They were two lovely choices. One of them meant giving up every chance of a decent life forever...and the other one scared me out of my mind.
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They were two lovely choices. One of them meant giving up every chance of a decent life forever…and the other one scared me out of my mind.

-Frederik Pohl

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If the Pentateuch be true, religious persecution is a duty. The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples, and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music in the ear of God. If the Pentateuch was inspired, every heretic should be destroyed; and every man who advocates a fact inconsistent with the sacred book, should be consumed by sword and flame.In the Old Testament no one is told to reason with a heretic, and not one word is said about relying upon argument, upon education, nor upon intellectual development—nothing except simple brute force. Is there to-day a christian who will say that four thousand years ago, it was the duty of a husband to kill his wife if she differed with him upon the subject of religion? Is there one who will now say that, under such circumstances, the wife ought to have been killed? Why should God be so jealous of the wooden idols of the heathen? Could he not compete with Baal? Was he envious of the success of the Egyptian magicians? Was it not possible for him to make such a convincing display of his power as to silence forever the voice of unbelief? Did this God have to resort to force to make converts? Was he so ignorant of the structure of the human mind as to believe all honest doubt a crime? If he wished to do away with the idolatry of the Canaanites, why did he not appear to them? Why did he not give them the tables of the law? Why did he only make known his will to a few wandering savages in the desert of Sinai? Will some theologian have the kindness to answer these questions? Will some minister, who now believes in religious liberty, and eloquently denounces the intolerance of Catholicism, explain these things; will he tell us why he worships an intolerant God? Is a god who will burn a soul forever in another world, better than a christian who burns the body for a few hours in this? Is there no intellectual liberty in heaven? Do the angels all discuss questions on the same side? Are all the investigators in perdition? Will the penitent thief, winged and crowned, laugh at the honest folks in hell? Will the agony of the damned increase or decrease the happiness of God? Will there be, in the universe, an eternal auto da fe?

-Robert G.

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I don’t want to read about them!” But really, how can a picture hurt you?Better that each serve as a Hallmark card that greets your fitful fevers with reason and uncurtains your valor. Then, so gospeled, you may see that defeating a disaster is as innocently easy as deciding to go out to dinner. Remove the dread that bars your doors of perception, and you will enjoy a banquet of treats that will make the difference between suffering and safety. You will enter a brave new world that will erase your panic, and release you from the grip of terror, and relieve you of the deadening effects of indifference —and you will find that switch of initiative that will energize your intelligence, empower your imagination, and rouse your sense of vigilance in ways that will tilt the odds of danger from being forever against you to being always in your favor. Indeed, just thinking about a disaster is one of the best things you can do —because it allows you to imagine how you would respond in a way that is free of pain and destruction.Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time.In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Wit­ness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing.Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.

-Robert Brown

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It is not the dead rather the ones who lives through war have seen the dreadful end of the war, you might have been victorious, unwounded but deep within you, you carry the mark of the war, you carry the memories of war, the time you have spend with your comrades, the times when you had to dug in to foxholes to avoid shelling, the times when you hate to see your comrade down on the ground, feeling of despair, atrocities of the war, missing families, home. They live through hell and often the most wounded, they live with the guilt, despair, of being in the war, they may be happy but deep down they are a different person. Not everyone is a hero. You live with the moments, time when you were unsuccessful, when your actions would have helped your comrades, when your actions get your comrades killed, you live with regret, joyous in the victory can never help you forget the time you have spent. You are victorious for the people you have lost, the decisions you have made, the courage you have shown but being victorious in the war has a price to pay, irrevocable. You can't take a memory back from a person, even if you lose your memory your imagination haunts you as deep down your sub conscious mind you know who you are, who you were. Close you eyes and you can very well see your past, you cant change your past, time you have spent, you live through all and hence you are a hero not for the glorious war for the times you have faced. Decoration with medals is not going to give your life back. the more you know, more experiences doesn't make it easy rather make its worse. Arms and ammunition kills you once and free you from the misery but the experiences of war kills you everyday, makes you cherish the times everyday through the life. You may forgot that you cant walk anymore, you may forget you cant use your right hand, you may forgot the scars on your face but you can never forgot war. Life without war is never easy and only the ones how survived through it can understand. Soldiers are taught to fight but the actual combat starts after war which you are not even trained for. You rely on your weapon, leaders, comrades, god, luck in the war but here you rely on your self to beat the horrors,they have seen hell, heaven, they have felt the mixed emotions of hope, despair, courage, victory, defeat, scared.

-Pushpa Rana

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