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Monday, October 22, 2012

Paul Kurtz (1925-2012)

Paul Kurtz, philosopher of skepticism and secular humanism, has died. I am pleased to have met him, some 10 years ago at an open house at the New York office of the Center for Inquiry. I was certainly influenced by him, directly or indirectly, over the years, on various subjects, though I'd add that one such influence was his view that religion has value as "dramatic existential poetry"--a stance that seems to diverge from that of the New Atheists today. I remember discussing with him how the paranormal had less cultural cachet than in the 1970s. Certainly, he had a lot to do with that. He was a model of intellectual energy and institution-building acumen. May his legacy live on.

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