Isaac Asimov is a writer who never feared to express his views on politics, religion, governments, wars, and science. The quotes in his novels, novelettes, and novellas, showed the world his ideologies and thoughts.
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
The quote above shows the disconnection between science and society. Isaac Asimov makes this quote to express his mind on how society alienates itself from science. In his opinion, knowledge keeps increasing, and science keeps advancing rapidly. However, though science keeps growing, humanity keeps moving around in circles because the knowledge from science keeps getting used for destruction. For humankind to survive and become an interplanetary species, it needs to solve the crises of societal stagnation as a disconnection between wisdom and knowledge would only lead to more destruction.
Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’
The quote above explains a flaw that exists in human society. Isaac Asimov explained concepts of politics in his novels. He used this quote to explain anti-intellectualism, the lack of trust in intellect, education, and science; this concept explains the world today where people show disdain for the collective knowledge and evidence provided by scientists and intellectuals regarding issues like global warming.
Education and Knowledge
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.
The quote above stresses that the purest form of gaining knowledge is self-education. According to Isaac, self-education gets fuelled by the desire to gain unbiased and undiluted knowledge.
If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
Isaac believed that problems were something that could sometimes get created from the introduction of new knowledge; this is evident in science. He acknowledges that when knowledge forms a problem, the only solution would be to seek out another knowledge that solves that problem.
Creationists make it sound as though a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.
The quote above got made by Isaac to show disdain for those who intentionally ignore the evidential knowledge of science and scientist. He describes how some people invalidate scientific theories and view them as junk when they got formed by the scientific method.
Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.
Isaac Asimov used the quote above to explain one of his thoughts on intelligence and evolution. He stressed that intelligence might have been an accident and not a gift. He made this statement because he believed that many humans bask in anti-intellectualism though they claim to be intelligent.
I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow, I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.
The quote above is from a speech by Isaac Asimov. In the speech, he admitted that he was an atheist because he lacked the personal conviction that God exists. However, he also points to his struggle of acknowledging his belief as he felt that atheism was incomplete due to the vastness and the minute knowledge humans have about the universe.
I prefer rationalism to atheism. The question of God and other objects-of-faith are outside reason and play no part in rationalism, thus you don’t have to waste your time in either attacking or defending.
Isaac found himself wanting to be more rational than atheistic. His reason for wanting to be more rational was that he saw atheism as a product of religion and the belief in a God. He desired to remove all thought and reasoning of a God and instead think from a scientific and evidential perspective.
They won’t listen. Do you know why? Because they have certain fixed notions about the past. Any change would be blasphemy in their eyes, even if it were the truth. They don’t want the truth; they want their traditions.
The quote above got made in one of Isaac’s novels, and it talks about how stagnancy affects people’s minds. Holding on to the past is an issue that affects society because it leads to stagnancy. In this quote, Isaac explains how stagnancy affects the mind by making it see change as an evil construct.
In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
Even when we lose in life, we continue living and fighting for the future. The quote explains that life does not care about what happens to anyone; this is because it keeps moving and never stops.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.
The quote above jokingly makes fun of how life is hard. Getting born is pleasant, dying is a peaceful closure, but living is where the action happens.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
The way we view the world is the way we understand it. The quote above explains that perception is the window to reasoning and that to prevent ignorance, one should be willing to get enlightened and be open to new knowledge and change or get cut off from intelligence.
What are some of Isaac Asimov’s quotes on religion?
“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”
Was Isaac Asimov an atheist?
Yes, Isaac Asimov was an atheist. He critiqued the Bible and religion. From his perspective, religion was a tool used to control people to do anything. He expressed his views on religion in his novel, ‘Foundation.’
What was Isaac Asimov’s view on politics?
Isaac Asimov criticized the government for promoting anti-intellectualism in society. He made a quote to express his point:
“The government doesn’t want any system of transmitting information to remain unbroken unless it’s under its own control.”
Did Isaac Asimov make a quote on extraterrestrial life?
Yes, which follows as “Our own civilization has a dubious future, and if we can express the reason in brief it is that we find it difficult (perhaps impossible) to cooperate in solving our problems. We are too contentious a species and apparently find our local quarrels to be more important than our overall survival.”