“Has the universe gone dark and silent on us? Pascal had that idea. He said, “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrified me.” Why should it? Silence is frightening if it comes where there ought to be noise—silence in the nursery, in the dining hall, in the woods when the birds ought to be singing. But we do not live in the sky. If we had to, that would be very frightening indeed, for it would kill us. Much science fiction consists in scaring oneself into fits with this nightmare. But nothing need take us up there—unless we have the idea that we are called upon to take over from God, and that up there is where he used to be. We have lost the music of the spheres, and that was certainly a very gracious symbol. But if there is a God, that symbol is quite unnecessary for him, and if there is not, the music of real life, which that outer music reflected, is still here for us in earth. There is no reason why we should be frightened of the heavens. If we think of them, not as a haunted church, not as the home of alien demons, not as a terrifying and impossible home for ourselves, but simply as they are—as the spacious and splendid setting in which our world properly belongs—what threat do they pose? They do not concern us, except that they are glorious.”

-Mary Midgley (from Beast and Man)

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