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Saint Petersburg Branch of the Russian Humanist Society
"Zdraviy Smysl" ("Common Sense") Magazine Elected Articles
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Issue 26

  • V. Ginzburg to V. Kuvakin. Academician Ginzburg, a well-known physicist, provides financial support to RHS and initiates subscription among those who share the goals of secular humanism.
  • V. Kuvakin to V. Ginzburg. A word of gratitude to the scholar from the Russian Humanist Society’s President, the RHS Executive Committee, and the Common Sense Editorial Board.
  • V. Kuvakin shares his view on Humanism and Philanthropy: the level of contributions to civil society organizations reflects the level of citizens’ self-respect and the status of democracy in general.
  • The IHEU Amsterdam Declaration 2002, adopted at the International Humanist and Ethical Union Semicentenary Congress. “Our primary task is to make human beings aware in the simplest terms of what Humanism can mean to them and what IT commits them to. By utilizing free inquiry, the power of science and creative imagination for the furtherance of peace and in the service of compassion, we have confidence that we have the means to solve the problems that confront us all…”

RUSSIA TODAY

  • Vitaly Ginzburg contributes his analytical paper, Russia Must Not Slide Down Into the Swamp of Clericalism, pointing out that under the 1993 Constitution, the Russian state is secular and democratic and so must remain separated from any religious institutions. What we observe in reality is an obvious clericalization of the country.
  • Vyacheslav Bocharov, “It's Close to Midnight”. A recent conference on “Cooperation Between Government and Religious Organizations in the Field of Education” (city of Sergiev Posad, 2002) recommended a course of Orthodox Christianity to be included in school curriculum … “We can assure the clergy: the more they press, the more resistance they will face from society”, the author warns.

DISCUSSING THE NEW TEXTBOOK ON HUMANISM

  • Vladimir Zhukotski, Teaching Humanism. “In order to survive in a new environment, a sensible person and innate humanist … must become a committed humanist … The new textbook offers a helping hand to such a person.”
  • Igor Borzenko describes publication of the textbook as an Important Event. “My general view of the book is that it can serve as a sound foundation...”

MAGAZINE WITHIN MAGAZINE


DARWINISM, EVOLUTIONISM, AND WORLDVIEW (part 2)

  • H. James Birx, Dynamic Integrity / The Pragmatic Value For Our New Millennium. Summary in English
  • David Alexander Lukaszek, Richard Dawkins and the Post-Darwinian Revolution. Summary in English

HUMANISM AND CULTURE

  • Sergei Borodavkin, Human Being in the Mirror of Culture. “A human being may be interpreted in different ways, depending on the cultural language we choose: rationally, through concepts and logic; aesthetically, through emotionally colored images; or morally, through behavioral patterns and value choices. Humans are multidimensional entities, just like the world itself …”
  • Paul Kurtz, Are Science and Religion Compatible? Report by the prominent US scholar, philosopher and humanist. This paper introduced the Center for Inquiry conference “Science and Religion: are they Compatible?” Nov. 9–11, 2001, in Atlanta. “We need separation between religion and science, ethics, and state. But there is an appropriate domain for religion, and in this sense science and religion are not necessarily incompatible. This domain is evocative, expressive, emotive. Religion presents moral poetry, aesthetic inspiration, and dramatic expression of existential hope and yearnings”.

SORE POINT

  • Vsevolod Lyashenko explores the mind of a “living bomb” is his article entitled “Ourselves and the Kamikaze”. He also reveals the social repercussions that this type of terrorism seeks to produce. While denouncing fanatical nationalism and terrorism, the author finds that the Chechen war is more likely to nurture terrorism than to eradicate it.
  • In his essay Peace-Seeking through Terrorism – a Message to Russian Beau Monde, Alexander Kruglov argues that part of the blame for bloodshed in Chechenya and multiple casualties on both sides lies with the romantically-minded Russian elite, who have built a false reputation for Chechen Islamic radicals as noble-minded, Robin Hood type “champions of people’s freedom” …

AMONG THE HUMANISTS

  • Yuri Mironov, The Moral and Humanistic Vector of the Noosphere. Review of Space, Life and the Symmetry Principle, a book by HUS member B. Romanenko, who recently turned 90.

CONTROVERSY

  • Yevgeny Glushakov, Christian and Secular Humanism: a Believer's View. “Strictly speaking, secular humanism is the same thing as Christian humanism, only stripped of its religious character and some important concepts, and forgetful of its true origin …”
  • Valeri Kuvakin comments upon Ye. Glushakov’s article, giving a personality portrayal of a religious humanist. (But one thing is needful. Reflections on Glushakov’s article).

LETTERS

  • Moscow Atheist Society Executive Committee: For reader's information. Concerning the “Appeal in Defense of Science” initiated by ATOM (Atheist Society of Moscow).
  • A. Shutov: “A Strange Type of Humanism”. Editor of Vyatka newspaper K Gumanizmu (“Towards Humanism”) disagrees with the RHS’s position, as he sees it from articles in Common Sense.
  • N. Kondratenko “A Voice in the Wilderness”. Pensioner from Krasnodar is concerned about the church penetrating all spheres of the Russian society and continuously expanding its foothold. “My wish for RHS is to develop a discernible voice, loud enough to be heard …”