Childhood's End Quotes

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Science is the only religion of mankind.

98

No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time. As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart.

82

There were some things that only time could cure. Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.

56

Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.

52

Now I understand, said the last man.

43

Utopia was here at last: its novelty had not yet been assailed by the supreme enemy of all Utopias—boredom.

30

In this single galaxy of ours there are eighty-seven thousand million suns. [...] In challenging it, you would be like ants attempting to label and classify all the grains of sand in all the deserts of the world. [...] It is a bitter thought, but you must face it. The planets you may one day possess. But the stars are not for man.

26

They would never know how lucky they had been. For a lifetime, mankind had achieved as much happiness as any race can ever know. It had been the Golden Age. But gold was also the color of sunset, of autumn: and only Karellen’s ears could catch the first wailings of the winter storms.

14

Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.

9

And Stormgren hoped that when Karellen was free to walk once more on Earth, he would one day come to these northern forests, and stand beside the grave of the first man to be his friend.

8

There was nothing left of Earth. They had leeched away the last atoms of its substance. It had nourished them, through the fierce moments of their inconceivable metamorphosis, as the food stored in a grain of wheat feeds the infant plant while it climbs towards the Sun.

7

My dear Rikki, Karellen retorted, it’s only by not taking the human race seriously that I retain what fragments of my once considerable mental powers I still possess! Despite himself, Stormgren smiled.

6

It is a bitter thought, but you must face it. The planets you may one day possess. But the stars are not for man.

6

Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets.

5

Man was, therefore, still a prisoner on his own planet. It was much fairer, but a much smaller, planet than it had been a century before. When the Overlords abolished war and hunger and disease, they had also abolished adventure.

5

...no on of intelligence resents the inevitable.

5

Western man had relearned-what the rest of the world had never forgotten-that there was nothing sinful in leisure as long as it did not degenerate into mere sloth.

4

Everybody on this island has one ambition, which may be summed up very simply. It is to do something, however small it may be, better than anyone else. Of course, it’s an ideal we don’t all achieve. But in this modern world the great thing is to have an ideal. Achieving it is considerably less important.

4

For Jan was still suffering from the romantic illusion–the cause of so much misery and so much poetry–that every man has only one real love in his life.

4

No wonder that people are becoming passive sponges—absorbing but never creating. Did you know that the average viewing time per person is now three hours a day? Soon people won’t be living their own lives any more. It will be a full-time job keeping up with the various family serials on TV!

3

You will find men like him in all the world’s religions. They know that we represent reason and science, and, however confident they may be in their beliefs, they fear that we will overthrow their gods. Not necessarily through any deliberate act, but in a subtler fashion. Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets.

3

You know why Wainwright and his kind fear me, don't you?.. They fear that we know the truth about the origins of their faiths. How long, they wonder, have we been observing humanity? Have we watched Mohammad begin the hegira, or Moses giving the Jews their law? Do we know all the false in their stories they believe?

3

Detachment was all very well, but it could change so easily to indifference.

2

Suppose, in their altruistic passion for justice and order, they had determined to reform the world, but had not realized that they were destroying the soul of man?

2

Even the few serious crimes that did occur received no particular attention in the news. For well-bred people do not, after all, care to read about the social gaffes of others.

2

Ten kilometers away, the lights of New York glowed on the skyline like a dawn frozen in the act of breaking.

2

There was little work left of a routine, mechanical nature. Men’s minds were too valuable to waste on tasks that a few thousand transistors, some photo-electric cells, and a cubic meter of printed circuits could perform.

1

And even if it never makes it to the big screen, millions of people have watched a very impressive version of the opening in the box office hit Independence Day. So when/if Childhood’s End is finally made into a movie, the popcorn set will undoubtedly think we’ve ripped off I.D.

1

Stormgren had walked to his desk and was fidgeting with his famous uranium paperweight. He was not nervous—merely undecided.

1

There were some things that only time could cure. Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.

1

It was fascinating to watch that agile mind trying one opening after another, testing and rejecting all the theories that Stormgren himself had abandoned long ago.

1

My dear Rikki, Karellen retorted, it’s only by not taking the human race seriously that I retain what fragments of my once considerable mental powers I still possess!

1

No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time.

1

It was such a nuisance that men were fundamentally polygamous. On the other hand, if they weren’t… Yes, perhaps it was better this way, after all.

1

There was no evidence that the intelligence of the human race had improved, but for the first time everyone was given the fullest opportunity of using what brain he had.

1

...a well-stocked mind is safe from boredom.

1

Now that so many of its psychological problems had been removed, humanity was far saner and less irrational. And what earlier ages would have called vice was now no more than eccentricity—or, at the worst, bad manners.

1

I would be greatly distressed if this book contributed still further to the seduction of the gullible, now cynically exploited by all the media.

1

It was the end of civilization, the end of all that men had striven for since the beginning of time. In the space of a few days, humanity had lost its future, for the heart of any race is destroyed, and its will to survive is utterly broken, when its children are taken from it.

1

For well-bred people do not, after all, care to read about the social gaffes of others.

1

He might himself be putting on a superb act, following the performance by logic alone and with his own strange emotions completely untouched, as an anthropologist might take part in some primitive rite. The fact that he uttered the appropriate sounds, and made the expected responses, really proved nothing at all.

1

Jean was definitely the girl who mattered, despite her queer ideas and queerer friends. He had no intention of totally abandoning Naomi or Joy or Elsa or—what was her name?—Denise; but the time had come for something more permanent.

1

We have had our failures. Yes, Karellen, that was true: and were you the one who failed, before the dawn of human history? It must have been a failure indeed, thought Stormgren, for its echoes to roll down all the ages, to haunt the childhood of every race of man. Even in fifty years, could you overcome the power of all the myths and legends of the world?

1

Enjoy them while you may, answered Rashaverak gently. They will not be yours for long. It was advice that might have been given to any parent in any age: but now it contained a threat and a terror it had never held before.

1

Jan had always been a good pianist—and now he was the finest in the world.

1

The existence of so much leisure would have created tremendous problems a century before. Education had overcome most of these, for a well stocked mind is safe from boredom.

1

This was the moment when history held its breath, and the present sheared asunder from the past as an iceberg splits from its frozen, parent cliffs, and goes sailing out to sea in lonely pride.

0

Yet among all the distractions and diversions of a planet which now seemed well on the way to becoming one vast playground, there were some who still found time to repeat an ancient and never-answered question:Where do we go from here?

0

The Opinions Expressed In This Book Are Not Those Of The Author.

0

But they knew in their hearts that once science had declared a thing possible, there was no escape from its eventual realization…"Childhood's End - Ch. 15

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