Steven Pinker - Life Quotes
6 Sourced Quotes
Stripped to its essentials, every decision in life amounts to choosing which lottery ticket to buy.... Most organisms don't buy lottery tickets, but they all choose between gambles every time their bodies can move in more than one way. They should be willing to 'pay' for information—-in tissue, energy, and time—-if the cost is lower than the expected payoff in food, safety, mating opportunities, and other resources, all ultimately valuated in the expected number of surviving offspring. In multicellular animals the information is gathered and translated into profitable decisions by the nervous system.
The doctrine of the sacredness of the soul sounds vaguely uplifting, but in fact is highly malignant. It discounts life on earth as just a temporary phase that people pass through, indeed, an infinitesimal fraction of their existence…the gradual replacement of lives for souls as the locus of moral value was helped along by the ascendency of skepticism and reason