Monday, October 22, 2012

R.I.P. Paul Kurtz, Founder Of The Skeptical Inquirer

This man did so much, I'd be here all day trying to list his accomplishments. Here's an obituary from The San Francisco Chronicle where they try.
"Neo-humanists do not believe in God, yet they wish to do good. But if this moral outlook is to prevail, then neo-humanisms need to concentrate on improving the things of this world rather than simply combating the illusions of supernaturalism."
His little magazine, The Skeptical Inquirer - a pamphlet, really - was my first introduction to the idea there were others who thought (somewhat) as I do, so I'll be forever grateful to Mr. Kurtz for providing a way for me to know I wasn't as total an anomaly as I'd thought. I still have every issue of S.I. I've ever owned.

Of course, I'm not a Neo-Humanist, or even a Humanist, and the lame coverage of Mr. Kurtz's death is a fine example why: 

I am losing respect for/developing a profound ambivalence towards people, from knowing they can't even sufficiently recognize a man who dearly loved them, and in the face of their nonsensical beliefs, exalted simple reality not only for his but their benefit.

As an atheist, it's just too much for me. 

Mr. Kurtz probably wouldn't have agreed with my worldview - actually, I'm sure he wouldn't - but that's alright: 

 I admired him for transcending it,...


  1. Paul Kurtz was a true critical thinker, and through his publication Skeptical Inquirer (and sister publication Free Inquiry), he relentlessly exposed magical, new-age and cult-like thinking. They, too, are the only magazines which I do not throw out (I now dispose of Consumer Reports because I subscribe online). However his organization will continue and well worth the visit at '' and certainly worthy of subscribing to and supporting.

    And even though some of his positions on social issues is to the left of mine, his words come from a sense of conviction, integrity, and a strong feeling for individual rights and humanity. Hence, they are worth immensely more than the usual BS which bombard us daily.

    Check them out!!

  2. He will be missed.

    And yeah, the guy's positions could get a wee bit lefty...but that's the sort of leftiness I can live with, and even appreciate for just the reasons you said Mr. Rational.
    At least he seemed to want to think it all through and do no harm -- which makes him a finer individual than most imhao.