Tag Archives: Steven Pinker

Oracle, Optimist, Ostrich, or Obfuscator? Part 5. The slippery slope to moral disengagement

Moral disengagement, as discussed frequently on this blog, allows individuals to participate in or at least tolerate inhuman behaviors such as homicide and torture. Major forms of moral disengagement include misrepresenting, minimizing, or denying the consequences of one’s violence; making advantageous … Continue reading

Posted in culture of violence, Human rights, Moral disengagement, police violence, racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What Planet Does He Live On? Oracle, Optimist, Ostrich, or Obfuscator? Part 4.

In regard to his argument that the “better angels” of human nature have been bringing about a decline in global violence, Steven Pinker comments that some people, deceived by all the horror stories they have ingested from the popular media, take offense … Continue reading

Posted in culture of violence, Human rights, police violence, racism | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oracle, Optimist, Ostrich, or Obfuscator? Part 3.

Among the types of violence that Steven Pinker designates as “rare to non-existent in the west” is that chilling form  of inhumanity, torture. Yet the  western nation in which he lives and writes, the United States, seems up to its eyeballs in the perpetration of the dirty … Continue reading

Posted in culture of violence, Human rights, police violence, Prisons, Torture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oracle, Optimist, Ostrich, or Obfuscator? Part 2. The Multiple Abominations of Slavery

In his argument that violence has been declining for centuries, Steven Pinker (Oracle, Optimist, Ostrich, or Obfuscator? Part 1) claims that activities such as “slavery as a labor-saving device were unexceptionable features of life for most of human history”—and certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Human rights, Prisons, racism, slavery, Understanding violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments