One definition occurred to both of them—that he had come out into the light of that lucid and radiant ignorance in which all beliefs had begun. The sky above them was full of mythology. Heaven seemed deep enough to hold all the gods.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Profession: Author
Nationality: British

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Religious authority has often, doubtless, been oppressive or unreasonable; just as every legal system (and especially our present one) has been callous and full of a cruel apathy.

I regret that I cannot do my duty as a true modern, by cursing everybody who made me whatever I am. I am not clear about what that is; but I am pretty sure that most of it is my own fault.

But even the machinery of voting is profoundly Christian in this practical sense—that it is an attempt to get at the opinion of those who would be too modest to offer it.

He has a fancy for always sitting in a pitch-dark room. He says it makes his thoughts brighter.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.

All women dress to be noticed: gross and vulgar women to be grossly and vulgarly noticed, wise and modest women to be wisely and modestly noticed.

For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything.

Despite the almost aggressive touch of luxury in the fur coat, it soon became apparent that Sir Walter's large leonine head was for use as well as ornament, and he considered the matter soberly and sanely enough.

The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past. He cares as little for what will be as for what has been; he cares only for what ought to be. And for my present purpose I specially insist on this abstract independence.

A liberal is a noble and indispensable lunatic who tries to make a cosmos of his own head.

When you say you want all peoples to unite, you really mean that you want all peoples to unite to learn the tricks of your people.

The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted; precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.

We may find men wrong in what they thought they were, but we cannot find them wrong in what they thought they thought.

No man should leave in the universe anything of which he is afraid.