Save your explanations, I got some questions for you first and you'd better answer them!' [slurred Hellian.] 'With what?' [Banaschar] sneered. 'Explanations?' 'No. Answers. There's a difference-' 'Really? How? What difference?' 'Explanations are what people use when they need to lie. Y'can always tell those,'cause those don't explain nothing and then they look at you like they just cleared things up when really they did the opposite and they know it and you know it and they know you know and you know they know that you know and they know you and you know them and maybe you go out for a pitcher later but who picks up the tab? That's what I want to know.' 'Right, and answers?' 'Answers is what I get when I ask questions. Answers is when you got no choice. I ask, you tell. I ask again, you tell some more. Then I break your fingers, 'cause I don't like what you're telling me, because those answers don't explain nothing!
The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, 'Seek simplicity and distrust it.
Take lightly what you hear about individuals. We need not distort trust for our paltry little political agendas. We tend to trust soulless, carried information more than we trust soulful human beings; but really most people aren't so bad once you sit down and have an honest, one-on-one conversation with them, once, with an open heart, you listen to their explanations as to why they act the way they act, or say what they say, or do what they do.
The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.
every single explanation that your brain concocts about a certain phenomenon on earth, is merely a virtual hunch of the neurons. Now, when your brain has access to more information, the resulting hunch would be more accurate, than another person who has less access.
When you don’t have explanation for a certain phenomenon, as a real human, you should suspend judgement, instead of concocting supernatural explanations out of ignorance and primordial fanaticism.
Constantly stopping to explain oneself may expand into a frustrating burden for the rare individual, so ceasing to do so is like finally dropping the weights and sprinting towards his goals. Those who insincerely misunderstand, who intentionally distort the motives of a pure-intentioned individual, then, no longer have the opportunity to block his path; instead, they are the ones left to stand on the sidelines shouting frustratedly in the wind of his trail.
... That little narrative is an example of the mathematician’s art: asking simple and elegant questions about our imaginary creations, and crafting satisfying and beautiful explanations. There is really nothing else quite like this realm of pure idea; it’s fascinating, it’s fun, and it’s free!
You don't get explanations in real life. You just get moments that are absolutely, utterly, inexplicably odd.
The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.
Sorting out what's good and bad is the province of ethics. It is also what keeps priests, pundits, and parents busy. Unfortunately, what keeps children and philosophers busy is asking the priests, pundits and parents, Why?
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives.2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject.3. Myth: Atheists are immoral.There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies.4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion.5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death.We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies.6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted.Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view.7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil.The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention.8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe.All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans?9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God.Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
The explanation has been written already in the three words that were many enough, and plain enough, for my confession. I loved her.
It is not always necessary to search for the cause behind everything, because every cause is unfounded. A cause only looks like a cause from a certain viewpoint.
It is the desire for explanations that are at once systematic and controllable by factual evidence that generates science, and it is the organization and classification of knowledge on the basis of explanatory principles that is the distinctive goal of the sciences.
It was so easy to be wise in the explanation of an experience one has not personally witnessed.(The Wendigo)
I didn’t like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea.
The notion must be put aside that emotions are irrational and we must see emotions for their true function. This will not rob the emotional content, it will merely explain it. Some things when more deeply explained provide greater sources of personal and corporate pleasure, not less.
facts are aligned on shelves as well, necessarily chosen and arranged, assigned value by explanations neatly stuck where prices might have been.
None of these things bothered us excessively; we have always been a family that carries bewilderment like a banner, and odd new confusions do not actually seem to be any more bewildering than the ones we invent for ourselves; moreover, in each of these cases it was easier to believe that nothing had happened, or that it was of no importance anyway.
When a great team loses through complacency, it will constantly search for new and more intricate explanations to explain away defeat. After a while it becomes more innovative in thinking up how to lose than thinnking up how to win.
Toward the end of his book, Miller explains his need to unite science and religion: science does not explain the meaning and purpose of life. That may be, but why should we assume religion explains such things any better? Just because religion attempts to answer such questions does not mean its answers are correct. And such answers never seem to achieve any consensus. What is the meaning of life? Your answer is as good as mine--or just as bad.