It's Getting Better all the Time
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I came to scoff and remain'd to pray. As Oliver Goldsmith reacted to church in 1770, so did I to Stephen Pinker's opus, Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. The book had been trailed as excoriating the left for being phobic about progress and holding fashionably liberal views, irrespective of the evidence; and attacking the right for religious fundamentalism and for, well, for being Donald Trump-like. It doesn't take much to convince me that being anti-science, inconsistent, dishonest, engaging in authoritarian demagoguery, and appealing to people's baser instincts is terrible—thus Trump. It's Pinker's attacks on progressives that tickled my scoffing reflex. In his book Inequality, Tony Atkinson says that the two biggest problems reported by respondents in the USA and Europe are inequality and climate change. Pinker was quoted as saying that income inequality is not a fundamental component of human wellbeing and believes its dangers have been overstated. He pillories the green movement as being guilty of misanthropic environmentalism.
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