I don’t think there’s a fallacy more dangerous than the widespread belief in some sort of a global spiritual evolution. In fact, I can think of few notions believed by so many less supported by facts.
We see examples of it when certain people accuse political opponents of being on “the wrong side of history” or President Barack Obama’s weaponization of Dr. Martin Luther King’s precept that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
At the heart of this is the notion that we are progressing as a species as if “better” was just something that happens by accident; as if improvement was a right. Or progress an inheritance and not a grind. I can’t imagine a more damaging theory or a more perfect set up for disappointment and bitterness.
We see this belief manifest itself in the young’s utter rejection of all established institutions. They’re not against border control because they don’t like enforcement but because they no longer believe in the idea of America. Some refuse to even celebrate Thanksgiving because America is evil for what it did to Native Americans.
They consider themselves spiritual but not religious because the Church as an institution was involved in the sex abuse scandal, the Crusades which they misunderstand, or they think Galileo was killed by the Church.
They can’t even stand the sight of historical statues which are anathema to them.
And when you boil it down, they see older people as tainted, corrupted, and therefore wrong and they just have to live longer in order to prove how right they always were. (No wonder they’re for euthanasia to speed the process along.)