Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

2. Humanism and the Conquest of Fear

Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

Dale McGowan [+-]
Foundation Beyond Belief
Dale McGowan is editor and co-author of Raising Freethinkers (2009) and Parenting Beyond Belief (2007) and the anthology Voices of Unbelief (2011), and author of Atheism for Dummies (2013) and In Faith and in Doubt (2014). He currently serves as founding executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a non-profit organization focusing, encouraging, and demonstrating humanist generosity and volunteerism. Dale holds degrees in physical anthropology and music from UC Berkeley and the University of Minnesota. In 2008, he was named Harvard Humanist of the Year.


This chapter begins with the startling double-paradox that fear often makes us feel safer while actually increasing our individual and collective risk. Our dysfunctional relationship with fear has a profound effect on everything from parenting to education to entertainment to foreign policy. This essay uses recent research in the social and biological sciences to establish these premises, and then to argue that disentangling ourselves from our addiction to fear is one of the most urgent and progressive humanist projects of our time. It further argues that the history and philosophy of humanism make it especially well suited to inform and encourage this humane undertaking, though a profound refocusing of humanist attention is required.

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McGowan, Dale. 2. Humanism and the Conquest of Fear. Everyday Humanism. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 17-28 Nov 2014. ISBN 9781781790458. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=20491. Date accessed: 14 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.20491. Nov 2014

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