Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-11-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
Another brick in the wall
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I was flipping through some Vonnegut books the other day and I came across some interesting quotes.

"And we would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. I used to think that science could save us, and science certainly tried. But we can't stand any more tremendous explosions, either for or against democracy. Only in superstition is there hope. If you want to become a friend of civilization, then become an enemy of truth and a fanatic for harmless balderdash."

"I beg you to believe the most ridiculous superstition of all: that humanity is at the center of the universe, the fulfiller or frustrateor of the grandest dreams of God Almighty.

If you can do that, and make others believe it, then there might be hope for us. Human beings might stop treating each other like garbage, might begin to treasure and protect one another instead."

"About astrology and palmistry: THey are good because they make people feel vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm."

And the kicker:

"A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly the lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness."

-All from Address to Graduating Class at Bennington College 1970, as printed in Wampeter, Foma, & Granfalloons.

In another part of the book, he talks about how in Nigeria there aren't any government-run social programs because since the families are so large, everyone has plenty of relatives to turn to in a time of distress. He then says (well technically he has Kilgore Trout write) that perhaps everyone in the US should be randomly assigned to 1,000 or so "families" since it would be quicker at dispersing aid than the government.

I thought these topics might be of interest to our granfalloon.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 01:04 PM   #2
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
Great thread! My favorite quote from one of my favorite authors


"Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamned lonely anymore."

[Kurt Vonnegut Jr., quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief, Famous People with the Courage to Doubt, by James A. Haught, Prometheus Books, 1996]

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 01:26 PM   #3
Method21
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
:thumbsup: Nice!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
R and All
Soon to be just another skull
 
R and All's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 751
Quote:
Another brick in the wall wrote
"A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly the lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness."
I must have lost the lessons about fairness and gentleness amidst all the smiting.

Reality is not a belief. We do not take it on faith, it confirms itself whenever we see physics, chemistry, biology etc. working as predicted by their various empirically obtained rules. - Sternwallow
R and All is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2007, 09:43 AM   #5
Sternwallow
I Live Here
 
Sternwallow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23,211
Quote:
R and All wrote
Quote:
Another brick in the wall wrote
"A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly the lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness."
I must have lost the lessons about fairness and gentleness amidst all the smiting.
People who find that science has made religion irrelevant still know very well about fairness and gentleness and charity. They no longer have to bury those feelings and that wisdom in a grave of religious doctrine. They can let caring for people shine forth with its own glory.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
Sternwallow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2007, 09:56 AM   #6
Philboid Studge
Organ Donator
 
Philboid Studge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Beastly Muck
Posts: 13,136
Quote:
Brick wrote
In another part of the book, he talks about how in Nigeria there aren't any government-run social programs because since the families are so large, everyone has plenty of relatives to turn to in a time of distress.
And we all know how swell things are going in Nigeria. Are we in the millions yet -- or still just thousands -- in number of murders between these happy, large families in the past few years?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
La propriété, c'est le vol ...
Philboid Studge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
Another brick in the wall
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I think the main reason he became cynical about science was that it made it possible to kill huge numbers of people very easily. However, you don't need advanced science to kill huge numbers of people- just efficient administration. Ghenghis Khan comes to mind.

I think he hoped that knowledge would make us more humane, but history does not bear that out. Change in thought is what makes a society more humane.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2007, 10:39 PM   #8
bryantee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I don't have anything to say. He clearly has no reverence for intellectual honesty.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 08:04 AM   #9
Wakkun
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Cynical about science? He appears to be cynical, period. If I want quotes from writers and such, I think I'll stick to H L Mencken and Frank Zappa.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 08:42 AM   #10
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
Quote:
Wakkun wrote
Cynical about science? He appears to be cynical, period. If I want quotes from writers and such, I think I'll stick to H L Mencken and Frank Zappa.
from God Bless You Mr. Rosewater,

"just like a good airline pilot should always be looking for places to land, so should a lawyer always be looking for situations were large amounts of money were about to change hands."

from Breakfast of Champions.

"He had a penis eight hundred miles long and two hundred and ten miles in diameter, but practically all of it was in the fourth dimension."

The man was a genius. There will be no dissing of Vonnegut on this forum.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 10:56 AM   #11
Wakkun
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I meant to limit that comment to quotes regarding religion. No doubt Vonnegut has come out with some blinders on other subjects, but the ones on this thread appear to be pure cynicism. If this is dissing the man, consider him dissed, genius or not. And I think even geniuses may be dissed on this forum.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 11:12 AM   #12
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
The thing is Wakkun, he's was such a smart ass, and on top of that he suffered from clinical depression. I have to wonder how often his quotes were taken out of context.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 11:31 AM   #13
bryantee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
“You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.” -Frank Zappa

Now there's some insightful words.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 01:32 PM   #14
GodlessHeathen
Obsessed Member
 
GodlessHeathen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: 3rd notch in the bible belt
Posts: 1,342
Don't be a dick, dude. You're not proving anything to us. If you don't like what this thread is saying, then don't come in here.

Christian: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. - Ambrose Bierce
GodlessHeathen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007, 02:14 PM   #15
Another brick in the wall
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Philboid Studge wrote
Quote:
Brick wrote
In another part of the book, he talks about how in Nigeria there aren't any government-run social programs because since the families are so large, everyone has plenty of relatives to turn to in a time of distress.
And we all know how swell things are going in Nigeria. Are we in the millions yet -- or still just thousands -- in number of murders between these happy, large families in the past few years?
The violence is a result of the fact that Nigeria's borders were drawn without regard to ethnic, religious, tribal, or historical boundaries. There are hundreds of mutually hostile groups and and lot of oil up for grabs. All this spells trouble.

Still, having a large group of people to fall back on for support is a good idea. If nothing else, having more relatives ups your chances of getting more graduation money.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:52 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin - Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2000 - , Raving Atheists [dot] com frequency-supranational frequency-supranational