From A word on words:
[T]hanks to the miracle of speech, we know, probably better than the other animals, that we actually know very little, in other words, we are conscious of the existence of mystery. Confronted by mystery-and at the same time aware of the virtually constitutive power of words for us-we have tried incessantly to address that which is concealed by mystery, and influence it with our words. As believers, we pray to God, as magicians we summon up or ward off spirits, using words to intervene in natural or human events. As people who belong to modern civilization–whether believers or not–we use words to construct scientific theories and political ideologies with which to tackle or redirect the mysterious course of history-successfully or otherwise.