“Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker

Optimism is the theory that all failures, all evils, are due to insufficient knowledge. Problems are inevitable, because our knowledge will always be infinitely far from compete… an optimistic civilization is open and not afraid to innovate, and is based on traditions of criticism. It’s institutions keep improving, and the most important knowledge that they embody is knowledge of how to detect and eliminate errors. 

The Law of Entropy is widely acknowledged in everyday life is sayings such as “things fall apart” “rust never sleeps” “shit happens” and “any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

To take something in faith means to believe in it without good reason, so by definition a faith in the existence of supernatural entities clashed with reason. Religions can also clash with humanism by valuing souls over lives, which is not as uplifting as it sounds. Belief in an afterlife implies  that health and happiness are not such a big deal, because life on earth is an infinitesimal portion of one’s existence; that coercing people into accepting salvation is doing them a favor; and that martyrdom may be the best thing that can ever happen to you. 

“From the pint of view of morality, it is not important everyone should have the same. What is morally important is that each should have enough.”

The confusion of inequality with poverty comes straight out of the lump fallacy- the mindset in which wealth is a finite resource, like an antelope carcass, which has to be divided up in a zero-sum fashion, so that if some people end up with more, others must have less. 

When someone disagrees with an idea or topic, ask them to explain it to you. You will often find they know nothing about it and may be more open to learning about it afterwards. 

Evolution, entropy, and information are and have been the primary drivers of progress throughout human history. 

Deists, and the belief that there is a non-interventionist supernatural power. 

Availability bias and negativity bias

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