Don’t Put an Atheist on the Supreme Court

Physicist Lawrence Krauss argues in his latest for The New Yorker that Antonin Scalia’s replacement should be a “declared atheist”. He offers in support of this suggestion three main points: that an increasingly large proportion of Americans are nonreligious, and that an atheist Justice would represent this minority in government; that an atheist justice would “from a [Read More…]

Cosmos – Epistemic, Existential, Ethical, and Aesthetic

My bio as a Humanist speaker ends with the words “James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan, and Star Trek” – and it’s true. When I discovered the works, words, and worlds of Carl Sagan, my world flew open. I’ve written about his unique approach to science, Humanism, and the big questions of life, and I’ve spoken [Read More…]

Should Alan Turing Be “Pardoned”?

Today Alan Turing, computer science pioneer, inventor of the “Turing Test”, and Second World War Hero, was pardoned by the British crown. The pardon repeals his conviction for “gross indecency” – he admitted to having a homosexual relationship after his house was burgled by an acquaintance of his lover, and was promptly prosecuted and plied [Read More…]

Unbelievable – When Morality Becomes Literary Criticism

It’s not my normal practice to listen to Christian radio. Although I love music, there’s nothing more likely to induce me to vomit than Christian Pop interspersed with pious priests talking in that sickly, syrupy voice they have when dispersing their moral goodies like cherry-flavored cough-drops from the family doctor.

However, each Sunday I like to listen to Unbelievable?, a program on Premier Christian Radio. Recent programs have left me with one unambiguous message: it is supremely foolish to allow questions of morality to become exercises in literary criticism.
[Read more…]

The Tolling Bell: Do Some Deserve to Die?

Outside the White House, citizens gathered to wave American Flags and chant “USA! USA!” At Ground Zero and Times Square people came out in droves. Right now as I type people are pressing onto the T in Boston, heading to the Common. Heading to celebrate the death of another human being.

This leads me to question, as a Humanist: Do some people deserve to die? Is it ever right to celebrate the death of another human person? [Read more…]

Goodness in the Badlands

On a service trip to South Dakota, the Humanist Graduate Community at Harvard finds and expresses shared values with their Lakota hosts at the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

This post originally appeared on the blog of the Interfaith Youth Core. [Read more…]

Drums and Fire – Pillars of the Temple

Is there a drumming inside your head that church bells fail to quiet? A pulse that outdoes heaven for sweetness, and hell for heat? A rhythm you want to share with others, so powerfully does it move you? Perhaps, like me, your head harbors the drums of reason, and thrills to their beat. [Read more…]