Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Moral progress?

Is humanity making moral progress? And how do we know? These belong on anyone's short list of The Big Questions. Some of us tend towards optimism and cite data on improved longevity in most of the world. These are explained by the fact that we are killing each other less frequently than ever and we cooperate more than ever to keep each other alive (as in better food, shelter and medical care).

But read The Economist's coverage of "Gendercide ... What happened to 100 million baby girls?" It's almost embarrassing to ask about moral progress in this light.

Modernity scares many people, but it is so much more attractive than the alternatives.