* Humanist Perspectives: issue 200, Spring 2017

Humanist Perspectives: issue 200, Spring 2017

Issue 200, Spring 2017

cover of issue 200
Humanist Perspectives is a refreshing, rational analysis of modern events and culture and is available at select magazine stores or by online subscription.


We can say “sesquicentennial.” But can we say “values”? by Madeline Weld
... One candidate, Kellie Leitch, stirred up a great deal of controversy... for proposing to screen all immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values.” Apparently even proposing such an idea was anti-Canadian. Is that because Canada has no values, or because we have no right to expect that immigrants who will live among us and continue to shape our country should share them?

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Let Us Now Forgive All Germans by James Bacque
It is time to say “Enough” to the people who are constantly repeating hatred of German wrong-doing in the 1940s. For many years now, the Germans have repented sorrowfully, made mighty amends and led Europe in peaceful ways, whereas we – the vengeful victors of World War Two – have never admitted any of the vast crimes we committed in that war. We have forgiven ourselves. Let us now forgive the Germans.

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Is Technology Helping or Hurting Us? by Leigh Donaldson
... Not so long ago, life had a slower pace. Messages were less confusing. There were moments we could devote to reflection and idleness. Technology has completely changed all of that. We are now inexorably bound to the Internet with regard to our jobs, professions, social interactions and creative endeavors. There is no longer any privacy in the workplace or in our living rooms.

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Cradle of Western Civilization by Sophie Dulesh
What is a moral value? Among other things, it is the binary creed defining moral right versus wrong as rationalized by humans for humans. Some philosophical doctrines assert that humanity will inevitably continue to make moral progress forever, an idea that is accepted rather intuitively but eagerly.

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Do You Have Your Resident’s Permit? North America’s Urban Landscape, ca. 2044 by Barry Mayhew
... Seven years ago, in 2035, the residents of San Francisco, as in several major North American cities, had voted by an overwhelming majority to limit the size of their city. It had been a battle not won easily. Litigation had worked its way through the lower courts until ultimately the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, had decided it was the constitutional right of communities to limit their number of residents. The bill that was ultimately passed stated that residents of an urban area had the right to limit their population provided the proposed by-law was approved by a two-thirds majority.

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Canada’s Surprising Role in the Fight Against Slavery by Tom Campbell
July 9th passed almost unnoticed again last year as it usually does. Yet on that date two hundred and twenty-three years ago, a significant event occurred at Niagara-on-the-Lake that deserves to be celebrated. On a warm July day in 1793, a small group of citizen settlers gathered in a rustic meeting room in the settlement where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario, thirteen miles downriver from the falls. On that day, the newly created parliament of the new colony of Upper Canada approved an “Act against Slavery.” It was the first such law passed by any legislature in the British Empire.

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What You Can Do Personally About Global Warming by Robert H. Barrigar
Yes, you personally can take constructive action to mitigate the impact of global warming... You can promote local initiatives. You can champion local improvements that would facilitate implementation of some of the measures listed above. And you can promote local experiments that could lead to prevention or mitigation of some of the most serious consequences of global warming.

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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.