When I was born, humanity was 95 per cent illiterate. Since I've been born, the population has doubled and that total population is now 65 per cent literate. That's a gain of 130-fold of the literacy. When humanity is primarily illiterate, it needs leaders to understand and get the information and deal with it. When we are at the point where the majority of humans them-selves are literate, able to get the information, we're in an entirely new relationship to Universe. We are at the point where the integrity of the individual counts and not what the political leadership or the religious leadership says to do.
Eighty-five percent of recorded species live in the terrestrial realm, and the majority of these, some 850,000, are arthropods (that is, insects, spiders, and crustaceans). Most of the arthropod species are insects, and almost half of these are beetles, a fact that is said to have inspired a famous epigram from the British biologist J.B.S. Haldane. On being asked, one day, by some clerical gentlemen what his study of the natural world had revealed to him about God. Haldane is said to have replied that it indicated that He had an inordinate fondness of beetles.
We're going to do what the majority of people really like even if they aren't going to vote for a third party, which is to establish a viable third party to keep those two parties (Democrats and Republicans) honest in the future. It is that watchdog function that is so critical.
There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.
In our time all it takes for evil to flourish is for a few good men to be a little wrong and have a great deal of power, and for the vast majority of their fellow citizens to remain indifferent.
In many religious cults around the world, ancestors are worshipped. And well they may be, for ancestors, not gods, hold the key to understanding why living things are the way that they are. Of all organisms born, the majority die before they come of age. Of the minority that become parents, an even smaller minority will have descendants alive 1,000 years hence.
It is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions. Not the religion that has the best evidence in its favor, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained glass, the best music: when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity.
The majority of children born into the world tend to inherit the beliefs of their parents, and that to me is one of the most regrettable facts of them all.
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?
We've reached a truly remarkable situation: a grotesque mismatch between the American intelligencia and the American electorate. A philosophical opinion about the nature of the universe which is held by the vast majority of top American scientists, and probably the majority of the intelligencia generally, is so abhorrent to the American electorate that no candidate for popular election dare affirm it in public. If I'm right, this means that high office in the greatest country in the world is barred to the very people best qualified to hold it: the intelligencia, unless they are prepared to lie about their beliefs. To put it bluntly American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest.
It is a great adventure to contemplate the universe, beyond man, to contemplate what it would be like without man, as it was in a great part of its long history and as it is in a great majority of places. When this objective view is finally attained, and the mystery and majesty of matter are fully appreciated, to then turn the objective eye back on man viewed as matter, to view life as part of this universal mystery of greatest depth, is to sense an experience which is very rare, and very exciting. It usually ends in laughter and delight in the futility of trying to understand what this atom in the universe is, this thing
Tonight-to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans-I ask for your support (On his Vietnam War policy).
Comparatively few people know what a million dollars actually is. To the majority it is a gaseous concept, swelling or decreasing as the occasion suggests. In the minds of politicians, perhaps more than anywhere, the notion of a million dollars has this accordion-like ability to expand or contract; if they are disposing of it, the million is a pleasing sum, reflecting warmly upon themselves; if somebody else wants it, it becomes a figure of inordinate size, not to be compassed by the rational mind.
I refuse simply to toe the party line when it comes to Supreme Court justices, and I make up my mind after careful contemplation. ... I am a registered Democrat -- everyone knows that. But when it comes to judges, I hail from a conservative state, and like a majority of my constituents, I prefer conservative judges. I've been saying that for years and years. That is, [I prefer] judges who do not try to make the law.
I refuse simply to toe the party line when it comes to Supreme Court justices. I hail from a conservative state. And, like a majority of my constituents, I prefer conservative judges.
We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men. But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends.
Strange as my circumstances were, the terms of this debate
are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and
alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; and it
fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my
fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the
strength to keep to it.
The way liberals are interpreting the First Amendment today is that it prevents anyone who is religious from being in government. They say that violates the prohibition against church and state.
We are trapped in this spiral of self-dependence and lack of trust. Real progress will never be made until we reduce this level of fear. As a historian, I tell you it will take decades--maybe even a century--before we wean Americans off their guns. And until we reduce the level of fear and of violent crime, Americans would sooner die than give up their guns
When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.