The world will move onto the future through all the ups and downs and in continue on forward. Pinker starts off the chapter by describing all of the progress made by humanity as told in his previous chapters. One major example that can be seen is that “people are getting not just healthier, richer, and safer but freer” (Pinker 323). The world has been making so much progress from the years before and continue to seem as if more will come in the future. All the data he talks about seems as if it is pointing forward and above to new heights that were once thought of as unreachable. A world cannot progress without having to go through some obstacles first. Pinker targets Trump in saying how his ideas and motivated will cause everything that society has built to go backwards. Although nobody truly knows what will happen in the future Pinker predicts that there will be consequences with his actions such as supporting Putin. Trump has been known to support Putin in who “reversed the democratization of Russia, tried to undermine democracy in the United States and Europe with cyberattacks, helped prosecute the most destructive war of the 21st century in Syria, fomented smaller wars in Ukraine and Georgia, and defied the postwar taboo against conquest in his annexation of Crimea” (Pinker 335). Trump has received major backlash from his support of Putin and continues to act out against good intentions. Despite all that Trump has done, it is hard to predict what will happen in the future. The only hope is that progress will outshine the regression and that it will only slow it down. The most compelling piece of evidence is the fact that the world has progressed so much as to increase the lifespan of a human being and caused an increase in economic gains. The world is truly moving forward with the amount of technology able to help the world become better. His argument in this chapter truly stands that the progress that the world has gone through seems to outshine the possibility that something bad could happen. Focusing on the positive can lead to a positive future ahead.
Reasoning is a part of everyday life for a human being when faced in any situation. The idea that someone would reason their way out of a sticky situation seems logical and anyone who does use reason is considered unreasonable. Something so simple can seem so undoable to another’s person’s eyes which is why Pinker brings up the idea of politics. He believes that reason is suddenly thrown out of one person’s head when dealing with politics because of their loyalties. He brings in an example where one political party never noticed a fact since it is against his or her’s party’s ideology. People seem to throw reason and logic out of their mind once they see that it goes against what they are told by their party. With this situation at hand, he calls for more education on critical thinking using reason since people prioritize loyalty over reason. It greatly surprised me to think that people would ever not use reasoning when looking at any situation. Although, there are numerous times on the news where the actions of others does not quite add up to what would be a logical thing to do. The idea ponders in my head, but does everything seem the same reasonably within different people? It is easy to say that it is reasonable thinking to move out of the way of something that is going at a fast speed such as a car, but what if you have to save someone, but the consequence would be your own life? There would be two completely different, but reasonable answers to the situation. Someone could say that they would not save that person because they do not want to risk their own life. People would think that person was selfish when they are actually logical in a sense. Another person would say that they would save the person and give up their life which is understandable. Another person would say that saving the person’s life was honorable, but what if their death has caused harm to their own family? Being reasonable can be different in each person’s perspective which is why it is hard to see what is a good reason.
Science is one of the best fields that has accomplished so much over the years. The world has progressed from plagues to curing diseases that were once thought of as incurable. Despite all the good that science has done for the world, people blame it for terrible events that have happened. Science was to blame for the Nazi ideology where the Aryan race was thought of as the superior race. What people seem to forget is that Darwin proposed the idea that all human beings derived from the same person and eventually evolved in which is has been followed upon in the idea. Despite all that people have blamed on science, there is no denying the fact that it has done wonderous things for the world and the people who live on it. Pinker demands that science be combined with humanities to benefit society even more than it has. With all the good deeds science has done, it leaves me to wonder how far can science go before it is seen as a bad rather than a good? Science has been able to cure diseases that have plagued the world and create explanations for the events oncet thought as god’s intervention. The rate at which the average lifespan of a human being seems to continuously increase as the years increase. When scientists are able to find the holy grail of health and prevent death all together, would it be a bad or good thing? People will hail scientist and the science for the ability to do such thing, but people all across the globe will be affected. The effect of longevity could cause overpopulation in the world which forces people to think if the science was really all worth it. Science can be seen as good or evil throughout everyone who sees it.
Humanism is the idea behind the entire book with the progression of the world. Countries around the world and people adapt the use of humanism in everyday life with everyone’s goal to become successful. Although, humanism clashes with two different ideas on life. One being the idea that authoritarians or strict ruling by one person. This restricts the flow of people being able to pursue their own goals and live the best lives they possibly can. He believes that the strict ruling is coming back through President Trump’s campaign and use of power in the United States. In the end, Pinker states that the world truly is progressing forward and is becoming more and more advanced than before. In order to continue progressing, the human race must pursue the ideas of reason, science, and humanism. Although the chapter was quite lengthy, it brought together the meaning of all the chapters and concluded his thoughts. It allowed me to have a clearer understanding of what was the idea Pinker wanted to portray in the book. His ideas have caused me to question what would happen if humanism was ignored in the future? It is quite possible that society would turn into that of an autocratic state as Pinker believed. With the start of Trump possibly turning the tide of democracy, anything is possible in the future. The different ideas of what will happen in the future causes new books and movies to predict what will happen with many predicting an authoritarian like state in which someone rules over all. It is highly likely science will continue to be pursued in the future, but will people chose to become greedy for themselves?