Altar Quotes (6 quotes)
I always love geology. In winter, particularly, it is pleasant to listen to theories about the great mountains one visited in the summer; or about the Flood or volcanoes; about great catastrophes or about blisters; above all about fossils Everywhere there are hypotheses, but nowhere truths; many workmen, but no experts; priests, but no God. In these circumstances each man can bring his hypothesis like a candle to a burning altar, and on seeing his candle lit declare Smoke for smoke, sir, mine is better than yours. It is precisely for this reason that I love geology.
If the God of revelation is most appropriately worshipped in the temple of religion, the God of nature may be equally honored in the temple of science. Even from its lofty minarets the philosopher may summon the faithful to prayer, and the priest and sage exchange altars without the compromise of faith or knowledge.
In India we have clear evidence that administrative statistics had reached a high state of organization before 300 B.C. In the Arthasastra of Kautilya the duties of the Gopa, the village accountant, [include] by setting up boundaries to villages, by numbering plots of grounds as cultivated, uncultivated, plains, wet lands, gardens, vegetable gardens, fences (vαta), forests altars, temples of gods, irrigation works, cremation grounds, feeding houses (sattra), places where water is freely supplied to travellers (prapα), places of pilgrimage, pasture grounds and roads, and thereby fixing the boundaries of various villages, of fields, of forests, and of roads, he shall register gifts, sales, charities, and remission of taxes regarding fields.
In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them thither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were an angel of the Lord to come and drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside. Our Planck is one of them, and that is why we love him.
We need go back only a few centuries to find the great mass of people depending on religion for the satisfaction of practically all their wishes. From rain out of the sky to good health on earth, they sought their desires at the altars of their gods. Whether they wanted large families, good crops, freedom from pestilence, or peace of mind, they conceived themselves as dependent on the favor of heaven. Then science came with its alternative, competitive method of getting what we want. That is sciences most important attribute. As an intellectual influence it is powerful enough, but as a practical way of achieving mans desires it is overwhelming.
When science advances religion goes along with it; science builds the altar at which religion prays.