„Science is incapable of supplying answers to ultimate questions about why things exist and what their purpose is.“
„There are answers that science isn’t able to provide about the natural world—the questions about why instead of the questions about how. I’m interested in the whys. I find many of those answers in the spiritual realm. That in no way compromises my ability to think rigorously as a scientist.“
— Francis S. Collins Geneticist; Director of the National Institutes of Health 1950
Time magazine http://www.numenware.com/article/547
„The question, "What is the purpose thereof?" cannot be asked about anything which is not the product of an agent; therefore we cannot ask what is the purpose of the existence of God.“
— Maimónides rabbi, physician, philosopher 1135 - 1204
„Why then are the arts and sciences important? I suppose with the sciences we could say that the answer is obvious: we have radium, penicillin, television and recorded sound, motor-cars and aircraft, air-conditioning and central heating. But these achievements have never been the primary intention of science; they are a sort of by-product, the things that emerge only when the scientist has performed his main task. That task is simply stated: to be curious, to keep on asking the question 'Why?' and not to be satisfied till an answer has been found. The scientist is curious about the universe: he wants to know why water boils at one temperature and freezes at another; why cheese is different from chalk; why one person behaves differently from another. Not only 'Why?' but ‘What?' What is salt made of? What are the stars? What is the constitution of all matter? The answers to these questions do not necessarily malke our lives any easier. The answer to one question—'Can the atom be split?' - has made our lives somewhat harder. But the questions have to be asked. It is man's job to be curious; it is man's job to try to find out the truth about the world about us, to answer the big question 'What is the world really like?“
— Anthony Burgess English writer 1917 - 1993
„Science is not religion. We're not going to be able to answer the "why" questions. But when you put together all of what we know about the universe, it fits together amazingly well.“
— Lisa Randall American theoretical physicist and an expert on particle physics and cosmology 1962
„The only way to give finality to the world is to give it consciousness. For where there is no consciousness there is no finality, finality presupposing a purpose. And... faith in God is based simply upon the vital need of giving finality to existence, of making it answer to a purpose. We need God, not in order to understand the why, but in order to feel and sustain the ultimate wherefore, to give a meaning to the Universe.“
— Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936
„Now this structure of hope (among other things) is also what distinguishes philosophy from the special sciences. There is a relationship with the object that is different in principle in the two cases. The question of the special sciences is in principle ultimately answerable, or, at least, it is not un-answerable. It can be said, in a final way (or some day, one will be able to say in a final way) what is the cause, say, of this particular infectious disease. It is in principle possible that one day someone will say, "It is now scientifically proven that such and such is the case, and no otherwise." But […] a philosophical question can never be finally, conclusively answered. […] The object of philosophy is given to the philosopher on the basis of a hope. This is where Dilthey's words make sense: "The demands on the philosophizing person cannot be satisfied. A physicist is an agreeable entity, useful for himself and others; a philosopher, like the saint, only exists as an ideal." It is in the nature of the special sciences to emerge from a state of wonder to the extent that they reach "results." But the philosopher does not emerge from wonder.
Here is at once the limit and the measure of science, as well as the great value, and great doubtfulness, of philosophy. Certainly, in itself it is a "greater" thing to dwell "under the stars." But man is not made to live "out there" permanently! Certainly, it is a more valuable question, as such, to ask about the whole world and the ultimate nature of things. But the answer is not as easily forthcoming as for the special sciences!“
— Josef Pieper German philosopher 1904 - 1997
pp. 109–111 The Dilthey quote is from Briefwechsel zwischen Wilhelm Dilthey und dem Grafen Paul Yorck v. Wartenberg, 1877–1897 (Hall/Salle, 1923), p. 39.
„Ghostwritten’s secret agenda is to offer up eight different answers to the question, "Why do things happen?" so it has the right to monkey about with time and history. number9dreams’s secret agenda is to offer eight different answers to the question, "In what space does the mind operate?"“
— David Mitchell English novelist 1969
Interview in Stop Smiling magazine (29 June 2007) http://www.stopsmilingonline.com/story_detail.php?id=841
„How does the philosophical question differ from the non-philosophical question? To philosophize means, we said, to direct one's view toward the totality of the world. So is that a philosophical question (and that alone) which has for its explicit and formal theme the sum-total of all existing things? No! What is peculiar and distinctive about a philosophical question is that it cannot be posed, considered, or answered (so far at least as an answer is possible) without "God and the world" also coming into consideration, that is, the whole of what exists.“
— Josef Pieper German philosopher 1904 - 1997
p. 95 Since "the answers of the special sciences" do not reach "the horizon of total reality", they are given "without having to speak at the same time of 'God and the world.'" (p. 96)
„The nice thing about political pundits is that, when they answer a question, one no longer understands what they were asked.“
— Indro Montanelli Italian journalist 1909 - 2001
Controcorrente, 1974 – 1986.
„Science attempts to analyze how things and people and animals behave; it has no concern whether this behavior is good or bad, is purposeful or not. But religion is precisely the quest for such answers: whether an act is right or wrong, good or bad, and why.“
— Warren Weaver American mathematician 1894 - 1978
— Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980
„For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in. The picture will, of course, suggest that some questions are likely to find answers in it. For instance, Owens's pictures of pantries and refrigerators clearly suggest that they will answer questions about what kinds of food the inhabitants of the houses store and presumably eat, while other pictures in Suburbia suggest that they will answer other questions about the housekeeping arrangements of these people.“
— Howard S. Becker American sociologist 1928
Howard Becker (1974). "Art as Collective Action." American Sociological Review 39:767-76.