Contact Quotes

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Contact Contact by Carl Sagan
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Contact Quotes (showing 1-30 of 77)
“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
tags: love
“We all have a thirst for wonder. It's a deeply human quality. Science and religion are both bound up with it. What I'm saying is, you don't have to make stories up, you don't have to exaggerate. There's wonder and awe enough in the real world. Nature's a lot better at inventing wonders than we are.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Your religion assumes that people are children and need a boogeyman so they'll behave. You want people to believe in God so they'll obey the law. That's the only means that occurs to you: a strict secular police force, and the threat of punishment by an all-seeing God for whatever the police overlook. You sell human beings short.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“It's hard to kill a creature once it lets you see its consciousness.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancies were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population has abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that ended only with the dawn of space exploration.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn't he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why's he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there's one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He's not good at design, he's not good at execution. He'd be out of business, if there was any competition.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Any faith that admires truth, that strives to know God, must be brave enough to accommodate the universe.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“I've always thought an agnostic is an atheist without the courage of his convictions.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Perhaps the depth of love can be calibrated by the number of different selves that are actively involved in a given relationship.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Anything you don't understand, you attribute to God. God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
tags: god
“There are huge advertising budgets only when there's no difference between the products. If the products really were different, people would buy the one that's better. Advertising teaches people not to trust their judgment. Advertising teaches people to be stupid.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Their position seems to be that their God is so great he doesn't even have to exist.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“You mustn't think of the Universe as a wilderness. It hasn't been that for billions of years," he said. "Think of it more as... ..cultivated.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“You know the opinion of Cervantes? He said that reading a translation is like examining the back of a piece of tapestry.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right. You can't all be correct. And what if all of you are wrong? It's a possibility, you know. You must care about the truth, right? Well, the way to winnow through all the differing contentions is to be skeptical. I'm not any more skeptical about your religious beliefs than I am about every new scientific idea I hear about. But in my line of work, they're called hypotheses, not inspiration and not revelation.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Spaceflight, therefore, is subversive. If they are fortunate enough to find themselves in orbit, most people, after a little meditation, have similar thoughts. The nations that had instituted spaceflight had done so largely for nationalistic reasons; it was a small irony that almost everyone who entered space received a startling glimpse of a transnational perspective, of the Earth as one world.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“The great radio telescopes of the world are constructed in remote locations for the same reason Paul Gauguin sailed to Tahiti: For them to work well they must be far from civilization.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“She began to understand why lovers talk baby talk to one another. There was no other socially acceptable circumstance in which the children inside her were permitted to come out. If the one-year-old, the five-year- old, the twelve-year-old, and the twenty-year-old all find compatible personalities in the beloved, there is a real chance to keep all of these sub-personas happy. Love ends their long loneliness. Perhaps the depth of love can be calibrated by the number of different selves that are actively involved in a given relationship.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“What worries me the most,' she continued, 'is the opposite, the possibility that they're not trying. They could communicate with us, all right, but they're not doing it because they don't see any point to it. It's like..."--she glanced down at the edge of the tablecloth they had spread over the grass--"like the ants. They occupy the same landscape that we do. They have plenty to do, things to occupy themselves. On some level they're very well aware of their environment. But we don't try to communicate with them. So I don't think they have the foggiest notion that we exist.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He's not good at design, he's not good at execution. He'd be out of business if there was any competition.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“No question; language can free us of feeling, or almost. Maybe that's one of its functions - so we can understand the world without becoming entirely overwhelmed by it.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“Our God Is Alive and Well. Sorry About Yours.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“But the male lexicographers had somehow neglected to coin a word for the dislike of men. They were almost entirely men themselves, she thought, and had been unable to imagine a market for such a word.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“These are the folks who brought us the hydrogen bomb. Forgive me, Lord, for not being more grateful to these kind souls”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“...You think if I haven't had your religious experience I can't appreciate the magnificence of your god. But it's just the opposite. I listen to you, and I think, his god is too small! One paltry planet, a few thousand years -- hardly worth the attention of a minor deity, much less the Creator of the universe.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
tags: faith
“Our television signals leave this planet and go out into space...the signals spread out from the earth in spherical waves, a little like ripples in a pond. They travel at the speed of light, 186,000 miles a second, and essentially go on forever. The better some other civilizations receivers are, the farther away they could be and still pick up our tv signals. Even we could detect a strong tv transmission from a planet going around the nearest star.' President: 'You mean everything? You mean to say all that crap on television - the car crashes, wrestling, the porno channels, the evening news?”
Carl Sagan, Contact
“What if, despite all our pretense and disguise, it was necessary to appear in public with the person we loved most of all? Imagine this a prerequisite for social discourse on Earth.”
Carl Sagan, Contact
tags: love

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