Apologies. You had said "Doesn't that test presuppose the answer? I mean what if the greater reality isn't kind and friendly?"
About quotes. They are really easy to use. You start with the post you want to reply to, and press the 'Reply' button. That will start your reply with the text of what you are replying to within quotes. It is best to look at that to grok how it is done, because if a write quotes into this reply things will get confused.
That is step one. The next step is that you can remove the sections of the quoted post that you are not referring to.
After that you will discover how to reply to a post in sections or to reply to multiple posts.
One enormous value of using quotes is that you can follow a chan of discussion back multiple levels by hitting the reversed up arrow that you will find on the top level of a quote.