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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Reason (and Science) for Hope

A review of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker.

Viking, 2018.

576 pp. $35.

ISBN-13: 978-0525427575

How much better can you imagine the world being than it is right now? How much worse can you imagine the world being than it is right now?

For most of us, it is easier to imagine the world going to hell in a handbasket than it is to picture some rosy future, which explains why there are far more dystopian and apocalyptic books and films than there are utopian. We can readily conjure up such incremental improvements as increased Internet bandwidth, improved automobile navigation systems, or another year added to our average lifespan. But what really gets imaginations roiling are the images of nuclear Armageddon, AI robots run amok, or terrorists mowing down pedestrians in trucks.

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About Skeptic

THE RISE OF THE NONES Imagining No Heaven — The Rise of the Nones and the Decline of Religion; Never Doubting God — Surveys on Belief in God’s Existence; Persistence of Belief in a Purposeful Universe; Honor, Dignity, Victim — A review of The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars; The SkepDoc — Premature Ejaculation in the News: How Headlines Influence Our Thinking; Is the Earth Flat? Flat Earthers Are Back — How do You Best Make the Argument for a Round Earth?; Conspiracy Theorists and the Harm They Do; Bruce Perkins and Another Terrible Tragedy of the Recovered Memory Movement; Deterrence and Its Discontents: Now That Nuclear War Seems to Be Getting More Likely Again, It’s Time to Turn a Skeptical Eye on Deterrence; Reality Need Not Diminish Our Concept of Our Place in the Cosmos; Junior Skeptic — Perpetual Motion; and more…