Hegel seems to me to be always wanting to say that things which look different are really the same. Whereas my interest is in showing that things which look the same are really different. I was thinking of using as a motto for my book a quotation from King Lear: 'I'll teach you differences'. ... 'You'd be surprised' wouldn't be a bad motto either.
Look at Satan's reason for rebelling against God. It's not that he doesn't recognize that God is greater than he is. He does. It's just that he doesn't want to play by anybody else's rules. This idea that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven is Satan's motto, and it turns out that this is also the motto of contemporary atheists such as Christopher Hitchens.
As young West Point cadets, our motto was 'duty, honor, country.' But it was in the field, from the rice paddies of Southeast Asia to the sands of the Middle East, that I learned that motto's fullest meaning. There I saw gallant young Americans of every race, creed and background fight, and sometimes die, for 'duty, honor, and their country.'
Let me put it this way, my father believed in a righteous God. Deus volt, that was his motto- 'because God wills it.' It was the Crusaders' motto, and they went into battle and were slaughtered just like my father. And when I saw him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn't stopped believing in God. I'd just stopped believing God cared. There might be a God, Clary, and there might not, but I don't think it matters. Either way we're on our own.
My colleague Senator John Ensign of Nevada told me a story that epitomizes the selfishness of our culture: When I was a teenager, I had a sticker in my car with a picture of a bear scratching himself on the tree, and under it was the saying, 'If it feels good, do it!' That was the motto of the '60s and the '70s, and certainly it is the motto today. The image of the bear scratching himself highlights a view of human beings as animals, and that people should do what pleases them at the moment without a thought to the broader long-term consequences of their actions.