Rafton Requests Establishment Of Humanism Chair
The Divinity School should establish a chair of "Naturalistic Humanism," Harold R. Rafton '10, a confirmed atheist, has asserted in a letter to the Alumni Bulletin.
Last night, to clarify his position, Rafton defined humanism as "a religion in which man is the center, and where the basic interest is the welfare of humans." He noted that nearly 75 per cent of all natural scientists believe in humanism, which "has its roots in the sciences."
The recent establishment of a chair for Roman Catholic studies at the Divinity School prompted Rafton to write his letter. "Students ought to have an opportunity to view the entire humanist movement," he asserted.
Rafton says he is an atheist because he holds that arguments for God require proof. He feels that no adequate proof of the existence of God has ever been advanced.
However, Rafton "has no idea" how the money needed to establish such a chair could be raised. He suggested that "when you broadcast such an idea, someone might take it up." If funds are not forth-coming, Rafton called for "guest lecturers" in Humanism.
Among possible recipients for the chair, he mentioned Corliss Lamont '24, who is now teaching at Columbia. "There are many other men who are suitable for such a position," Rafton asserted.