What is humanism, and why have humanists come under attack by religious conservatives and the fundamentalist right? "Humanism is not a dogma or a creed," writes Paul Kurtz."Humanists have confidence in human beings, and they believe that the only bases for morality are human experience and human needs. Humanists are opposed to all forms of supernaturalistic and authoritarian religion. Many humanists believe that scientific intelligence and critical reason can assist in reconstructing our moral lives ...Humanists believe in freedom and pluralistic democracy as virtually our first principle, and we are disturbed by any authoritarian effort to impose one point of view on America. Defence of the open, democratic society should be the first point humanists make in response to the Moral Majority, making it clear that in our reading of the American tradition, pluralism is essential." This is a volume of collected essays by one of the leading exponents of secular humanism. It is a closely reasoned defence of one of the most venerable ethical, scientific and philosophical traditions within Western civilisation.
Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Transcendental Temptation, The Courage to Become, and Embracing the Power of Humanism, plus nine hundred articles and reviews. He was the founder and chairman of Prometheus Books, the Institute for Science and Human Values, the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He appeared on many major television and radio talk shows and has lectured at universities worldwide.