The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom

The Moral Arc How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth Justice and Freedom Bestselling author Michael Shermer s exploration of science and morality that demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people and society as a whole moralFrom Galileo and Newton to T

  • Title: The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom
  • Author: Michael Shermer
  • ISBN: 9780805096910
  • Page: 173
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Bestselling author Michael Shermer s exploration of science and morality that demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, moralFrom Galileo and Newton to Thomas Hobbes and Martin Luther King, Jr thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non physical world The AgeBestselling author Michael Shermer s exploration of science and morality that demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, moralFrom Galileo and Newton to Thomas Hobbes and Martin Luther King, Jr thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non physical world The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment led theorists to apply scientific reasoning to the non scientific disciplines of politics, economics, and moral philosophy Instead of relying on the woodcuts of dissected bodies in old medical texts, physicians opened bodies themselves to see what was there instead of divining truth through the authority of an ancient holy book or philosophical treatise, people began to explore the book of nature for themselves through travel and exploration instead of the supernatural belief in the divine right of kings, people employed a natural belief in the right of democracy.In this provocative and compelling book, Shermer will explain how abstract reasoning, rationality, empiricism, skepticism scientific ways of thinking have profoundly changed the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a just world.

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      Published :2021-01-14T21:57:29+00:00

    About “Michael Shermer”

    1. Michael Shermer

      Michael Brant Shermer born September 8, 1954 in Glendale, California is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating and debunking pseudoscientific and supernatural claims The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members.Shermer is also the producer and co host of the 13 hour Fox Family television series Exploring the Unknown Since April 2004, he has been a monthly columnist for Scientific American magazine with his Skeptic column Once a fundamentalist Christian, Shermer now describes himself as an agnostic nontheist and an advocate for humanist philosophyre info uscmillan author michaeenpedia wiki Michael_

    993 thoughts on “The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom”

    1. Michael Shermer, professional skeptic, has written a very ambitious book. In The Moral Arc he proposes to take up where Steven Pinker left off in his The Better Angels of Our Nature. Pinker's book sets out to show that we are living in the least violent times in history and that this is due to our increased intelligence over time.Shermer, while acknowledging Pinker's book, doesn't really cover any new ground. In fact, his arguments draw heavily on pop culture references, almost as if he doesn't [...]

    2. It's impossible to take this book seriously. For me, it's Alain de botton all over again -- the guy talks a lot, but doesn't demonstrate any understanding of the issues at play at all. The only thing worth reading in this book are the ocassionally relevant quotes, as well as the interesting facts and figures. But that is better gleaned elsewhere, unless one has a very sturdy forehead, which one would be smacking/banging a lot reading the ridiculously crude explanations he provides. Tell me again [...]

    3. In The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom, Michael Shermer sets forth a view of human history that is reflective of the Enlightenment faith in science, progress, and what in the United States is called economic and political libertarianism. The subtitle of the book refers to both "Science" and "Reason." Shermer does not discuss thematically whether reason is simply equivalent to the experimental method of modern science, but he sometimes appears to [...]

    4. Frankly, I'll probably never get around to reading this, because I'm one of the converted.My only qualm here is that human nature itself is fundamentally conflicted between cooperating with others (i.e collectivism) and trying out-compete everyone else (referred to as "defecting" in game theory, sometimes termed "competing" in casual use, but more like free-riding or parasitism). I suspect that aspect will slow down the final stages of "the moral arc" from decades to thousands of years.But, anyw [...]

    5. The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom by Michael Shermer“The Moral Arc” makes the compelling case that the world is progressing morally and that most of this development is a result of secular forces. Best-selling author and well-known skeptic Michael Shermer takes a scientific approach to his thesis, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” This provocative 560-page book includes twelve chapters and is broken [...]

    6. If I could give a 3.5 rating, I would have for this book. This book had a lot of potential considering it was pulling off of two great books; The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker and The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. However, I don't think it really delivered all too well. Pieces of Shermer's case were very well done, while others were pretty weak in my opinion. Especially the portions on economics. If you came away not realizing that he is a libertarian, I'll wonder if you even rea [...]

    7. Part Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, part Matt Ridley’s “The Rational Optimist”. Part new-atheism, part pop-libertarianism. I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with every single point being made and not fully enjoying it because each of these points has been professed elsewhere, more thoroughly, more originally, and often more, if I may be so crass, poetically. Everything here is stated plainly. And that is great, to a point. Everything said serves its pu [...]

    8. Oh good grief.I didn't know much about Michael Shermer except that he likes to make fun of people who believe things he doesn't. Apparently he wrote an actual good book on that once, and maybe I should have read that instead. But the word "Justice" in the title caught my eye, and so I decided to see what he had to say.Friends, do not read this book.He seems to think that People of Color and women of all races have it better now than at any time in history (in the case of many PoC, demonstrably n [...]

    9. I really enjoyed "Why People Believe Weird Things," so I thought this book would be great. Shermer's Introduction was absolutely wonderful, and included one of my favorite paragraphs ever. I've re-read it so much, and so want it to be true, that I'll post it here: "Improvements in the domain of morality are evident in many areas of life: governance (the rise of liberal democracies and the decline of theocracies and autocracies); economics (broader property rights and the freedom to trade goods a [...]

    10. There are three sections of this book. The first section explains what the moral arc is, how 'morality' has arced towards justice since the enlightenment, and how this is due to the influence of science and reason rather than religion, which has fought moral progress at every stage.The second section, is probably the most interesting however, and the most persuasive. I was, by the time I got to the last chapter in the section, quite moved, and think that this section of the book deserves some di [...]

    11. OK, I have a credibility problem. I think. You see, I agree with Michael Shermer about almost everything: ethics, science, religion, politics, economics. Can I be trusted to review this book fairly? (This, by the way, is the sort of question that being a skeptic allows me to ask in all humility.) Well, let's see oh, I know! How about I start with pointing out the negatives! That way I can prove that I am not biased beyond repair. Mm, okay, let's see Can I do it?Actually, finding faults is not ha [...]

    12. Shermer argues for the forward progress of moral thinking throughout history. This "moral arc" bends, he says, towards truth, justice, and freedom. He makes a good case from sociological evidence of humans past and present.He follows this arc to its logical conclusion which is, in his opinion, inclusion of consideration for non-human animals. He gets a little extreme at times, granting lab rats and livestock equal status as "sentient beings". He recites with surprising lack of skepticism myths a [...]

    13. This book is very thought-provoking. Although I do not agree with everything the author said, I found many of his arguments persuasive. He often cited the literature to back up the arguments he made which I appreciate. In many ways I did not like this book, not because it was poorly written or poorly researched (because it was well-written and well-researched), but because it forced me to rethink some of the things I believe and to think about topics that quite frankly I would rather not think a [...]

    14. Pretty good summary of human psychology and politics and a very good synthesis making the case that science has improved us not only materially but morally. It talks in the abstract in the first half summarizing the psychology of politics and the arch of human history and then goes on to practical cases of the abolition of slavery, the gay rights movement and growing respect giving to nonhuman species as real cases of expanding the moral circle based on hard won knowledge some of it from the sci [...]

    15. Interessant en veel omvattend boek.Op veel vlakken nuanceert hij ook.Interessant vond ik het deel waarin hij over dierenrechten spreekt. Ik volg hem daar sterk in. Mensen als Peter Singer gaan zo ver dat ze vlees eten immoreel vinden. Schermer gaat niet zo ver. Ik ook niet

    16. This book tries to fill in some of the whys in Steven Pinker's book "Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined". The author starts off by defining morality as the "flourishing and surviving of sentient beings". It's not a perfect definition but in general the listener can latch on to it.The author does go beyond Pinker's book and tries to fill in more of the reasons why violence has declined by looking at the facts from a morality point of view. Shermer knows it is more profitable t [...]

    17. Sloppy, sloppy and sloppy.At first, I thought I would really like this book. It deals with a topic that interests me: the moral development of human beings. And its premise is very optimistic: that human behavior, and perhaps human nature itself, have slowly been changing for the better.But, in the early chapters, which I enjoyed, I started to notice that there was a lot of leaping to the conclusion that correlation = causation, and it seemed like the author was picking and choosing time frames [...]

    18. To further riff on the MLK theme, a more apt subtitle for this book might have been "Why We Can Wait". Shermer does a great job making his point and he brings a lot of interesting information to the reader's attention. It's definitely worth a read. His argument that we are moving inexorably and inevitably toward a more just moral future is well made, but it would have been better if he had addressed class conflict or cataclysm in a serious way. There is a very strong argument to be made that the [...]

    19. A great argument in favor of civil rights and human progress based in science rather than superstition. Instead of the Ten Commandments, Shermer proposes a Provisional Rational Decalogue, which to this modern thinker makes perfect sense. We have come a long, long way over the centuries indeed. Ending slavery, boosting the rights of women, boosting the rights of gay people, and improving our treatment of animals -- all are covered exceptionally well.I feel like a better person after reading this [...]

    20. Despite what we might think about the state of the world today - crime, wars, inequality etc. in fact, we are living in one of the most moral periods in human history. Michael Shermer, who is both eloquent and thoughtful explores this fact through the prism of science, which includes social science, anthropology, psychology and economics. I thought this book was really well structured and provided fascinating evidence concerning both the individual and the population at large and how moral we ha [...]

    21. Great book in a lot of ways, broader in scope but similar to Pinker's "Better Angels" book from a couple years ago. My main quibbles would be his lightweight treatment of philosophy, particularly in dealing with morality and the place of science in the world. But overall it's a fine counterweight to gloom-and-doom mongering - it's nice to see the many ways in which life has been getting better for most people most of the time around the world.

    22. I bought this book because I heard about it on Michael Medved’s show and he said it was a good book. I guess that this is the last time I take a recommendation from Mike. Actually the real reason that read this book is that I’ve always kind of thought that it was actually the decoupling of State and Religion was brought about by atheists, or deists that turned into atheists, and not by religious people. Also, it seems to me that the world has become a much better place, at least parts of it, [...]

    23. Shermer is highly informative, makes solid points, usually with good historical reference for comparison between options for stable society, and provides good data to substantiate (from the standpoint of rigor, very good, from the standpoint of readability, too much - a data appendix might have been warranted). Shermer's point is this: "I argue that most of the moral development of the past several centuries has been the result of secular not religious forces, and that the most important of thes [...]

    24. The truth, according the Shermer, is that the data show a general moral improvement trending in most categories--violence, politics, animal cruelty, witchcraft, etc. How? The advancement of science and reason over the centuries. This book makes you think, in a good way. It's dense. It's more about pulling together mass amounts of data from many sources than anything. But living in a time instant awareness of all that is bad in the world, Shermer grounds you in reality. He is very thorough, alway [...]

    25. This is a good read and covers many areas while presenting good ideas.My minor criticism is that there is far too much waffle. In some areas of the book there is an overkill of information to make points which are self evident. I know this is covering all bases but by the end of the book I was bored of ream after ream of pointless points.Worth a read, even if patience is needed in parts.

    26. This book will challenge your assumptions. It's an interesting premise that reasoning and science have actually helped us make better. Some will not like the book because Shermer argues that faith has not played as big of a role. Shermer is also encouraging about the future that reasoning and science will take us even farther.

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