Quote for the day

In those days, I was still possessed of the mad belief that reasoned argument could have some effect on important matters of public policy. It took the better part of half a century for me to give up that fantasy.

Robert Paul Wolff

As sympathetic as I am to Wolff’s exasperation, I don’t agree.

Vaccination, though once denounced as a Satanic tool for frustrating the will of you-know-who, is accepted almost globally. The germ theory of disease is universally accepted, though it was scoffed at by even doctors scarcely more than 100-years ago. Few people believe nowadays that the sun travels around the earth, or that the earth is flat, and the Southern Baptists are about the only people around who doubt that the earth is about 4.5-billion years old.

There is moral progress in the world, too. Witch-burning, and the torment of albinos, occurs in only unschooled parts of Africa. Heretics are no longer burned at the stake. Women and minorities are allowed to own property and to vote, and LGBTQ people are steadily gaining the rights our Constitution is supposed to guarantee them.

All of this, incidentally, in the face of opposition by the Godly.

Wolff is viewing matters from too short a perspective and has, in fact, clamored for and seen much of this progress — and I am confidant that the continued decline of the Abrahamic theisms will accelerate the advance of human progress.

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