Making Real Progress
Last Updated on October 19, 2020
The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity
by Steven Pinker (2012)
We Are Getting Better!
Stephen Pinker lays it out in his hefty book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. Pinker’s optimistic and incredible well-supported thesis is that human civilization is progressing! Although it might not feel that way when we watch the news, people are in fact becoming less violent.
The evidence is certainly welcome! For those of us who follow climate change issues, the news is often depressing & discouraging. Indeed, there are so many examples of humans being a scourge to nature and wildlife. Humanity’s relationship with our own species isn’t often seen as that much better. Turns out, the news isn’t all bad. We are also capable of doing good! The massive compilation that Pinker put together in his book is a testament to our species’ better nature.
Over the long course of human history (see MLK quote), humans are actually turning out good. There’s certainly a lot more to unpack from this very juicy book, but I’ll leave it for you to discover! Basically, Pinker dives into the deep questions (like are humans innately good or evil?). Go ahead and enjoy!