Thursday, May 26, 2005

Feynman

Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.
...
It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man. I say that we do not know what is the meaning of life and what are the right moral values, that we have no way to choose them and so on.
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Why do we grapple with problems? We are only in the beginning. We have plenty of time to solve the problems. The only way that we will make a mistake is that in the impetuous youth of humanity we will decide we know the answer. This is it. No one else can think of anything else. And we will jam. We will confine man to the limited imagination of today's human beings.
...
No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literary or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.

-Dr. Richard Feynman, from his lecture "The Uncertainty of Values"
University of Washington, April 25th 1963

5 Comments:

At 7:47 AM, Blogger evilsciencechick said...

well said :)

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

I particularly like the last one. Mind if I forward it to DeLay, Frist, W, & O'Reilly?

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Brighton said...

That is SO true. Get that one to DeLay STAT.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Regardless of your individual beliefs, I just thought it was interesting that it was penned over 40 years ago and reads as though ripped from today's headlines.

Either wisdom is timeless or some things (politicians) never change.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

Politicians never change. But I don't agree with the man.

"There are universal goods and universal truths, the protection of which will never be perfect, but must always be attempted."

~Zelda, from her comments on the blog of Tinyhands, May 28, 2005

 

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