I think progress has to look like it’s being made, most of the time. If you prefer modern norms to 70’s norms, then you’d say things have improved.

Clearly, standards in Europe have improved over the last few centuries, but I’m not sure how much of this relates to ethics - a lot of improvements come directly from technology. Women’s rights are much easier to sell when big-paying jobs are in tech, which doesn’t require much grip-strength.

On the other hand, technology hasn’t done any favours for animal welfare, so swings and roundabouts.

It’s a lovely thought, but I think it really depends on where the ‘start’ and ‘finish’ lines are. Plenty of arbitrary pairs of dates that don’t bear this idea out at all. When will the music stop on the moral universe? Will it coincide with the zenith of justice? Maybe it’s just a matter of having hope for the future, which is nice to have.


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