- Valery Kuvakin, Fund for the Sake of Future. On the newly established Transnational Fund “Center for Freethought and Humanistic Studies ‘Chelovechnost’ (“Humanity”)”
WEB SITES OF RHS
- Alexander Krainev, Gennady Shevelev Visit Russian Humanists’ Web Sites!
- “Today’s forum is a celebration for us”. According to Yuri Dyubenok, RHS Irkutsk Branch Chairman and organizer of the 4th nationwide conference “Building a Humane (Moral) Society in Russia” (Moscow State University, June 1-2, 2004), the conference was designed to encourage discussion among people of different worldviews, to see if mutual understanding and cooperation is possible.
- Givi Givishvili Discussing Social Humanism. Reflections on the International Academic Conference “Humanism as a Theoretical and Practical Problem of the 21st Century: Philosophical, Social, Economic and Political Aspects” (June 3-5, 2004, Moscow). “Humanism is no longer understood as narrowly as before: apart from moral aspects of being it now encompasses economics and politics as well,” argues RHS Vice-President.
- In his record of the same conference, entitled Utopia With Human Face, Yevgeny Smetanin supports the organizers’ idea: “In our daily life, it is the democratic variety of Socialism that comes closest to the Humanist idea.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
- Mistake Leading to Success: Sixty-two Charlatan Healers Lose Diplomas. Gennady Shevelev (St. Petersburg RHS section) reports on successful conclusion of the Society’s four-year struggle to have the registration of the so-called “Professional Medical Association of Folk Medicine” canceled: Directory of Justice voided certificates previously issued to “biofield correctors”.
- Suresh Lalvani Report on General Assembly of the International Humanist and Ethical Union meeting in Kampala, Uganda on 27th May 2004. “We, The GA of the IHEU…unanimously deplore the failure of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to condemn the government of the Sudan for its failure to take adequate action to end the ethnic cleansing and genocide…”.
PHILOSOPHY OF FREE THOUGHT AND HUMANISM
- “I have Always Thought in a Clear and Free Manner”. Zulfiya Tazhurizina dedicated her article to the 200th birth anniversary of Ludvig Feuerbach, the great German Humanist thinker, who “offered a utopian way of eliminating social maladies, “replacing faith in God with man’s faith in himself and his own power”. But the largest value of his work for the future of culture and social life stems from his Humanism, which to a great extent resulted from deep penetration into the true sense of religion and freethinking…”
- Ludvig Feuerbach’s Fragments to the Characteristic of my Philosophic Curriculum Vitae (Selected Aphorisms). “God was my first idea, reason was my second, and man was my third and ultimate idea. Reason is the subject of divinity, but man is the subject of reason”.
HUMANISM IN SCIENCE
- Man in the Science: on the Nature of Creativity. Describing Humanist Ideals in Science, Viacheslav Meider argues, inter alia: “A true scientist would denounce any oppression, moral or intellectual, of the individual. This is a personality characterized by internal purity and splendor, distinguished by humane intelligence… I would say that true intelligence has more to do with morality than with intellect.”
ATHEISM AND RELIGION
- Atheism Is Not Religion, and Science is Not Scholasticism, argues Alexander Krainev who points out that neither religious doctrines nor religious philosophies nor scholastic theology have interfered with scientific work in any significant way. Although some prominent scholars adhered to the ideas of religious philosophy (or even religious doctrines), this left no impact on their research methodology or their results.
- Can a Scientist Be an Atheist? Now that religion is persistently positioned as the only true worldview, the issue raised by Dmitry Manin seems as relevant as ever. “Some 25 years ago I would have been surprised to hear doubts as to whether a true scientist can be anything BUT an Atheist…”
- Zdravy Smysl staff member Natalya Vasilyeva responds to Manin with the following argument: “…The idea of God is not itself a religion, because religion also implies a cult as a system of solemn rites that help influence the will of the deity… But there are probably no scientists today who seriously believe in "prayer-empowered" icons, winged angels, horned devils and the like”.
- Friendly Get-together at ZS (Editor’s Comment). RHS President Valery Kuvakin adds a final note to the discussion: “Free and honest reason, culminated in scientific worldview, cannot but recognize that any religion … is incompatible with realism and effective responsibility of humans for their own lives…” … “Reason and morality should be in harmony…”
- God and Humanity. In his new essay Alexander Kruglov focuses on the following question: can individual moral conscience combine two types of humanity: one imposed by an incomprehensible, despotic (i.e. religious) authority, and the other based on common sense (the Golden Rule), without suffering any moral or psychological damage?
- Leonid Krainov-Rytov, Leeward of the Barricade. New aphorisms and one-line verses by the well-known Russian author.
- David Naidis, a Ukrainian businessman and journalist, discloses The Truth of Bible. Godless Comments to Biblical Text. ZS offers extracts from this small-circulation book issued in the Czech republic. Its lively and witty satire is a bold challenge to religious bigotry and blind worship of the “Holy Scripture”.
- Semyon Botvinnik, Selected Poems. Zdravy Smysl carries the last set of verse received from our regular author, a well-known St. Petersburg poet, shortly before his death.
- Leonid Salyamon, In Memory of Semyon Botvinnik (16/2/ 1922 – 28/4/2004). “He was born a poet… and wrote poetry all his life. What was muse? Just everything that was touching his heart and his mind. The nineteen books of poems by Botvinnik published between 1948 and 2001 do not encompass all of his creative works. The missing parts include a translation of The Lay of Igor’s Raid (the most ancient Russian literary source) which was highly commended by academician Dmitry Likhachev…”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
- Why Do Scientists Believe in God? “Time is hard for theologists: they are trying to find scientific justification of blind religious faith”, states Fyodor Selivanov, Doctor of Sciences in Philosophy, in his polemic response to national weekly Argumenty I Fakty.
- Maiya Mitnik: On Holy Water and Other Stuff. A family of scientists from the Far East points to the spread of charlatanism and obscurantism in most of Russia’s mass media. “We are subscribed to Zdravy Smysl since last year… Thank you so much for what you do”.
- The nationwide academic conference “The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence” will take place in Moscow on January 17-19, 2005.