A Quote by John Horgan on future, skepticism, hype, and heaven scenario

Indeed, now and for the forseeable future, cyber-evangelism is best understood as an escapist, quasi-religious fantasy, which reflects an oddly dated, Jetsons-esque faith in scientific progress and its potential to cure all that ails us. Even those cyber-evangelical books published well after September 11, 2001, and the end of the dot-com boom echo the hysterical techno-optimism of the late 1990s. At their best, they raise some diverting questions: Would you rather live in a pleasant virtual world, or in an unpleasant real one? Would cyber-sex satisfy you? Would we still be recognizably human if we were immortal, or had IQ's over 1,000, or were immune to pain?

But I felt my cognitive-dissonance alarm clanging whenever I reminded myself of the issues that preoccupy most mature adults these days: terrorism, overpopulation, poverty, environmental degradation, AIDS and other diseases, and all the pitfalls of ordinary life.

I try to forget this vale of tears myself now and then by reading books like William Gibson’s Neuromancer or watching movies like The Matrix. But I also try not to confuse science fiction with science.

John Horgan

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2005 - "Brain Chips and Other Dreams of the Cyber-Evangelists"

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Michael Shermer on climate change, skepticism, and climate change skepticism

My experience is symptomatic of deep problems that have long plagued the environmental movement. Activists who vandalize Hummer dealerships and destroy logging equipment are criminal ecoterrorists. Environmental groups who cry doom and gloom to keep donations flowing only hurt their credibility. As an undergraduate in the 1970s, I learned (and believed) that by the 1990s overpopulation would lead to worldwide starvation and the exhaustion of key minerals, metals and oil, predictions that failed utterly. Politics polluted the science and made me an environmental skeptic.

Nevertheless, data trump politics, and a convergence of evidence from numerous sources has led me to make a cognitive switch on the subject of anthropogenic global warming.

Michael Shermer

Source: Scientific American : The Flipping Point

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi on belief, dogma, skepticism, ego, and buddhism

I have discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color - something which exists before all forms and colors appear.  This is a very important point.  No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea...  In constantly seeking to actualize your ideal, you will have no time for composure.  But if you are always prepared for accepting everything we see as something appearing from nothing... then at that moment you will have perfect composure.

Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905 - 1971)

Source: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Vincent van Gogh on cynicism and skepticism

In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism and skepticism and humbug and we shall want to live more musically.

Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Sydney J. Harris on discovery and skepticism

Skepticism is not an end in itself; it is a tool for the discovery of truths.

Sydney J. Harris (1917 - 1986)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on practicality, questions, skepticism, and solution

Who shall forbid a wise skepticism, seeing that there is no practical question on which anything more than an approximate solution can be had?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on skepticism

Skepticism is unbelief in cause and effect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on skepticism and suicide

Skepticism is slow suicide.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ralph Barton Perry on credulity, cynicism, promises, and skepticism

I prefer credulity to skepticism and cynicism, for there is more promise in almost anything than in nothing at all.

Ralph Barton Perry (1876 - 1957)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Neal A. Maxwell on skepticism

The doctrine of foreordination is not a doctrine of repose; instead, it is a doctrine for second- and third-milers, and it will draw out of them the last full measure of devotion. It is a doctrine for the deep believer but it will bring only scorn from the skeptic.

Neal Maxwell (1926 -)

Source: But for a Small Moment, see BYU Speeches, 1978, 1979, © by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Used by permission.

Contributed by: Zaady

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