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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Assaults on truth and divisions about the nature of wise governance are not momentary political challenges, unique to particular moments in history. Rather, they demonstrate fundamental weaknesses in human reasoning and core dangers in ways of construing both individual freedom and cohesive communities. It will remain an ongoing challenge to learn to deal rationally with what is an intrinsic irrationality in human cognition and with what is an intrinsic tendency toward domination and violence in human collectivities. In times of intense social divisions, it is vital to consider the ways in which humanism might function as the social norm by, paradoxically, functioning in a way different from other social norms. Humanism is not the declaration that a certain set of values or norms are universally valid. At its best and most creative, humanism is not limited to a particular set of norms, but is, rather, the commitment to a certain process in which norms are continuously created, critically evaluated, implemented, sustained or revised. Humanism is a process of connection, perception, implementation, and critique, and it applies this process as much to itself as to other traditions.

Keywords: Anthropocene, cognitive bias, ecocide, indigenous wisdom, interdependence, motivated reasoning, racism, technology violence, white supremacy

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