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Dying without Deity

Perspectives on Death and Dying Symposium

Promises to be an eye opening symposium. These topics have not been explored in one place, at one time, anywhere before. Walk out of Columbia University one of a few self believers informed and armed with solutions to deal with many of the end of life issues that our communities face.

Program to Date

•Disclosure of the discrimination nontheists experience when a relative or loved one has died including narratives that have been submitted to the Anti-Discrimination Support Network.

•An examination of religious discrimination in New York's, Florida's and California's medical facilities and discussion of the changes needed in order for the secular community to receive the same recognition and support as is provided to the religious community.

•How to prevent unwanted religious intrusion through advance directives.

•Is there a role for a secular humanist chaplaincy?

•Should one donate their organs upon death? How does one benefit from doing so?

•As opposed to end of life suicide there is despair suicide. What are the considerations of ending one's life in despair suicide? What of the loss of one's community and one's future self? Philosophical antecedents to these ideas through history will be shared.

•Do people have the right to die by committing end of life suicide? Who has the right to tell people that they should not embrace the choice to end their lives? Anyone? No one?

•Learn of secular ways to deal with one's own death. An exploration of Graeco-Roman philosophy's take on the last stage of life and how one can profit from an update on this ancient wisdom.

•How can one both mourn and celebrate the death of a loved one?

ISHV is extending a ten percent discount for early registration until February 15. Stay at the Aloft Hotel for only $199 a night available until March 8. Hurry! Don't miss out on these reduced prices. Register today. And yes, ISHV is offering the discount on the membership price, too.

See you there.



Paul Kurtz Receives Enthusiastic Welcome in

New Orleans


On Saturday, November 19, 2011, Paul Kurtz

spoke at a receptive and thrilled gathering hosted

by the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association. Kurtz discussed the need for personal morality and reason in guiding human beings to ethical excellence. Furthermore, Kurtz discussed the importance of exuberance in the life of the individual


2011 Paul Kurtz Lecturer Examines

Materialism, Naturalism and Nihilism


On October 20, 2011, philosopher Louise Antony of the University of Massachusetts delivered a scholarly presentation for the 2011 “Paul Kurtz Lecture” at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her lecture was titled Materialism, Naturalism and Nihilism.

Dr. Antony is the author of many impressive works. She contributed an excellent article to the book titled

Is Goodness without God Good Enough? The book was based on a debate between Kurtz and Christian apologist William Lane Craig.


In Defense of the Nigerian Humanist Movement


The Institute for Science and Human Values stands with the Nigerian Humanist Movement (NHM) in their legitimate attempt to register their organization in their nation. For several years, the NHM has gone through bureaucratic red tape in fruitless efforts to gain legal status for their group.


Russian Humanists open International

Summer School



Every Child A Wanted Child: A

Humanist Manifesto


When this paper was first written (but not published) in 2008, the situation for women’s reproductive rights was threatening. Now, almost hree years later, the situation is much worse—the word “dire” is not too extreme.

The abuse of the witch children of Akwa

Ibom State


The Institute for Science and Human Values is an international organization devoted to the global advancement of science, reason, and humanist values. Naturally, we were appalled to hear how children accused of witchcraft in Akwa Ibom State are cast out of their families, beaten, tortured, maimed, and murdered.

Eight-Year-Old Scientists


The eight to ten year olds investigated the way bumblebees see colors and patterns,



Hospital punished and nurse excommunicated for performing a legal, life saving abortion.


Cognitive scientist Stephen Pinker spoke at the University of Buffalo to inaugurate the new Paul Kurtz lecture series.







On Monday, March 25, 2013, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Nigerian humanist and human rights activist Leo Igwe will speak at the Hackney Picture House, 270 Mare Street, E8 1HE, London, England.



Religious Freedom Day


Monday, January 16, 2012, marks the celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King. However, it also marks the celebration of Religious Freedom Day. This special day honors the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom passed by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. (Thomas Jefferson wrote the law in 1777, and it was introduced to the Assembly in 1779.)

The law defends freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and the separation of church and state. It was the predecessor to the First Amendment right of religious freedom. It regards religious freedom as a natural right, and maintains that no one may be forced to attend church or to support a place of worship with taxes.

In this day, it is especially important that Americans celebrate this special day. Threats to religious liberty have never been greater Conservative Christians are attempting to prevent Muslims from building mosques.

In several U.S. states Conservative Christian politicians are attempting to pass laws against Sharia law, even though it poses no threat to the nation. Indeed, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against Oklahoma’s proposed anti-Sharia law, finding that Sharia was no threat to the state. Influential politicians such as Newt Gingrich have led such efforts that discourage the growth of Islam and, at least inadvertently, promote Christianity.

Please join the Institute for Science and Human Values by contacting President Obama and your U.S. senators and representatives and local politicians to ask for their support in keeping church and state separate


ISHV's Norm R. Allen Jr. speaking at the first Atheists and Agnostics Convention in South East Asia




Sheldon F. Gottlieb, Ph.D.

Before you consign me to Bellevue because of the contents of this essay, I assure you I did not have a hallucinatory epiphany while on my way to Emmitsburg, MD - about 10 miles south of Gettysburg, PA and thinking about Tennessee’s latest religious fundamentalist attack on science and reason and an association with Abraham Lincoln.



    Ayele Hunt, campaign manager for I AM CHOICE

    R. Mona Leza, Local Poet

    Wendy Grassi, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

    Liz Prisley, Local Poet

    Toni Van Pelt, Southeast Regional Director of the National Board for NOW and Public Policy Director for the Institute for Science and Human Values

    Free Thought film festival




ISHV Mourns the Loss of Our Founder

Paul Kurtz

We grieve the death of our ISHV Founder, Professor Paul Kurtz. Paul died at his home in Amherst, New York on October 20 at the age of 86 of causes most likely associated with progressive cardiac failure. I'm sure I speak for all of us in offering condolences to Paul's wife Claudine, his son Jonathan - also on the ISHV Board - and to all other members of Paul's family. This is a difficult time of trial for all of them, and ISHV offers whatever help we can give to ease the adjustment this period entails.

It is impossible to summarize in a few

words all of Paul's achievements as an international humanist leader. Many of these achievements will no doubt be noted when an appropriate memorial is held to honor his memory. It is not an exaggeration to say that Paul was the most prominent and effective leader of the global - Paul would have preferred "planetary" - secular humanist movement since the time of John Dewey; and Paul was a far more effective organizer than even Dewey. People often fail to realize what a profound impact a great public figure has had until that figure is gone. The spontaneous outpouring of tributes to Paul during the first two days following his demise speak volumes to that. Two outstanding notices have been published by the New York Times and the Associated Press.

In the weeks before his death Paul was excited to be helping us plan our next symposium "The Human Prospect and the Fate of Our Planetary Civilization" to be held April 12-13, 2013 at Columbia University in New York City. He was looking forward to returning to his alma mater for this special event.

The official statement and obituary from the Kurtz family and Prometheus Books

can be found here.


From us in ISHV we can now say:

"Thank you Paul for what you have done for us, for your vision and your passion, and for advancing the freethought movement that we all cherish. We will always remember you, honor you, and stay true to the vision for a better, more humanistic world for people that you always defended. You will be long remembered and greatly missed.




Nigerian humanist activist and hero Leo Igwe, founder of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, is touring the U.S. from July 6-17, 2012. He will speak in California, Nevada, Missouri, and Texas.




On July 4, 2012, officers from the Delhi Police went to the home of Indian skeptic Sanal Edamaruku to arrest him. The Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Court issued his arrest warrant. Because Edamaruku was not at home, no arrest could be made.



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