chesterton a levar ao tapete

degustar g. k. chesterton está a ser doloroso ao mesmo tempo que esclarecedor. como se me levasse ao tapete ao mesmo tempo que me ajuda a levantar. something like that. algumas das coisas que ele escreve, curiosamente, têm vindo ao encontro do que temos falado aos domingos à tarde. ainda que ‘orthodoxy’ tenha sido escrito em 1908 é, por vezes, assustadoramente actual.

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‘there is a sceptic far more terrible than he who believes that everything began in matter. it is possible to meet the sceptic who believes that everything began in himself.’

‘the man who cannot believe his senses, and the man who cannot believe anything else, are both insane, but their insanity is proved not by any error in their argument, but by the manifest mistake of their whole lives. they have both locked themselves up in two boxes, painted inside with the sun and stars; they are both unable to get out, the one into the health and happiness of heaven, the other even into the health and happiness of earth.’

‘the modern world is full of the old christian virtues gone mad. the virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (i am sorry to say) is often untruthful.’

‘humility was largely meant as a restraint upon the arrogance and infinity of the appetite of man. (…) if a man would make his world large, he must be always making himself small. even the haughty visions, the tall cities, and the toppling pinnacles are the creation of humility. (…) a man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactely reversed. (…) the truth is that there is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. the old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on.for the old humanity made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. but the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.’

‘reason is itself an act of faith. it is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.’

‘if the standard changes, how can there be improvement, which implies a standard?’

‘the moment you step into the world of facts, you step into a world of limits.’

‘the new rebel is a sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. he has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. and the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. for all denuntiation implies a moral doctrine of some kind. (…) the modern revolutionary, being an infinit sceptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. (…) by rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.’

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