Zitate von Julian Huxley

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Julian Huxley

Geburtstag: 22. Juni 1887
Todesdatum: 14. Februar 1975

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Sir Julian Sorell Huxley war ein britischer Biologe, Philosoph und Schriftsteller. Seine frühen Verhaltensbeobachtungen an Seetauchern und Reihern gehörten zu den ersten exakten Studien der Verhaltensforschung, die unter anderem dem Werk von Konrad Lorenz und Nikolaas Tinbergen den Weg ebneten. Huxley war Humanist und ein bekannter Vordenker des Atheismus. Als erster UNESCO-Generalsekretär trug er maßgeblich zur Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte bei.

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Zitate Julian Huxley

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„In developing a full, deep and rich personality the individual ceases to be a mere cog or cipher, and makes his own particular contribution to evolutionary fulfilment.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: Human potentialities constitute the world's greatest resource, but at the moment only a tiny fraction of them is being realized. The possibility of tapping and directing these vast resources of human possibility provide the religion of the future with a powerful long-term motive. An equally powerful short-term motive is to ensure the fullest possible development and flowering of individual personalities. In developing a full, deep and rich personality the individual ceases to be a mere cog or cipher, and makes his own particular contribution to evolutionary fulfilment.

„God is a hypothesis constructed by man to help him understand what existence is all about.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: God is a hypothesis constructed by man to help him understand what existence is all about.... To say that God is ultimate reality is just semantic cheating, as well as being so vague as to become effectively meaningless... Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sense of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.

„As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future. This cosmic self-awareness is being realized in one tiny fragment of the universe — in a few of us human beings. Perhaps it has been realized elsewhere too, through the evolution of conscious living creatures on the planets of other stars. But on this our planet, it has never happened before.

„The great men of the past have given us glimpses of what is possible in the way of personality, of intellectual understanding, of spiritual achievement, of artistic creation. But these are scarcely more than Pisgah glimpses.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: The first thing that the human species has to do to prepare itself for the cosmic office to which it finds itself appointed is to explore human nature, to find out what are the possibilities open to it (including, of course, its limitations, whether inherent or imposed by the facts of external nature)... The great men of the past have given us glimpses of what is possible in the way of personality, of intellectual understanding, of spiritual achievement, of artistic creation. But these are scarcely more than Pisgah glimpses. We need to explore and map the whole realm of human possibility, as the realm of physical geography has been explored and mapped. How to create new possibilities for ordinary living? What can be done to bring out the latent capacities of the ordinary man and woman for understanding and enjoyment; to teach people the techniques of achieving spiritual experience (after all, one can acquire the technique of dancing or tennis, so why not of mystical ecstasy or spiritual peace?); to develop native talent and intelligence in the growing child, Instead of frustrating or distorting them?

„There is no separate supernatural realm: all phenomena are part of one natural process of evolution. There is no basic cleavage between science and religion; they are both organs of evolving humanity.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: The entire cosmos is made out of one and the same world-stuff, operated by the same energy as we ourselves. "Mind" and "matter" appears as two aspects of our unitary mind-bodies. There is no separate supernatural realm: all phenomena are part of one natural process of evolution. There is no basic cleavage between science and religion; they are both organs of evolving humanity.

„What the job really boils down to is this — the fullest realization of man's possibilities, whether by the individual, by the community, or by the species in its processional adventure along the corridors of time.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: What the job really boils down to is this — the fullest realization of man's possibilities, whether by the individual, by the community, or by the species in its processional adventure along the corridors of time. Every man-jack of us begins as a mere speck of potentiality, a spherical and microscopic egg-cell. During the nine months before birth, this automatically unfolds into a truly miraculous range of organization: after birth, in addition to continuing automatic growth and development, the individual begins to realize his mental possibilities — by building up a personality, by developing special talents, by acquiring knowledge and skills of various kinds, by playing his part in keeping society going.

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„The unrest will produce some unpleasant consequences before it is dissipated; but it is in essence a beneficent unrest, a dynamic force which will not be stilled until it has laid the physiological foundations of human destiny.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: Thanks to science, the under-privileged are coming to believe that no one need be underfed or chronically diseased, or deprived of the benefits of its technical and practical applications. The world's unrest is largely due to this new belief. People are determined not to put up with a subnormal standard of physical health and material living now that science has revealed the possibility of raising it. The unrest will produce some unpleasant consequences before it is dissipated; but it is in essence a beneficent unrest, a dynamic force which will not be stilled until it has laid the physiological foundations of human destiny.

„The world of things entered your infant mind
To populate that crystal cabinet.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: The world of things entered your infant mind To populate that crystal cabinet. Within its walls the strangest partners met, And things turned thoughts did propagate their kind. For, once within, corporeal fact could find A spirit. Fact and you in mutual debt Built there your little microcosm—which yet Had hugest tasks to its small self assigned. Dead men can live there, and converse with stars: Equator speaks with Pole, and Night with Day: Spirit dissolves the world's material bars— A million isolations burn away. The Universe can live and work and plan, At last made God within the mind of man. Poem in Essays of a Biologist (1923), quoted by Richard Dawkins in A Devil's Chaplain (2003).

„Whether he wants to or not, whether he is conscious of what he is doing or not, he is in point of fact determining the future direction of evolution on this earth.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: The new understanding of the universe has come about through the new knowledge amassed in the last hundred years — by psychologists, biologists, and other scientists, by archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians. It has defined man's responsibility and destiny — to be an agent for the rest of the world in the job of realizing its inherent potentialities as fully as possible. It is as if man had been suddenly appointed managing director of the biggest business of all, the business of evolution — appointed without being asked if he wanted it, and without proper warning and preparation. What is more, he can't refuse the job. Whether he wants to or not, whether he is conscious of what he is doing or not, he is in point of fact determining the future direction of evolution on this earth. That is his inescapable destiny, and the sooner he realizes it and starts believing in it, the better for all concerned.

„Evolution is a process, of which we are products, and in which we are active agents.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: Evolution is a process, of which we are products, and in which we are active agents. There is no finality about the process, and no automatic or unified progress; but much improvement has occurred in the past, and there could be much further improvement in the future (though there is also the possibility of future failure and regression). Thus the central long-term concern of religion must be to promote further evolutionary improvement and to realise new possibilities; and this means greater fulfilment by more human individuals and fuller achievement by more human societies.

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„Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered. Man is a product of nearly three billion years of evolution, in whose person the evolutionary process has at last become conscious of itself and its possibilities. Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet.

„Human potentialities constitute the world's greatest resource, but at the moment only a tiny fraction of them is being realized.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: Human potentialities constitute the world's greatest resource, but at the moment only a tiny fraction of them is being realized. The possibility of tapping and directing these vast resources of human possibility provide the religion of the future with a powerful long-term motive. An equally powerful short-term motive is to ensure the fullest possible development and flowering of individual personalities. In developing a full, deep and rich personality the individual ceases to be a mere cog or cipher, and makes his own particular contribution to evolutionary fulfilment.

„Religion in some form is a universal function of man in society“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: Religion in some form is a universal function of man in society, the organ for dealing with the problems of destiny, the destiny of individual men and women, of societies and nations, and of the human species as a whole. Religions always have some intellectual or ideological framework, whether myth or theological doctrine; some morality or code of behaviour, whether barbaric or ethically rationalized; and some mode of ritualized or symbolic expression, in the form of ceremonial or celebration, collective devotion or thanksgiving, or religious art...

„This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered.“

—  Julian Huxley
Context: This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered. Man is a product of nearly three billion years of evolution, in whose person the evolutionary process has at last become conscious of itself and its possibilities. Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet.

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