I think computer viruses should count as life … I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
I don't believe that the ultimate theory will come by steady work along existing lines. We need something new. We can't predict what that will be or when we will find it because if we knew that, we would have found it already! It could come in the next 20 years, but we might never find it.
So Einstein was wrong when he said, "God does not play dice." Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
In a three-minute stretch between commercials, or in seven hundred words, it is impossible to present unfamiliar thoughts or surprising conclusions with the argument and evidence required to afford them credibility. Regurgitation of welcome pieties faces no such problem.
Well, law is a bit like a printing press—it’s kind of neutral, you can make it do anything. I mean, what lawyers are taught in law school is chicanery: how to convert words on paper into instruments of power. And depending where the power is, the law will mean different things.
…jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.
You are not in control of your mind—because you, as a conscious agent, are only part of your mind, living at the mercy of other parts.
The power of psychedelics... is that they often reveal, in the span of a few hours, depths of awe and understanding that can otherwise elude us for a lifetime.
These chemicals disclose layers of beauty that art is powerless to capture and for which the beauty of Nature herself is a mere simulacrum.
The “war on drugs” has been well lost, and should never have been waged. While it isn’t explicitly protected by the U.S. Constitution, I can think of no political right more fundamental than the right to peacefully steward the contents of one’s own consciousness. The fact that we pointlessly ruin the lives of nonviolent drug users by incarcerating them, at enormous expense, constitutes one of the great moral failures of our time.
Now Jainism actually is a religion of peace. The core principle of Jainism is non-violence. Gandhi got his non-violence from the Jains. The crazier you get as a Jain, the less we have to worry about you. Jain extremists are paralysed by their pacifism. Jain extremists can't take their eyes off the ground when they walk lest they step on an ant... Needless to say they are vegetarian. So the problem is not religious extremism, because extremism is not a problem if your core beliefs are truly non-violent. The problem isn't fundamentalism. We often hear this said; these are euphemisms... The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam.
Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.
Jesus Christ—who, as it turns out, was born of a virgin, cheated death, and rose bodily into the heavens—can now be eaten in the form of a cracker.
We are, even now, killing ourselves over ancient literature. Who would have thought something so tragically absurd could be possible?
Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings.
Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.
Mormonism, it seems to me, is—objectively—just a little more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be: because it is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.
The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments, and a passionate unwillingness to do so.