The Moral Arc
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The Moral Arc
The Moral Arc
The Moral Arc.jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorMichael Shermer
CountryUnited States
PublisherHenry Holt and Company
Publication date
20 Jan 2015
Media typePrint (Hardcover)

The Moral Arc: How Science Leads Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom is a 2015 book by Michael Shermer. Steven Pinker describes the book as a sequel to The Better Angels of Our Nature.[1]

In his book -- which took four years to research and write, and is named after a quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "How Long, Not Long" speech,[2] the idea having been coined by transcendentalist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker (1810-1860) that the arc of the moral universe "is a long one" but "it bends towards justice" -- Shermer argues that the rise of trade and rise of literacy through the Industrial Revolution's need for highly educated knowledge workers, has created a "moral Flynn effect"[3] and led to cultures with lower rates of violent crime.[4] Shermer argues that the rise of full democracies around the world, combined with the spread of human rights and civil liberties has led to greater human flourishing. Shermer has stated that "[my] thesis is not for inevitable moral progress, we have to earn it, fight for it and argue for it." He also stated that he used "a lot of Utilitarian thinking, but in the end, the individual natural rights to survive and [the] flourish[ing] of sentient beings, [are] what counts".[2]

Shermer criticises historical religious justifications for slavery, cruelty to animals, misogyny and homophobia,[5] and writes that the spread of scientific and enlightened values has created a better foundation for civil society.

External links

See also


  1. ^ Pinker, Steven (16 Jan 2015). "Like Minds: Stephen Pinker Reviews "The Moral Arc"". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Shermer, Michael. "Arcing Toward Morality - Interview with Dr. Michael Shermer". Skepticality. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Shermer, Michael (March 2015). "Are We Becoming Morally Smarter?". Reason.
  4. ^ Satel, Sally (18 Jan 2015). "Getting Better All the Time".
  5. ^ Whitney, Jake (15 Feb 2015). "Has Science Made Us Better People?". The Daily Beast.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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