Since Andrew Sullivan moved to New York Magazine, he seems to have become more liberal, more thoughtful, and more reasonable. But he doesn’t seem to have become less religious. Or so it seems in his latest piece (click on screenshot below).
Sullivan’s target is the thesis of Steve Pinker, who maintains in his new book, Enlightenment Now, that the world is improving in many ways, that those improvements are often permanent (we’re never going back to slavery or worldwide death penalties), that they are based on the Enlightenment values of science, reason, progress, and humanism, and that, although serious problems remain, we have ways to fix them. (I have about 75 pages to go in Pinker’s 550-page tome.)
Sullivan takes issue with this thesis—not the bit about the material improvement of our world and lives, but with the idea that this progress will make our lives happier and…
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