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2003/2004  1 (30)

TABLE OF CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS

ZDRAVYJ SMYSL, Winter 2003/2004  1 (30)

TABLE OF CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS

EDITORS CORNER

Vitaly L. Ginzburg, our guest at Zdravy Smysl: dialogue between RHS President Valery Kuvakin and Academician Vitaly Ginzburg, the 2003 Nobel Prize winner in Physics. The Russian Humanist Society is an organization which takes real effort to protect the principles of democracy and Humanism, the scientist says. Personally, I see the bright future of humanity only in the realm of Humanism.

SCIENCE AND PSEUDOSCIENCE

In Defense of Scientific Rationality and Ethical Citation, by Yuri Yefremov. Aggressive pseudoscience is on the offensive. It is growing in scale year after year, and is no longer represented by individual writings by a few day-dreamers; we are dealing with a well-organized, systemic doctrines, with their "academies" and regular conferences, often supported and generously funded by the state... It is the author's conviction that true science is all-powerful, and by no means inferior.

CHURCH AND EDUCATION

RHS Vice-President Givi Givishvili provides an account of the All-Russia Conference of Civil Society Organizations, under the title: Civil Society and the Problems of Education, asserts: The society has to recognize that secular moral values are reflective of Humanist  that is panhuman, or absolute-values. In view of this, they are more significant than religious  that is group-values. Therefore, the national education system must be charged with the task of teaching the younger generation the principles of civil society which embody the Humanist ideals.

Russian Religious Tradition and Education: Vladimir Zhukotski analyzes the views of Pavel N. Milyukov (1859‑1943), founder of Russian Culturology. This fatal, external Subordination of official Church to State, while the Church remained internally rigid and totally irresponsive to the movement of public thought, had been an important characteristic of the Russian religious history.

HUMANISM AND GLOBALIZATION

Nikolai Zyuzev in Globalization: the Version of Pitirim Sorokin points to an important feature of the Russian-American sociologist's teaching: In Sorokin's view, the major collisions of history lie within the moral domain. Sorokin's Convergence Theory, which I read exactly as a convergence concept in 1950's and 1960's, when any international collisions were viewed in terms of antagonism between Capitalism and Socialism, in fact has a much broader content. Today, it can shed new light on the modern globalization processes.

THE BITTER SAVOR OF EROSION

The Church at the Service of Bashism  Excerpt from Vladimir Ryblov's book Turkmen Tragedy published with the support of RHS and ZS. In this peace of sparkling journalism the author describes the career and the post-Soviet totalitarian rule of Turkmenistan President Saparmurad Niyazov  Turkmanbashi, or the leader of all Turkmens. Islam and the Orthodox Christian Church are nationalized in Turkmenistan. The top leaders of both confessions were given a virtual monopoly to shape government policy relative to other confessions...

HUMANISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Tatyana Pesotskaya, a student at the Moscow State University Philosophy Department, states in Gender Equality as a Principle of Humanism: Equality does not mean assimilation, but rather a diversity of norms, living conditions and styles, without any of them dominating any other...

WHAT IS HUMANISM?

Alexander Jarzombek provides an answer to the question: What Shall We Do?: We should find common grounds with believers, on the basis of common sense and rational education. We have to coexist with them, in all fairness. They are also capable of rational thinking... So let's take a firm stand, but let's be gracious and friendly.

MIRACLES THAT DON'T HOLD WATER

Outer space is silent, Kazakh astrophysicist Sergey Yefimov concludes in his essay A Ufology Boom in the Anthill of Galaxy. The "miracles" that emerge from time to time are very much similar to poorly explored natural phenomena or the "quirks" of mind.

Natalya Vasilyeva provides an exciting inquiry into the sensational story of a woman's "resurrection" featured by local and national press and taken up by the clergy: The Sham Barnaul Miracle.

HUMANIST DICTIONARY

Alexander Kruglov: Series of Aphorisms on Skepticism. Skepticism buries religious faith and gives rise to science; what is remarkable and inspiring, science also methodically buries skepticism

NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN: 60th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE STALINGRAD CAMPAIGN

Vasily Chekalov: Extracts from the War Diary. / 1941. 1942. 1943. A unique historical document and a record of human life that was kept in the family archive more then 60 years. The publication was prepared for the Zdravy Smysl Library series by the author's son, RHS member Nikolai Chekalov.

The great value of human life is never reduced by plague or war, says Semyon Botvinnik, poet and WW2 veteran in his Poems of War.

THE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED. TERRORISM OF TODAY

Yuri Kirshin, President of the regional NGO Generals for Democracy and Humanism: Democracy and the Battle Against Terrorism. International terrorism and the current anti-terrorist operation present a real challenge for both Western and emerging democracies: a challenge for institutions, principles and values; to political, economic, spiritual and military potentials. This is a challenge for relationships between and within democratic states.

IN MEMORIAM

Evgeny Smetanin: Instead of Obituary. In memoriam of Tatyana I. Varzanova (26.IV.1954 7.XI.2003) frequenter of RHS meetings and events, a good friend, modest person and serious scholar, author of multiple studies in sociology of religion.

HUMANISM AROUND THE GLOBE

Roy Brown, President of the IHEU The Necessity of (Active) Humanism. I want to challenge every local and every national Humanist group to collect contributions from their members to help promote and develop Humanism in a poorer country...

BOOK REVIEW

In her essay Dialogue as a Form of Philosophic Discourse: New Opportunities (about the Russian Philosophic Society Journal) Lilia Matronina notes, inter alia: Under the world-wide trends of globalization and informatization intelligentsia has much less influence on the formation of society's ideals and values... This is what constitutes the challenge to intelligentsia...

The Authors of the Issue

Announcements