Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

1. On the Meaning of Life

Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

Jennifer Michael Hecht [+-]
Columbia University
Jennifer Michael Hecht earned a PhD in the history of science from Columbia University. Her collections of poetry include the highly praised The Next Ancient World (2001)—which won the Tupelo Press Judge’s Prize in Poetry, the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and ForeWord Review’s Poetry Book of the Year Award—and Funny (2005), winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Known for her wit and erudition, Hecht’s poetry frequently draws on her work as an intellectual historian. The Next Ancient World mixes contemporary and ancient worldviews, histories, myths, and ideas, and Funny explores the implications of the human love of humor and jokes. Hecht’s prose has also been widely praised for the breadth of its scholarship. Her books include Doubt: A History (2003); The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology in France (2003), which won the prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society; and The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn’t Working Today (2008).


"We live in a meaning-rupture," says humanist poet and author Jennifer Michael Hecht, "because we are human and the universe is not." This compelling sentence captures the essential problem of being human. We are born conscious and mortal into a universe that is both dangerously chaotic and utterly indifferent to our existence. Religious thought solves this essential problem by declaring the universe "human" after all. This chapter examines ways in which individual humanists can find satisfying answers to this most basic human challenge within a fully naturalistic worldview.

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Michael Hecht, Jennifer. 1. On the Meaning of Life. Everyday Humanism. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 3-15 Nov 2014. ISBN 9781781790458. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=20493. Date accessed: 09 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.20493. Nov 2014

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