Over at First Things blog, I find this particularly interesting:

The Evolution of Conscience in the Western World
November 15, 2013
Howard P. Kainz

Mr. Kainz points out how our collective conscience has improved radically over the last few centuries, and significantly before that. He attributes this growth to Christian concepts and teachings. I agree. There is some more to it, but I think Jesus and our meager attempts to follow Him are key.

Comments are insightful too.

I am confident that our laws and society will grant the unborn due process soon enough. I doubt abortion will be totally outlawed, but I suspect the unborn will be granted personhood, perhaps even citizenship, and accorded due process. That, in my opinion, will be good. It won’t end abortion. Just as universal outlawing of slavery has not ended human trafficking. The world is a better place with slavery universally acknowledged, at least officially, to be evil. Likewise abortion. Thankfully, genocide even more so. Still, it has not been long since the last effort at it.

The heart and nature of man is what is at the root, and only the change accorded by true faith and commitment to the divine, and to truth, in the absolute and ultimate sense, can ever actually make our world a better place. I’m not sure there is a hope for it from a natural and historic perspective. I’m rather confident only God can bring it about.