“Once, it was proclaimed and accepted that above man there was no supreme being, but instead that man was the crowning glory of the universe and the measure of all things, and that man’s needs, desires, and indeed his weaknesses were taken to be the supreme imperatives of the universe. Consequently, the only good in the world–the only thing that needed to be done–was that which satisfied our feelings.”
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West
“The next step of the experience [of dying] clearly illustrates the difficulty of translating from this unspoken language. The being [of light] almost immediately directs a certain thought to the [dying] person into whose presence it has come so dramatically. Usually the persons with whom I have talked try to formulate the thought into a question. Among the translations I have heard are: ‘Are you prepared to die?’ ‘Are you ready to die?,’ ‘What have you done with your life to show me?,’ and ‘What have you done with your life that is sufficient?’
“The first thing [the Being of Light] said to me was, that he kind of asked me if I was ready to die, or what I had done with my life that I wanted to show him.
“The voice asked me a question: ‘Is it worth it?’ And what it meant was, did the kind of life I had been leading up to that point seem worthwhile to me then, knowing what I then knew.”
-Raymond Moody, Life After Life
“Human nature is dualist: human beings kind and nasty; they’re avaricious but they have a capacity for self-sacrifice; they’re endless cowardly and lying, but also have a penchant for courage, and glory–that’s what we ARE.
“The great religions have actually always KNOWN what we are, [hence] they shift Utopianism and the desire that we can be different from what we are, to another world.”
–Jonathan Bowden, New-Left Marxism & the Frankfurt School
Filed under Bowden, Others
“…my object is the history of the human mind, and not a mere detail of petty facts; nor am I concerned with the history of great lords, who made war upon French kings; but I want to know what were the steps by which men passed from barbarism to civilization.”
Filed under Others, Voltaire
“All [atheists’] supposition seems to me prodigiously fantastic, for two reasons; first, that in this universe there are intelligent beings, and that you would not know how to prove it possible for movement alone to produce understanding; second, that, from your own avowal, there is infinity against one to bet, that an intelligent creative cause animates the universe. When one is alone face to face with the infinite, one feels very small.
“Again, Spinoza himself admits this intelligence; it is the basis of his system. You have not read it, and it must be read. Why do you want to go further than him, and in foolish arrogance plunge your feeble reason in an abyss into which Spinoza dared not descend? Do you realize thoroughly the extreme folly of saying that it is a blind cause that arranges that the square of a planet’s revolution is always to the square of the revolutions of other planets, as the cube of its distance is to the cube of the distances of the others to the common centre? Either the heavenly bodies are great geometers, or the Eternal Geometer has arranged the heavenly bodies.
“But where is the Eternal Geometer? Is He in one place or in all places, without occupying space? I have no idea. Is it of His own substance that He has arranged all things? I have no idea. Is He immense without quantity and without quality? I have no idea. All that I know is that one must worship Him and be just.”
– Dictionnaire philosophique, 1764
Filed under Others, Voltaire
“The movement of the heavenly bodies, that of our little earth round the sun, all operate by virtue of the most profound mathematical law. How Plato who was not aware of one of these laws, eloquent but visionary Plato, who said that the earth was erected on an equilateral triangle, and the water on a right-angled triangle; strange Plato, who says there can be only five worlds, because there are only five regular bodies: how, I say, did Plato, who did not know even spherical trigonometry, have nevertheless a genius sufficiently fine, an instinct sufficiently happy, to call God the ‘Eternal Geometer,’ to feel the existence of a creative intelligence? Spinoza himself admits it. It is impossible to strive against this truth which surrounds us and which presses on us from all sides.”
— Dictionnaire philosophique, 1764