Reviewing The Moral Arc by Michael Shermer

New York, Henry Holt, 2015

The author, founder of Skeptic Magazine, makes a good case for the rise of human morality over human history. The reason? Increased understanding due to the finding of science, information confirmed by being open to testing. Presenting precise definitions and detailed analysis, Shermer reviews ancient religions and morality, explores cognitive dissonance and the principle of interchangeable perspectives, animal rights, free ill, the death penalty The Moral Arc How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom by Michael Shermer , and prospects for future city-states and new technologies.

After all this convincing precision and analysis, Shermer claims that in the past 1000 years we were living in a zero-sum economics. Now its a nonzero world, when technology means "the gain of one often means the gain for others and ...an abundance of food and resources."

Seems to me he's got it backwards, given the current knowledge of resource limits, water shortages, global warming, and population overload. Shermer also gets carried away painting the future--forgetting the time, space, and energy required when he makes the outdated scifi case for the human colonization way beyond Earth throughout the galaxy and beyond. I hope this section doesn't turn readers away from his uplifting conclusions.

He makes a powerful case for his moral arc, convincing the reader with many examples and lots of data, how our ethics are truly realized at a higher level than ever before in history, because we depend now on good, tested information, not superstition and ancient thought patterns.
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Published on December 12, 2016 12:19 Tags: moral-arc, morality, science, shermer, technology
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Cary Neeper
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