A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)


"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"He should be able to imagine the whole plan of an error: the complete logic of a fallacy. He must be able to *think* it if he does not believe it."

One of the most fashionable forms of bigotry exhibits itself in the discovery of fantastic and trivial explanations of things that need no explanation. We are in this cloudland of prejudice (for example) when we say that a man becomes an atheist because he wants to go on the spree; or that a man becomes a Roman Catholic because the priests have trapped him; or that a man becomes a Socialist because he envies the rich. For all these random and remote explanations show that we have never seen, like a clear diagram, the real explanation: that Atheism, Catholicism, and Socialism are all quite plausible philosophies. A man does not need to be driven or trapped or bribed into them; because a man can be converted to them.

True liberality, in short, consists of being able to imagine the enemy. The free man is not he who thinks all opinions equally true or false; that is not freedom, but feeblemindedness. The free man is he who sees the errors as clearly as he sees the truth. The more solidly convinced a man really is, the less he will use phrases like, "No enlightened person can really hold---"; or "I cannot understand how Mr. Jones can possibly maintain---", followed by some very old, mild, and defensible opinion. A progressive person may hold anything he likes. I do understand quite well how Mr. Jones maintains those maniacal opinions which he does maintain. If a man sincerely believes that he has the map of the maze, it must show the wrong paths just as much as the right. He should be able to imagine the whole plan of an error: the complete logic of a fallacy. He must be able to think it if he does not believe it.

-"The Bigot" (Daily News, 1910)

-Found in Lunacy and Letters (collection of essays published in 1958)

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