Saturday, January 18, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Jimmy Carter

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"This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe."

 
Jimmy Carter

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"The universe does not owe you a sense of hope. It could be that the world, the universe, is a totally hopeless place. I don't as a matter of fact think it is, but even if it were - that would not be a good reason for believing in God. You cannot say "I believe in X", whatever X is - God or anything else - "because that gives me hope". You have to say "I believe in X because there is some evidence for X". In the case of God - there is not a tiny shred of evidence for the existence of any kind of god. ... There's plenty of reason for hope in a Godless world. The universe is a beautiful place. The world is a beautiful place. To understand it in a clear-eyed, open-eyed way; to look out at the world and to really understand why we exist, what it's all about - that is a hugely uplifting feeling; That really does give a sense of worth to life, even if life itself is finite, as I believe it is. Nevertheless, it is not a hopeless life without a god, and to re-divert to my earlier point, even if it were - then it's just illogical to say that that gives you evidence for the belief in God."

 
Richard Dawkins
 

There are books that have devastated continents, destroyed thousands. What war hasnt been a war of fiction? All the religious wars certainly, or the fiction of communism versus the fiction of capitalism ideas, fictions, shit that people make. They have made a vast impression on the real world. It is the real world. Are thoughts not real? I believe it was Wittgenstein who said a thought is a real event in space and time. I dont quite agree about the space and time bit, Ludwig, but certainly a real event. Its only science that cannot consider thought as a real event, and science is not reality. Its a map of reality, and not a very good one. Its good, its useful, but it has its limits. We have to realise that the map has its edges. One thing that is past the edge is any personal experience. That is why magic is a broader map to me, it includes science. Its the kind of map we need if we are to survive psychologically in the age that is to come, whatever that is. We need a bigger map because the old one is based on an old universe where not many of us live anymore. We have to understanding what we are dealing with here because it is dangerous. It kills people. Art kills.

 
Alan Moore
 

There is something for which Newton or better to say not Newton alone, but modern science in general can still be made responsible: it is splitting of our world in two. I have been saying that modern science broke down the barriers that separated the heavens and the earth, and that it united and unified the universe. And that is true. But, as I have said, too, it did this by substituting for our world of quality and sense perception, the world in which we live, and love, and die, another world the world of quantity, or reified geometry, a world in which, through there is place for everything, there is no place for man. Thus the world of science the real world became estranged and utterly divorced from the world of life, which science has been unable to explain not even to explain away by calling it "subjective".
True, these worlds are everyday and even more and more connected by praxis. Yet for theory they are divided by an abyss.
Two worlds: this means two truths. Or no truth at all.
This is the tragedy of the modern mind which "solved the riddle of the universe," but only to replace it by another riddle: the riddle of itself.

 
Alexandre Koyre
 

When all is said and done, I hope that when the people of our country next return the White House for a time to the Democratic Party, our leadership then will be big enough to salute the present administration for what it will have done that is wise and good. And to build upon it forthrightly.
Towards that end, we must now expand our concept of what is needed to reach the goals upon which we all agree. The United States needs to create a world made more just and more hopeful, not just a world made more profitable for ourselves. I hope that this President's record makes it damn hard for the competition to complain about his record in foreign policy. That may be bad for the loyal opposition. But it's good for the people, who deserve it. And I promise my support for whatever he may do in support of that prayer.

 
Al Gore
 

I believe there are two opposing theories of history, and you have to make your choice. Either you believe that this kind of individual greatness does exist and can be nurtured and developed, that such great individuals can be part of a cooperative community while they continue to be their happy, flourishing, contributing selves or else you believe that there is some mystical, cyclical, overriding, predetermined, cultural law a historic determinism.
The great contribution of science is to say that this second theory is nonsense. The great contribution of science is to demonstrate that a person can regard the world as chaos, but can find in himself a method of perceiving, within that chaos, small arrangements of order, that out of himself, and out of the order that previous scientists have generated, he can make things that are exciting and thrilling to make, that are deeply spiritual contributions to himself and to his friends. The scientist comes to the world and says, "I do not understand the divine source, but I know, in a way that I don't understand, that out of chaos I can make order, out of loneliness I can make friendship, out of ugliness I can make beauty."
I believe that men are born this way that all men are born this way. I know that each of the undergraduates with whom I talked shares this belief. Each of these men felt secretly it was his very special secret and his deepest secret that he could be great.
But not many undergraduates come through our present educational system retaining this hope. Our young people, for the most part unless they are geniuses after a very short time in college give up any hope of being individually great. They plan, instead, to be good. They plan to be effective, They plan to do their job. They plan to take their healthy place in the community. We might say that today it takes a genius to come out great, and a great man, a merely great man, cannot survive. It has become our habit, therefore, to think that the age of greatness has passed, that the age of the great man is gone, that this is the day of group research, that this is the day of community progress. Yet the very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength.

 
Edwin H. Land
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