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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index F > Category: Father Christmas

Father Christmas Quotes (2 quotes)

There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence of it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies? The trouble with the agnostic argument is that it can be applied to anything. There is an infinite number of hypothetical beliefs we could hold which we can’t positively disprove. On the whole, people don’t believe in most of them, such as fairies, unicorns, dragons, Father Christmas, and so on. But on the whole they do believe in a creator God, together with whatever particular baggage goes with the religion of their parents.
From speech at the Edinburgh International Science Festival (15 Apr 1992), published in the Independent newspaper. Included in excerpt in Alec Fisher, The Logic of Real Arguments (2004), 84. The full speech was reprinted in The Nullifidian, (Dec 1994). Transcribed online in the Richard Dawkins archive, article 89, titled: Lecture from 'The Nullifidian' (Dec 94).
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This is a strange Christmas Eve. Almost the whole world is locked in deadly struggle, and, with the most terrible weapons which science can devise, the nations advance upon each other. Ill would it be for us this Christmastide if we were not sure that no greed for the land or wealth of any other people, no vulgar ambition, no morbid lust for material gain at the expense of others, had led us to the field. Here, in the midst of war, raging and roaring over all the lands and seas, creeping nearer to our hearts and homes, here, amid all the tumult, we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and in every generous heart. Therefore we may cast aside for this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Here, then, for one night only, each home throughout the English-speaking world should be a brightly-lighted island of happiness and peace.
Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.
Broadcast while he was in Washington D.C. (24 Dec 1941). As collected in Robert Rhodes James (ed.), Churchill Speaks in Peace and War: Collected Speeches 1897-1963 (), 780. In Hong Kong, the situation was hopeless, despite a valiant resistance, and the British forces surrendered the next day (25 Dec 1941). Churchill was in the U.S. visiting Pres. Roosevelt, to discuss coordinating strategy following the Pearl Harbor attack (7 Dec 1941).
Science quotes on:  |  Children (201)  |  Christmas (13)  |  Fun (42)  |  Happiness (126)  |  Home (184)  |  Inheritance (35)  |  Laughter (34)  |  Peace (116)  |  Resolve (43)  |  Strange (160)  |  War (233)  |  Weapon (98)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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