The world today is in much better shape, thanks to the Enlightenment.
I’ve been reading Steve Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, at the same time reading the many reviews of this book. While a few reviews have been positive, most are negative, often very negative. (These don’t seem to have hurt the book’s huge sales.) And I often feel that these reviewers have read a different book from the one I’ve nearly finished. They often accuse Pinker of neglecting issues that he actually deals with in the book, take his quotes out of context, or use anecdotal examples to refute a general thesis documented with lots of data.
One of these nay-sayers is Mehdi Hasan, a British journalist of Indian ancestry, a Muslim, and, as far as I can see, a Muslim apologist along the lines of Karen Armstrong (who’s a Muslim apologist but not a Muslim). Hasan’s also quite aggressive, as…
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