The Dream is to Find an Open Channel

Through all the ages men have tried to fathom the meaning of life. They have realized that if some direction or meaning could be given to our actions, great human forces would be unleashed. So, very many answers must have been given to the question of the meaning of it all. But they have been of all different sorts, and the proponents of one answer have looked with horror at the actions of the believers in another. Horror, because from a disagreeing point of view all the great potentialities of the race were being channeled into a false and confining blind alley. In fact, it is from the history of the enormous monstrosities created by false belief that philosophers have realized the apparently infinite and wondrous capacities of human beings. The dream is to find the open channel.

What, then, is the meaning of it all? What can we say to dispel he mystery of existence?

If we take everything into accoutn, not only what the ancients knew, but all of what we know today that they didn't know, then I think that we must frankly admit that we do not know.

But, in admitting this, we have probably found the open channel.

This is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided men who made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, tossed out, more new ideas broght in; a trial and error system. This method was a result of the fact taht science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the 18th centruy. Event then itwas clear to socially minded people taht the openness of the possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.


Leaving the door open, understanding that we are perpetually figuring it all out, and this understanding motivated the founding fathers in formulating democracy.

Folksonomies: politics science scientific virtue democracy

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 The Value of Science from What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1988), The Value of Science from What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character, W.W. Norton and Company, Retrieved on 2010-11-13