"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation. Go and study it."
“To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his non existence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof. Thus proof is a word not often used among the Handdarata, who have chosen not to treat God as a fact, subject either to proof or to belief: and they have broken the circle, and go free. To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”
"The skeptic supposes programmatically that the best answer will be at variance with traditional narratives. That is bias, the bias known as skepticism, which takes as its sinister twin the bias known as credulity: the programmatic supposition that the best answer will be fully congruent with traditional narratives. Both arbitrarily close off possible answers before the investigation even begins. As such, the spirit of critical thought is programmatically opposed to both."
"Sin is active flight from a lived realization of available data."
"I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free."
"Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die."
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual... The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
"Most Christians were trained to think that we would be punished for our sins, but I’ve come to believe we are punished by our sins."
"Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the battles of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something that happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time."
"The real problem of humanity is the following: We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology."
"It has again brought home to me quite clearly how wrong it is to use God as a stop-gap for the incompleteness of our knowledge. If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, and is therefore continually in retreat. We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know; God wants us to realize his presence, not in unsolved problems but in those that are solved."
"We gradually limited the Divine Presence to the single body of Jesus, when perhaps it is as ubiquitous as light itself—and uncircumscribable by human boundaries."
"Ultimately, diversity contributes not just by adding different perspectives to the group but also by making it easier for individuals to say what they really think. […] Independence of opinion is both a crucial ingredient in collectively wise decisions and one of the hardest things to keep intact. Because diversity helps preserve that independence, it’s hard to have a collectively wise group without it."
"Better no trade, than trade procured by villainy. It is far better to have no wealth than to gain wealth at the expense of virtue. Better is honest poverty, than all the riches bought by the tears, and sweat, and blood, of our fellow-creatures."
"There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don't come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity."
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
"A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
"If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied."
"What does living come down to but bringing about those changes in ourselves … which can free us to enjoy a richness and closeness with everyone?"
"To be a human being among people and to remain one forever, no matter in what circumstances, not to grow despondent and not to lose heart — that’s what life is all about, that’s its task."