The Humanist

In the July/August, 2006 issue of The Humanist (the magazine for the American Humanist Association), contributor Jeff Nall wrote an article about “overcoming antagonistic atheism.”  He talks about the bad image atheists have and why we have it.  He also talks about how to overcome the image. 

Jeff rips on Richard Dawkins… kinda.  (Still blasphemy, I say!)  So you know this is not your usual atheist article. 

He was kind enough to include the eBay auction as one of the examples of an antidote.  The six page article is below for you to read (in order), and the eBay part is on pages 3-4.  (Click on the image and then if it’s too small, drag your mouse to the lower right corner and click on the magnification button.)

Humanist 1 Humanist 2 Humanist 3 Humanist 4 Humanist 5 Humanist 6

Thanks go to Jeff for permission to reprint the article. 

By the way, on page 1, you can see that the section this article is under is called “Creative Controversy,” where alternative/dissenting/opposing views to typical Humanist thought are found.  I’ve never seen *that* in a Christian magazine…

Jeff has recently begun a campaign for unity between secular, spritual, and religious progressives called the New Progressive Alliance.  He started this after realizing that the different groups “have too much in common… to allow our differences to divide us.”  Read his statement.  Look at the diversity of the signatories– atheists, reverends, PhDs, etc.  Impressive work.  More people need to support this sort of action.


[tags]The Humanist, American Humanist Association, Jeff Nall, Richard Dawkins, eBay atheist, New Progressive Alliance[/tags]

  • Helen aka Ir

    That’s a great article, Hemant! Thanks for sharing it. I mentioned it on the eBay atheist blog today.

    Jeff rips on Richard Dawkins… kinda. (Still blasphemy, I say!)

    Hemant, you and Jeff largely agree on rejecting gods. Evidently Jeff just has one less god than you!


  • becky

    Thanks for linking this article — we need more of this perspective, for sure.

  • Siamang

    Dawkins is an interesting duality.

    Love him and hate him. He’s stellar at science. He’s abysmal at speaking within the sphere of faith. But he’s a very entertaining curmudgeon, and has a singular ability to dress down those with inferior arguments.

    He’s a very entertaining writer because of that. I imagine he’s be a WITHERING professor if you were a classroom slacker. But then, some of my favorite professors were exactly the same way.

    I find Sam Harris much harder to take than Dawkins. I perhaps haven’t given him enough attention to figure him out, but I’ll take 1000 dawkins (if only!) over Harris any day.

  • Hamish

    I think it is great that this kind of perspective is getting a voice at a time when atheist fundamentalists seem to be receiving all the attention.

    I’ve just started something similar in the UK: an online project
    to (1) champion the contributions that humanists and other non believers make to wider society in the fields of social justice, equality and human rights; and (2) to promote good relations and cooperation between believers and non believers. It’s called the O Project

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  • Dave

    Politics makes strange bedfellows might be the operative thought here. Of course, there is no way science, for example, is going to co-share warm and fuzzy feelings with Christianity. Parthenogenesis, the refutation of the laws of thermodynamics, the complete lack of objective proof, verification and replications ensures this. Scientists and certain progressive (as opposed to fundamentalist) religious, might band together to promote, for example the use of condoms in general and Africa in particular. But make no mistake- the reason we even know the very reason why this would be a good thing to do owes its debt in totality to science. And the largest, single, most visible impediment to this course of action is directly related to a religion.

    The article warns against fanaticism. I’ll close with this pithy bumper-sticker moment which sheds a little light on the subject: science asks questions which may not be answered, religion gives answers which may not be questioned. Which promotes the greatest probability of fanaticism? Warm greetings to the doctrinally infallible Benedict and the absolute holiness of Hamza Yusuf.

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