If there were no eternal conciousness in man, if at the foundation of all there lay only a wildly seething power which, writhing with obscure passion produces everything that is great and everything that is insignificant…what then would life be but despair?
–Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him?
–Alexander Solzhenitsyn – Harvard Commencement Address, June 8, 1978
What is man that the electron should be mindful of him! Man is but a foundling in the cosmos, abandoned by the forces that created him. Unparented, unassisted and undireced by omniscient or benevolent authority, he must fend for himself, and with the aid of his own limited intelligence find his way about in an indifferent universe.
Carl Becker, describing a radical humanist point of view in The Heavenly City
But what am I?
An infant crying in the night;
An infant crying for the light
And with no language but a cry.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam”