„Certainly, we live in a different world … for the first time in all of known human history, we live in a world absent of the likelihood of superpower conflict. Now we live in a world in which there are superpowers, but we're not butting heads all the time. That's a very good thing for the world… but… there's still a few bad guys out there.“
— Tom Clancy American author 1947 - 2013
2000s, CNN interview (2000)
— Simone Weil French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist 1909 - 1943
Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943)
Kontext: There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.
Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.
Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world.
Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good.
That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.
Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among men.
Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, man has the power of turning his attention and love towards it.
Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any man, whoever he may be, has been deprived of this power.
It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent.
This act of consent may be expressed, or it may not be, even tacitly; it may not be clearly conscious, although it has really taken place in the soul. Very often it is verbally expressed although it has not in fact taken place. But whether expressed or not, the one condition suffices: that it shall in fact have taken place.
To anyone who does actually consent to directing his attention and love beyond the world, towards the reality that exists outside the reach of all human faculties, it is given to succeed in doing so. In that case, sooner or later, there descends upon him a part of the good, which shines through him upon all that surrounds him.
„Humans may crave absolute certainty; they may aspire to it; they may pretend, as partisans of certain religions do, to have attained it. But the history of science — by far the most successful claim to knowledge accessible to humans — teaches that the most we can hope for is successive improvement in our understanding, learning from our mistakes, an asymptotic approach to the Universe, but with the proviso that absolute certainty will always elude us.“
— Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996
Quelle: The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 2 : Science and Hope, p. 28
„whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.“
— Francis Pharcellus Church, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus (1897)
— Simone de Beauvoir, buch Das andere Geschlecht
Quelle: The Second Sex
„To me this question whether liberty is a good or a bad thing appears as irrational as the question whether fire is a good or a bad thing. It is both good and bad according to time, place, and circumstance, and a complete answer to the question, In what cases is liberty good and in what cases is it bad? would involve not merely a universal history of mankind, but a complete solution of the problems which such a history would offer.“
— James Fitzjames Stephen Indian judge 1829 - 1894
Quelle: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873-1874), Ch. 2
— Thomas Henry Huxley English biologist and comparative anatomist 1825 - 1895
Quelle: 1860s, Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature (1863), Ch.2, p. 72
Kontext: In a well worn metaphor, a parallel is drawn between the life of man and the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly; but the comparison may be more just as well as more novel, if for its former term we take the mental progress of the race. History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge, periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another, itself but temporary. Truly the imago state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every moult is a step gained, and of such there have been many.
— Jimmy Wales Wikipedia co-founder and American Internet entrepreneur 1966
As quoted in "Wikimedia Founder Jimmy Wales Responds," http://interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/28/1351230 by Robin "Roblimo" Miller, Slashdot (28 July 2004)
„To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.“
— Howard Zinn author and historian 1922 - 2010
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, p. 270.
Kontext: To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
— Joseph Priestley, buch The History and Present State of Electricity
The History and Present State of Electricity (1767)
Kontext: The History of Electricity is a field full of pleasing objects, according to all the genuine and universal principles of taste, deduced from a knowledge of human nature. Scenes like these, in which we see a gradual rise and progress in things, always exhibit a pleasing spectacle to the human mind. Nature, in all her delightful walks, abounds with such views, and they are in a more especial manner connected with every thing that relates to human life and happiness; things, in their own nature, the most interesting to us. Hence it is, that the power of association has annexed crowds of pleasing sensations to the contemplation of every object, in which this property is apparent.
This pleasure, likewise, bears a considerable resemblance to that of the sublime, which is one of the most exquisite of all those that affect the human imagination. For an object in which we see a perpetual progress and improvement is, as it were, continually rising in its magnitude; and moreover, when we see an actual increase, in a long period of time past, we cannot help forming an idea of an unlimited increase in futurity; which is a prospect really boundless, and sublime.
„In brief, our genetic heritage is at odds with our genetic future. For the first time in human history, the qualities it takes to survive as a species are compatible with the qualities it takes to love.“
— Warren Farrell, buch The Myth of Male Power
Quelle: The Myth of Male Power (1993), Part 1: The Myth of Male Power, p. 65.
— Barbara W. Tuchman American historian and author 1912 - 1989
Quelle: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
„In case you haven't noticed, we live in a world that is for the first time in all of recorded human history unlikely to have a major war. There used to be this country called the Soviet Union; it's not there anymore. The reason is our technology was better than theirs.“
— Tom Clancy American author 1947 - 2013
1990s, Schafer interview (1995)
Kontext: In case you haven't noticed, we live in a world that is for the first time in all of recorded human history unlikely to have a major war. There used to be this country called the Soviet Union; it's not there anymore. The reason is our technology was better than theirs. Probably what pushed the Russians over the edge was SDI. It was really a combination of SDI and CNN. They realized they couldn't beat us so they decided to change the ball game.
„Knowledge grows, but human beings remain much the same.Belief in progress is a relic of the Christian view of history as a universal narrative, and an intellectually rigorous atheism would start by questioning it.“
— John Gray British philosopher 1948
The Atheist Delusion (2008)
— Friedrich Nietzsche, buch Menschliches, Allzumenschliches
Human, All Too Human (1878)
„This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!“
— Adolf Hitler Führer and Reich Chancellor of Germany, Leader of the Nazi Party 1889 - 1945
Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago Law School said this is "probably a fraud and was likely never uttered" in Bernard E. Harcourt: "On gun registration, the NRA, Adolf Hitler, and Nazi gun laws: Exploding the gun culture wars", June 2004, University of Chicago Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 67, pp. 9–10.
— Mohamed ElBaradei Egyptian law scholar and diplomat, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Nobel Peace P… 1942
Nobel lecture (2005)
Kontext: Imagine what would happen if the nations of the world spent as much on development as on building the machines of war. Imagine a world where every human being would live in freedom and dignity. Imagine a world in which we would shed the same tears when a child dies in Darfur or Vancouver. Imagine a world where we would settle our differences through diplomacy and dialogue and not through bombs or bullets. Imagine if the only nuclear weapons remaining were the relics in our museums. Imagine the legacy we could leave to our children.
Imagine that such a world is within our grasp.
— Katherine Maher chief executive officer and executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation 1983
Wikimedia CEO on facts, hoaxes and the promise of Wikipedians by Luke Ottenhof, Canada's National Observer https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/03/19/news/wikimedia-ceo-facts-wiki-hoaxes-and-promise-wikipedians, (19 March 2021)
„The first principle of cosmology must be 'There is nothing outside the universe'. This is not to exclude religion or mysticism… But if it is knowledge that we desire… we need to seek answers to questions about the things we can see… only things that exist in the universe.“
— Lee Smolin, buch Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
Three Roads to Quantum Gravity (2000)