Reddit Reddit reviews The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

We found 136 Reddit comments about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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136 Reddit comments about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined:

u/ImNotJesus · 2023 pointsr/AskReddit

Historically, you have about a 15% chance of dying due to violence. In the last century, despite two world wars, the chance is 3%. We live in objectively the safest world that has ever existed.

Edit: Source.

u/Demortus · 148 pointsr/worldnews

The world is way more peaceful and prosperous than it has been at nearly any other point in human history. Take for instance Rwanda. Two decades ago it was engaged in one of the worst genocides in human history. Now it is run by a very efficient government that has banned tribalism and is presiding over some of the fastest gains in human development in the world.

That doesn't mean that there aren't areas where things are getting worse, but the overall trend is generally positive.

Edit: A lot of you are making valid points that there are some important trends moving in a negative direction: climate change, environmental degradation, the fraying of the international liberal order. While it is still true that humanity has never been more peaceful than it has today (this is objectively true across a wide variety of metrics), I agree that these are pressing problems that if not addressed quickly, threaten our survival as a species in the long-term. But, I want to push back against the deep despair that I know many of you feel, because humanity has survived worse.

Around 70,000 years ago, humanity faced the greatest crisis in its history. A volcanic explosion of gargantuan proportions caused global temperatures to drop as much as 20 degrees in many places. This change caused a massive decline in our population to as few as a few hundred or thousand individuals. But we endured, despite having virtually no recognizable technology to aid us. We bounced back and 60,000 years later, we were building cities and had colonized almost the entire planet. We are now facing the second greatest threat our species has ever seen, but now we have something we never had before: we have science. We have technology. And we have governments that can harness the wealth and intelligence of billions of people to serve our collective will, if we choose to use them. I am not saying that will be enough, but it is a much better starting point than that faced by our ancestors. If I were to make a bet, I'd bet on our survival at a minimum, as humanity has already survived worse with less. I'd even say that given all that we have to fight climate change, that we will probably suffer nowhere near as much as we did then.

Edit2: Thanks for the gold!

u/slimemold · 122 pointsr/Futurology

Nice related book by a very readable author:

> The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Steven Pinker
> Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world

u/Cybersecurityfart · 54 pointsr/trippinthroughtime

The world is getting less violent, it's mostly the media that makes it seem worse. Here's a book on it:

u/arzged · 41 pointsr/videos

War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (and talk on it here)

I haven't got around to reading these books yet, but they seem to say that when you look at the historical archeological evidence, the % of people who die in conflicts has been going down, and societies that killed each other with clubs, poisoned arrows, etc. actually killed a higher % than current societies do with high powered weaponry and bombs. I think the problem is that there's news media reporting everywhere these days so you might get the impression that violence is everywhere/getting worse.

From the video of the talk I linked to, this slide is pretty interesting:

u/urboro · 35 pointsr/TumblrInAction
u/mhornberger · 31 pointsr/worldnews

> It's just not talked about much.

Good news doesn't sell, and people are sometimes outright hostile to it. Look at the reception to Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature. A great number of people have a visceral what-the-hell reaction to that book. Also try bringing up, in a discussion on "rape culture" in the US, that rape has dropped 85% since the 1970s.

For some people, interjecting good news is tantamount to saying that everything is perfect and thus we shouldn't try to improve anything. Good news takes the edge off their outrage, and in an outrage-driven culture it can get mistaken for apathy.

u/tazemanian-devil · 22 pointsr/exjw

Hello and welcome! Here are my recommendations for getting those nasty watchtower cobwebs out of your head, in other words, here is what I did to de-indoctrinate myself:

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Next, learn some actual science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website.. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read works by Stephen Hawking

Read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Learn about critical thinking from people like Michael Shermer, and how to spot logical fallacies.

For good measure, use actual data and facts to learn the we are NOT living in some biblical "last days". Things have gotten remarkably better as man has progressed in knowledge. For example, watch this cartoon explaining how war is on the decline..

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Another great source is the youtube series debunking 1914 being the start of the last days.

I wish you the best. There is a whole world of legitimate information out there based on actual evidence that you can use to become a more knowledgeable person.

You may still wonder how you can be a good human without "the truth." Here is a good discussion on how one can be good without god. --Replace where he talks about hell with armageddon, and heaven with paradise--

Start to help yourself begin to live a life where, as Matt Dillahunty puts it, you'll "believe as many true things, and as few false things as possible."

u/vibrunazo · 16 pointsr/brasil

Se está interessado em se aprofundar no assunto de por que violência aumenta ou diminui. Sugiro ler esse livro do Steven Pinker que é referência mundial no assunto.

O livro foca mais no cenário global como um todo. Aonde a violência está diminuindo na média. Mas reconhece que em alguns focos na América latina violência está indo em direção contrária.

O livro é extremamente extenso, a explicação não é simples, são diversos fatores diferentes. Mas uma das teclas que ele bate bastante e nos parece bem familiar no Brasil, é um Estado ineficiente na área de segurança. Apesar de alguns políticos populistas estarem apelando pra sugestão de que deveria ser responsabilidade de cada indivíduo se defender sozinho. O que o livro mostra é que historicamente a evidência é bem forte de que quem faz segurança é a polícia. Os estados brasileiros aonde a polícia está mal paga, com greves, paralisações, é justamente aonde estão os piores focos de violência.

u/[deleted] · 15 pointsr/exjw

It's a bunch of gobbledygook about the generations and the kingdom and all of that. It's all nonsense. In my humble opinion, you need to de-indoctrinate yourself to fully remove these types of fears. Not sure if I've shared this post with you before, but here's what I did personally:

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Next, learn some actual science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website.. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read works by Stephen Hawking

Read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Learn about critical thinking from people like Michael Shermer, and how to spot logical fallacies.

For good measure, use actual data and facts to learn the we are NOT living in some biblical "last days". Things have gotten remarkably better as man has progressed in knowledge. For example, watch this cartoon explaining how war is on the decline..

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Another great source is the youtube series debunking 1914 being the start of the last days.

Another way to clear out the cobwebs is to read and listen to exiting stories. Here are some resources:

Here is a post with links to a bunch of podcasts interviewing JWs who've left

Here's another bunch of podcasts about JWs

Here is a great book from Psychotherapist and former JW Bonnie Zieman - Exiting the JW Cult: A Helping Handbook

I wish you the best. There is a whole world of legitimate information out there based on actual evidence that you can use to become a more knowledgeable person.

You may still wonder how you can be a good human without "the truth." Here is a good discussion on how one can be good without god. --Replace where he talks about hell with armageddon, and heaven with paradise--

To go further down the rabbit hole, watch this series.

Here's a nice series debunking most creationist "logic".

Start to help yourself begin to live a life where, as Matt Dillahunty puts it, you'll "believe as many true things, and as few false things as possible."

u/backtowriting · 15 pointsr/unitedkingdom

Yes there are loads of critiques.... generally from Marxists who can't stand the fact that the research isn't supporting their religious doctrine.

Pinker's book The Better Angels of Our Nature was one of the most well received science books of the past decade and although it's intended for a lay audience, Pinker went to incredible trouble to read and source hundreds of studies.

That doesn't mean that Pinker's infallible. Only that I find him infinitely more credible then the tired old Marxist academics who continually take pot-shots at him.

Edit: Just looked at your links - '' and ''. I think it's fair to say that both these sites are in the business of writing highly politicized criticism of Western culture.

u/SyntheticAperture · 14 pointsr/Colonizemars

As someone left of center and an environmentalist.... Free markets and enlightenment values have lifted humanity out of squalor and superstition into modern day lives of plenty and comfort. Check out Steven Pinker's works if you don't believe me.

As long as we bring both to Mars with us, we'll be fine.

u/oyp · 14 pointsr/todayilearned

This slideshow is essentially the same thesis as Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature. A great book.

u/therealdrag0 · 13 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

In "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined", Pinker talks a bit about honor culture and how it's persisted in the south and how that effects violence.

If I remember correctly there was one study that showed that southern employers are more forgiving of candidates who murdered someone for retribution than of someone who stole cars, whereas for northern employers it was the opposite. Kinda crazy...

u/Unconscioustalk · 12 pointsr/pics

I'm sorry? Wars in the past were way more horrific and casualties were significantly higher than they are now, we are living in one of the most peaceful eras in history.

Here is a good book that discusses this exact subject.

u/ANewMachine615 · 12 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

The idea that this is the least violent time in history comes from a book called The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker, which purports to show that violence has been decreasing over time, and we live in the least violent period in history. That is not to say that our world is not still too violent, but rather that it is not as violent as it once was.

u/deus_voltaire · 11 pointsr/news

It's not a study so much as a thesis that analyzes many different studies, but I would highly recommend Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature as a jumping off point.

u/Anonymocoso · 11 pointsr/RedditForGrownups

I'm not sure about those "poor results"?

Violence is lower than ever. Unless you count exceptions like Baltimore, which we are not allowed to talk about.

I think abortion should be legal and widely available. But it's at an all time low. Birth control is getting better.

u/matthewdreeves · 11 pointsr/exjw

Hello and welcome! Here are my recommendations for de-indoctrinating yourself:

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Watch this talk from Sam Harris where he explains why "free will" is likely an illusion, which debunks the entire premise of "the fall of man" as presented by most Christian religions.

Watch this video on the Cordial Curiosity channel that teaches how the "Socratic Method" works, which essentially is a way to question why we believe what we believe. Do we have good reasons to believe them? If not, should we believe them?

Watch this video by Theramin Trees that explains why we fall for the beliefs of manipulative groups in the first place.

This video explains why and how childhood indoctrination works, for those of us born-in to a high-control group.

Another great source is this youtube series debunking 1914 being the start of the last days.

Next, learn some science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne.

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins.

Watch this series where Aron Ra explains in great detail how all life is connected in a giant family tree.

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Learn about critical thinking from people like [Michael Shermer] (, and how to spot logical fallacies.

For good measure, use actual data and facts to learn the we are NOT living in some biblical "last days". Things have gotten remarkably better as man has progressed in knowledge. For example, watch this cartoon explaining how war is on the decline.

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker.

Watch this Ted Talk by Hans Rosling, the late Swedish Statistician, where he shows more evidence that the world is indeed becoming a better place, and why we tend to wrongly convince ourselves otherwise.

I wish you the best. There is a whole world of legitimate information out there based on actual evidence that we can use to become more knowledgeable people.

You may still wonder how you can be a good human without "the truth." Here is a good discussion on how one can be good without god. --Replace where he talks about hell with armageddon, and heaven with paradise--

Start to help yourself begin to live a life where, as Matt Dillahunty puts it, you'll "believe as many true things, and as few false things as possible."

u/Parmeniscus · 11 pointsr/worldnews

you're so eager to be offended you can't even hear what is being said. A smaller percentage of the population dies violent deaths due to wars and homicide than in the past. Steven Pinker writes extensively on this. The geography of the commenter has nothing to do with this fact.

u/tomo89 · 10 pointsr/aww

That’s a nice fairy tale, isn’t it? The fact that you insult over me saying something completely reasonable doesn’t put you in a very good position.

I didn’t say they were actors or anything was staged. You’re arguing a point I never made. Nice job.

Brooding about our “sick society” doesn’t pass the shit test, unless you’re a C+ college freshman. I have a suggestion for you. Or this one. Why read when you can dismiss arguments with pictures of tin foil hats, though, right? We all know how smart 16 year olds are...

u/vgSelph · 9 pointsr/exchristian

Please don't take this post from me as aggressive, I just wanted to point out a few things about your post.

You make a few mistakes early in your post. One is you're making the No True Scotsman argument. Essentially you're arguing that the bad Christians you assume we've met or are the cause for us leaving the church, aren't real Christians anyway. I think we need to trust people. If they say they're a Christian, I believe them.

Also, things aren't that bad here on the Earth. We've got some issues, but the things you mention are actually better now than at any point in history. Allow me to point you toward a great, great book about this, Steven Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature. It's a great book about this exact topic, I think it may allay some of your fears.

Also, why is this life not enough? Why do you deserve more than this life? You're saying that unless you have the potential at eternity, this life isn't worth living. Why not? I've got an amazing wife, and I choose to spend some of my limited time with her. She's so great, that makes it worthwhile. I've got two great kids, my daughter is going to turn 5 in a few weeks and she's super fun to be around. I've got a 1.5 year-old son. He's crazy, no fear, always wants me to pick him up and throw him around through the air. I like to do woodworking and make really, really nice pieces for my family and friends that I just give away. I love looking at the beauty in the world. There's no intent behind it, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful and awesome. Why is that not enough? Why do you need more?

You also forget that your third option also includes a place of eternal torment for people like me. You sincerely believe that I am going to burn in Hell forever. I try to be a good person, I put a TON of effort into thinking about ethics and philosophy. I like to help people, give away my time, and just generally do what I can. But as I'm sure you know, the Bible says that we aren't saved by works. So in spite of all my efforts, because I am unable to have faith, I have eternal torment to look forward to.

It isn't Christians that made me an ex-Christian. They were largely just people where I grew up. It's the religion that I reject and everything about it. Just food for thought.

u/namtog1 · 8 pointsr/DaystromInstitute

You might want to look at The Better Angles Of Our Nature by Steven Pinker;

u/puppy_and_puppy · 7 pointsr/MensLib

I'm not sure if this would work or not, but I would try redirecting people who have conservative or right-wing leaning views at least toward better thinkers than Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson and toward optimistic views of the future of society, to cull some of the us-vs-them and zero-sum thinking that plagues these discussions.

Sometimes it feels like men, especially, feel existentially threatened by other modes of thought, so being at least sympathetic to the good bits of their ideas and offering something similar but that promotes openness and liberal ideas may help.

Hans Rosling's Factfulness presents a pretty optimistic view of the world. It's all getting better! Seriously!

Jonathan Haidt (and Greg Lukianoff for the first book)

u/PM_me_y0ur_squanch · 7 pointsr/australia

> everyone knows america is basically a gun-crazy failed state at this point

Tell me, where have you visited in the US, specifically?

The media has done a fantastic job terrifying everyone. You're something like 100,000 times more likely to witness violence in the media than in real life, according to Dr. Steven Pinker. With a population of 325,000,000 people and news being disseminated at light speed, things are bound to look worse that they are. You know what doesn't make the news - nothing. Nothing, as in mundane life. Violence will make the news, however.

The media has got everyone living in fear and clutching their rosaries, so to speak.

u/cashmeowsighhabadah · 7 pointsr/IAmA

What is your opinion on the decline of war in the world? Because iit turns out we live in the most peaceful time in human history.

Here is a video summary of my argument, easier to understand, but I have transcribed the important parts here.

This chart shows deaths in wars by millions since 1950

This chart shows the increase in world population, which is going against the trend in deaths in war

If war was getting worse, these two charts should be in line with each other or at the very least, maintain their respective ratios. Instead what we see is that as population increases, deaths by war go down, meaning the percentage of people dying directly because of a war is declining.

The following maps show conflicts that were ongoing in the years 2013-2014.

This is a map of countries that have had conflicts that led to the death of more than 10,000 people.

This is a map of countries in orange where there were conflicts that killed more than 1,000 people

This is a map of countries in lighter orance where there were conflicts that killed more than 100 people

A lot of conflicts had to do with colonial rule or taking back control from another country who had usurped the rule for an area.

This is a map from 1845 of areas that were under colonial rule

This is a map of today of areas that are under colonial rule today

Having countries govern themselves takes away a lot of tension and potential for conflict. Additionally, most wars of the 19th and 20th century were fought for resources, including land. However, nowadays, it's more profitable for countries to negotiate trade deals instead of entering into wars over resources.

If you still don't believe that we live in the most peaceful period in human history, you can check these non-partisan, non-religious links to studies into the subject.

u/lolzfeminism · 7 pointsr/news

I highly disagree, if anything the last 10-20k years of human history has shown our capacity to be extraordinarily kind to each other.

Here is Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of our Nature" lecture on this subject. If you don't want to watch hour long lecture, here is a 20 minute segment by him on the same subject.

I highly recommend the book itself though.

u/Newtothisredditbiz · 7 pointsr/blog

According to Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of our Nature, violence has been on the decline over the millennia, and we're living in the most peaceful times in human existence.

However, he says:

>The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue.

Pinker presents five forces that favour peacefulness over violence, but there have always been people fighting against them. They are:

  • The Leviathan – the rise of the modern nation-state and judiciary "with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force," which "can defuse the [individual] temptation of exploitative attack, inhibit the impulse for revenge, and circumvent ... self-serving biases."

  • Commerce – the rise of "technological progress [allowing] the exchange of goods and services over longer distances and larger groups of trading partners," so that "other people become more valuable alive than dead" and "are less likely to become targets of demonization and dehumanization."

  • Feminization – increasing respect for "the interests and values of women."

  • Cosmopolitanism – the rise of forces such as literacy, mobility, and mass media, which "can prompt people to take the perspectives of people unlike themselves and to expand their circle of sympathy to embrace them."

  • The Escalator of Reason – an "intensifying application of knowledge and rationality to human affairs," which "can force people to recognize the futility of cycles of violence, to ramp down the privileging of their own interests over others', and to reframe violence as a problem to be solved rather than a contest to be won.

    We should be very concerned when leaders fight against these forces, because these forces are what make humanity better.
u/nullshun · 6 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> all the worlds religions and ethnicities should stop being jerks to each other. However, that seems unlikely.

It's very likely. It's been happening throughout history. It's happened while wealth inequality increased, as in the Pacification Process, when warring bands of relatively egalitarian foragers unified into larger, more stratified farming states.

> If we look at a lot of wars in the world we can see that its rich people (US Army) killing people with much less money.

I don't think wealth inequality causes that kind of violence at all. Except maybe indirectly, in that USA thinks they can get away with killing Iraqis, because Iraqis are too poor to defend themselves. And if you can force the rich to give away their money to the poor, surely you can just force the rich to not kill the poor.

Anyway, it's not that the rich hate the poor, for being poor, and so go out of their way to hurt the poor. If anything, this is an argument for more free markets. Allow the rich to benefit from "exploiting" (aka employing) the poor, so they won't want to fight the poor.

u/Laboe · 6 pointsr/india

At the risk of sounding complacement, maybe India isn't in need of dire saving. After decades of being in the doldrums, it's finally rising at a quite rapid pace. GDP per capita is starting to reach critical mass. India in 2020 will be where China was in the year 2010 according to the IMF(PPP-adjusted).

So its just a decade behind. A big concern is the slowdown in jobs growth. That would cause significant instability if the trend persisted, given that India has about 1 million new entrants into the labor market every single month.

If you look at absolute povery measured by the world bank, the numbers have come down dramatically. India's TFR will also basically converge to replacement rate levels by 2020, something which is necessary to avoid instability and more rapidly increase the wealth of each citizen.

Chidabaram had an interesting talk recently where he talked about India today and its potential. He essentially said neither India nor China could ever reach Western levels of prosperity on a per-capita basis. I wouldn't be so certain. The main constraint today is energy, specifically oil.

That can be overcome(see EVs). Then you have food and whatnot, but that will be possible to bypass by growing your own food in a lab. Water usage can still be streamlined far more than it is today, even in most developed countries. Add to this the general decline in violence over the past several millenia, and you have a decent foundation to build prosperity on. The major risk out there is climate change.

u/gregorsamsa07 · 5 pointsr/confession

Read this book, full of hard research that shows we are living through the most peaceful period in human history.

u/geewhipped · 5 pointsr/IAmA

Thanks! I'll check these out... and maybe I'll reread the Dark Tower series, so friggin' great.



Amazon links:

The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley

Abundance Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Stephen King's Dark Tower Series

Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles)

Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series

(yeah, these are links... if you aren't already supporting some organization with your Amazon purchases, how about my kid's school's PTA?)

u/DarknessMonk · 5 pointsr/brasil

> E, observando o longo prazo, o mundo nunca foi tão pacífico quanto é agora.

Passando só pra linkar o livro do Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined que fala exatamente sobre isso. Conheci via um amigo, e já está na minha lista de leituras faz algum tempo.

u/Gazzellebeats · 5 pointsr/LetsGetLaid

>I don’t regret having one, just extremely ashamed of being sexual and communicating it to girls and also showing it to the world. Attracting girls’ attention and whatnot isn’t very hard but progressing things to dating, holding hands and eventually sex is impossible. I can’t even call them or message them on Facebook or Whatsapp because I just feel like an idiot for doing so. Making a move in clubs and bars is also difficult although I once got close to leaving with a girl but she didn't want to. I got made fun of a lot growing up for not having a girlfriend and this made me feel like i do not deserve one. It doesn't matter if I've got the green light to go ahead I just feel really ashamed do it. Even something like looking at a fit girl wearing a short skirt makes me feel bad for checking her out and that I shouldn’t be doing it.

I know what you mean. I've been there myself, but even when I was there I was entirely self-aware of my shame and I was skeptical of the validity of my emotional reactions; I realized they were ingrained. Being aware of your emotional reactions allows you to be emotionally proactive. Your sex-negative problem is mostly an emotional issue, and not much else, right? I've been there. I wouldn't doubt that you are also decent looking and have both latent and actualized social skills. Most intelligent introverts have a lot of potential to be who they want to be because they know themselves more deeply than others. You must use your introverted nature to your advantage and recognize the differences in others and yourself. In all honesty, there are an infinite number of unwritten rules; everyone's abstract/emotional logic is different. Many of them are foundational and predictable, however; including yours and mine. Like anything else, being emotionally predictable is not a black/white issue. It is a grey area, and you have to balance your reliability with creativity.

Being made fun of for not having a girlfriend is just as sexist as being made fun of for not having a boyfriend; gender equal too. Were you ever shamed for not having a boyfriend? It's clearly a matter of groupthink and extroverted style; not for everyone. Dating relationships, for extroverts especially, are often attention-getting and showy. They wear their relationships like trophies won. Usually introverts prefer a more private relationship because they have less social desire and are often shamed because of it. Introverts are “themselves” more often in private. Extroverts are “themselves” more often in public. There is no shame deserved either way, regardless of popular opinion. Both styles have their strengths and weaknesses, and you should try to introject some of the traits that you enjoy in others; regardless of type. That is how you become balanced.

>I’m receiving counselling from a pastor who advocates the whole “no sex before marriage” thing and believes that people should only date to get married and sex is only for making kids which is stupid IMO because I do not plan on getting married anytime soon.

Counseling from a Catholic pastor? Watch out, that is one of the most notorious sex-negative societies out there. They own the abstinence-only charade while they parade horribles. Marriage is not the answer to anything; it is an institution of the state. Anything else attached is sentimental.

If you haven't already, I recommend doing an in-depth study of animal sexual behaviors; especially the most intelligent animals. All animals have sex for pleasure, but some animals are only driven to have sex at certain times of the year; humans are on a 24/7 system.

>I’ve tried the no fap route and gotten very high days counts but that hasn’t really helped me at all.

Sexual frustration doesn't help anyone. If you are mindful, then you can use your libido to further your goals, but it is not an all-cure.

>Got any sources to help overcome sex-negative perspectives? I’m interested in recreational sex not baby making sex.

Absolutely. I recommend starting with actual sex science and learning about male and female psychology and neurology. Then work your way into reading about sex culture. You should also study developmental psychology as you will probably need the clinical context in order to objectively self-evaluate your childhood influences; it is necessary for self-therapy. The best therapy will always be self-therapy; no one will ever know you better than yourself.

Evolutionary Science and Morals Philosophy:

The Selfish Gene

The Moral Landscape

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?

Sex Psychology, Science, and Neurology:

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

The Female Brain

The Male Brain

Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love

What Do Women Want

Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in Between)

Sex: The world's favorite pastime fully revealed

Behavioral Psychology and Abstract Economics:

How Pleasure Works


Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking

Thinking Fast And Slow

We Are All Weird

Developmental Psychology:

Nurture Shock

Hauntings: Dispelling The Ghosts That Run Our Lives

Empathy Building:

Half The Sky

The House On Mango Street

Me Before You

The Fault In Our Stars

Also check out James Hollis' Understanding The Psychology of Men lecture if you can find it.

Movies: XXY, Tom Boy, Dogtooth, Shame, Secretary, Nymphomaniac, Juno, Beautiful Creatures, and The Man From Earth.

All of these things are related, but it is up to you to make the connections; pick and choose which material suits your interests best. These are the things that came to mind first, and they have all influenced my perspectives.

u/Ahaigh9877 · 5 pointsr/im14andthisisdeep

Yeah, but it feels like things are getting apocalyptically scary, and how awesome exciting terrible that it should be happening to us, in our lifetimes!

Unfortunately happily, you're right: violence of all kinds has been on a downward trend for ages.

u/puntinbitcher · 4 pointsr/UpliftingNews

He wrote a book about it.

u/Sigeberht · 4 pointsr/de

Da es nicht mit im Text steht: Pinkers Buch zum Thema ist The Better Angels of Our Nature. (oder als Übersetzung)

Sehr umfangreich und sorgfältig recherchiert, sehr empfehlenswert aus meiner Sicht.

u/MisanthropicScott · 4 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Hmm... Absolutely none of these represent any kind of scientific fact.

I"m going to ignore the prophesies for the future because they cannot be verified. So, from your list from the present, that you believe have already been fulfilled:

> Naked, destitute, barefoot shepherds will compete in building tall buildings.

Can you provide an example of this?

> The slave-woman will give birth to her master or mistress.

Who or what is this supposed to represent?

> A trial (fitnah) which will enter every Arab household.

I can't possibly check on this.

> Knowledge will be taken away (by the death of people of knowledge), and ignorance will prevail.

We learn more year by year. So, no.

> Wine (intoxicants, alcohol) will be drunk in great quantities.

A prediction that was true then and now. So, not much of a prediction, IMHO.

> Illegal sexual intercourse will become widespread.

I'll refrain from a discussion of what this might mean to a follower of Islam. I honestly don't want to know.

> Earthquakes will increase.

I'm not sure there is any evidence that they have.

> Time will pass more quickly.

I don't believe this to be true. For each of us, as we age, time appears to speed up. But, objectively clocks on the surface of the earth tick at the same speed now as they did in the time of Mohammad.

> Tribulations (fitan) will prevail.

I have no idea how this could be measured.

> Bloodshed will increase.

Surprisingly, even with the holocaust and Stalin in the 20th century, an individual's risk of dying a violent death has been decreasing century over century since the evolution of humanity.

I promise I'm more surprised by this than you are. Check my username. But, Steve Pinker did a very exhaustive study on the subject.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined - Steven Pinker

> A man will pass by the grave of another and wish he was in the latter’s place.

This has happened for a long time. Depression is nothing new.

> Trustworthiness will be lost, i.e. when authority is given to those who do not deserve it.

This is also nothing new and has happened for as long as there have been humans.

> People will gather for prayer, but will be unable to find an imam to lead them.


Anyway, as I said, not a scientific claim in the bunch. I was looking for something more than this.

u/mac_question · 4 pointsr/space

I don't think we're going to cure aging for another couple of centuries. The human body is an unnecessarily complicated piece of hardware just for supplying nutrients and input/outputs for a 2 pound chunk of grey matter.

I do think that we'll be downloading our consciousness to a digital medium within the next 100 years, though. Or otherwise keeping brains alive in vats, with the ability to communicate digitally.

Then things get weird. You can either live forever in a VR world, or you need a robotic body to travel in.

The poor will never be "euthanized" as such, although it will take money to live forever.

And if that sounds like some kind of horrible world with inequality you couldn't possibly abide, well... yeah. Super fucked up, but we're already in that world.

And things have never been as great as they currently are, and continue to get better.

So yeah, there will be an awkward period where some rich folks are chillin in VR heaven and tons of poor children are still dying of starvation. But the long-term trend should be for the best.

I feel like the #1 thing that isn't talked about is the rate of change we've had for 50+ years, and which has been accelerating, has absolutely no precedence in history. Shit is nuts.

u/iowanaquarist · 4 pointsr/DelphiMurders

This book is a great read on this topic to help gain perspective.

u/AdamColligan · 4 pointsr/atheism
  1. The press environment in the US is very free. That does not mean that there are no serious challenges to press freedom here, especially on specific national security issues. However, several indices on the subject tend to fairly seriously under-represent important elements bolstering US press freedom. Some of these are: strong underlying freedom of information law at state/local as well as federal level, very aggressive judicial protection in First Amendment cases, and an effective and still-burgeoning system of recourse to counter strategic lawsuits against public participation. The three isolated examples you gave are not even good ones. With regard to the Snowden saga, the actual journalists working on the story have actually enjoyed much more legal leeway and suffered much less harassment in the US than in the UK and some other places. And while a better statutory defense should be available for Snowden with regard to presenting justification for the crimes he committed, the lack of one is not any kind of distinguishing feature of the US system. Similarly, Chelsea Manning and Barrett Brown's actions would have been considered serious crimes in every country on the planet. The idea of Barrett Brown being a press hero is laughable, and it's especially ironic given that the Stratfor hack was essentially an attack on the privacy of an independent media company and its readership. [Full disclosure, I worked at Stratfor for a bit in the mid-2000s and still know people there, and the paranoia people have about that company never ceases to amaze].

  2. Your point about lobbying has some technical merit, but it's really just another version of the same misconception. There are really separate ideas here: bribery, campaign donations, and persuasive lobbying. Straight-up bribery involves a politician getting personal, pecuniary benefit in exchange for policy. Bribery renders people less free, since they are no longer able to effectively control government through voting. It happens, and it's a problem in all governments, but America doesn't especially stand out from its peers in this area. Campaign donations are of course problematic and also often discussed as a form of "bribery". But, as I pointed out above, this muddles an important difference. When the campaign money is just being spent on dumb ads, it does not really reduce the voters' freedom. Your reply is that a ton of money is also spent on lobbyists. However, (1) much of this is the same money -- lobbyists do a lot of work sourcing campaign donations; and (2) to the extent that lobbyists are actually lobbying, this is just putting politicians in the same shoes as voters. And, frankly, many of those conversations are also about how much campaign money could be raised to unseat them if they do the "wrong" thing. Access can be important to the forming of impressions, but politicians have a ton of tools at their disposal to manage to whom they listen and for how long. Politicians that are stuck in the culture of lobbying-cash-fear are guilty of cowardice, but they aren't "not free" and neither are their constituents.

  3. The way you make this argument, your point of view is never falsifiable. If a poor person votes Republican, you can just say it's because their society must be so "not free" that they were mind-controlled / brainwashed into voting against their interests. If only they were better educated, they would be "free" to vote for the things that you think are in their interests rather than the things that they think are in their interests. This perspective just dehumanizes the very people that you are trying to claim are being robbed of their agency by American society. Of course I think it should be made even easier for Americans to be better-informed and even easier to participate in political life. But surely freedom has to be recognized for what it is regardless. Nobody can force voters with stupid ideas to go out and correct them. But the practical barriers to any voter doing so -- even a voter with low education and no personal wealth -- are remarkably low in the US.

  4. (5) The GPI is not a good measure at all of "how safe the streets are", which was your original point. It includes lots of variables that have nothing to do with that. The US homicide rate is on par with the Baltics; the US assault rate compares pretty well to many of its peers. But the larger point is lost in these snapshot comparisons. Pretty much all current OECD societies are on the sharp tip of a very dramatic decline in violence. Yes, there are some places in America that are blighted and dangerous. And we still have more violent crime than we should have. But in general, I absolutely stand by the statement that America is a very safe place by any rational standard. Having double the murder rate of 2012 Finland is like doubling your risk of being struck by lightning or exposing yourself to double the normal level of background radiation. It's more dangerous, but it isn't not safe.

    To your last point: there are significant threats to important freedoms in the US. Personally, I am especially concerned about not only surveillance in particular but the general attitude in successive federal administrations about the rule of law in general. And I am not alone in that at all. But, especially when it comes to essential political liberties and the freedom of conscience, our underlying legal and social protections remain very strong. And they are just now being given the opportunity to more directly confront the latest threats. We have a long way to fall before it would start to make sense to talk about being "not free".
u/MusikLehrer · 4 pointsr/news
u/rickg3 · 4 pointsr/FCJbookclub

I read books 4-6 of the Dresden Files. I blame Patrick Rothfuss for getting me started and duckie for keeping me going. Coupla assholes. After I finish the other 8 books, I have some nice, solid non-fiction lined up.

In no particular order, I'm going to read:

The Information by James Gleick

The Better Angels Of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

The Math Book by Clifford A. Pickover

The Know-It-All by A.J. Coastie Jacobs

And others. I'm gonna nerd out so hard that I'll regrow my virginity.

u/timfitz42 · 4 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

Got a few days? LOL!

Start with the source material for The Better Angels Of Our Nature by Steve Pinker.

This is from a large group of data sets from many many sources compiled.

u/christgoldman · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

> There appears to be an innate drive in humans towards something that is moral, existential, and transcendent

And that would be because we've evolved as a social species, and rather than acting selfishly, we act as a community to better propagate our genes. (Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene; Steven Pinker [again] The Better Angels of Our Nature)

> the lack of a clear universal and very specific "sensus divinitatis" doesn't inform us either way about the divine existence.

It does, when you start positing specific deities. If your deity punishes non-belief, your deity is positively immoral without instilling a natural sense of sensus divinitatis. See another comment of mine on this thread for more on that.

u/TheGreasyPole · 3 pointsr/PurplePillDebate


The single best evo-psych book I can think of is

The Blank Slate by Stephen Pinker. It's extremely readable as well as very informative.

Where you'd want to go next depends on what you'd like to learn more about, and whether you liked Stephen Pinker as an author.

If you'd like to know more about the genetics that underlying the evo-psych then you want.

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

If you're interested specifically in what evo-psych has to say about human sexuality you want

The Evolution of Desire by David Buss

And if you really like Stephen Pinker and want to know what evo psych means for human societies I'd recommend

The Angels of our Better Nature by Stephen Pinker

or (if you don't like Pinker)

Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley.

I've given you US Amazon links, and no. I don't get a cut :(

u/noconverse · 3 pointsr/AskALiberal

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but the summation of your argument is that the current structure of human society produces more harm than it prevents. If you really want a detailed and largely data-driven answer to this, read the book "Better Angels of Our Nature" by Steven Pinker. It will give you a better answer to this question than anything else you'll find.

But to surmise the arguments in the book, the answer is a resounding NO. History has shown, time and again, that as society has become less structured by norms, rules, and laws, it becomes significantly more brutal. A big part of this is that, as you have more and more people competing with each other for limited resources, you get this never ending cycle of what are called Hobbesian traps ("I must strike at my enemy first and annihilate him or else he'll do the same to me") that creates these perpetual cycles of violence between groups. This violence then hinders or even reverts technological developments that could then lead to increasing these resources via increased production or more efficient use (who has time to produce pesticide when you've gotta constantly be keeping an eye on the village 2 miles away?).

Railing against globalism is kind of a fad nowadays, but few people realize just how much it has helped reduce overall violence in the world. As much as I hate what trade agreements have done to the American middle class, I can't deny that it's made major power war much less likely by creating huge economic incentives against, while at the same time significantly improving the living standards in many countries (China especially).

u/iamcrazynuts · 3 pointsr/history

We read this book for an international relations class recently, I think it is appropriate for this conversation. It's a great read with lots of data and explanation for this hypotheses [Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker] (

u/Bzerker01 · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

There is a great book on this subject, Called Better Angels of our Nature, which actually discusses this in depth.

u/koshdim · 3 pointsr/ukraina

кому интересна история насилия, есть отличная книга про этот случай там тоже есть. книга серьезная, с ссылками на документы и графиками

u/DameonKormar · 3 pointsr/politics

That's a pretty dire view of the future.
There is a constant march towards equality and a more moral and just human race; it's just a slow process. Just look at the history of violence, slavery, and gay tolerance (and thousands of other examples) for proof of that progress.

I'd recommend reading The Better Angels of Our Nature.

u/B3de · 3 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I highly recommend you read Pinker's book "The Better Angels of our Nature."


u/gogreatergood · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

It is referring only to the levels of violence in the US. Of course, your questions are excellent. It is often argued that violence worldwide overall is decreasing as well (including wars, etc.). The most prominent piece on this is probably "The Better Angels of our Nature" by Steven Pinker.

u/justsomemammal · 3 pointsr/BabyBumps

I am starting to feel like a shill for this book because it's the third time I've mentioned it on reddit in as many days. There is a wonderful book by the cognitive neuroscientist Steven Pinker called The Better Angels of Our Nature. It talks about, in great detail (maybe too much), all of the overwhelming evidence that we live in a more peaceful and harmonious time than ever before in civilization. I read it last year when I was pregnant and having some of the same thoughts you are and it did help to put my mind at ease.

Every organism is always dealing with some kind of threat and the possibility of an imminent catastrophe. All we can do is work with the environment we're in and do our best. So far, so good :)

u/TehGinjaNinja · 3 pointsr/confession

There are two books I recommend to everyone who is frustrated and/or saddened by the state of the world and has lost hope for a better future.

The first is The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker. It lays out how violence in human societies has been decreasing for centuries and is still declining.

Despite the prevalence of war and crime in our media, human beings are less likely to suffer violence today than at any point in our prior history. The west suffered an upswing in social violence from the 1970s -1990s, which has since been linked to lead levels, but violence in the west has been declining since the early 90s.

Put simply the world is a better place than most media coverage would have you believe and it's getting better year by year.

The second book I recomend is The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil. It explains how technology has been improving at an accelerating rate.

Technological advances have already had major positive impacts on society, and those effects will become increasingly powerful over the next few decades. Artificial intelligence is already revolutionizing our economy. The average human life span is increasing every year. Advances in medicine are offering hope for previously untreatable diseases.

Basically, there is a lot of good tech coming which will significantly improve our quality of life, if we can just hang on long enough.

Between those two forces, decreasing violence and rapidly advancing technology, the future looks pretty bright for humanity. We just don't hear that message often, because doom-saying gets better ratings.

I don't know what disability you're struggling with but most people have some marketable skills, i.e. they aren't "worthless". Based on your post, you clearly have good writing/communicating skills. That's a rare and valuable trait. You could look into a career leveraging those skills (e.g. as a technical writer or transcriptionist) which your disability wouldn't interfere with to badly (or which an employer would be willing to accommodate).

As for being powerless to change the world, many people feel that way because most of us are fairly powerless on an individual level. We are all in the grip of powerful forces (social, political, historical, environmental, etc.) which exert far more influence over our lives than our own desires and dreams.

The books I recommended post convincing arguments that those forces have us on a positive trend line, so a little optimism is not unreasonable. We may just be dust on the wind, but the wind is blowing in the right direction. That means the best move may simply be to relax and enjoy the ride as best we can.

u/Secular_Response · 3 pointsr/exjw

This is one excellent way out of the JWs, and it is a morally uplifting one at that. When the person is reduced to arguing that the world is awful just to maintain 'hope', the battle is 90% over. Pinkers' book is highly recommended. Best $20 I ever spent.

u/y0nkers · 3 pointsr/IAmA

Ah I didn't really mean it like that. I meant that having advanced technology is a sign of being around a long time which would've given them time to transition out of primitive behavior -- like we are slowly doing. But maybe their technology progressed at a more exponential rate than ours and their social evolution wasn't as fast. This is all so speculative and we only have one example (us) so it's really just a fun guessing game.

You make a good point about how long it takes us to advance morally. But the key idea is that we ARE advancing. A great book on this is The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Stephen Pinker. Things now are immensely better than they were even 100 years ago.

One unnerving thought is how little our treatment of animals has progressed. Arguably, it has gotten worth with our factory farming methods. Perhaps this is insight into how we would treat other species. We have a threshold for what we deem as worthy of protection laws based on our interpretation of intelligence. Will that threshold be raised if we advance our intelligence through artificial means? Do beings of lesser intelligence deserve and equal chance at life as those of higher intelligence?

u/LocalAmazonBot · 3 pointsr/TumblrInAction

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u/Mablun · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Maybe your prayer worked. Evil does seem to be dramatically lessening in the world. And it would explain why the 2nd coming hasn't happened yet...

Thanks a lot. You might have messed up the entire plan.

u/my_derping_account · 3 pointsr/Showerthoughts

Here, read this book and criticism of it to start your journey:

Don't just skip straight to the criticism and assume the book is wrong.

u/who-is-this6843 · 3 pointsr/latterdaysaints
u/AlwaysUnite · 3 pointsr/vegan

Hmm I look at it this way. Indeed morality is simply a product of the human mind, and this is exactly what makes it objective. And I don't mean like "I think this is right, therefore it is". It is bigger than that. Morality is real, natural and objective the same way water is wet and planets are things. There isn't anything wet individual H2O molecules. Yet through their interaction a property we call 'wet' is presented. The same goes for planets. They are really just big balls of elementary particles. But it doesn’t help anyone to think of it this way. There are still laws like Newton’s law of gravitation that describe how planets work. This is the idea behind reductionism. While things are really made out of ever smaller parts (until you hit quantum mechanics), it is still useful to describe reality at higher levels of generalization.

For morality the same works in two steps (ending the line of reduction down at the human individual). Imagine two strangers meeting each other. They both need medical attention due to a civil war. Now the other could provide the medical attention but also pose a threat. When these people interact one of two things can happen. Either they cooperate or they oppose each other (cooperate/defect in the Prisoners Dilemma as it is called in game theory and economics). Now when people oppose each other nothing really changes compared to when they didn't interact with each other. All participants are still selfishly trying to achieve their own goals regardless of anything or anyone else. But when they cooperate something new is created. A unit of several individuals that works together towards a common goal. This unit of people is similar to water being wet. But this is not morality yet. This is more like selfish cooperation.

The difference lies in the fact that humans can do one thing that water molecules can't. And that is reproduce, both sexually and intellectually (by changing other people’s minds they in effect let you copy a part of you, namely your thoughts, into them). This gives rise to a second level of effects due to evolutionary theory. We find that there is another more general way to look at human behaviour that can be described using scientific laws just like planets can. Not only do people sometimes cooperate, but whenever they do they also generate profit. In fact they generate more profit compared to when they had worked alone. The only additional route to this is in a perfectly competitive market, but as anyone who has taken econ 101 may remember there are at least 12 separate conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for this to work. Making cooperation the dominant mechanism by which people become rich.* Because cooperation=profit there is a force acting towards individuals, small groups of people and societies to cooperate more with each other. There is ample evidence for this (see for example 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Morality is therefore (at least in my mind) the tendency for more cooperative societies* to grow and flourish while societies which exploit, oppress, oppose each other and their members are retarded, stagnant or collapse.

From this follows what I think of as objective morality. In societies where no cooperation at all takes place society is destroyed, civilization collapses, and humanity is reduced to a collection of wandering individuals constantly trying to survive and kill each other (basically an unending version of the Purge but more extreme). In society where everyone cooperates to rationally find the best solution to bring everyone happiness, individuals live longer and the amount of suffering, pain and death is minimized/eliminated. I would call the first Evil and the second Good but really I don't have to because humanity as a whole has already done this by. Words are defined by the majority of opinions after all (Luckily regardless of what name we give this phenomenon the effect remains real).

Incidentally these 12 conditions basically never occur so whenever someone says “the market will solve everything” I recommend to take a very very close look at what they are actually proposing.

**In the sense of the prisoners dilemma not the communistic/socialistic sense. The communists didn't in fact base their society on the community but on the communist party. And everyone else got kicked into the dirt.

u/SmashTheKyriarchy · 3 pointsr/AskFeminists

So a couple of things:

1.) Just because something happened out of necessity, doesn't mean we should KEEP DOING IT.

2.) In a way you are saying male aggression makes male aggression necessary. I don't say this flippantly or to blame the victim. I am pointing out how this is a self reinforcing cycle that can only be disrupted by outside forces, namely the criminal justice system. There is a strong correlation between how much of the population can rely on the governement for justice, and how much inter-personal violence there is in that society.

u/HaiKarate · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

People generally don't choise religion for rational reasons, but for emotional ones. However, if he's truly open to considering what the facts are, I'd recommend a book by Steven Pinker called, "The Better Angels of Our Nature." In it, Pinker demonstrates conclusively that human violence is on the decline. And this isn't just a recent phenomena, but is a long term trend. People think violence is increasing because technology has been shrinking the news cycle, to the point that we hear about many stories that occur within minutes of it occurring.

u/inboil · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

One paper does not 'prove' anything, but I did look at it, and I looked at the law and economics literature in general and it seems like there is indeed a concensus on there being both gender and racial bias in the us justice system.



and here

Here is a nice review on the issue of gender and crime. Among other things they looked at FBI arrest statistics which show that males are arrested with much higher frequency than females. I checked the official statistics for my country, Norway

>Female perpetrators are still rare, but are nevertheless more common than
before. Out of a total of 307 000 sanctioned in 2007, 66 800 were women,
which represents 23 per cent.

It appears we also might have a judicial bias according to the following from same article:

>Approximately 9 per cent of new inmates in prisons are women. However,
women are given shorter sentences than men, which means that only just
below 6 per cent of inmates are women. The corresponding figure was 3 per
cent 25 years ago.

So the bias emerges from the fact that although 23% of perpetrators are women, only 6 per cent of inmates are women. I feel we now have established that the US juidicial system and possibly the norwegian are biased towards women. But it is also clear that women commit far fewer crimes. And this holds true across cultures, although I honestly can't find a good source for it, if you find one let me know.
The gender difference in crime is there. And there have been many attempts to try and explain it, from many different perspectives, including many different evolutionary explanations. Here is one example.

Whenever something is a cultural universal it is a strong indicator that something biological is going on. If something is specific to certain cultures (like the oppression and social inequality of black people) it is more likely historical cultural and socioeconomic explanations.

I admit I am probably biased towards a biological explanation than a sociological, or historical explanation because it is closer to my field. I do think it's because of biology, but there are no interdisciplinary concensus on this, (as far as I know, I am no expert on the subject).

Lastly I recommend Steven Pinkers book the better angels of our nature. This is probably the most famous and comprehensive examination of the history of violence. Pinker has this to say on the subject of gender and violence:

>Violence is largely a guy thing. In all societies, most of the homicides and assaults, and the preponderance of rapes, are committed by men, together with virtually all the tribal warfare, which is often motivated by the abduction of women or revenge for past abductions. Boys in all cultures indulge in far more rough-and-tumble play than girls do, and grown-up boys consume more violent entertainment, have more violent fantasies, and are more hawkish in their opinions and voting patterns. This is not to say that women never commit violence or are always dovish – just that there’s a large statistical difference, particularly when it comes to certain categories of violence, such as the establishment of dominance or the carrying out of revenge. The biological explanation for this psychological difference is straightforward: In virtually all mammals, males can reproduce more quickly than females, so males take greater risks to compete for mating opportunities than females do.

The main problem with subjects regarding gender is that it is highly political, making intellectually honest discourse very difficult. There is massive statistical evidence that men are more violent, and more prone to crime than females. anthropology, sociology, economics and law, psychology, are some of the disciplines that have tried to answer the question why this is. I think that biological differences is by far the most likely explanation, although it is probably a mixture of different ones. Hope this helped to illuminate my position.
PS: I just realized some of my sources might be behind a paywall if you are not affiliated with a university or read scientific journals as a hobby/profession, let me know if you need me to email you pdfs.

u/theobrew · 2 pointsr/Christianity

>Why all these warnings not just against murder, but against Christians being murderers? It seems God knew these things would happen and wanted to warn His church about it before they did.

Thats my point. Crusades and inquisition are over. For the most part Christianity has gotten back to its roots and is more peaceful comparatively. If God was going to strike when Christianity was at it's most corrupt state God missed the ball there.

>That's really not academic. You know very well that violent death during the 20th century has skyrocketed compared to all other centuries.

Except for the research that this Psychologist has research that says otherwise. Also check out this article.

You see when I make a claim I have research to back it up. Your claim that violent death has skyrocketed is unfounded and based on tuthiness and not fact.

Your little war video doesn't factor in the realization that smaller skirmishes happened earlier in history and were not recorded as often. So these recorded 'battles' have a stronger weight toward the modern understanding. And then the video even has the audacity to include many of these smaller skirmishes towards the timeline because we have a better recorded history of them. Not to mention that a video like this is not peer reviewed and is heavily steeped in confirmation bias.


>I never said "I KNOW FOR A FACT."

>If it's true, then why not proclaim it?

Man you like to contradict yourself in just a couple of lines.

>If I truly believe it, and can see plain evident signs of it, then why not proclaim it?

Because your "plain evident signs of it" have been around since the beginning of humanity. Nothing you have stated as a sign of the end times hasn't been true of the entire history of humanity. I emphasize this point by showing how not only are we not living in the most corrupt time in human history but that the opposite might be true.

Show me one sign that couldn't have been said to have been true 10,000 years ago and I will concede. And Israel doesn't count because the generation that saw its creation was going to be the end so that is out as well because the statue of limitations on it being a sign is up.

I'm not saying your not allowed to believe what you want to believe. But don't believe it under false pretenses. EVERY generation has had its handful of people who honestly believed they were living in the end times. This is because EVERY generation of humanity has been corrupt in some way. Evil exists in this world. We look forward to the eschaton in hopes that one day no more evil will exist in this world.

But as for right now mine and what should be your goal as well is to bring Christ's kingdom to the here and now. How do we do that? If we see an injustice we squash it. If I can reach out to one person tomorrow and help take some of their pain away and squash just a little bit of evil in this world I am working towards bringing christ's kingdom to the here and now. I'm working towards taking that eschatological hope for the future and rather than longing for it in the distance I am working for it here and now.

What I see you doing is waiving your arms in the air crying out for God to come save humanity from evil when God is looking back going "Hey! you see that guy you're telling the end is near? guess what he's in pain help him destroy that little bit of evil in the world and get off your butt and help bring my kingdom to earth!". That isn't done by preaching God's word alone. It also requires action.

It requires things like rather than fighting congress for a bill to end abortion that you are in the city streets fighting for an end to the evil where women feel it is their only viable option. God's kingdom isn't on capitol hill in the laws of the land. It's in the homes of the broken. Its with the 19 year old who's parents kicked her out and found love in all the wrong places. Show her God's kingdom not God's condemnation. When we can end the cycle of abuse and poverty then we are working to end evil.

St. Francis of Assisi "Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words."

u/succulentcrepes · 2 pointsr/changemyview

If you find the video interesting, I highly recommend the book on the same subject. I'm reading it right now, and if offers a pretty good case (so far) that we should be optimistic about the future, largely by showing that humanity and life has been consistently getting better throughout history so far. We have a natural tendency to assume the past was better than it really was.

u/ThomasEdmund84 · 2 pointsr/askpsychology

Stephen Pinker does a great book on how violence has been on the decline historically.

I have reflected on this issue a lot and the main conclusion I've come to is that all people are caught between a central conflict of: "do I whats best for me and mine, or work for the greater good" For many self-interest rules their behaviour. Furthermore people disagree on what is best for the world, i.e. left and right wing politics. So even if all people wanted to work towards the greater good they disagree on what will get to the greater good.

Finally there is this viscous cycle in the world of endless retribution. Most of the Western world hates ISIS at present due to their terrorist acts, (fair) but I would also say that half the reason ISIS exists is out of the military actions of the western world in the Middle, but of course those military actions were likely prompted by the LAST horrific terrorist acts, and so on. The problem is that if people don't want to see the actions of their enemies in historic context with any sort of justification, they see their enemies actions as simply evil acts.

u/zajhein · 2 pointsr/news

Obviously people's changing perspective affects their behavior along with cultural and social norms, from views on slavery to civil rights or from war to types of government over the ages, but all of that and our reactions to it are based on human nature. We all have biases, complex motivations, and evolved tendencies which can make us get jealous, angry, and so on resulting in horrible mistakes, while also causing us to fall in love, express gratitude, and feel empathy with others, along with the unintended consequences and unexpected results which can always haunt us.

That doesn't mean we can't temper unwanted behavior through laws criminalizing violence, shunning bigotry in media, or removing incentives to cheat, while supporting desirable behavior by promoting education, rewarding cooperation, and building helpful institutions, which people have been attempting to do for millennia. Sometimes these attempts succeed in addressing one problem yet cause other issues we didn't expect, such as the rise of globalism. Other times they fail miserably and hurt even more people than they were meant to help, like the war on drugs.

Our perspectives on the world motivate or discourage us from implementing the changes we think it needs, yet through it all we are still bound by human nature and the consequences of trying to apply our lofty ideals onto the slippery nature of reality. Meaning that no matter what perfectly moral laws we create, people will still react with violence in times of stress. That however much we condemn racism, people are prone to categorizing others as different. And while we can educate people better than anyone else in the past, ignorance will always cause problems.

This doesn't mean the world hasn't been getting better than the past, it truly has in many ways, but that unless we start changing our DNA, some humans will continue to make the same old mistakes we've made for millennia, only with fewer and fewer people making those mistakes as progress marches on.

(I realize this was less an answer to your question and more of a concept I wanted to express to anyone willing to read it. And for anyone wanting to know more on how things are actually getting better, The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, and Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling explain things much better than I could.)

u/GenerativeSeeds · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

Also, was that citation needed a request for my source? Steven Pinker wrote a great book about violence, to combat many of the misconceptions and speculations that people have surrounding the topic.

u/TheAbyssGazesAlso · 2 pointsr/starcontrol

I highly recommend both Sapiens, and also The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker (which Bill Gates calls "the most inspiring book I've ever read")

They'll make you think (a lot) but they're good reads and super interesting.

u/Steven81 · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

As far as lay public goes, start here:

Possibly the best researched book around violence directed to lay people... His sources especially are eye opening...

u/yager13 · 2 pointsr/samharris

>This doesn't make you not racist.

That's just semantics.

> And what are those racial differences?

Let's start with the obvious. Clearly, given the sheer size of the population, Chinese and Indians ought to dominate the Olympics 100m-dash. But they do not. Almost all of the medalists have come from descendants of West Africa. Interestingly, as of late, Jamaicans have outperformed African-Americans despite coming from poverty-stricken environment with inferior training infrastructure. Same story with long distance running and marathons, where East Africans have dominated. These people are at a severe environmental disadvantage, so the case for cultural difference doesn't make sense in this case. So what is the reason? Well, a gene called ACTN3 - sometimes called a "sprint gene" - which is expressed primarily in fast-twich muscle fibers, were found in high frequency among the West-Africans. So, more ACTN3 genes you have, the more likely you will run faster in short distance. On the other hand, slow-twitch fibers aid you in endurance sports - such as distance running - and East Africans tend to have more of them than fast-twich fibers.

If you are interested, have a look at "The Sports Gene" by David Epstein, where he goes into depth on this topic.

The science is already pretty clear on this issue : There are meaningful, statistically significant differences between varying ethnic/racial groups. And this is common sense, if you think about it. The reason Japanese are shorter on average than Dinka people of Sudan is not because they are more poor and nutritionally deficient.

So, the burden is on you to explain to me why there can't be any differences in terms of mental capacity or personality traits between races - of which there are some scientific evidence, although not as conclusive - when there are clear differences regarding physical makeup and ability. If you take animals of the same species and let them evolve in separate environments for centuries, exposed to varying degrees and kinds of selection pressure, they will show significant differences in physical strength and temperaments. Why shouldn't the same law of nature apply to human beings? Not all scientific facts are in favor of liberal/leftist ideology. Just as right-wingers are in denial about climate change, liberals have their fair share when it comes to scientific blind spot.

>I don't think it's so much that the west are the only ones who have done it. It's that the west has done it to far greater effect and has done far greater damage with it than anyone else. And sure, I'll bet if Southeast Asia was in a position to colonize Europe, they would have. I don't see why that should matter, though.

>You're not supposed to "feel sorry" for Southeast Asia as though the region itself has feelings. Individual people were harmed by colonialism, and are still by its lingering effects.

That's just sheer display of ignorance.

You can easily make a case that Mongol Invasion of Europe and other continents in 13th century were more devastating in terms of the number of people died as a proportion of the world population at that time. Do you also feel sorry for all the casualty deaths incurred by Muslim invasion of the West that happened throughout Middle Ages and up until 19th century by the Ottoman Empire? If you do not, you have very partial understanding and biased view of world history.

Yes, the West has done some damage to the world in recent times. At the same time, a lot of great modern scientific breakthroughs and technological innovation of the Western civilization have brought about unprecedented amounts of wealth to this world. People are living longer than ever due to advances in medicine, and we are living in one of the most safest, peaceful, prosperous, and most egalitarian (with regards to human rights) time period than ever before.

u/Praesentius · 2 pointsr/atheism

I get the feeling that you probably already know about this stuff, but here is is anyway: Steven Pinker at Edinburgh

And the book.

The book is pretty long, but worth it from cover to cover. The lecture at Edinburgh is a nice summary.

u/bloomindaedalus · 2 pointsr/AskMen

Yeah i wasn't being snarky. just dorkily name-dropping. (cause im uncool like dat)

In fact, as somebody who almost seriously went to graduate school for linguistics and/or cognitive science, I can attest that though Pinker is an old hero of mine, when he started getting all positive about the world i wasn't all in at first..

But he is persuasive.


For those playing "life sucks but i want to believe it is getting better" along at home here's a start:






u/Issachar · 2 pointsr/CanadaPolitics

> states are necessarily brutal.

States are objectively less brutal than the alternative. And with your comment about wanting falsifiable theories, you'll be glad to know that this is confirmed by the sheer weight of historical evidence.

If you want a good summary, try this:

It's long, but that's only because he takes his time utterly obliterating the fantasy that a stateless society is anything other than orders of magnitude more violent than state societies.

The anarchist fantasy world is just that... a fantasy. It only works when it lives in the protective shadow of a state, which is to say... it doesn't work.

u/Albertican · 2 pointsr/MapPorn

An interesting take on this is in The Better Angels of our Nature by Stephen Pinker. He argues quite persuasively that it's not wealth that determines level of violence in a society, but the degree to which citizens have surrendered to the authority of their government. In other words, how much they have agreed to the notion that a monopoly on violence should be granted to the state.

For example, in much of the American West and South, the government was much weaker until much more recently. Police and the legal system couldn't enforce people's rights, so people dealt with perceived injustices themselves, and that typically involved violence.

In New England (as well as "old England"), in comparison, the police and courts have been functional and reasonably effective for hundreds more years. People are more comfortable granting the government a monopoly on violence, and they are more trusting that the government will provide justice to them if they're wronged.

The argument goes that even after "the law" reached all parts of the country, areas that were settled in lawlessness tended to have ingrained habits of violence that have carried through to today. As you can see in this map showing violent crime by state, the West and South clearly have more violence than New England. I think you could also argue that this process is present in Canada as well (legend in article) - generally the oldest, most established provinces have lower crime rates, namely Quebec and Ontario. Impoverishment is still an issue, but note that the struggling Maritimes have lower crime rates than booming Alberta.

u/ristoril · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Just what was described in Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature was good enough to make it clear that humans can be extensively and creatively despicable.

u/kissfan7 · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

>I'm sorry how is the treaty of Versailles a good thing? It directly [lead] to WW2.

It didn't directly lead to World War II. The subreddit /r/badhistory has a pretty good rundown of why.

>Also today off the top of my head - North korea human rights issues

Their current leader's human rights record is way better (or, more accurately, less worse) than his predecessor's.

>chinese human rights

See above times ten.

>the entire middle east situation

The situation is bad there, but it's been a lot worse in the past.

>the Ukrainian crisis

In which very, very few people have died.

>i feel current diplomacy is useless in major situations.

Here's an interesting chart of war deaths over the centuries.

Note the biggest decline is among interstate wars (ie, wars between countries). This is in part due to diplomacy. When people can talk out their problems, they are less likely to go to war.

Two books on this I highly recommend:

I'm no hippy. In fact, I'm probably considerably more hawkish than the average redditor (supported the Iraq War, supported air strikes on Libya, still think we need a no-fly zone over Syria, disgusted by the deal with Iran). Still, diplomacy does work. It's not as sexy, interesting, or dramatic as war., but it can work.

u/Surprise_Buttsecks · 2 pointsr/news

> Maybe I'm just getting old and falling victim to 'Back in my day' syndrome.

It's entirely this. Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature has lots of statistics to back up how crime and violence have declined, but it also has some accounts (first couple chapters) of how casually cruel life was 100+ years ago. And not just casually cruel, but that shit was basically celebrated. Things are much better now.

u/zombiesingularity · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

You are mistaken. I suggest you read the following book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined" by Steven Pinker.

If you are a fan of history, statistics, and extremely exhaustive and careful analysis, you will be compelled to change your mind on the issue of historical violence rates.

u/Autodidact2 · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

I don't base my views on my own experience, but on more objective sources. You may be interested in, and surprised by, The Better Angels of our Nature, by Stephen Pinker. It is fascinating and surprising.

Also, I'm almost 59, so I'm not sure whether I'll have another 20 years or not.

u/jcbsmnz · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Glad I could help! For more info, you should check out Steven Pinker's The better Angels of Our Nature.

u/MortalitySalient · 2 pointsr/AcademicPsychology

Try This by Stephen Pinker.

u/ctphoenix · 2 pointsr/EnoughTrumpSpam

That's generally what I think, but I also think people's behavior is highly contingent on social circumstances. If I had to pick a book that represents my view, it would be Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature.

u/My_soliloquy · 1 pointr/POLITIC

Don't fall into the trap of 'prepper' mentality. Doomsayers have been profitable for the entirety of human existence. Yet actual reality refutes their claims.

Is it going to be a rough 4 years, yes. Is it the end? Nobody knows, so keep on working towards positive solutions during the meantime.

The folks that feverishly sell doomsday only profit if you fall for their bullshit. And go actually take the time to read the two books I linked, instead of falling for the 'accidents' that draw your view on TV's lies. They are using your hard wiring to manipulate you, don't let them.

u/ThoreauWeighCount · 1 pointr/news

I find books like Steven Pinker's "Better Angels of our Nature" helpful in remembering this. It enumerates and explains exactly what the poster you're replying to said: that in so many ways, we're making the world a better, less deadly place.

u/henrythorough · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

Anyone interested in this might turn to a deep study on the topic, Better Angels of our Nature by S. Pinker. He analyzes at length how this is actually the safest era for our species, global calamities and death rates are down, but with media exposure and broadcasting small events into national tragedies we get the opposite impression. Great read: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

u/SomeGoodInThisWorld · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

"The Better Angels of Our Nature" is a great book about this by Steven Pinker

u/johngthomas · 1 pointr/u_ZapTheSwampWorldWide

William Barr would benefit from checking out Peter Singer and Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek’s recent work. They're real utilitarians, not pretend ones. That might also help him better understand that leading secular moralists are not relativists or subjectivists and that their morality is about making the world a better place. Barr would also benefit from reading about the moral progress we Homo sapiens have made by reading Steven Pinker’s two recent works:

u/procrastimom · 1 pointr/news

Read “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker. It’s an amazing book about the history of violence in societies and it’s steady decline. (I really recommend the audio book).

The Better Angels of Our Nature

u/mephistopheles2u · 1 pointr/NeutralPolitics

> know a bit about humanity

Have you read Pinker's or Armstrong's latest on human nature? They are both on my list, but so far, I have only read reviews.

u/Eureka22 · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

The world is undeniably on a consistent path of less violence, better health, and higher standards of living. Even when the conflicts and problems we see. The key is that you are just aware of much more of it than anyone in history had ever been. Also, you didn't live at that time, so you have nothing to compare it to first hand. Everyone thinks they are living in the worst or end times, spoiler, they weren't, and most likely we aren't either.

Suggested reading: Better Angels of Our Nature

u/life_of_phi · 1 pointr/AskWomen

May I recommend this book?

u/themaninblack08 · 1 pointr/worldnews (mostly for an overview of how systems of society drive behavior for better or worse) (mostly for the understanding on how economics developed into political power in the context of taxation to pay soldiers)


And given the context, probably Hobbes.

u/sammyedwards · 1 pointr/india

Not really. Genghis Khan razed down races of people, cities and empires, with no evidence left. There is still debate on whether WW2 was the bloodiest in history. You can read this acclaimed book-

Which uses statistics to argue how violence has decreased through the ages.

u/curiously_clueless · 1 pointr/Futurology

Not sure if /s? This sub thumps the better angels of our nature as it's bible.

u/boringboringbuttrue · 1 pointr/GavinMcInnes

I agree that I would much rather have Italy over Iran.

I do t believe Canada is weak. Countries that spend much more on their military (Saudi Arabia) are not going to outlast a western country with a military alone.

I think the US needs to stop policing the world, and we need to bring people out of poverty to lower these birth rates ie subsaharan Africa, parts of Asia.

I would rather we avoid mass extinction of humans to reset though. I think if we give people democracy, they will demand more freedom. And since we use democracy in the west to further our economies, we will be stronger than any nation. Besides, even places like China are beginning to democratize (albeit very slowly). The good news for democracy is that you can’t really stop it if you want to your economy to sustain and expansive action.

But I don’t think we need more forcing of people to do what we do, only being safe, and even then we can’t fight or police the world. That’s how won the Cold War. We basically gave them the Beatles and Levi jeans. Now it’s iPhones and cars/Uber.

Here is a good book you may enjoy.

u/OddJackdaw · 1 pointr/videos

> I like your boundless unfounded optimism. :-D

I know you are joking, but you should really read Steven Pinker's book The Better Angels of our Nature.. As hard as it is to believe, we really are becoming better all the time.

u/ejp1082 · 1 pointr/changemyview

Your view is just factually incorrect.

> It's 2018, and we're here still fighting poverty and hunger.

If anything, the rate at which we've been eliminating extreme poverty has been accelerating. We've also been steadily decreasing world hunger.

> We should be well into finding ways to lengthen lifespan/eradicate diseases, etc.

Life expectancy has been increasing through human history and much of that is attributable to better nutrition and the eradication of infections diseases (through sanitation and vaccination).

> We have wars, slavery, religion, absurd political ideations, and the list goes on.

All of that is much less today than ever, and has been decreasing throughout human history. I'll just reccomend Stephen Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature

> What's even more disheartening is the effort to try to stifle scientists.

It's a little hard to have a good metric for science and technology but:

The rate at which new innovations have been adopted has been getting faster.

The number of patents issued is growing exponentially as is the number of Phd's (which presumably correlates with working scientists) and the amount of scientific output has been doubling every nine years.

I suppose you could say that these things would be happening even more absent politics and greed, but I don't know how you'd demonstrate that one way or the other. The main thing I notice is that these trends are remarkably consistent throughout history, regardless of who's in charge or what's happening.

Which seems to undermine the argument that we could do much of anything to speed it up, or that "greed and politics" is substantively slowing it down.

u/NewbombTurk · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

A predicted a couple of things when I posted my previous reply. One was that you would only respond to my last point. And the other was that that point would trigger you to no end.

Look, you're just one of those people who thinks their views are universal. The things your pointing out as evidence of a morally degrading society aren't anything new. There is evidence that we're living in the best time ever in the history of mankind.

Let's look at you points:

> Hannah Montana is over here on TV showing her cooter to the world and you wanna talk about degradation of moral values?

Has that happened? Has Miley Cyrus been nude on TV? But that's not important. Almost 70 years ago, people were saying "Marilyn Monroe is showing her cooter!" (who talks like that anyway?).

> We got people running up and knocking out elderly people in a 'game'.

Horrible, or course. But not new. Remember when people used to drag people behind their truck until they were dead?

> We have entire generations of people not working and living off of the government

Not true, but poverty isn't new.

You can't be older than me, and I'm not even close to "kids these days" as you are. Here's a relevant quote:

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Who know who said that? Socrates. 2500 years ago.

You've asserted a lot in this thread. You've proved yourself incompetent in your attempts to support any of it.

u/thesunmustdie · 1 pointr/atheism

It has been far worse in the past. We're given the illusion that it's getting worse all the time because of how pervasive media has become — every incident is televised and spread around on social networks. 50 years ago we wouldn't have heard a fraction of this stuff.

Good book on this subject: The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker.

u/cthulhushrugged · 1 pointr/AskHistory

Our own modern, global society. Seriously, endemic violence has been on the decline for centuries and - in spite of one or two hiccups - that trend continues.

I suggest The Better Angels of Our Nature for a broader perspective on that.

u/aaronomus · 1 pointr/asoiaf

> do you really think large-scale conflicts like the 7 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars were any better than the medieval quabbles between lords?

Actually, yes. See

u/Pas__ · 1 pointr/TrueReddit

But we don't. Statistically things are peachy, and getting better. He argues that it's in our genes. (Also argues this in The Better Angels of Our Nature, though I haven't read it, and I'm not so optimistic in this regard. (He might be right about violence, but I'm more worried about liberty.)

u/Stephenfold · 1 pointr/worldnews

Ah yes, the mean world theory. There's a book on this!

u/Easy_Rider1 · 1 pointr/homestead

I'm currently reading the better angels of our nature by Steven Pinker and i think you may find it interesting and insightful.

u/Mezmerik · 1 pointr/bestof

Today you learned: one article isn't the be all end all of an issue

From the titanic tome Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker, page 103 on my copy:

> In the American Wild West, annual homicide rates were fifty to several hundred times higher than those of eastern cities and midwestern farming regions: 50 per 100,000 in Abilene, Kansas, 100 in Dodge City, 229 in Fort Griffin, Texas, and 1,500 in Wichita.96 The causes were right out of Hobbes. The criminal justice system was underfunded, inept, and often corrupt. “In 1877,” notes Courtwright, “some five thousand men were on the wanted list in Texas alone, not a very encouraging sign of efficiency in law enforcement.”97 Self-help justice was the only way to deter horse thieves, cattle rustlers, highwaymen, and other brigands. The guarantor of its deterrent threat was a reputation for resolve that had to be defended at all costs, epitomized by the epitaph on a Colorado grave marker: “He Called Bill Smith a Liar.”98 One eyewitness described the casus belli of a fight that broke out during a card game in the caboose of a cattle train. One man remarked, “I don’t like to play cards with a dirty deck.” A cowboy from a rival company thought he said “dirty neck,” and when the gunsmoke cleared, one man was dead and three wounded.99

> It wasn’t just cowboy country that developed in Hobbesian anarchy; so did parts of the West settled by miners, railroad workers, loggers, and itinerant laborers. Here is an assertion of property rights found attached to a post during the California Gold Rush of 1849:All and everybody, this is my claim, fifty feet on the gulch, cordin to Clear Creek District Law, backed up by shotgun amendments.... Any person found trespassing on this claim will be persecuted to the full extent of the law. This is no monkey tale butt I will assert my rites at the pint of the sicks shirter if leagally necessary so taik head and good warning.100

I won't speak for r/bestof, but as you can see, my opinions certainly aren't sourceless.

u/Galle_ · 1 pointr/politics

At the absolute worst, I'm this guy. There are many words I might use to describe him, but "pussy" certainly isn't one of them.

This isn't a case of me knowing the truth but being too afraid to admit it. We live in the age of the panopticon, where information from around the world flies directly to us, filtered for that which the media considers the most sizzling and dramatic. We live in an age where terrorism, imperialism, purges, and mass murder are all considered abnormal.

If our ancestors came to the present day, and we told them the news, they would probably be horrified - until we told them that that was all that was wrong with the world. If they asked us "So, who's at war in Europe?" and we said, "Nobody", they'd be shocked beyond imagining.

The world right now is doing better than it ever has before. No, really. The idea that we live in some kind of dystopian nightmare is an optical illusion, created by the fact that now we can see so much more of the horror that we used to comfortably ignore. We're winning. Please stop trying to ruin it.

u/Bubbassauro · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

One thing that helps for me is to think how much I would like to see the future, and then I remember that we are living in the future of so many past lives. How many brilliant minds a hundred years ago wouldn't give anything to see the technology that we take for granted today. I think we're living in exciting times.

Your journey is unique. Thousands of years of humanity before you and hopefully thousands more after you won't be as lucky to say "I lived both before and after cell phones and internet".

And if you are looking for something more concrete to convince yourself that today is not that bad and to see the good in humanity (if you like to read long books), I recommend: The Better Angels of Our Nature Surely it doesn't do away with the all the bad things but it helps to put things in perspective.

u/travisdy · 1 pointr/ffxiv

Human nature isn't a matter of opinion--modern psychology and associated disciplines show humans to genuinely care about behaviors that show good will toward most strangers. The idea of humans as having a selfish core with a friendly exterior has been labeled "veneer theory" by the leading primatologist Frans de Waal and thoroughly debunked in that form. The idea that humans are generally unsociable and won't be nice to strangers if given zero motivation to do so has been shown to be incorrect by social psychology. The "Lord of the Flies" view of humans as unable to self-organize in uncertain times is also false as argued by cognitive psychologists. Humans are severely interested in being nice to other humans, according to the latest multicultural research in moral psychology.

I could give scientific articles instead of books, but these books are actually fun to read!

u/Untoward_Lettuce · 1 pointr/worldnews

After reviewing the data compiled in The Better Angels of Our Nature, I'm inclined to believe wartime civility is what's new. Unfathomable brutality has apparently been the norm for the bulk of our history as a species.

u/ExternalUserError · 1 pointr/AskAnAmerican
u/IUsedToBeACave · 1 pointr/politics

Pinker actually wrote a great book on this subject called The Better Angels of Our Nature.

u/ortolon · 1 pointr/exmormon

Another good book along this line is The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker.

u/aarondigruccio · 0 pointsr/Showerthoughts

Steven Pinker wrote a book about exactly this!

u/tommytoon · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

> I meant it (slavery) was a moral crime/atrocity/evil, then and now.

I agree.

> I'll be the first to agree the ancient Greeks and Romans shouldn't be thought of as beacons of enlightenment...They were, on the whole, brutal warrior/slave societies in a constant state of warfare with everyone and everything around them.

And so was most everyone else. Humans are an obviously violent species and for the simple reason than that violence is supremely effective. Humans have been abusing both other humans and other forms of life since there was a thing called humans. The idea that you will find a human community free of violence is an absurdity because if a society like this existed, they could simply be dominated by a more violent society.

However, I for one am comforted by the fact that the human species as a whole has been becoming less violent as civilization moves forward and I am confident that this trend will slowly continue. All the steps forward in civilization from Sumerian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Egyptian, Arab, and so many other cultures should all be considered beacons of enlightenment, or perhaps better thought of as ladder rungs, in our ever expanding circle of ethical progress.

Of course my time in existence is vanishingly small but there is good reason to think that there will be less suffering 5000 years from now just as there is less suffering now then 5000 years ago.

u/IFartWhenICry · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

>A predicted a couple of things when I posted my previous reply. One was that you would only respond to my last point. And the other was that that point would trigger you to no end.
>Look, you're just one of those people who thinks their views are universal. The things your pointing out as evidence of a morally degrading society aren't anything new. There is evidence that we're living in the best time ever in the history of mankind.
>Let's look at you points:

You probably thought Hillary would win the election too, because of all the scientific polls done to prove she would win..

There is no arguing that we live in the best time to be alive, the entire point of my post, was that as we lose sight of religion we lose the actions that provided all of the prosperity you are pointing to. What is the source?

You are tearing down the building, then trying to use the bricks of that building to make a house..on sand....

>Has that happened? Has Miley Cyrus been nude on TV? But that's not important. Almost 70 years ago, people were saying "Marilyn Monroe is showing her cooter!" (who talks like that anyway?).

Have you seen any of her live performances at award shows? She might as well be fully naked...I mean come on could you be any more pedantic?

>Horrible, or course. But not new. Remember when people used to drag people behind their truck until they were dead?

I won't need to remember, because I will be seeing it again in this lifetime the way things are going...

>Not true, but poverty isn't new.
>You can't be older than me, and I'm not even close to "kids these days" as you are. Here's a relevant quote:
>“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
>Who know who said that? Socrates. 2500 years ago.

You know the funny thing about Socrates right? He didn't have Jesus either! So funny the problems he was encountering then in a rational advanced society without Jesus, is the same things happening to us as we lose Jesus! Super cool point thanks for making that.

Great thing all those Greek people converted to....Christianity!!! here is a wonderful excerpt from the Urantia book. The Greek Scholar Rodan of Alexandria. I suggest you read the entire chapter on him in the book, and then the next chapter titled "Further discussions with Rodan"

But the greatest of all methods of problem solving I have learned from Jesus, your Master. I refer to that which he so consistently practices, and which he has so faithfully taught you, the isolation of worshipful meditation. In this habit of Jesus’ going off so frequently by himself to commune with the Father in heaven is to be found the technique, not only of gathering strength and wisdom for the ordinary conflicts of living, but also of appropriating the energy for the solution of the higher problems of a moral and spiritual nature. But even correct methods of solving problems will not compensate for inherent defects of personality or atone for the absence of the hunger and thirst for true righteousness.

160:1.11 (1774.3) I am deeply impressed with the custom of Jesus in going apart by himself to engage in these seasons of solitary survey of the problems of living; to seek for new stores of wisdom and energy for meeting the manifold demands of social service; to quicken and deepen the supreme purpose of living by actually subjecting the total personality to the consciousness of contacting with divinity; to grasp for possession of new and better methods of adjusting oneself to the ever-changing situations of living existence; to effect those vital reconstructions and readjustments of one’s personal attitudes which are so essential to enhanced insight into everything worth while and real; and to do all of this with an eye single to the glory of God—to breathe in sincerity your Master’s favorite prayer, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”

You know I predicted a few things too.

  1. You wouldn't be able to see any sense in anything I say because your reality is crooked.
  2. You would argue even the most basic simple obvious worldly truths, or try and conflate them to meet your narrative.

    Edited to reference who was talking in the quote.
u/revericide · 0 pointsr/worldnews

My advice to you is to read a book. The ones I pointed out would be a good start, but if you can't handle actual scholarly works yet, the Bible and Doctor Seuss aren't going to get you terribly far. So try finding a library. Pick up Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke. Then maybe you can graduate on to Jack Diamond and Graeber before tackling Pinker, Sagan and Krauss.

Read a book.

u/nathanisfat · 0 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

You're confusing "not perfect" with "not good". You're utterly delusional about the direction that society is headed. And, further, you don't even seem to know what "first world problems" are.

u/whaaaaaaaa · 0 pointsr/TrueReddit

Reminds me a bit of Steven Pinker's Better Angels of our Nature. Worth a read for anyone interested in the role of governments and violence prevention.

u/HappierShibe · -1 pointsr/news

You aren't looking at the big picture, and you are limiting your scope to individual military conflicts. Getting into the math is beyond the scope of a reddit post, but there a good 'for general audiences' analysis of this by Steven Pinker.

u/Misantupe · -2 pointsr/svenskpolitik

Om du tycker att det här är så osäkert, fundera då på hur osäkert vi faktiskt har haft det. Det finns inget skäl att fantisera om att vi har det osäkrare nu än innan. Det här jämför bara 10 år tillbaka, och dessutom bara sexualbrott (de påpekar ju att andra våldsbrott inte har ökat).

u/iprefervoice04 · -3 pointsr/pics

Thanks for your support of criminals, by the way.,-Fracturing-Her-Jaw.html

Maybe in the future, Jarod will be just like this inmate who sucker punches a FEMALE healthcare worker out of no where and shatters her jaw. Maybe THEN you'll look at him for the TURD he is. He was likely THROWING BEER BOTTLES AT POLICE OFFICERS and you're fucking defending him.

Oh BOY I wish I had all of your phone numbers. I would confront each and every one of you one by one and I'd bet that each and every one of you losers know nothing about criminology, neuroscience, mental health, or even a basic understanding of the history of human violence.

There's a book you can start with. Oh, you mean it's over 800 pages and not a single paragraph? Sorry. I guess you're just going to sit there on your ever-widening can being on the wrong side of history AS USUAL.

u/semithroway · -4 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

"Rape culture" is a term that was made up by people who don't like to accept that human beings are biologically predisposed to rape in situations when they think they can get away with it with few or no consequences. And that biological drive evolved because it served a procreative end

If you look at all of human history, going back first hundreds but then also thousands and tens of thousands of years, the incidence of rape has always been much higher than it is in modern societies. And this is a feature of modern cultures, but that feature was made possible by the technological and social-order sophistications that allow us to police rape and organize our lives in a way that makes it much less likely

Another interesting point to note is that last century (the 21st century) was the least violent in human history. This includes all violence, particularly war and murder and rape, and also robberies.


Edit: I suppose it's worth quoting the description

> Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.

u/CrescentDusk · -16 pointsr/Guildwars2

I know, what a terrible capitalist world, with drastically declining poverty rates globally and a sharp decrease in historical violence. With women gaining ever increasing participation in society and anti-gay marriage amendments having been pretty unanimously opposed by corporate sectors and the uber capitalist world of entertainment pushing for ever more diversity in representation and awareness for environmental, human rights, and energy innovation campaigns.

Terrible, terrible system. I mean, feudal and socialist systems have worked so well!