The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom by Michael Shermer

Bestselling author Michael Shermer’s exploration of science and morality that demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, more moral

From Galileo and Newton to Thomas Hobbes and Martin Luther King, Jr., thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non-physical world. The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment led theorists to apply scientific reasoning to the non-scientific disciplines of politics, economics, and moral philosophy. Instead of relying on the woodcuts of dissected bodies in old medical texts, physicians opened bodies themselves to see what was there; instead of divining truth through the authority of an ancient holy book or philosophical treatise, people began to explore the book of nature for themselves through travel and exploration; instead of the supernatural belief in the divine right of kings, people employed a natural belief in the right of democracy.

In this provocative and compelling book, Shermer will explain how abstract reasoning, rationality, empiricism, skepticism—scientific ways of thinking—have profoundly changed the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a more just world.

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