Tina's Homepage 'No natural disaster has cost as many human lives as man's intolerance towards the beliefs of his fellow men.'
--Sister Fidelma, "Valley of the Shadow" by Peter Tremayne

'One day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I'm sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature's wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.'
--Lord Vetinari, the Patrician, in Unseen Academicals

"You're not one of us."
"I don't think I'm one of them, either," said Brutha. "I'm one of mine."
--Small Gods

"Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens."
--The Whether Man, The Phantom Tollbooth

Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else.
But it's not just learning that's important. It's learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn at all that matters.
What you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do.
So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.
--The Phantom Tollbooth

Do not put all your trust in root vegetables. What things seem may not be what things are, said Death.
--The Truth

"Because belief is always belief against, it is itself an act of unbelief. It is the active refusal to take a rival position. To believe something, one must disbelieve something. Each belief must not only have an opponent; it must have an opponent whose (dis)beliefs are a perfect match. For this reason, each is largely defined by its opposite. If beliefs die when their opposition disappears, they are obliged to mimic any changes the opposition makes of itself. Belief and unbelief are therefore locked into mutual self-creation.
--The Religious Case Against Belief, James P. Carse

(1) While belief has its content (in believing there is always something believed) it is directed both inward at its faithful and outward at its opponents. (2) Moreover, its vitality depends on that opposition; in fact, the content of belief is shaped in conflict with others; were it not for this conflict we would not know what we believe. We are therefore as much nonbelievers as we are believers. (3) Because belief depends on hostile others, it is necessary for us as believers not to think what others are thinking, else it could pull us across the defined boundary into another system of belief. So we must be careful to know exactly where to stop our thinking. (4) The fact that we stop our thinking at specified limits is hidden in the assumption that we are in agreement with an established authority, not seeing that it is we who have established that authority. (5) But at the same time, the very fact that we must set a limit to our thinking implies that we are tempted to go beyond the limits, that there is even a longing to believe the opposite. Indeed, the more passionately we hold to our beliefs, the more we are tempted to abandon them. Thus at the very core of every belief is an act of self-denial, even self-rejection. (6) Because our beliefs make sense only in a complete system, and because religion is demonstrably not a belief system, and because belief systems are inherently intelligible, we are not able completely to understand a religion at all. In sum, belief is a thoroughly contradictory phenomenon.
--The Religious Case Against Belief, James P. Carse

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