In this episode, TheHumanist.com contributor Dan Moran shares his 1992 interview with the late Kurt Vonnegut.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922 – 2007) was an American writer of noted works such as Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973). Known for his humanist beliefs, he was awarded the AHA’s Humanist of the Year award in 1992 and served as the AHA’s honorary president.
Vonnegut grew up in a family of German-American freethinkers. His great-grandfather was the first president of the Freethinkers Society of Indianapolis and he maintained the family tradition of rejecting religious dogma in favor of humanism.
The sarcastic tone of Vonnegut's work came from major personal traumas, including his mother's suicide and witnessing first-hand the 1945 bombing of Dresden, Germany while a prisoner of war. Despite such experiences, Vonnegut never felt the need to fall back on irrational beliefs to explain irrational actions. He maintained his belief in a hu