Monday, October 22, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Tom Lehrer

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"Life is like a sewer what you get out of it depends on what you put into it." It's always seemed to me that this is precisely the sort of dynamic, positive thinking that we so desperately need today in these trying times of crisis and universal brouhaha.
--
Introduction to "We Will All Go Together When We Go"

 
Tom Lehrer

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"One thing more, son. Do you believe in God?"
Slowly Frost put the spoon back into the bowl.
He asked: "You really want an answer?"
"I want an answer," said the man. "I want an honest one."
"The answer," said Frost, "is that I don't know. Not, certainly, in the kind of God that you are thinking of. Not the old white-whiskered, woodcut gentleman. But a supreme being yes, I would believe in a God of that sort. Because it seems to me there must be some sort of force or power or will throughout the universe. The universe is too orderly for it to be otherwise. When you measure all this orderliness, from the mechanism of the atom at one end of the scale, out to the precision of the operation of the universe at the other end, it seems unbelievable that there is not a supervisory force of some kind, a benevolent ruling force to maintain that sort of order."

 
Clifford D. Simak
 

The Satanist shuns terms such as "hope" and "prayer" as they are indicative of apprehension. If we hope and pray for something to come about, we will not act in a positive way which will make it happen. The Satanist, realizing that anything he gets is of his own doing, takes command of the situation instead of praying to God for it to happen. Positive thinking and positive action add up to results. [...] Just as the Satanist does not pray to God for assistance, he does not pray for forgiveness for his wrong doings. The Satanist knows that praying does no good, confessing to another human being, like himself, accomplishes even less - and is, furthermore, degrading.

 
Anton LaVey
 

We can see that in putting the question "what is man?" what we mean is: what can man become? That is, can man dominate his own destiny, can he "make himself," can he create his own life? We maintain therefore that man is a process and, more exactly, the process of his actions. If you think about it, the question itself "what is man?" is not an abstract or "objective" question. It is born of our reflection about ourselves and about others, and we want to know, in relation to what we have thought and seen, what we are and what we can become; whether we really are, and if so to what extent, "makers of our own selves," of our life and of our destiny. And we want to know this "today," in the given conditions of today, the conditions of our daily life, not of any life or any man

 
Antonio Gramsci
 

When I have asked thinking men what reason they had to believe that every fact in the universe is precisely determined by law, the first answer has usually been that the proposition is a "presupposition " or postulate of scientific reasoning. Well, if that is the best that can be said for it, the belief is doomed. Suppose it be " postulated " : that does not make it true, nor so much as afford the slightest rational motive for yielding it any credence. It is as if a man should come to borrow money, and when asked for his security, should reply he "postulated " the loan. To "postulate" a proposition is no more than to hope it is true. There are, indeed, practical emergencies in which we act upon assumptions of certain propositions as true, because if they are not so, it can make no difference how we act. But all such propositions I take to be hypotheses of individual facts. For it is manifest that no universal principle can in its universality be compromised in a special case or can be requisite for the validity of any ordinary inference.

 
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The whole world is in some ways better than it's ever been in the past. And, indeed, I think for many people the meaning of their lives really depends on that belief. If you strip out that belief in progress, if you start thinking of the world in the way in which the ancient pre-Christian Europeans did, or the Buddhists and the Hindus or the Taoists of China do, many people think that's a kind of despair. I don't know how many times I've been told "If I thought that, John, I wouldn't get up in the morning" and "If I agreed with you, John, that history had no pattern of that kind, I wouldn't get up in the morning." I said, "Well, stay in bed a bit longer, you might find a better reason for getting up."

 
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