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Negative Confirmation
Even if you don't believe in them, gods
are necessary. They are like poetry, in
which most people also do not believe, 
but we still require a vehicle to bear our
aspirations even when we are suspicious,
as though prayers are hot air balloons who
have drifted out of our sight in the dusk.

For even though we disbelieve, we still
yearn, and the very act of living requires
the acceptance of the unrequited. But perhaps
if the gods were to appear, they would confirm 
faith but negate what it means to be of the human. 

Will and Ariel Durant (1885-1981 and 1898-1981) wrote in "The Story of Civilization," concerning post-Alexander Greece -- "Only an act of persistent imagination, or a gift for observation, can enable us to realize what it means to a nation to have its traditional religion die."

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