Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jim Holt Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 23 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jim Holt.

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The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. — Jim Holt

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Consistency is the virtue of small minds, and Spinoza had a great mind - he was inconsistent all over the place. — Jim Holt

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When you are trying to understand the world, it is unwise to assume that you occupy a privileged position in it. — Jim Holt

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I find it hard to swallow the notion that the world is improved by extra suffering. And that goes for a lot of Christian doctrine. Jones commits a crime, so you expiate the evil by nailing Smith to a cross and it's all better. - John Leslie — Jim Holt

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In both jokes and dreams, Freud observed, meanings are condensed and displaced, things are represented indirectly or by their opposites, fallacious reasoning trumps logic. Jokes often arise involuntarily, like dreams, and tend to be swiftly forgotten. From these similarities Freud inferred that jokes and dreams share a common origin in the unconscious. Both are essentially means of outwitting our inner censor. — Jim Holt

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(It is interesting that the words "cosmos" and "cosmetic" have the same root, the Greek word for "adornment" or "arrangement.") — Jim Holt

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From a philosophical perspective, Linde's little story underscores the danger of assuming that the creative force behind our universe, if there is one, must correspond to the traditional image of God: omnipotent, omniscient, infinitely benevolent, and so on. Even if the cause of our universe is an intelligent being, it could well be a painfully incompetent and fallible one, the kind that might flub the cosmogenic task by producing a thoroughly mediocre creation. — Jim Holt

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Does mathematics carry its own ontological clout? — Jim Holt

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I really don't like to formulate what I believe because, like a quantum phenomenon, it varies from day to day, and anyway there's a sort of bad luck attached to expressing yourself too clearly. — Jim Holt

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You have to have a temperamental attraction to dangerous ideas ... — Jim Holt

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Our mild anxiety about the precariousness of being may give way to confidence in a world that turns out to be coherent, luminous, and intellectually secure. Or it might yield to cosmic terror when we realize that the whole show is a mere ontological soap bubble that could pop into nothingness at any moment, without the slightest warning. And our present sense of the potential reach of human thought may give way to a newfound humility at its limits, or to a newfound wonder at its leaps and bounds - or a bit of both. — Jim Holt

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For, as the German diplomat and philosopher Max Scheler wrote, "He who has not, as it were, looked into the abyss of the absolute Nothing will completely overlook the eminently positive content of the realization that there is something rather than nothing." Let us, then, dip briefly into that abyss, with full assurance that we will not come up empty-handed. For, as the old saying goes: Nothing seek, nothing find. — Jim Holt

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Is information from the inside; physics is information from the outside. — Jim Holt

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Instead of being an inert object, nothingness would appear to be a dynamic thing, a sort of annihilating force. — Jim Holt

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If by 'God' you have something definite in mind - a being that is loving, or jealous, or whatever - then you're faced with the question of why God's that way and not another way. And if you don't have anything very definite in mind when you talk about 'God' being behind the existence of the universe, then why even use the word? So I think religion doesn't help. It's part of the human tragedy: we're faced with a mystery we can't understand - Steven Weinberg — Jim Holt

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It is present in moments of rejoicing, when all the things around us are transfigured and seem to be there for the first time ... The question is upon us in boredom, when we are equally removed from despair and joy, and everything about us seems so hopelessly commonplace that we no longer care whether anything is or is not. — Jim Holt

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In 1921, a New York rabbi asked Einstein if he believed in God. "I believe in Spinoza's God," he answered, "who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. — Jim Holt

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To begin with, if existence arose out of a need for goodness, then it must be essentially mental. In other words, existence must ultimately consist of mind, of consciousness. — Jim Holt

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To abandon the principle of simplicity would be to abandon all reasoning about the external world — Jim Holt

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Messages from the unseen that the great Alan Turing left behind at his death: Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition. — Jim Holt

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Suppose you turn your attention inward in search of this 'I'. You may encounter nothing more than an ever changing stream of consciousness, a flow of thoughts and feelings in which there is no real self to be discovered. — Jim Holt

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It has been said that the question, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' is so profound that it would occur only to a metaphysician, yet so simple that it would occur only to a child. — Jim Holt

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Having just enough life to enjoy being dead. — Jim Holt