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The Religion of Carl Sagan

If you want your voice to be heard, and you can't afford a lobbyist or a massive campaign contribution, you should contact your representatives:

You can't reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into.
-Jonathan Swift

If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be - a Christian.
-Mark Twain

Religion is regarded by the foolish as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
-Seneca

It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.
-Robert Anton Wilson

He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars. General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer.
-William Blake

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana

...Faith: that is to say, to shut one's eyes once and for all, in order not to suffer at the sight of incurable falsity.
- Nietzsche, the Antichrist

They say, 'We do not know how this is, but we know that God can do it.' You poor fools! God can make a cow out of a tree, but has he ever done so? Therefore show some reason why a thing is so, or cease to hold that it is so.
-William of Conches

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.
-Galileo

[Christianity has made the world] a prey to the wicked, who have found men readier, for the sake of going to paradise, to submit to blows rather than to resent them.
-Machiavelli

And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways. There's nothing so mysterious about it. He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about - a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements?
-Yossarian, in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Life is both entirely and only what you make of it.
-attributed to many, modified by dimmer

Those who believe in god grew up but still need an imaginary friend
-dimmer

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Carl Sagan died in 1996, and shortly thereafter so did his religion, if you use modern politics as a gauge. Carl Sagan's religion is based on simple, easy-to-understand principles:
  1. Science is the best problem solving tool we possess and it can be applied to every problem.
  2. The Golden Rule - treat other people well.
Based on these two ideas, which most people would have a hard time disagreeing with, Carl Sagan creates a beautifully-woven ideology which he espouses in his TV Series, Cosmos. Carl Sagan said something striking regarding world politics during the Cold War. He was discussing possible nuclear self-destruction when he said that "we accepted the products of Science, but rejected its methods". On numerous occasions I had thought this about Muslims. They have no problem using the technology of the West - our airplanes, stinger missiles, machine guns, explosives, computers, etc. But fanatical Islam would never be able to produce them anew since they are about as anti-science as people get. They spend their time praising Allah instead of trying to understand how the world works. It didn't occur to me that we in the West are almost as guilty of this sin as the fanatical Muslims. Carl Sagan died after the fall of the USSR but before the War on Terrorism. It was a brief window of time when the outlook for the human race was optimistic. With all of the irrationality and abuses of government, the fear, and the proliferatioin of WMD - Carl Sagan may be turning in his grave. It's probably better for him that he did not live to see the world as it is - he died believing humanity was on the right track. Unfortunately for the rest of us, these days we need a Carl Sagan more than ever.

Comments

Those sound like rules to live by. Now just to get a zillion zealots to agree. =/

BTW, thanks for updating. You made my day.

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