Narrowly Quotes

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Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
5.4 The question of accumulation. If life is a wager, what form does it take? At the racetrack, an accumulator is a bet which rolls on profits from the success of one of the horse to engross the stake on the next one. 5.5 So a) To what extent might human relationships be expressed in a mathematical or logical formula? And b) If so, what signs might be placed between the integers?Plus and minus, self-evidently; sometimes multiplication, and yes, division. But these sings are limited. Thus an entirely failed relationship might be expressed in terms of both loss/minus and division/ reduction, showing a total of zero; whereas an entirely successful one can be represented by both addition and multiplication. But what of most relationships? Do they not require to be expressed in notations which are logically improbable and mathematically insoluble? 5.6 Thus how might you express an accumulation containing the integers b, b, a (to the first), a (to the second), s, v? B = s - v (/+) a (to the first) Or a (to the second) + v + a (to the first) x s = b 5.7 Or is that the wrong way to put the question and express the accumulation? Is the application of logic to the human condition in and of itself self-defeating? What becomes of a chain of argument when the links are made of different metals, each with a separate frangibility? 5.8 Or is "link" a false metaphor? 5.9 But allowing that is not, if a link breaks, wherein lies the responsibility for such breaking? On the links immediately on the other side, or on the whole chain? But what do you mean by "the whole chain"? How far do the limits of responsibility extend? 6.0 Or we might try to draw the responsibility more narrowly and apportion it more exactly. And not use equations and integers but instead express matters in the traditional narrative terminology. So, for instance, if... " - Adrian Finn

Julian Barnes
Science is getting knocked on all sides these days, not only from religious fundamentalists, but from all kinds of people who perceive science as arrogant, one-sided, and the source of the troubles that come with the technology it produces. It's true that individuL scientists can be so arrogant and narrowly focused, they're blind to any but their own truths, and that new discoveries bring new problems with them. Still, I don't know many people who would refuse a biopsy for a newly discovered lump because they think science needs to be taken down a peg or two. Religion gets knocked for the same kinds of reasons as science: for its arrogance, narowmindedness, and tendency to create more trouble than it's worth. Religion is also accused of concealing reality under a comforting blanket of measureless faith - the flip side, perhaps of the scientist for whom nothing can be real until she has measured it. My own sojourn into religion convinced me that good religion reveals rather than conceals. Religion is the soul in search of itself and its relationship to the cosmos. This journey requires looking at all of it: the joy, the sorrow, the beauty and the horror of life. We hope for the best. We want meaning and love to exist not only in ourselves, but in the very soul of the universe. At times this great hope might tempt us to pick and choose only the data that supports our desires. But in religion as in boat-building, the design must be tested in all conditions. When I say that I'm trying to pay attention, and that paying attention means being willing to look at all of it, I think I'm trying for the same moment of clarity that Graham experienced when the wind blew all over his theory. Looking at all of it is what good science is about. I believe that it's also what good religion is about.

Margaret D. McGee