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A quote from Hoyle, 1951

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Fred Hoyle, the creator of steady-state cosmology, wrote something for Harper's about his agnosticism, back in 1951.

The magazine has reprinted part of it in the January 2016 issue as one of their continuing "From the Archives" series.

"[I]t seems to me that religion is but a desperate attempt to find an escape from the truly dreadful situation in which we find ourselves. Here we are in this wholly fantastic Universe with scarcely a clue as to whether our existence has any real significance. No wonder then that many people feel the need for some belief that gives them a sense of security, and no wonder that they become very angry with people like me who say that this security is illusory."

Comments

  1. Hoyle errs in treating "significance" as a fact rather than the feeling that it is. The same situation (such as playing a role in a universe created by a supreme being) might feel significant for some but not for others. And some of us feel that our lives are significant even in a random and meaningless universe. But I suppose that such significance is not "real significance" in the sense Hoyle means.

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