Friday, December 14, 2018

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

This book’s full title is Enlightenment Now. The case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress. He starts of well. I fully agree with what Enlightenment era has bought us. However, he veers off in the last part to what I have a hard time agreeing to.

He admires Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, both of which I have no respect for. They believe that if you do not believe as they do then you are either stupid or evil. They seemed to have made atheism into a religion. They sound more like ISIS then the religions people I grew up with. I am sorry but there are far too many people nowadays who think that those who do not believe as they believe are either stupid or evil. I have no respect for anyone that does this.

I should probably talk about my upbringing. The churches that I went to had people who were religious, but were also well education, liberal, moderate, open minded and believed in science. I well remember Sunday school where there were very nice ladies that read to us and gave us colouring books. They were bible stories, but as a kid that was not important. What I remember is enjoying Sunday school.

I have not gone to church since I left home. If pressed about if I believe in God, I would say I do not know. It is not something I think about. There is no point in going from the religion I was bought up in to another religion called atheism. Dawkins and Hitchens are atheist and if you listen to what they say, they sound like they belong to a religious cult.

I also have problem with the global warming people. They have made global warming into a religion. Any one that calls others a “denier” because they do not have the same beliefs sounds religious to me. They have been calling for worldwide global warming disasters for a number of years and it is always some 10 or 20 years in the future. It is now set for around 2030.

The Global Warmers disaster folks have been shouting at the top of their voices about coming disasters for so long that it now seems that fewer and fewer people are paying any attention. There are now even national leaders who say that they do not believe in global warming. It is not only Trump.

I read everything, so I know that there are also people who are worried about the lack of sun activity, the number of volcanos that are going off around the world and that the magnetic north and south poles might be getting ready to switch. They are moving around a lot.

If I were an American, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton despite the problems she has. Even today, I would still do so. However, I am also not a foaming at the mouth Trump hater as I know a lot of people are. What do I say? I am a moderate. My politics are liberal on the centralist side. However, in Canada I have vote for all three major parties of Conservative, Liberal and NDP. Canadian politicians are not that polarized as seems to be the problems is many countries.

Also, I do not believe that scientists are always open minded. Just look at the history of plate tectonics and the asteroid that hit in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of this makes sense because if you were taught certain theories in school and worked most of your life believing these theories, it would be hard to accept some total new and different theories.

What I am being critical about is the last part of the book. The first part was wonderful in explaining all the advancements that we humans have made. We have made phenomenal progress especially in the Western World. Pinker covered this progress also in his other books.

There is a wonderful review of this book by Alison Gopnik in The Atlantic. As usual, there are some wonderful reviews at my favourite site of Good Reads. There is another interesting review by Jennifer Szalai at New York Times.

Here Bill Gates does a short interview with Steven Pinker. Adrian Mckinty on YouTube talks about this book pointing out all the good stuff going on in the world which is in the first part of the book. Steven Pinker is interviewed on Steven Pinker speaks at University of Cambridge. He some on after a 3 minute introduction.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

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