1. Joined
    09 Feb '07
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    1194
    25 Mar '07 20:33
    One of my favourite pieces of writing.

    If ever I am asked about my atheism I recall this passage.

    The picture it refers to is here - [img]http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/spaceimages_1940_14944003[/img]

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you look carefully at the NASA photo, you will see a little white dot. This minute speck is Earth seen from the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it exits the solar system, nearly 4 billion miles away. The photo was taken back in 1990.


    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

    – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
  2. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    25 Mar '07 20:52
    Originally posted by Tyto
    One of my favourite pieces of writing.

    If ever I am asked about my atheism I recall this passage.

    The picture it refers to is here - [img]http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/spaceimages_1940_14944003[/img]

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you look carefully at the NASA photo, you will see a little white do ...[text shortened]... cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

    – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
    I bet my life he's singing a different tune right now.
  3. Joined
    09 Feb '07
    Moves
    1194
    25 Mar '07 21:01
    He won't be, because sadly he's dead.

    I find your tone to be a little superior, sounds like you're gloating over his death.

    Does it help you sleep at night picturing his eternal damnation?

    A beautiful piece of prose, inspirational with a message that is closer to the christian message of love than yours.

    How ironic.
  4. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    25 Mar '07 21:35
    Originally posted by Tyto
    He won't be, because sadly he's dead.

    I find your tone to be a little superior, sounds like you're gloating over his death.

    Does it help you sleep at night picturing his eternal damnation?

    A beautiful piece of prose, inspirational with a message that is closer to the christian message of love than yours.

    How ironic.
    Nonsense. But it is a shame that you think life is just temporal.
  5. Joined
    06 Jul '06
    Moves
    2926
    25 Mar '07 21:38
    Originally posted by Tyto
    He won't be, because sadly he's dead.

    I find your tone to be a little superior, sounds like you're gloating over his death.

    Does it help you sleep at night picturing his eternal damnation?

    A beautiful piece of prose, inspirational with a message that is closer to the christian message of love than yours.

    How ironic.
    whoever rec'd this post is pretty dumb. josephw is not happy when he imagines people in hell, that would be sick.
  6. Joined
    09 Feb '07
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    1194
    25 Mar '07 21:40
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    whoever rec'd this post is pretty dumb. josephw is not happy when he imagines people in hell, that would be sick.
    I couldn't agree more (about the sick part, I don't make any claims of my own intelligence).
  7. Standard memberscottishinnz
    Kichigai!
    Osaka
    Joined
    27 Apr '05
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    8592
    25 Mar '07 22:15
    Originally posted by josephw
    I bet my life he's singing a different tune right now.
    I'll come and collect, in that case. Where do you live? And do you have any preference in the way that I kill you?
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