[setissue inum=”221″ iseason=”Summer 2022″ icover=”/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/HP221-FE.jpg” iname=”The Strange Persistence of Dubious Ideas” ilink=”/issue221/”]
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CONTENT FOR ISSUE 221
Voice of a Humanist / Simon ParcherIt is a cause for celebration when progress is made regarding human rights. Victories won bring a period of hope and relief from suffering. The lifting of oppression is accompanied by an expectation that the enlightenment will be permanent; that we will never go back.
EDITORIAL: The Strange Persistence of Dubious Ideas / Gary BauslaughThe best estimate is that something close to 200,000 needless deaths have occurred as a result of what is politely called “vaccine hesitancy,” while, as one study shows, an unvaccinated adult is an astonishing 33 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than a boosted one.
Freedom Misunderstood / Carol MatthewsWhat does it mean now when we see Canadian flags displayed in windows of cars and houses? It used to be that these were signs of a touching and genuine patriotism. Now, they seem to be coopted for a more sinister purpose.
They're Out to Get You / Kyle BurkeAmerican historian Kyle Burke writes about Robert Welch, the man who paved the way for the paranoid American right. Many liberals thought of Welch and his John Birch society as irrelevant anachronisms. Burke shows the distressing extent to which Welch still influences the American right.
Military Defeat and the Smashing of Ideas / Trudy GovierWe like to think that pernicious ideologies can be defeated by the use of military force. We thought that Nazism was finished off after 1945. We thought that antisemitism could not persist after the Holocaust. We seem to have been wrong about both of these assumptions.
Moral Detachment, One Key to the Persistence of Dubious Ideas / Janet KeepingWhy do dubious ideas persist? Janet Keeping argues that part of the problem is moral detachment. One can have the “right intellectual concepts in one’s head, but that is of little value if we do not act accordingly.
On Roots, Fruits, and Religious Disputes / Ian JohnstonIan Johnston invokes William James in arguing for tolerance of those who hold religious beliefs. Religion has persisted, even prospered, in the face of rationalist criticism. Perhaps it fills an important human need.
Dodging the End Times / Ben D'AndreaReligious prophets once reigned as authorities on the end of time, but fortunately their warnings were premature, and based on questionable evidence. Modern day scientists have taken up the cudgel, albeit with sounder evidence and considerably longer waiting periods. Unfortunately, the idea of apocalypse is not quite so dubious anymore.
Memoir: The Day the Ceiling Fell / Terry RapochA somewhat dubious idea: to think one can move to an elderly farmhouse and escape trouble. Terry’s encounter with trouble was quite dramatic.
Interview with Steven Pinker / Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson“There is a fundamental split between two mindsets… is it that society is like a diseased patient where a bunch of medical professionals try to diagnose the cause of the problems and try to treat them, or do you think the world is like a zero sum conflict and that...
Super-Concise Bios / Gary BauslaughRecently I asked, as I do, for short bios from our writers, except in one case I mistakenly said “2 to 3 words” instead of my usual “2 to 3 sentences.”
Humanist Perspectives Short Submission Contest 221 / WebmasterWe invite you to share your humanist views with us in a paragraph or two (MAX 1000 chars) on one of the following subjects reflected by these 3 images.