Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

I feel that this excerpt of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos illustrates his ideals
as a Naturalist. This passage discusses how he feels that humans are
inferior compared to the vast “superiority” or the ‘Cosmos’. It’s almost
as if he gives the universe a character and considers it a physical
identity. His statement “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever
will be.” Coincides with the Naturalist principle of the physical being all
there is.

Sagan also refers to the Naturalist ideal that the physical reality is
experienced with all 5 of the senses, with this quote: “Our feeblest
contemplations of the Cosmos stir us – there is a tingling in the spine, a
catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of a falling
from a height.”
Naturalists believe life is accidental. Sagan portrays this belief by
saying, “…They remind us that humans have evolved to a wonder, that
understanding is a joy… Our future depends on how well we know this
Cosmos in which we float like a moat of dust in the sky.”
Sagan’s idea of reality is that everything is bigger and more
complicated than our human minds can perceive and survival consists of more
than life alone. To Sagan, humans are “young, curious, and brave” but also
feeble in our attempts to understand the world because the “Cosmos” is so
much more vast to our human inferiority. Humans have made so many
discoveries and achievements, but we have only begun to scratch the surface
of everything the universe has to offer. Our future relies on our ability
to progress, survive, and “evolve” into creatures with complete knowledge
of our “Cosmos.”

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