The things to do are: the things that need doing: that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done—that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or Try making experiments of anything j^
Try making experiments of anything you conceive and are intensely inter¬ ested in. Don't be disappointed if something doesn't work. That is what you nations of things. Some combinations have such logic and integrity that they can work coherently despite non-working elements embracpd hv tu^it- cvetem can work coherently despite non-working elements embraced by their system.
Whenever you come to a word with which you are not familiar, find it in the dictionary and write a sentence which uses that new word. Words are tools—and once you have learned how to use a tool you will never forget it. Just looking for the meaning of the word is not enough. If your vocabulary is comprehensive, you can comprehend both fine and large patterns of experience.
You have what is most important in life—initiative.
The expression of empathy in humans requires that individuals have the proper experiences growing up. If children never witness adults behaving with respect tow)ward others, they are unlikely to learn how to do so themselves. Empathy, like most human traits. arises through a combination of our biological potential and our environmental influences. For that reason, groups of people can show wide variation in their emphatic style, and the expression of it within any single group can change significantly over time.
With some exceptions, Western religions have not emphasized empathy. They are prescriptive. They impose codes of behavior based on injunctions from supreme authority, not based on the give-and-take of human interactions. Western religions define proper behavior by analogizing human nature with the behavior of mythological figures who have supernatural powers. For example, people are supposed to behave like the saints or Jesus if they want to be admired members of a Christian community. Codes of conduct, therefore, emerge from the supernatural realm and are not to be questioned by mere mortals.
Science, in contrast, is based solidly on empathy. It posits a shared experience of the world, because, otherwise, how could we agree on explanations for, and verification of, natural phenomena? More deeply, it finds and celebrates in humans a capacity to learn about the world and share our experiences through reason, logic, language, music, and art.
The capacity for empathy enables us to organize our societies in beneficial ways. Because we can see at least some aspects of ourselves in one another, we can derive ways of acting that are good for us and for society as a whole. But in order for this to occur, we have to be open to accepting other people's experiences as equally valid to our own. This is simply impossible if prescriptive codes are too strictly enforced, particularly if those codes are underlain by the unverifiable "truths" of the supernatural realm. Empathy is the best basis for human ethics that we have. It provides a solid foundation for strong personal relationships and a productive society.
Condorcet,proscribed by a sanguinary faction, formed the idea of addressing to his fellow-citizens a summary of his principles, and of his conduct in public affairs. He set down a few lines in execution of this project: but when he recollected, as he was obliged to do, thirty years of labour directed to the public service, and the multitude of fugitive pieces in which, since the revolution, he had uniformly attacked every institution inimical to liberty, he rejected the idea of a useless justification. Free as he was from the dominion of the passions, he could not consent to stain the purity of his mind by recollecting his persecutors; perpetually and sublimely inattentive to himself, he determined to consecrate the short space that remained between him and death to a work of general and permanent utility. That work is the performance now given to the world. It has relation to a number of others, in which the rights of men had previously been discussed and established; in which superstition had received its last and fatal blow; in which the methods of the mathematical sciences, applied to new objects, have opened new avenues to the moral and political sciences; in which the genuine principles of social happiness have received a developement, and a kind of demonstration, unknown before; lastly, in which we every where perceive marks of that profound morality, which banishes even the very frailties of self-love—of those pure and incorruptible virtues within the influence of which it is impossible to live without feeling a religious veneration.
May this deplorable instance of the most extraordinary talents lost to his country—to the cause of liberty—to the progress of science, and its beneficial application to the wants of civilized man, excite a bitterness of regret that shall prove advantageous to the public welfare! May this death, which will in no small degree contribute, in the pages of history, to characterise the era in which it has taken place, inspire a firm and dauntless attachment to the rights of which it was a violation! Such is the only homage worthy the sage, who, the fatal sword suspended over his head, could meditate in peace the melioration and happiness of his fellow-creatures; such the only consolation those can experience who have been the objects of his affection, and have known all the extent of his virtue.
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it.
The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
Attention makes the genius; all learning, fancy, and science depend on it. Newton traced back his discoveries to its unwearied employment. It builds bridges, opens new worlds, and heals diseases; without it Taste is useless, and the beauties of literature are unobserved; as the rarest flowers bloom in vain, if the eye be not fixed upon the bed.
The fundamental characteristic of the scientific method is honesty. In dealing with any question, science asks no favors. ... I believe that constant use of the scientific method must in the end leave its impress upon him who uses it. ... A life spent in accordance with scientific teachings would be of a high order. It would practically conform to the teachings of the highest types of religion. The motives would be different, but so far as conduct is concerned the results would be practically identical.
All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.
The institutional goal of science is the extension of certified knowledge. The technical methods employed toward this end provide the relevant definition of knowledge: empirically confirmed and logically consistent predictions. The institutional imperatives (mores) derive from the goal and the methods. The entire structure of technical and moral norms implements the final objective. The technical norm of empirical evidence, adequate, valid and reliable, is a prerequisite for sustained true prediction; the technical norm of logical consistency, a prerequisite for systematic and valid prediction. The mores of science possess a methodologic rationale but they are binding, not only because they are procedurally efficient, but because they are believed right and good. They are moral as well as technical prescriptions. Four sets of institutional imperatives–universalism, communism, disinterestedness, organized scepticism–comprise the ethos of modern science.