Culture of Fear: Risk-Taking and the Morality of Low by Frank Furedi

By Frank Furedi

Worry has develop into an ever-expanding a part of lifestyles within the West within the twenty-first century. we are living in terror of disorder, abuse, stranger probability, environmental devastation and terrorist onslaught. we're bombarded with stories of latest matters for our defense and that of our kids, and suggested to take higher precautions and search extra safety. yet in comparison to the earlier, or to the constructing international, humans in modern Western societies have less familiarity with discomfort, affliction, debilitating affliction and loss of life. we really take pleasure in an unparalleled point of non-public protection. whilst faced with occasions just like the destruction of the area exchange middle, worry for the long run is inevitable. yet what occurred on September eleventh, 2001 used to be in lots of methods an quaint act of terror, representing the harmful facet of human passions. Frank Furedi argues that the better probability in our tradition is the tendency to worry achievements that symbolize a extra optimistic facet of humanity. We panic approximately genetically engineered nutrients, approximately genetic study, in regards to the wellbeing and fitness risks of cell phones. The evidence, in spite of the fact that, frequently fail to help the scare tales approximately new or starting to be hazards to our future health and defense. in its place, it really is our obsession with theoretical dangers that's at risk of distracting us from facing the old school risks that experience constantly threatened our lives.

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Additional info for Culture of Fear: Risk-Taking and the Morality of Low Expectation (Revised Edition)

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In late 1995, the British Anaphylaxis Campaign won considerable publicity for its advocacy on behalf of people who were allegedly at risk from peanuts. Many leading newspapers carried warnings about the fatal consequences of peanut allergy. 10 Such warnings were based on highly tendentious inter­ 50 W hy Do W e Pa n ic ? pretations of studies into the subject. " Nevertheless, many companies became so concerned about this new risk that they immediately undertook to phase out the use of peanut extracts in their products.

2* From this vantage point of risk sensitivity, every innovation merely increases the potential danger. This is why most innovations soon come under the critical scrutiny of those who see in every development the potential for more danger. 33 C u ltu r e of F ear If an innovation like the Internet can provoke such anxiety about its dangerous side-effects, it is not surprising that more stigmatized technologies — such as biotechnology and genetics — are so often embroiled in controversy and public hostility.

21This vision o f‘new and unprecedented forms of risk’ is based on the assumption that any interference with nature will exact a heavy price. The belief that the side-effects outweigh the advantages is the corollary of this vision. W hether or not such a vision is substantiated by evidence is irrelevant. It is enough to dread, in a society which routinely feels ill at ease with its own creation. More specifically, what inspires Landau’s reaction logically and chronologically precedes the development of IVF technology.

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