„If I am going to be drowned — if I am going to be drowned — if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods, who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?“
— Stephen Crane, libro The Open Boat
The Open Boat (1894)
Origine: The Open Boat and Other Stories
„I do not know the answer to these questions, and I do not believe that anybody else does, but I think human life would be impoverished if they were forgotten, or if definite answers were accepted without adequate evidence. To keep alive the interest in such questions, and to scrutinize suggested answers, is one of the functions of philosophy.“
— Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
1940s, Philosophy for Laymen (1946)
Contesto: There are a number of purely theoretical questions, of perennial and passionate interest, which science is unable to answer, at any rate at present. Do we survive death in any sense, and if so, do we survive for a time or for ever? Can mind dominate matter, or does matter completely dominate mind, or has each, perhaps, a certain limited independence? Has the universe a purpose? Or is it driven by blind necessity? Or is it a mere chaos and jumble, in which the natural laws that we think we find are only a phantasy generated by our own love of order? If there is a cosmic scheme, has life more importance in it than astronomy would lead us to suppose, or is our emphasis upon life mere parochialism and self-importance? I do not know the answer to these questions, and I do not believe that anybody else does, but I think human life would be impoverished if they were forgotten, or if definite answers were accepted without adequate evidence. To keep alive the interest in such questions, and to scrutinize suggested answers, is one of the functions of philosophy.
— Mike Scott songwriter, musician 1958
"The Big Music"
This Is the Sea (1985)
Contesto: I have drowned
in the big sea
now I find I'm still alive
And I'm coming up forever
shadows all behind me
ecstacy to come
— Douglas Adams English writer and humorist 1952 - 2001
— Yogi Berra American baseball player, manager, coach 1925 - 2015
„… I would rather have questions that I can't answer than answers that I can't question. (variation of a remark by Richard Feynman)“
— Max Tegmark Swedish-American cosmologist 1967
(quote at 42:11 of 1:56:02)
„People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it.“
— Ingmar Bergman Swedish filmmaker 1918 - 2007
Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960).
Contesto: People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.
We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.
Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.
„For in tremendous extremities human souls are like drowning men; well enough they know they are in peril; well enough they know the causes of that peril;--nevertheless, the sea is the sea, and these drowning men do drown.“
— Herman Melville American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet 1818 - 1891
Origine: Pierre or the Ambiguities
„There were a significant number of questions I had asked myself and, as you know, when you really ask yourself the questions, you give better answers than if we merely read the conventional answers.“
— Albert Messiah French physicist 1921 - 2013
Il y avait un nombre important de questions que je m'étais posées et, comme vous le savez, lorsqu'on se pose vraiment les questions, on donne de meilleures réponses que si l'on se contente de lire les réponses convenues.
explaining how he came to write his textbook on quantum mechanics, in Descente au coeur de la matière, an interview edited by [Stéphane Deligeorges, Le monde quantique, Editions du Seuil, Sciences et Avenir, 1984, 2020089084, 111]
„I am not a genius, I am just curious. I ask many questions. and when the answer is simple, then God is answering.“
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
„I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question“
— George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
— P. L. Travers Australian-British novelist, actress and journalist 1899 - 1996
Quoted in "Hail, Mary!" in The Independent (19 September 2004) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20040919/ai_n12760667/print by Mark Bostridge
Contesto: For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don't look for an answer, because I don't think there is one. I'm very glad to be the bearer of a question.
— Gertrude Stein American art collector and experimental writer of novels, poetry and plays 1874 - 1946
Last words (27 July 1946) as told by Alice B. Toklas in What Is Remembered (1963)
— Roger Ebert American film critic, author, journalist, and TV presenter 1942 - 2013
Origine: Life Itself : A Memoir (2011), Ch. 54 : How I Believe In God
Contesto: Quantum theory is now discussing instantaneous connections between two entangled quantum objects such as electrons. This phenomenon has been observed in laboratory experiments and scientists believe they have proven it takes place. They’re not talking about faster than the speed of light. Speed has nothing to do with it. The entangled objects somehow communicate instantaneously at a distance. If that is true, distance has no meaning. Light-years have no meaning. Space has no meaning. In a sense, the entangled objects are not even communicating. They are the same thing. At the “quantum level” (and I don’t know what that means), everything may be actually or theoretically linked. All is one. Sun, moon, stars, rain, you, me, everything. All one. If this is so, then Buddhism must have been a quantum theory all along. No, I am not a Buddhist. I am not a believer, not an atheist, not an agnostic. I am more content with questions than answers.
— Woody Allen American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician 1935
„Acquiring carnal knowledge is like swimming in the sea … The sea's so beautiful to look at, so wonderful to swim in, but you must never bathe unless it's safe. People so often drown in the sea and some coasts are so very dangerous, … like the Coast of Gower.“
— Susan Howatch, libro The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune (1984), Part 1: Robert
„Love is the answer to a question I have forgotten, but I know I've been asked. And the answer has got to be love.“
— Regina Spektor American singer-songwriter and pianist 1980
"Reading Time With Pickle