A digest of articles, interviews, and
blogs of consequence for thinking
humanists and secularists
everywhere
       (Compiled by Robert Tapp)
Inspired by Empathy and Creativity, guided by Reason
Paul Kurtz, Founder    Jonathan Kurtz, Chairman
By Norm R. Allen Jr.
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by Toni Van Pelt
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 This Woman’s Point of View
 An enforcement tool, Fifty Shades of Grey
 “An old story, repackaged"
Fifty Shades of Grey, the selling of male violence, domination, powerful and wealthy, is a very old story, repeated throughout the generations. In my day it was the Story of O. Yes, most women are turned on by many of these images of sexual bondage, degradation and humiliation. I used to be myself. From the time I first experienced sexual fantasies it was usually an image of me kneeling at the alter in the catholic church with a priest coming up from behind me, inserting his penis and telling me to pray. It went on from there. I imagine a number of catholic girls had the same kind of fantasies from a tender age and perhaps boys. How can it be any different in this society, that we are all turned on by abusive sexual images? As in all of planetary society, it is the way we are brought up and continue to bring up children. It is a big part of the grooming of girls, women and boys to accept violence and degradation as “normal' by the larger community. It is a huge part of the slavery industry.
Is Tolerance Tolerable?
A discussion from the 2013 symposium with Susan Jacoby, Terry O’Neil and Nel Noddings as reported by The American Humanist Associations Joan Reisman-Brill.
“Perspectives on Death and Dying
Symposium:
Dying without Deity.”
Friday: April 10, 2015  5:40 Opening Reception Cash Bar and Delightfully Delicious Hors d’oeuvres 6:40-7:00  Welcome - Toni Van Pelt   Robert Tapp - Symposium Chairman -“The Broad Range of Humanisms” 7:00-9:00 Opening Addresses: Toni Van Pelt - Moderator “Do People Have the "Right to Die”?” - Ana Lita "Stay" and the Secular Argument Against Suicide” - Jennifer Michael Hecht “Body Not Soul: Encouraging Organ and Body Donation After Death” - Jamila Bey Saturday: April 11, 2015 8:15 Arrival and Coffee 8:45-9:05  - Morning Remarks: Toni Van Pelt   Moderator “The Paul Kurtz Legacy” - Robert Tapp “The Human Prospect: A Neohumanist Perspective” ISHV’s Journal- Charles Murn 9:05-11:35 - Humanist Community Panel: Somasundaram Ilangovan - Moderator “Respect Beyond the Grave” - Margaret Downey “Secular Patients Graciously Accept Second Class Status” - Joseph Beck Coping styles of believers and nonbelievers and a role for secular humanist chaplaincy - Ralph Lewis A Different Kind of Immortality - Anne Klaeysen 11:35-12:20 - Saroja Ilangovan  Moderator “Is Radical Life Extension Pseudoscientific Quackery, Medical Science, or a Moral Imperative?” - D.J. Grothe 12:20-12:35 - “ISHV Programs and Progress” Toni Van Pelt 12:35-1:35 - Lunch 1:35-3:35 - Legals Issues Around Death & Dying Panel: Marcia Cohen  Moderator “How religious hospital policies could affect your end-of-life choices” - Lois Uttley Keeping Clergy Away:  Preventing Unwanted Religious Intrusion Through Advance Directives - Carol Ann Johnson and Debra Smietanski 3:35-4:20 - Stuart Jordan  Moderator “Why does the concept of suicide cause such outrage?” - Janis Landis, president elect of Final Exit 4:20-5:15 “Dying with Dignity: Lessons from Stoicism & Co.” - Massimo Pigliucci 5:15-6:00 Group Discussion - led by Robert Tapp and DJ Grothe To Be Announced: Evening Gathering Social
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Why does the concept of suicide cause such outrage?
Why do many psychologists allege that ‘rational suicide’ is an oxymoron?  The Final Exit Network is the only organization in the United States that advocates for the right of competent adults to determine that due to irremediable medical conditions,  the quality of their life is insufficient.  This paper looks at the legal landscape in several States that have waged war against FEN and the right to self-determination.    It provides an update on current rules including the Canadian Supreme Court decision, and it examines why the right to individual autonomy in the way we exit life has become the next battleground in the evolution of basic human rights.
Janis Landis
Presented by Janis Landis
On Religiously Sanctioned Bigotry
In recent weeks there have been disturbing stories in the news about people using religion to make life miserable for others. There is the story of certain Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men on numerous flights from New York to Israel refusing to sit next to women because it is allegedly against their religion. These religious fanatics, not surprisingly, insist that everyone must respect their deeply cherished religious values. Perhaps the best known case is the Orwellian titled Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of Indiana. It was clear that the intent of the bill was to permit conservative Christian businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers. It was warmly embraced by Roman Catholic nuns and priests, those long-time guardians of LGBT rights. However, Governor Mike Pence, who hopes to become President, changed the bill so that it specifically forbids discrimination against LGBT people. In this latter case, reactionary religionists insist that their opposition to homosexuality is religiously based, and that, yes, their values should be respected. Yet in the past, reactionary religionists objected to interracial sexual relations. Indeed, it was not until 1967 that interracial marriage was legalized all throughout the U.S.
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