It is unreasonable to expect science to produce a system of ethics-ethics are a kind of highway code for traffic among mankind-and the fact that in physics atoms which were yesterday assumed to be square are now assumed to be round is exploited with unjustified tendentiousness by all who are hungry for faith; so long as physics extends our dominion over nature, these changes ought to be a matter of complete indifference to you.
There are plenty of things that are unknown, but are assumed reasonably to exist, even in the most basic sciences. Maybe 90 percent of the mass-energy in the universe is called "dark," because nobody knows what it is.
It may, indeed, be assumed that a man who loses his temper while he is speaking is endeavouring to speak the truth such as he believes it to be, and again it may be assumed that a man who speaks constantly without losing his temper is not always entitled to the same implicit faith.
I don't want to be expected to fall in passively someone else's plans for me. That's what I don't want. I don't want it assumed that I simply don't have any personal goals or wishes of my own. Or any basic competence of my own. That's what I don't want!
When a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique. He is universal by virtue of the inseparability of his organism from the cosmos. He is unique in that he is just this organism and not any stereotype of role, class, or identity assumed for the convenience of social communication.
When some remote ancestor of ours invented the shovel, he became a giver: He could plant a tree. And when the axe was invented, he became a taker: He could chop it down. Whoever owns land has thus assumed, whether he knows it or not, the divine functions of creating and destroying plants.
By the 'mud-sill' theory it is assumed that labor and education are incompatible; and any practical combination of them impossible. According to that theory, a blind horse upon a tread-mill, is a perfect illustration of what a laborer should be -- all the better for being blind, that he could not tread out of place, or kick understandingly. According to that theory, the education of laborers, is not only useless, but pernicious, and dangerous. In fact, it is, in some sort, deemed a misfortune that laborers should have heads at all.
A sermon is a valuable thing now and so impressive when you do hear a good one - and there is a lot of failure in the attempt; it's a difficult form - is because it's so seldom true now that you hear people speak under circumstances where they assume they are obliged to speak seriously and in good faith, and the people who hear them are assumed to be listening seriously and in good faith.
I have compromised down the line. I've disliked it intensely in the old days when you were trying to talk race relations and they would not allow you to talk about the legitimacies of race relations. In the old days, you didn't talk about black, you talked about Eskimo or American Indian, and the American Indian was assumed not to be a problem area.
In the past we have always assumed that the external world around us has represented reality, however confusing or uncertain, and that the inner world of our minds, its dreams, hopes, ambitions, represented the realm of fantasy, and the imagination. These roles, it seems to me, have been reversed. The most prudent and effective method of dealing with the world around us is to assume that it is a complete fiction - conversely, the one small node of reality left to us is inside of our own heads.