existence

Objects that don’t exist don’t exist. If we were to imagine such a thing as an object that didn’t exist, it would be that thing that God hated. This is the strongest argument against the nonbeliever. If God didn’t exist, he would have to hate himself, and that is obviously nonsense.

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

You will remember when a bird crashed through the window and fell to the floor. You will remember, those of you who were there, how it jerked its wings before dying, and left a spot of blood on the floor after it was removed. But who among you was first to notice the negative bird it left in the window? Who first saw the shadow that the bird left behind, the shadow that drew blood from any finger that dared to trace it, the shadow that was better proof of the bird’s existence than the bird ever was?

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

Well, let me leave it at this: if God does exist, He would have a great deal be sad about. And if He doesn’t exist, then that too would make Him quite sad, I imagine. So to answer your question, God must be sad.

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

Art is that thing having to do only with itself – the product of a successful attempt to make a work of art. Unfortunately, there are no examples of art, nor good reasons to think that it will ever exist. (Everything that has been made has been made with a purpose, everything with an end that exists outside that thing, i.e., I want to sell this, or I want this to make me famous and loved, or I want this to make me whole, or worse, I want this to make others whole.) And yet we continue to write, paint, sculpt and compose. Is this foolish of us?

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

Love me, because love doesn’t exist, and I have tried everything that does.

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

I was a normal child. Which is to say, I was selfish and I was not entirely convinced of the existence of things that were not me, and I was certain, rock-solid, unshakeably certain, that I was the most important thing in creation. There was nothing that was more important to me than I was.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, “The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.” What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

If we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

Obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

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