Humanist Perspectives: issue 190, Autumn 2014

Issue 190, Autumn 2014

cover of issue 190
Humanist Perspectives is a refreshing, rational analysis of modern events and culture and is available at select magazine stores or by online subscription.


Whatever the odds — just do what you have to do! by Madeline Weld
The way forward is fraught and, faced with so many looming catastrophes, we might take to heart a quote from the Dutch Prince William of Orange: "It is not necessary to hope in order to undertake, nor to succeed in order to persevere." Through our collective efforts, we might just make things turn out a little bit better than they otherwise would have.

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Humanism: a viable road to the future? by Henry Beissel
We are living in the era of the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. The last one took place 65 million years ago and exterminated the dinosaur along with every other large land animal. The current one is of our own making, and we shall become extinct as victims of our own folly and greed unless we make the fundamental changes in our personal and political life necessary for the creation of a sustainable community...

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Israel or Islam: which is the real roadblock to peace in the middle east? by Madeline Weld
To have Jews governing any part of Palestine and especially its capital Jerusalem with its Islamic holy sites (like the Dome of the Rock, built on the Temple Mount sacred to Jews) is an affront to Islam and to Allah. In the words of Bat Ye'or .....because divine will dooms Jews to wandering and misery [pace Koran 17:4-5/7:168; and 2:61/3:112], the Jewish state appears to Muslims as an unbearable affront and a sin against Allah. Therefore it must be destroyed by Jihad.

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Globalization meets Limits to Growth by J. Anthony Cassils
This article will explore the scope of globalization, examine the context that gave rise to the widespread acceptance of the word in the 1980s, and make the case that, instead of contributing to human understanding, it has served as a distraction that has delayed humankind from responding to the urgent problems of limits to growth as first set out by the Club of Rome in 1972...
Earth's "wisest" species heads for the cliff (again) by John Meyer
Globalism promotes maximum consumption and maximum debt, the two conditions which assure the 1% (a.k.a. "the parasitic overhead") of the greatest returns. It also guarantees the maximum destruction of environmental assets, the fastest depletion of critical resources and the most rapid path towards extreme income polarization (inequality) and the social chaos which accompanies it.

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God's wrath? by Sophie Dulesh
Countdown had already begun: A few more minutes – and it would happen. They will have done it – created a super-powerful nuclear blast that would blow Tel Aviv off the Globe. The day had been selected carefully, with special consideration of the northeast winds prevailing at this time of year, thus protecting the homeland from nuclear fallout, which would be carried away to others – to Western lands.
Imagine No Religion 4 by Eric Thomas
Humanity has "imagined no religion." The 2014 conference participants reflected what is increasing becoming the societal reality of living without religion. For humanists, atheists, scientists and thinkers, the evolution of though precludes dogmatic direction. We are iving without the historic paradigm of prescribed thinking. INR4 was part of our evolution. INR5 in Vancouver will help us on our journey.

Book review

Religious Addiction by R. Mutton by S. Clare Rowson-Sabin
[The book] is actually a self-help manual for people addicted to alcohol. ..His main premise is that alcoholics should take responsibility for their own actions and not look for escape clauses like a "higher power" or traumatic incidents in their past that caused them to resort to the bottle...
In addition, Humanist Perspectives offers a lively Letters-to-the-Editor section as well as Book Reviews, books available for review and snippets of international news of interest to humanists.