According to a fascinating article by columnist Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, the answer is an emphatic yes!
Kristof explores the Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker’s new book entitled“The Better Angels of Our Nature,” which comes to some pretty amazing conclusions. We have tendency to think that our world is in a real mess with wars and financial catastrophe startlingly evident. But that’s not the whole story, at least according to Kristof, who quoting Pinker writes:
The pace of moral progress has accelerated in the last few decades. Pinker notes that on issues such as civil rights, the role of women, equality for gays, beating of children and treatment of animals, “the attitudes of conservatives have followed the trajectory of liberals, with the result that today’s conservatives are more liberal than yesterday’s liberals.”
He has a point here. Notwithstanding the incidences of brutality and cruelty that fill our news bulletins, there is a wider reality that Pinker has very astutely picked up on. There is goodness, compassion and empathy out there, and it’s increasing in prevalence. We can all do our bit in our own little corners of our world to ensure that moral growth is encouraged. A good news story if ever there was one!
You can read the whole story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/24/opinion/kristof-are-we-getting-nicer.html?_r=2&ref=nicholasdkristof