This summer's conference near Buffalo:
“Toward a New Enlightenment” • International Academy of Humanism World Congress,
The prestigious International Academy of Humanism and the Council for Secular Humanism are co-sponsoring a World Congress titled "Toward a New Enlightenment" on October 27-30, 2005. The Congress will convene at the State University of New York at Buffalo (Amherst Campus) and the Buffalo Marriott in Amherst. The Congress will bring together distinguished scientists, academics, and authors from around the world, representing many countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, Spain, Israel, Egypt, Sweden, Greece, and others. They will confront the moral and scientific challenges facing the world by backward-looking ideologies and the urgent need to create a new roadmap toward a New Enlightenment.
Congress organizers have said that there are strong antiscientific forces opposing scientific progress, such as those opposed to stem-cell research and world population control. These same forces seek to return morality to a premodern conception of reality—ushering in a new Dark Age—out of touch with the changing world. The values of the Enlightenment—which created western ideals such as democracy, liberty, and freedom of conscience—are being threatened worldwide. The fundamentalist agenda—in both the east and west—rejects these values wholesale. Antiscience and anti-intellectualism abound; evangelicals are attempting to supplant genuine science education in our schools with creationism. The pressing question is: Can we learn from the lessons of the British and French Enlightenment and help to bring about a New Enlightenment?
Scheduled sessions for the conference include:
• The Threat of Fundamentalism to Secular Democracy
Speakers include: Nobel Prize laureates Sir Herman Kroto, Ph.D., of the United Kingdom, and Herbert Hauptmann, Ph.D., of SUNY Buffalo; Richard Dawkins, famous author, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Understanding of Science, Oxford University; Sir Hermann Bondi, University of Cambridge, co-originator of the steady-state cosmology theory; Prof. Shulamit Aloni, Tel Aviv University, former Israeli Minister of Communications; Etienne Baulieu, creator of RU 486 and former president of the French Academy of Science; Prof. Thomas Szasz, M.D., School of Psychiatry, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse; Prof. Vern Bullough, California State University; Lionel Tiger, Ph.D., Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University; Prof. Ioanna Kucuradi, Turkey, President, World Federation of Philosophy; Prof. Antony Flew, famous philosopher, University of Reading, England; and others.
"Intellectual leaders worldwide are dismayed by the current xenophobic flight from reason and the new irrationalism that dominates the United States," says Paul Kurtz, President of the International Academy of Humanism and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at SUNY-Buffalo. "There is an urgent need to develop a new agenda for the planetary community, including American ideals."
"This Congress will explore principles which we think must be embraced if modern civilization is to continue to evolve and remain progressive," said David Koepsell, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism.
General Registration is $ 195.00 per person. Price includes ALL conference sessions.
To register, or for more information, please call the Council for Secular Humanism at 1-800-458-1366• Council for Secular Humanism
“In a short essay called ‘An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?’ Kant lays it down that enlightenment is simply the ability of men to determine their own lives, the liberation of themselves from the leading-strings of others, the fact that men become mature and determine what to do, whether it be evil or whether it be good, without leaning excessively upon authority, upon governesses of one kind or another, upon tradition, upon any kind of established values on which the weight of moral responsibility is then squarely laid. A man responsible for his own acts.”
* Kurtz is founder and chairman of CFI and President of the International Academy of Humanism
º Jacoby is CFI-Metro New
LEO TOLSTOY: FREETHINKERS
“I divide men into two lots. They are freethinkers, or they are not freethinkers. Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless. A man may be a Catholic, a Frenchman, or a capitalist, and yet be a freethinker; but if he puts his Catholicism, his patriotism, or his interest above his reason, and will not give the latter free play where those subjects are touched, he is not a freethinker. His mind is in bondage.”
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