Sunday, 15 February 2009

A thought for a Sunday - Richard Feynman

I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and in many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about a little, but if I can’t figure it out, then I go to something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.
Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988), from The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1999) edited by Jeffery Robbins. See also here.

1 comment:

Smorg said...

We need more people like Feynman around! It is indeed much better to learn to live and thrive without being able to claim absolute certainty on things than to fool oneself into believing that one knows something for sure when one really doesn't. The latter is more emotionally satisfying... but ultimately dishonest and it tends to disrupt the process of trying to know more.

Good post! :o)