… is from page 331 of Michael Huemer’s brilliant and important 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority :
At any moment in history, it will be tempting to look around at all the people with bad ideas and conclude that humanity is too irrational and ignorant ever to grasp the important truths. But this is historical myopia. The most salient and important trend that stands out in any study of the intellectual history of the past 2000 years must surely be the gradual accretion of knowledge and the corresponding move from worse to better ideas. The process is of course not monotonic – there are cases of stagnation and regression – but the undeniable difference between humanity’s knowledge today and its knowledge 2000 years ago is staggering. In the short run, the forces of prejudice may outweigh those of rationality. But prejudices can be worn down over time, while the basic truth of a given idea remains intact over the centuries, exerting whatever force it has on the human mind.