorker literary critic and Harvard English professor James Wood, is a review of Martin Hägglund’s new book, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, but also a paean […]

My article in Quillette: A rebuttal of John Staddon’s claim that secular humanism is a religion

Since I’ve now published in Quillette, I guess I’m not only a member of the Intellectual Dark Web, but also an alt-righter and a white supremacist. Or so the Perpetually Aggrieved might say. At any rate, if you click on the screenshot below, or go here, you’ll see my 1900-word response to John Staddon’s essay, […]

The worst article ever to appear in Quillette: Psychologist declares secular humanism a “religion”

In general I like the articles in Quillette: they’re generally left-wing but also critical of the Left’s excesses—a theme that has led some misguided ideologues to call the site “alt-right.” But this time the editors screwed up by accepting a piece that makes very little sense, and arrives at its conclusion by some risibly tortuous […]

NHS adds first humanist chaplain (and a small rant on accommodationism)

Click on the screenshot below to watch this short 2½-minute video featuring Lindsay van Dijk, the first humanist chaplain to work for the National Health Service in Britain. van Dijik was appointed by a trust, so I’m not sure the NHS actually pays her salary, but that doesn’t matter. What’s good is that she works […]

A smarmy NYT article about atheism and humanism

In the past few months I’ve given two talks—one for the American Humanists and the other for the Freedom From Religion Foundation—on the relationship between atheism, humanism, and social good. I started both talks by asking the audience to raise their hands if they considered themselves humanists. Every hand went up. I then asked how many […]

Can religion answer “The Big Existential Questions”?

Here we have another person blathering on about the limits of science, emitting the usual noises about how science, whatever its value in materially improving our species, can’t answer the Big Questions. This time it’s Nathan Gardels, editor in chief of the WorldPost, a branch of the fluffy Huffington Post, and his piece is “How science is […]

American Humanist meeting: Day 2

I went to one panel yesterday: “Humanism and Humor: Funny Ladies Discuss”, with Margaret Downey as moderator and featuring comedian and author Julia Sweeney and comedian and activist Leighann Lord (she also co-hosted Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson). I thought it might be a rather serious discussion of comedy and its implications for nonbelievers, […]

American Humanist Association convention

Yesterday was actually the second day of the annual AHA meetings in Chicago, but the first day in which the conference was in full swing. I arrived in the late afternoon and so was able to make only one panel discussion: “Examining Honor Culture in Islam”, with Muhammad Syed and Sarah Haider (co-founders of the […]

Rubin report: Faisal Saeed Al Mutar and Melissa Chen

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement, and Melissa Chen helps him run it; they’re from Iraq and Singapore respectively. I’m proud to join them and others as a moderator of the Global Secular Humanist Movement Facebook page, which has a huge readership (336,000 “likes”) and, to our credit, has been […]

A quick glimpse of tonight’s talk at BHA Humanists

JAC: I have little to add to what Grania wrote. It was a great time. I came early and signed every copy of Faith versus Fact in Britain (no kidding; the Humanists bought every one in Old Blighty), as well as many copies of WEIT. They all sold out, too, which was gratifying. The audience was 1000, with […]