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Paul Kurtz Dies at 86, Philosopher and Author

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One of the main proponents who helped get secular humanism visible within society has died. Paul Kurtz, a controversial but popular philosopher and author who founded the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has died.

Prior to Kurtz’s involvement with “secular humanism,” humanism was a pseudoreligion that did not involve the supernatural. When Kurtz became involved with this movement in 1991 by founding the “Center for Inquiry,” Kurtz suggested to remove all religious aspects out of humanism and believed that the nonreligious members of the community should take a positive attitude on their lives.

Kurtz was also involved in studying paranormal activity, and attended various events and discussions relating to paranormal activity as well. He also coined the term “eupraxsophy” (based on the Greek words for “good,” “practice,” and “wisdom,” which refers to an outlook on life that is joyful and not dependent on any form of transcendent or supernatural theory.

During Kurtz’s career, he published over 50 books, including the popular titles listed below:

  • The Transcendental Temptation
  • Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism
  • The Courage to Become
  • Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda

Later in his life, Kurtz turned to teaching, and became a professor at various universities. Kurtz taught at Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo (Professor Emeritus), as well as Vassar, Trinity, and Union Colleges, and the New School for Social Research.

On Monday, October 22nd, 2012, Paul Kurtz passed away due to natural causes (according to various sources) at the age of 86. There have been various reactions to his life and death published on Twitter:

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  • Nemoque

    Eventually, he and his followers will be forgotten. Nothing of his life will remain. Nothing of the lives of his followers will remain. Doesn’t that make you happy?

    • frenchy39

      His ideas will live and triumph–happiness without truth is delusional. Wonder why religious believers cling so cowardly to life? They don’t really believe what they say they do!

    • Tex

      I don’t know about that, I’m sure his writings will be around long after we are dust and we go back to where we were before we were born, non-existence, a bet you find the terrifying.

      And it’s not about making ourselves happy, its about living in a world of reality, not one of delusion, a delusion that is only possible adhering to a religious faith that allows you to build a bridge from reason and logic to stupidity and the ability to believe any nonsense that is thrown at you. In my eyes what a sad and cowardly way to live a life, but to each their own.

    • Tex

      not to be disrespectful either, but we all end up worm food, and believing in an invisible magic man in the sky to ease your emotional anxiety will never change that, ain’t reality a Bitch…no wonder the majority can’t deal without a crutch.

  • Aaron

    I hope he arrived at his “utopia” before he died. According to him and his pseudo-religion of secular humanism all he is now is worm-food. This is not meant to be disrespectul, I am simply honoring his beliefs.

  • Joe Smoe

    I bet he is regretting that line of thought now..

  • Walter Scholl

    May he have been eternally saved by the Living God in his last moments on Earth. In any case, God is Just.

    • frenchy39

      Only man creates justice. So behave yourselves and do not rely on something that doesn’t exist!

      • Tex

        Just…seriously? Approx. 14 million infants and children die each year from starvation and terrible diseases due to no fault of their own, while your god turns a blind eye and you see this god of yours as just? If he did exist he would be at the very least a monster and a major A-hole.

        How far must you bury your head to even ponder such nonsense yet alone actual believe it. Another fine example of a deluded minds escape from reality.

        • Deborah

          Everything we need is here, it isn’t God who is keeping resources away from the hungry or sick or poor, it is Millionaires, billionaires and trillionaires.

          • frenchy39

            How simplistic! Talked to any millionaires lately?

    • Tex

      The desire to comfort our emotions rather than nurture our reason is overwhelming for most, thus the deluded religious mindset.
      If they could only realize wishful thinking doesn’t make it come true.

  • George

    The people who hang on to their belief in the supernatural sure are a hateful bunch, aren’t they?
    You don’t see the atheists cheering when a priest or a cardinal or a pope dies!

    Believe the superstitious fairy tales if you want!
    Just don’t expect the rest of us to.

    Who are you, the Taliban??

    When we’re all “worm food,” it won’t matter a tinker’s damn anyway.
    You just won’t be albe to say “I told you so!”, which I guess you are counting on.

    • DDJ

      Nah- actually the taliban would force their beliefs on someone, and if anyone could to that, it would be the Almighty- but He chooses not to, and that it fine. However, there is the issue of reality, and gosh there is just too much evidence for creation to ignore. Sure, everyone has their opinion, blah blah blah, but can’t you see in the things that are in front of you that they could not have just happened from random chance? Chance is what happens in a teenager’s room and that is not the finely-tuned beauty seen in this reality. You would call it nature. There is reason to pursue the idea of a creator. And you will not find a belief system that matches reality and science like the Bible. I’m just sayin!

  • Lori

    I actually overheard a pastor talking that he is afraid of death. To me – how ironic since I know he “councils” and is always preaching how prayers and God will make life better. Maybe not the afterlife. We won’t know until the end – will we? Meanwhile – I won’t push there is no God and I would appreciate those not preaching to me their God.

  • http://Google Marty

    I consider myself fortunate to have met Paul and to have heard him speak on more than one occasion. The world is a little dimmer and has lost a decent, thoughtful and caring person. He will be sorely missed.

  • bob

    I wonder if he repented and accepted Christ as his savior just before he died, like one of the two thieves crucified next to Jesus. One can always hope he did.

    • George

      >One can always hope he did.

      Why?

    • Randy Milbeg

      There is certainly no doubt that he did NOT accept Christ as his savior before he died as he was born a Jew.

  • Lawrence Bean

    I believe people have rights to accept/believe as they desire in life. For most part they are pro-creating in their sub-conscious. I desire not to judge people whether they accept a christian/religious objective or they accept other theories. In the end all is the absolute (O) no-thing, natta cichts get it.!

  • DDJ

    Well, not trying to be mean, but I wonder what his thoughts, since he has had a multiplicity of them in his philosophical life, are now about God? He may have had a good brain and influence, money and whatever, but all that comes down to where he is now. No, no just worm food; there is an elsewhere and God is real. Reason yourself through the fulfillment of prophecies in the Bible and you will see that reason exists to believe it. Ot don’t, and be prepared to meet the same fate as Mr. Kurtz.

    • Randy Milbeg

      We will all meet the same fate as Mr. Kurtz or do you think, with your amazing intellect, that you’ll live forever?

  • michael daum

    Dog is just! God is nonsense!

  • Tom

    It’s sad that another person has passed into eternity without holding on to TRUTH. TRUTH exists wether a person accepts to acknowledge it or not acknowledge it, that’s why it’s the TRUTH. It is noncontingent of one belief. However, if one believes in the TRUTH and accept what TRUTH has done for them, then this belief/faith will affect one eternal destination. Please do not debase yourself and TRUTH by thinking yourself loftier or in higher regards than TRUTH. Simply, believe in TRUTH, accept the gift that TRUTH has to offer, and live for TRUTH.
    John 14:6

  • Edward

    Over a dozen students and several teachers, including an alderly Holocaust survivor, were slughteered becuase an instructer at Virginia Tech was forbidden by school policy from mentioning of God or morality to students – including the one who ultimately opened fire on campus.

    Burn in hell you dirty bastard for fostering an environment of fear.

    • Rob Singer

      Good riddance….and enjoy eating all that dirt. Science can prove it’s full of minerals, honest!

  • DDJ

    Nah- actually the taliban would force their beliefs on someone, and if anyone could to that, it would be the Almighty- but He chooses not to, and that it fine. However, there is the issue of reality, and gosh there is just too much evidence for creation to ignore. Sure, everyone has their opinion, blah blah blah, but can’t you see in the things that are in front of you that they could not have just happened from random chance? Chance is what happens in a teenager’s room and that is not the finely-tuned beauty seen in this reality. You would call it nature. There is reason to pursue the idea of a creator. And you will not find a belief system that matches reality and science like the Bible. I’m just sayin!

  • John

    Well that is it. According to his philosophy there is no purpose to life and no hope after your gone. Your ideas are gone with you. How ridiculous. In that case we should all eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die and all are ides with us.

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