AHA News |  

Humanists Mourn Death of Paul Kurtz, Humanist Philosopher and Advocate

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088 ex. 105
bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC – Oct. 21, 2012) – Humanists and atheists are mourning the death of humanist Dr. Paul Kurtz, former editor of the American Humanist Association’s Humanist magazine and founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, who died on Oct. 20, 2012 at the age of 86. His death means the loss of one of secular humanism’s most prominent advocates.

“Paul Kurtz worked tirelessly for decades to see secular humanism become accepted as an alternative philosophy to traditional religion,” said Roy Speckhardt, the executive director of the American Humanist Association. “The attention and guidance he gave to the humanist movement had an unmistakable global impact.”

Paul Kurtz served on the American Humanist Association Board of Directors from 1968-1981 and as editor of Humanist magazine from 1967-1978 before establishing the Council for Secular Humanism.

In 1973 he worked with Edwin H. Wilson and the American Humanist Association to create the draft of what would become the Humanist Manifesto II (an updated Humanist Manifesto III was adopted in 2003).

“Humanism has been shaped by many people since the beginning of the 20th century, and Paul Kurtz was one of the greatest contributors to the development of our nontheistic philosophy,” Speckhardt said.

Kurtz published over 800 articles and authored more than 40 books, many of which have been translated into scores of languages.

In his most recent major statement, Kurtz declared that “our planetary community is facing serious problems that can only be solved by cooperative global action.” In Neo-Humanism Statement of Secular Principles and Values: Personal, Progressive, and Planetary, published in 2010, Kurtz offered 16 detailed recommendations for a humanistic world.

“These are the vital principles and values that a secular, personal, progressive, and planetary humanism proposes for humanity,” Kurtz wrote about his statement. “Today the campaign for equal rights and for a better life for everyone knows no boundaries. This is a common goal for the people of the world, worthy of our highest aspirations.”

In 2007 the American Humanist Association presented Kurtz with the Humanist Lifetime Achievement Award. During his acceptance speech, he stated, “I am a secular humanist because I am not religious. I draw my inspiration not from religion or spirituality, but from science, ethics, philosophy, and the arts.”

After leaving the Center for Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism, Kurtz established the Institute for Science and Human Values in 2010, a humanist think tank based in Tampa, Fl.

Kurtz was born on Dec. 21, 1925 in Newark, New Jersey. He received his BA from New York University in 1948. Columbia University was next, where in 1949 he earned his MA and his Ph.D. in philosophy was awarded in 1952.

Kurtz later became Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. That post followed time teaching at Vassar, Trinity, and Union colleges, as well as the New School for Social Research.

###

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 150 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to Jorhat College for becoming the first college in India to acc...

4 hours ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Legislative Associate, Matthew Bulger, covers last week's congressional br...

23 hours ago

American Humanist Association

In case you missed Lawrence M. Krauss at AHA's 74th Annual Conference in Denver...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Is it a sign!? Move over Jesus toast, there's a new symbol in town. A happy huma...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

#MemorialDay

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Christian numbers are declining, "Nones" are on the rise. Is this just a reactio...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do you think the face of a prominent female historical figure will ever appear o...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

According to Pew Research's latest study, America's religious landscape is chang...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Evangelist Franklin Graham calls on supporters to pray that Ruth Bader Ginsburg...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

George W. Bush gets something right?

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Montgomery Humanists, to the American Huma...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett and Kim Ellington speak with...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

As we have seen by the recent murders of three nonreligious bloggers—Ananta Bijo...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Jennifer Bardi, editor-in-chief of the Humanist magazine, recaps the AHA's 74th...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Prospective Student Webinar this Thursday! Considering the next class of The Hum...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Help the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers represent humanists at this year's...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Pioneer Awardee Isaiah Smith, stands up for separation of church and st...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

A South Carolina court has ruled that prayer in public school graduations doesn'...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Right-wing media loves terrorism stories, so how did they all manage to miss thi...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Omaha Metro Area Humanist Association, a chapter of AHA, is participating in Oma...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist, Becky Garrison sits down with Quiet Company's Taylor...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the Humanist "Ask Me Anything" session with Kristin Wintermute, Execu...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

We love to see our fellow free-thinkers doing what they can to help out humanity...

9 days ago