If the abolition of slavery and cruel punishment is not progress, nothing is, which brings us to the fourth Enlightenment ideal. With our understanding of the world advanced by science and our circle of sympathy expanded through reason and cosmopolitanism, humanity could make intellectual and moral progress. It need not resign itself to the miseries and irrationalities of the present, nor try to turn back the clock to a lost golden age.

Steve Pinker. Enlightenment Now.