Thursday, September 25, 2008

Great Minds...

Via Scott Horton's luminous "No Comment" blog:
Social and international problems—wars, spiritual crisis, crimes and drug addiction, terrorism, fear of the future, fear of progress—have been summoned into existence through the course of a historical process, they flow from the real contradictions and difficulties of our indescribably complex modern life, first and foremost, from the fundamental conflict that governs our times: the conflict between totalitarianism and the forces of pluralistic, scientific and democratic social development which are firmly opposed to it. Scientific inquiry bears no responsibility for these problems–to the contrary, it is the essential tool for any objective analysis of our situation. I believe that problems of this sort will continue for some time to plague humankind on its path of development, challenging our capacities for reason, humanity, and altruism, as well as our wisdom. This is our greatest examination session, in which humanity must prove its right to exist.

–Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, Interview with La Stampa, Dec. 2, 1979 (S.H. transl.)
In my "Dichos" to the right side here, there's one in which I believe i both echo and condense Sakharov's point:
Humanity is a cosmic experiment, testing if Life can survive intelligence. The jury's still out.
He's far more eloquent, I the more parsimonious.

No comments: