Frases de Ursula Goodenough

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Ursula Goodenough

Data de nascimento: 16. Março 1943

Ursula W. Goodenough is a Professor of Biology Emerita Washington University in St. Louis where she engaged in research on eukaryotic algae. She authored the best-selling book The Sacred Depths of Nature, and has presented the paradigm of Religious Naturalism and the Epic of Evolution in numerous venues around the world. She contributed to the NPR blog, 13.7: Cosmos & Culture, from 2009 to 2011. She currently serves as president of the Religious Naturalist Association.

Citações Ursula Goodenough

„While I agree… that indifference is indeed our most dangerous capacity, I actually do believe that it's on the wane.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

"Indifference: Far And Away The Most Dangerous Human Capacity", 13.7: Cosmos & Culture (28 April 2011)
Contexto: While I agree… that indifference is indeed our most dangerous capacity, I actually do believe that it's on the wane.
When I scroll back to my 1950's Connecticut girlhood and recall how clueless everyone was about just about everything, how we mindlessly parroted concepts like "Better Dead Than Red" and the "Domino Theory," how my friends were all lily-white and Koreans were gooks and I would have had no idea where to find Nigeria on a map – when I go back there and then think about Adam's students and my students and my kids and what they've come to understand and care about, it gets a whole lot better.

„I have come to understand that the self, my self, is inherently sacred. By virtue of its own improbability, its own miracle, its own emergence“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 60
Contexto: I have come to understand that the self, my self, is inherently sacred. By virtue of its own improbability, its own miracle, its own emergence … And so I lift up my head, and I bear my own witness, with affection and tenderness and respect. And in so doing, I sanctify myself with my own grace.

„One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Science and Spirit interview (2004)
Contexto: We all eat or are eaten. That's the way life works, it's a greater rhythm. And that's why science and the understandings it has uncovered can be a source of joy.
This all relates to assent, a very important Judeo-Christian concept. "Thy will be done" is a God-kind of assent. "God works in mysterious ways," and you're supposed to give assent even if you don't like it. As a religious naturalist, I think of assent differently. Assent is saying, "Okay, for whatever reason, this is the way life works. It's an acceptance of what is. After that fundamental acceptance, I can live my life to minimize suffering and promote as much as good as I can, and try through whatever work I do to help others." We can't get around death, but we can get around poverty. We can try to avoid women being brutalized. We can curb environmental degradation.
One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished.

„I call myself a non-theist as opposed to an atheist because as I see an atheist as having a belief about God, i.e. that there isn't one.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Meaning of Life interview (2008)
Contexto: Well, God answers of course come in every flavor imaginable these days so God can be process-God can be mind-God … so there are all of these ways that God is now configured as well as the ones that come to us from traditional religions where God has much more power — then there's the whole personal God part which I do talk about in there at some point. So I don't think that even that there is a God framework out there at this point that I am either accepting or rejecting. My response is that I call myself a non-theist as opposed to an atheist because as I see an atheist as having a belief about God, i. e. that there isn't one. And my I've never been actually very interested in the question I guess is one way to put it. I see it as a question That can be summarized in the aphorism "Why is there anything at all rather than nothing." And science doesn't have any answer to That so what I articulated in the book and continued to do is what I call a covenant with mystery where mystery is itself a … noun but I am using it as literally in absence of category. It's not like I have a mystery then I put attributions onto it it just … I don't know the answers.

„The good stuff of most religions turns out to be a golden rule that defines a morality which allows humans to flourish in community.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Science and Spirit interview (2004)
Contexto: The good stuff of most religions turns out to be a golden rule that defines a morality which allows humans to flourish in community. We come from a whole lineage of creatures who are robustly social and have communities that work, so you look at how their flourishing communities are set up. Are there parallels between how life works in a structured, non-human primate group, in a human community, and in the moral guidelines religion offers? It's not all that different as far as I can tell-there is hierarchy, strategic reciprocity, nurture and empathy.

„We do have something of a story here, a true story, that we can work with religiously should we elect to do so.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

On the Epic of Evolution in "Forum : Epic, Story, Narrative : A Cosmogen Dialogue" in Epic of Evolution Quarterly (Fall 1998) http://www.thegreatstory.org/EpicStoryNarrative.pdf, p. 12
Contexto: We do have something of a story here, a true story, that we can work with religiously should we elect to do so. … There are clearly all sorts of flavors right now, just as there were when … Christianity was being put together, which took centuries to get the core in place and has been under revision ever since. Let's keep talking!

„I don't have any problem accessing experiences of unity. I feel completely part of the universe and all that's going on.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Science and Spirit interview (2004)
Contexto: I don't have any problem accessing experiences of unity. I feel completely part of the universe and all that's going on. When I try to describe it, people say I'm obviously a mystic. It doesn't seem mystical to me in a theistic sense. It's not a state that engenders in me any sense that God is watching over me and paying attention to what I'm doing. It's much more what I understand the Eastern traditions to be talking about — a belonging to the universe, an overflow of astonishment and wonder and peace and tranquility.

„Patterns of gene expression are to organisms as melodies and harmonies are to sonatas.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 59
Contexto: Patterns of gene expression are to organisms as melodies and harmonies are to sonatas. It's all about which sets of proteins appear in a cell at the same time (the chords) and which sets come before or after other sets (the themes) and at what rate they appear (the tempos) and how they modulate one another (the developments and transitions). When these patterns go awry we may see malignancy. When they change by mutation we can get new kinds of organisms. When they work, we get a creature.

„Any global tradition needs to begin with a shared worldview — a culture-independent, globally accepted consensus as to how things are.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. xvi
Contexto: Any global tradition needs to begin with a shared worldview — a culture-independent, globally accepted consensus as to how things are. From my perspective, this part is easy. How things are is, well, how things are; our scientific account of Nature, an account that can be called the Epic of Evolution… This is the story, the one story, that has the potential to unite us, because it happens to be true.
If religious emotions can be elicited by natural reality — and I believe that they can — then the story of Nature has the potential to serve as the cosmos for the global ethos that we need to articulate. I will not presume to suggest what this ethos might look like. Its articulation must be a global project. But I am convinced that the project can be undertaken only if we all experience a solemn gratitude that we exist at all, share a reverence for how life works, and acknowledge a deep and complex imperative that life continue.

„After that fundamental acceptance, I can live my life to minimize suffering and promote as much as good as I can, and try through whatever work I do to help others.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Science and Spirit interview (2004)
Contexto: We all eat or are eaten. That's the way life works, it's a greater rhythm. And that's why science and the understandings it has uncovered can be a source of joy.
This all relates to assent, a very important Judeo-Christian concept. "Thy will be done" is a God-kind of assent. "God works in mysterious ways," and you're supposed to give assent even if you don't like it. As a religious naturalist, I think of assent differently. Assent is saying, "Okay, for whatever reason, this is the way life works. It's an acceptance of what is. After that fundamental acceptance, I can live my life to minimize suffering and promote as much as good as I can, and try through whatever work I do to help others." We can't get around death, but we can get around poverty. We can try to avoid women being brutalized. We can curb environmental degradation.
One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished.

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„Without a hook, the new information falls on the floor.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

p xxi
The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998)
Contexto: Human memory, they say, is like a coat closet: The most enduring outcome of a formal education is that it creates rows of coat hooks so that later on, when you come upon a new piece of information, you have a hook to hang it on. Without a hook, the new information falls on the floor.

„The impetus to figure out what's going on is still very much programmed into our highly complex brains.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Science and Spirit interview (2004)
Contexto: All life has a kind of seamlessness. All creatures have to be aware of their environment, and there has been an evolution of the capacities needed for detecting increasingly complex stimuli. I have no problem calling this "meaning," since all creatures pick out meaningful facets of their environment. For the first creatures, these facets were physical and mediated by receptor proteins. Sperm and eggs find each other by protein shapes; photosynthetic bacteria find light by protein shapes. The impetus to figure out what's going on is still very much programmed into our highly complex brains.

„A religious naturalist is a naturalist who has adopted the epic as a core narrative and goes on to explore its religious potential, developing interpretive, spiritual and moral/ethical responses to the story.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

"Exploring The Religious Naturalist Option", 13.7: Cosmos & Culture (23 November 2014) http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2014/11/23/366104014/exploring-the-religious-naturalist-option
Contexto: Scientific inquiry has provisioned us with a mind-boggling new core narrative — the epic of evolution, the epic of creation, the universe story, big history, everybody's story — where humans and human cultures are understood to be emergent from and, hence, a part of nature.
Naturalists adopt this account as their core narrative, with full recognition that these understandings will certainly deepen and may shift with further scientific inquiry. They adopt the story currently on offer and do not simply select features of the story that support preferred theories of nature. … A religious naturalist is a naturalist who has adopted the epic as a core narrative and goes on to explore its religious potential, developing interpretive, spiritual and moral/ethical responses to the story.
Importantly, these responses are not front-loaded into the story as they are in the traditions. Therefore, the religious naturalist engages in a process, both individually and in the company of fellow explorers, to discover and experience them. These explorations are informed and guided by the mindful understandings inherent in our human traditions, including art, literature, philosophy and the religions of the world.

„Humans need stories — grand compelling stories — that help to orient us in our lives in the cosmos. The Epic of Evolution is such a story, beautifully suited to anchor our search for planetary consensus, telling us of our nature, our place, our context.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 174
Contexto: Humans need stories — grand compelling stories — that help to orient us in our lives in the cosmos. The Epic of Evolution is such a story, beautifully suited to anchor our search for planetary consensus, telling us of our nature, our place, our context. Moreover, responses to this story — what we are calling religious naturalism — can yield deep and abiding spiritual experiences. And then, after that, we need other stories as well, human-centered stories, a mythos that embodies our ideals and our passions. This mythos comes to us, often in experiences called revelation, from the sages and the artists of past and present times.

„The role of religion is to integrate the Cosmology and the Morality, to render the cosmological narrative so rich and compelling that it elicits our allegiance and our commitment to its emergent moral understandings.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. xiv
Contexto: The role of religion is to integrate the Cosmology and the Morality, to render the cosmological narrative so rich and compelling that it elicits our allegiance and our commitment to its emergent moral understandings. As each culture evolves, a unique Cosmos and Ethos appear in its co-evolving religion. For billions of us, back to the first humans, the stories, ceremonies, and art associated with our religions-of-origin are central to our matrix.
I stand in awe of these religions. I am deeply enmeshed in one of them myself. I have no need to take on the contradictions or immiscibilities between them, any more that I would quarrel with the fact that Scottish bagpipes coexist with Japanese tea ceremonies.

„Sex without death gets you single-celled algae and fungi; sex with a mortal soma gets you the rest of the eukaryotic creatures.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 151
Contexto: Sex without death gets you single-celled algae and fungi; sex with a mortal soma gets you the rest of the eukaryotic creatures. Death is the price paid to have trees, and clams and birds and grasshoppers, and death is the price paid to have human consciousness, to be aware of all that shimmering awareness and all that love.

„The biochemistry and biophysics are the notes required for life; they conspire, collectively, to generate the real unit of life, the organism.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 49
Contexto: The biochemistry and biophysics are the notes required for life; they conspire, collectively, to generate the real unit of life, the organism. The intermediate level, the chords and tempos, has to do with how the biochemistry and biophysics are organized, arranged, played out in space and time to produce a creature who grows and divides and is.

„To take the universe on — to ask Why Are Things As They Are? — is to generate the foundation for everything else.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 167
Contexto: We are, each one of us, ordained to live out our lives in the context of ultimate questions, such as:
Why is there anything at all, rather than nothing?
Where did the laws of physics come from?
Why does the universe seem so strange?
My response to such questions has been to articulate a covenant with Mystery. Others, of course, prefer to respond with answers, answers that often include a concept of god. These answers are by definition beliefs since they can neither be proven nor refuted. They may be gleaned from existing faith traditions or from personal search. God may be apprehended as a remote Author without present-day agency, or as an interested Presence with whom one can form a relationship, or as pantheistic — Inherent in All Things.
The opportunity to develop personal beliefs in response to questions of ultimacy, including the active decision to hold no Beliefs at all, is central to the human experience. The important part, I believe, is that the questions be openly encountered. To take the universe on — to ask Why Are Things As They Are? — is to generate the foundation for everything else.

„As the forbears of our children we are called to transmit to them a joyous and sustainable vision of their future — meaning that we are each called to develop such a vision.“

—  Ursula Goodenough, livro The Sacred Depths of Nature

Fonte: The Sacred Depths of Nature (1998), p. 129
Contexto: We nurture our children selflessly. But we also recognize them as our most tangible sources of renewal — for a child, the world is always new. Renewal has been a religious theme throughout the ages … All of us see in children — our own and all children — the hope and promise of what we humans can become. As the forbears of our children we are called to transmit to them a joyous and sustainable vision of their future — meaning that we are each called to develop such a vision.

„The big bang is obviously one form of beginning, but the big bang in itself is unimaginable.“

—  Ursula Goodenough

Science and Spirit interview (2004)
Contexto: The big bang is obviously one form of beginning, but the big bang in itself is unimaginable. It's one thing to think about God making a flower or infusing the planet with love, but to imagine what might be behind the big bang is so removed from real life that it actually loses importance for me. There's so much else to think about that's here and now. I like the Buddhist concept of beginning-less-ness, that the universe has always been going on.

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