NY philosopher, secular humanist Kurtz dies at 86

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AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) -- Paul Kurtz, a well-known voice for the idea that decisions and behavior should be guided by science and reason over religion, has died. He was 86.

The secular humanist philosopher died Saturday at his home in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst. His death was announced Monday by the Center for Inquiry, which he founded. His family isn't releasing the cause.

Kurtz also took on psychics, astrologers and anything related to the paranormal through the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and The Skeptical Inquirer magazine, both of which he founded.

Two years ago, he resigned from the boards of the center and committee and the Council for Secular Humanism, another organization he founded.

A World War II veteran, Kurtz earned a doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University and taught philosophy at several colleges.