Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review: The Meaning of it All by Richard Feynman

The Meaning Of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-ScientistThe Meaning Of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist by Richard P. Feynman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this short book about truth, science, religion, values, ethics, and the way of one who seeks out the truth in all nooks wherever it may be found. I have enjoyed Dr. Feynman's wit and irrepressible enthusiasm for understanding the world around himself--including people and society. He presents himself as a non-dogmatic agnostic with clear sympathies (he quotes atheists as well as Catholic Cardinals with whom he agrees on values), but emphasizes the importance of remaining open to surprise and new revelations that may change previously held paradigms. His is an enthusiasm for what really is, and for searching for ever finer sieves with which to filter his understanding and knowledge in order to catch the elusive truths of existence.

Some key points that I sympathized from this book is his emphasis that facts do not and can never produce values. In other words, Science and technical knowledge can never provide humanity with values or duties that are rightly the realm of religion, and metaphysics. This is important since the grand vision of many post-modern progressives is that an elite few in high position can drive society using scientific methods towards human flourishing.

All in all a very good read.

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