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)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"The fundamental fallacy remains the same; that we are beginning at the wrong end, because we have never troubled to consider at what end to begin."

I came across the following GKC quote that I enjoy. In context he is objecting to advocating contraception for dealing with poverty (and these days would be just as applicable to answering those who urge abortion for the same end). That said, it  has a much broader application as well to the general problem of how so many people these days try to solve so many problems by "beginning at the wrong end". It reminded me of the chapter in GKC's book Tremendous Trifles called In Topsy-Turvy Land 

Artificial birth control is one of the many quack remedies advertised for the cure of poverty, and G. K. Chesterton has given the final answer to the Malthusian assertion that some form of birth control is essential because houses are scarce : 

"Consider that simple sentence, and you will see what is the matter with the modern mind. I do not mean the growth of immorality; I mean the genesis of gibbering idiocy. There are ten little boys whom you wish to provide with ten top-hats; and you find there are only eight top-hats. To a simple mind it would seem not impossible to make two more hats ; to find out whose business it is to make hats, and induce him to make hats; to agitate against an absurd delay in delivering hats; to punish anybody who has promised hats and failed to provide hats. The modern mind is that which says that if we only cut off the heads of two of the little boys, they will not want hats; and then the hats will exactly go round. The suggestion that heads are rather more important than hats is dismissed as a piece of mystical metaphysics. The assertion that hats were made for heads, and not heads for hats savours of antiquated dogma. The musty text which says that the body is more than raiment; the popular prejudice which would prefer the lives of boys to the mathematical arrangement of hats,—all these things are alike to be ignored. The logic of enlightenment is merciless ; and we duly summon the headsman to disguise the deficiencies of the hatter. For it makes very little difference to the logic of the thing, that we are talking of houses and not of hats. . . . The fundamental fallacy remains the same; that we are beginning at the wrong end, because we have never troubled to consider at what end to begin."[1]

[1] Quoted from America, October 29, 1921, p. 31.

-Birth Control: A Statement of Christian Doctrine against the Neo-Malthusians by  Halliday G. Sutherland M.D. (Edin.) (1922)

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