Sharing Worldviews


Here are some contemporary worldviews, inculding mine, in alphabetical order.
           Some are scientific, some are whimsical, some are poetic … 
                        Won’t you share your worldview? Send to: 
garethharris@mac.com

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Albert Einstein - [1879-1955] - physicist:  

EinsteinBIbleGod

The World As I See It

"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...

"I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.

"My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude..."

"My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality... The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

"This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

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Richard Feynman - physicist [1918-1988]: some quotes:

Feynmanstage

“To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. 
The same key opens the gates of hell. - buddhist proverb -
And so it is with science.”

I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.

I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.

Religion is a culture of faith. Science is a culture of doubt.

Stop trying to fill your head with science - for to fill your heart with love is enough.

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PapaFrancis01

Papa Francesco - Pope Francis — Pope - BIshop of Rome:

 Here is a TED talk by Pope Francis that I like.




PapaFrancis04


PapaFrancis03







PapaFrancis02

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GSHantelopeFlatsSunrise

Gareth Harris, < garethharris@mac.com > - physicist, computer scientist, priest, atheist: 

We are clever little monkeys from the plains of Africa. During our development there, we acquired some important traits and skills: we can walk upright and most importantly - we can think, talk  and make fire! We live in a universe filled with wonders and mysteries - a haven for curious little monkeys. 

We have gone from using our muscles to using other animals’ muscles, then to using steam, nuclear power, rockets and computers. We have gone from great teachers like Jesus and Buddha about what lies in our hearts; to new understandings from Newton and Einstein about how things move; and finally insights from Chomsky and others as to what lies between our ears - the most stunning thing in the entire universe - our brain. 
Now about our brain, we have learned:

Like fish in the ocean,
        we swim in a vast sea of information. 
Like fish discovering water,
        only now are we becoming aware of this sea.

That awareness is called consciousness.
It will carry us deep into the waters of thought itself. 

Soon we will meet intelligence beyond our own.
But it will come, not from the stars,

It will come from us.

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hawkinglookup

Stephen Hawking - physicist:








hawkingbrain









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steve-jobs-original-iphone



Steve Jobs, 1955-2011, computer pioneer  







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Chris Jungmann, <chris@incaffeine.com> - computer programmer

A timeless, dimensionless entity
An energy like it, has existed never
Always been, and always will
Bigger, with more power than the Universe
Alone, and with time forever

What would you do?
No need to work
With infinite power to create
An imagination beyond comprehension
Able to weave time and space 

Would you paint?
Dots of paint, interact and move
Creating new colors and shapes together
Unexpected shapes arise
Alive

With a bang, with passion
Watch the Master
Sculpt, sing, weave, mold, blend, chisel, harmonize, sow, stretch
Mix, match, mate
Evolve

We are the colors in the painting
The Painter does not judge any color or place
From the black hole to the movie star

The Painter loves
The Universe
The Human Race

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Bertrand Russell, [1872-1970] - mathematician:  

BertrandRussell

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy—ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

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carl sagan

Carl Sagan, astronomer - [1934-1996]:



"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."





Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. — 

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

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Andrew Stone,  < andrew@stone.com > - computer programmer:  

AndrewStone

We are animals, we are gods, we'll just have to embrace the paradox.

There are at least two interrelated yet disparate realities - a physical animal intuitional one and a socially constructed one that exists only in our shared imaginations.  Money, God, Science are products of this construct and have allowed us to acheive previously unimaginable feats like sending a human to the moon. 

Our million year old software that has been running in our brains and keeping us alive in the grasslands got the language upgrade 70,000 years ago and the culture 1.0 upgrade 15,000 years ago. 

It's taken a few generations since Darwin to be OK with evolution, which the clerics assumed would displace the Almighty. But the real mystery of the universe is almost palpable with quantum physics, qubits, curved time and space. 

Just now we're coming to understand the biosphere surrounding  the Earth as one connected, living system. Meaning each one of us is part and parcel of a giant organic computational mechanism that makes up Reality. 

Now imagine Culture 2.0 - beyond war, beyond scarcity, beyond greed. This next big step can take place whenever we so desire - it's a step of awakening when we enter a shared consciousness. We understand it's a shared plight, the fish, the animals, the humans and the fate of life on Earth. 

Our current climate crisis is forcing us to come together and transcend nationalistic and anthropocentric boundaries as we watch island nations submerge and species go extinct as result of our modern lifestyles. 

Where it all leads, no one knows.

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Dee Taylor - poet - I have always loved this poem by my friend Deborah about spinning stories like tops.

topwhand

The Storyteller
  by  Dee C. Taylor

In the dead of winter
He makes a world come alive
Gray and barren limbs
Spring forth with fresh green leaves
Ice cakes melt above their brooks
As warming waters foam over rock and shale
Redbirds flock to budding limbs
Geese return to their summer home
And all the world, once dark and dim
Is sunny, spinning, and bright again
Beneath the magic of the storyteller's yarn;
Like a brightly painted top
That's lifeless and still
Til a hand reaches out to give it a spin
And like a top, as the story he's spun begins
To wind down, all comes slowly to a halt;
Blooms disappear, leaves are fallen and gone
Snow sparkles beneath a distant white sun
And all is still, and quiet, and winter again
Without the touch of the storyteller's brush
To paint the world with the life of a springtime's sun.


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Neil deGrasse Tyson - astrophysicist:

NeildeGrasseTysonMeaning

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The following section is for worldviews of those who wish to remain anonymous:
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Anonymous author 1: - computer programmer

No worldview, just a joke, an aphorism and a punchline:

 A scientist and his son are riding a train.  "Dad, the sheep are shorn." "On *this* side, Timmy."

 The plural of anecdote is not data.

 Because he can.

What do I know and how?  What do I do and why?  Pondering is my background task.  I know:

 "It's too easy to convince myself of something that's not true." History.

 "It's less challenging to swim downstream than upstream." Physics.

 "You are tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you  think you can." Statistics.

Therefore, I:

 do more of what I like and less of what I dislike; I better help others when I'm balanced.

 spend a lot of time outdoors; I run on sensuality.

 eat plants; I feel better.

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Anonymous author 2: - bartender

“Rejecting someone else’s version of reality isn’t the same as creating your own.”

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=== Here is a space for your thoughts. Please write them down and email to me. ===

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MORE: Edward R. Murrow had a radio show in 1951 called This I Believe, which continues in the web site ThisIBelieve.org today. There are many good ideas there and some guidelines on writing your own essay. that may help you to write a worldview to share here.

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© Gareth Harris 2017       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com