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Steven Weinberg quotes (showing 1-23 of 23)

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
Steven Weinberg
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
Steven Weinberg
“All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically”
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory
“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. ”
Steven Weinberg
“One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.”
Steven Weinberg
“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless”
Steven Weinberg
“Science doesn't make it impossible to believe in God, it just makes it possible not to believe in God”
Steven Weinberg
“Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”
Steven Weinberg
“Many of the great world religions teach that God demands a particular faith and form of worship. It should not be surprising that SOME of the people who take these teachings seriously should sincerely regard these divine commands as incomparably more important than any merely secular virtues like tolerance or compassion or reason.
Across Asia and Africa the forces of religious enthusiasm are gathering strength, and reasom and tolerance are not safe even in the secular states of the West. The historian Huge Trevor-Roper has said that it was the spread of the spirit of science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that finally ended the burning pf the witches in Europe. We may need to rely again on the influence of science to preserve a sane wolrd.It's not the certainty of the scientific knowledge that fits it for this role, but its UNCERTAINTY. Seeing scientists change their minds again and again about the matters that can be studied directly in laboratory experiments, how can one take seriously the claims of religious traditions or sacred writings to certain knowledge about matters beyond human experience”
Steven Weinberg
“It does not matter whether you win or lose, what matters is whether I win or lose!”
Steven Weinberg
“It used to be obvious that the world was designed by some sort of intelligence. What else could account for fire and rain and lightning and earthquakes? Above all, the wonderful abilities of living things seemed to point to a creator who had a special interest in life. Today we understand most of these things in terms of physical forces acting under impersonal laws. We don't yet know the most fundamental laws, and we can't work out all the consequences of the laws we do know. The human mind remains extraordinarily difficult to understand, but so is the weather. We can't predict whether it will rain one month from today, but we do know the rules that govern the rain, even though we can't always calculate their consequences. I see nothing about the human mind any more than about the weather that stands out as beyond the hope of understanding as a consequence of impersonal laws acting over billions of years.”
Steven Weinberg
“I don't need to argue here that the evil in the world proves that the universe is not designed, but only that there are no signs of benevolence that might have shown the hand of a designer.”
Steven Weinberg
“I'm offended by the kind of smarmy religiosity that's all around us, perhaps more in America than in Europe, and not really that harmful because it's not really that intense or even that serious, but just... you know after a while you get tired of hearing clergymen giving the invocation at various public celebrations and you feel, haven't we outgrown all this? Do we have to listen to this?”
Steven Weinberg
“Many people do simply awful things out of sincere religious belief, not using religion as a cover the way that Saddam Hussein may have done, but really because they believe that this is what God wants them to do, going all the way back to Abraham being willing to sacrifice Issac because God told him to do that. Putting God ahead of humanity is a terrible thing.”
Steven Weinberg
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”
Steven Weinberg
“فالسعى إلى رضا عن فهم الكون هو من الأشياء النادرة التى تسمو بالإنسان فوق مستوى الترهات ،وتنعم عليه بشىء من شرف المشاركة فى هذه المسرحية المأساوية .”
Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe
“There are those whose views about religion are not very different from my own, but who nevertheless feel that we should try to damp down the conflict, that we should compromise it. … I respect their views and I understand their motives, and I don't condemn them, but I'm not having it. To me, the conflict between science and religion is more important than these issues of science education or even environmentalism. I think the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief; and anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.”
Steven Weinberg
“Maybe at the very bottom of it... I really don't like God. You know, it's silly to say I don't like God because I don't believe in God, but in the same sense that I don't like Iago, or the Reverend Slope or any of the other villains of literature, the god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He's a god who will... who obsessed the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don't worship him in the right way. Now I realise that many people don't believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he's a terrible character. I don't like him.”
Steven Weinberg
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion”
Steven Weinberg
“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
Steven Weinberg
“If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that—in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we're starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That's not an entirely despicable role for us to play.”
Steven Weinberg
“La religion est une insulte à la dignité humaine. Que ce soit avec ou sans elle, il y aura toujours des gens bien qui font de bonnes choses, et des mauvais qui font de mauvaises choses. Mais pour que des gens bien agissent mal, il faut la religion.”
Steven Weinberg
“Itwas one time when people thought the value of the fine structure constant wasimportant. Now of course it's still important, of course, as a practical matter,but we now know that the value it has is a function, that in any fundamental theory you derive the fine structure constant as a function of all sorts of mass ratios and so on, and it's not really that fundamental.”
Steven Weinberg


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The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe The First Three Minutes
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Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature Dreams of a Final Theory
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