Random Quote #44 topic: atheism, Wayne Aiken's atheism cookie file
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"Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to
dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to
comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny. Through fear of
being shown to be vacuous, religion denies the awesome power of human
comprehension. It seeks to thwart, by encouraging awe in things unseen,
the disclosure of the emptiness of faith. Religion, in contrast to
science, deploys the repugnant view that the world is too big for our
understanding. Science, in contrast to religion, opens up the great
questions of being to rational discussion, to discussion with the
prospect of resolution and elucidation. Science, above all, respects the
power of the human intellect. Science is the apotheosis of the intellect
and the consummation of the Rennaissance. Science respects more deeply
the potential of humanity than religion ever can."
[P. W. Atkins, "The Limitless Power of Science" essay in "Nature's
Imagination", John Cornwell, ed.; 1995 Oxford University Press, p.125]



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