Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Is progress an illusion?

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

One of the big complaints that critics like Terry Eagleton and John Gray have of Dawkins is that he is naive if not willfully blind to believe in the idea of moral progress. How can you seriously look at the world and believe that things have got or even could get better. Well lookee here - Steven Pinker provides some quite compelling evidence that we are nicer, and the world far less violent, than it used to be.

2 comments:

AT said...

I'm not sure that's Eagleton's biggest objection to Dawkins - it's one Taylor seized on in his interview, but a far more compelling Eagleton argument is the notion that Dawkins refuses to engage with a large part of philosophical enquiry despite understanding very little about it. He gives the frequent impression that 'theology' is based on the validity of JC as the son of god, which is a gross misunderstanding and needs to be rectified before attempting to write a book about it.

SgtSkepper said...

And here it is in video form:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html