Surely Quotes (13 quotes)
But how is one to determine what is pleasing to God? ... Whatever is unpleasant to man is pleasant to God. The test is the natural instinct of man. If there arises within ones dark recesses a hot desire to do this or that, then it is the paramount duty of a Christian to avoid doing this or that. And if, on the contrary, one cherishes an abhorrence of the business, then one must tackle it forthwith, all the time shouting Hallelujah! A simple enough religion, surelysimple, satisfying and idiotic.
I like to summarize what I regard as the pedestal-smashing messages of Darwins revolution in the following statement, which might be chanted several times a day, like a Hare Krishna mantra, to encourage penetration into the soul: Humans are not the end result of predictable evolutionary progress, but rather a fortuitous cosmic afterthought, a tiny little twig on the enormously arborescent bush of life, which, if replanted from seed, would almost surely not grow this twig again, or perhaps any twig with any property that we would care to call consciousness.
If I would follow your advice and Jesus could perceive it, he, as a Jewish teacher, surely would not approve of such behavior.
If the resident zoologist of Galaxy X had visited the earth 5 million years ago while making his inventory of inhabited planets in the universe, he would surely have corrected his earlier report that apes showed more promise than Old World monkeys and noted that monkeys had overcome an original disadvantage to gain domination among primates. (He will confirm this statement after his visit next yearbut also add a footnote that one species from the ape bush has enjoyed an unusual and unexpected flowering, thus demanding closer monitoring.)
It can be of no practical use to know that Pi is irrational, but if we can know, it surely would be intolerable not to know.
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual ... The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.
Shall an invention be patented or donated to the public freely? I have known some well-meaning scientific men to look askance at the patenting of inventions, as if it were a rather selfish and ungracious act, essentially unworthy. The answer is very simple. Publish an invention freely, and it will almost surely die from lack of interest in its development. It will not be developed and the world will not be benefited. Patent it, and if valuable, it will be taken up and developed into a business.
Surely the immutable laws of the universe can teach more impressive and exalted lessons than the holy books of all the religions on earth.
The human brain became large by natural selection (who knows why, but presumably for good cause). Yet surely most things now done by our brains, and essential both to our cultures and to our very survival, are epiphenomena of the computing power of this machine, not genetically grounded Darwinian entities created specifically by natural selection for their current function.
The most remarkable discovery made by scientists is science itself. The discovery must be compared in importance with the invention of cave-painting and of writing. Like these earlier human creations, science is an attempt to control our surroundings by entering into them and understanding them from inside. And like them, science has surely made a critical step in human development which cannot be reversed. We cannot conceive a future society without science.
The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.
There is nothing frightening about an eternal dreamless sleep. Surely it is better than eternal torment in Hell and eternal boredom in Heaven.
We inhabit a complex world. Some boundaries are sharp and permit clean and definite distinctions. But nature also includes continua that cannot be neatly parceled into two piles of unambiguous yeses and noes. Biologists have rejected, as fatally flawed in principle, all attempts by antiabortionists to define an unambiguous beginning of life, because we know so well that the sequence from ovulation or spermatogenesis to birth is an unbreakable continuumand surely no one will define masturbation as murder.