Posts tagged ‘Carl Sagan’
May 18, 2014
Photo credit: Danel Solabarrieta
“Sentient beings, by virtue of their being sentient, have an interest in remaining alive; that is, they prefer, want, or desire to remain alive. We cannot justify treating any sentient non-human as our property, as a resource, as a thing that we can use and kill for our purposes.” – Gary L. Francione
Animal rights can be a touchy subject for many people because it hits too close to home—their stomachs and their lifestyle. Eating non-meat food, or using non-animal based products, challenges their beliefs.
Carl Sagan sums this up nicely in his quote about truth:
“You are a threat to my version of the truth, especially the truth about who I am and what my nature is. The thought that I may have dedicated my life to a lie, that I might have accepted a conventional wisdom that no longer, if it ever did, corresponds to the external reality, that is a very painful realization. I will tend to resist it to the last. I will go to almost any lengths to prevent myself from seeing that the world view that I have dedicated my life to is inadequate.”
Most people don’t like to see any animal abused or killed. Yet we turn a blind eye to suffering that is going on daily—animals bred and killed to satisfy our food, clothing and product desires. It’s not that we’re inherently cruel, it’s that we don’t really think about how our meat, leather and other merchandise comes from living, feeling creatures.
We’ve been taught that using animals is the “natural” and necessary way for us to survive. But we can make different choices. We created this system of animal exploitation and we can change it.
The Ghosts In Our Machine is an excellent documentary that puts a face on animal abuse. Please check it out.
“The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham
July 10, 2012
“It is very reasonable to want to understand something of our context in a broader universe, awesome and vast. It is also reasonable for us to want to understand something about ourselves. This two-pronged investigation into the nature of the world and the nature of ourselves, is to a very major degree, I believe, what the human enterprise is about.” – Carl Sagan
When I was five or six years old, I asked my parents “Why am I me?” I don’t remember what they told me, since no one really knows the answer—but I’m still asking myself that question.
My existence in the universe has been like coming into a movie that’s already started—knowing that I’ll be leaving before it’s over. I wasn’t there to see the beginning—and I won’t be here to see how it ends. So while I’m alive, I want to learn as much as I can about what’s going on and who I am.
Society sets us on a path: religion, education, civic duty, work, marriage, raising a family, retirement and death—not necessarily in that order.
But what’s the bigger picture? What’s all this suppose to really mean—if anything? I may never know for sure—but I’m starting to understand.
It’s the experience—learning and evolving—being true to yourself—even if it doesn’t make money. It’s helping fellow travelers along the way—it’s the journey.
T.S. Eliot sums it up nicely— “The end of our exploring will be to arrive at where we started, and to know the place for the first time.”
So enjoy the ride and try not to miss too much of the scenery.
“Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.”
– Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Humans Gone Wild
July 1, 2012
In my lifetime, the earth’s human population has grown from2.6 billion to over 7 billion people. The following quote from The Matrix, offers this perspective on our species:
“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you aren’t actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we… are the cure.” – Agent Smith
Carl Sagan talks about how it’s up to us to save our species and preserve the earth in this quote from Pale Blue Dot:
“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all the vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
If any other species on earth were reproducing at this rate, depleting the earth’s resources and destroying the environment, we humans, would do something about it…we are the cure.
“Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the Universe.”
– Albert Einstein
It’s getting crowded in here.
Return to Sender?
June 28, 2012
Truth can come to us in many ways if we’re open to new learning—but it can be hard to embrace when it differs with our current thinking.
This quote from Carl Sagan addresses the conflict between truth and beliefs—how fear and pain make people resistant to change:
“We kill each other, or threaten to kill each other, in part, I think, because we are afraid we might not ourselves know the truth, that someone else with a different doctrine might have a closer approximation to the truth.
Our history is in part a battle to the death of inadequate myths. If I can’t convince you, I must kill you. That will change your mind. You are a threat to my version of the truth, especially the truth about who I am and what my nature is.
The thought that I may have dedicated my life to a lie, that I might have accepted a conventional wisdom that no longer, if it ever did, corresponds to the external reality, that is a very painful realization.
I will tend to resist it to the last. I will go to almost any lengths to prevent myself from seeing that the world view that I have dedicated my life to is inadequate.”
The answers are out there—if we’re willing to accept the messages.
“Truth is universal. Perception of truth is not.” – Anonymous
Aren’t you going to open it?
Hello! Is Anybody Out There?
June 15, 2012
We are here→ Pale Blue Dot
This Carl Sagan video puts our place in the Universe into perspective. It inspires me. It reminds me about how awesome it is to be alive. It makes me think.
Socrates said, “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”
My blog is my voice to the “youniverse”—filled with things that make me think. It’s a place for me to share interesting images, quotes, thoughts and ideas about life. It’s a place to have a conversation.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.” – Carl Sagan
We’re all in this together.
Welcome to my blog!