To the editor:
Beginning with the Enlightenment (Age of Reason) of the 1700s, violence has been declining throughout much of the world. The U.S. has been no exception, and since 1992, the homicide rate has declined by nearly 50 percent, to the lowest level since 1963. At the same time, physical abuse of children has declined by 56 percent. Even the number of deaths per 100,000 due to war is decreasing. Sure, there are spikes in violence, such as World War II and the U.S. homicide surge during the 1980s, but the overall, long-term trend is downward.
Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker’s extensive research has identified this trend and he advances several reasons in his book “The Better Angels of Our Nature.” The primary one is our enhanced powers of reasoning that allow abstract reasoning. In all probability this positive trend will continue into the future, and we will all benefit from an ever-safer world.