Show 271: Humanism’s Leading Light, Beth Lamont

Beth Lamont joins us to discuss her late husband’s legacy, her own work as a humanist activist, and her impressions concerning the ethics of humanism.  Ms. Lamont is a feminist activist, humanist, and mother of eleven.  In the 1970s, she became a Board Member of the American Humanist Association through its Chapter Assembly.  Additionally, she has headed the Division of Humanist Extension, assuming this leadership role at the invitation of Edwin H. Wilson; created the Humanist Advocate Program which encouraged individuals to promote Humanism; created a television program called “Here & Now,” which has aired on Manhattan Cable since 1984; is a Humanist Chaplain having performed over 500 weddings; and has represented the American Humanist Association in its NGO capacity at the United Nations.

Beth has recently self-published the book, Lefties Are In Their Right Minds which includes a re-introduction and fresh commentary to Corliss Lamont’s 1939 text, You Might Like Socialism!

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Show 180: David Detmer on “Postmodernism, Truth & the Left”

To many, the antithesis of modern humanism, which was founded on Enlightenment principals, would be the philosophy of postmodernism.  The political Left in America, over the past 45 years or so, has been marred by postmodernism, and the Right has taken advantage of that fact.  What started out as an honest and justified consideration for the well-being of cultures ‘other than’ European and American (cultures which often have been historically the victims of European/American colonialism and hegemony), has morphed into an acceptance of double standards by some thinkers.

One might call this the ‘who are we to judge’ effect. The Right, as is its wont, fights back with fundamentalisms of every sort – or what might be called their ‘we alone are to judge’ doctrine.  Is there then, a way to understand and implement a progressive humanism which, while Leftist in political orientation, is still Enlightenment based?

That is the question David Detmer tries to answer in his book, Challenging Postmodernism: Philosophy & the Politics of Truth. Challenging Postmodernism is a philosophical treatise which examines the problems with postmodernism and its anti-humanistic implications, and tries to determine whether or not the intellectual Left is indeed guilty en masse of cultural relativism. It then explains how a progressive politic is indeed very much in step with Enlightenment humanism.