Theodore Dalrymple Quotes.
It is clear to me that people often want incompatible things. They want danger and excitement on the one hand, and safety and security on the other, and often simultaneously. Contradictory desires mean that life can never be wholly satisfying or without frustration.
If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.
There is something deeply attractive, at least to quite a lot of people, about squalor, misery, and vice. They are regarded as more authentic, and certainly more exciting, than cleanliness, happiness, and virtue.
Orders can be benign or malign, but the habit of obeying them can become ingrained.
Feeling good about yourself is not the same thing as doing good. Good policy is more important than good feelings.
Equality of Ugliness: If we can’t all live in a beautiful place we must all live in an ugly place.
When every benefit received is a right, there is no place for good manners, let alone for gratitude.
All forms of human happiness contain within themselves the seeds of their own decomposition.
To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.
We all resort to the ad hominem from time to time: in human affairs, it is difficult to avoid it, and probably not desirable. After all, our opponents are human. The proper use of an ad hominem argument, however, still requires evidence to back it up.
How many people does each of us know who claim to seek happiness but freely choose paths inevitably leading to misery?
Nonjudgmentalism is not really nonjudgmental. It is the judgment that . . . everything is the same, nothing is better. This is as barbaric and untruthful a doctrine as has yet emerged from the fertile mind of man.
I’ve heard a hundred different variations of instances of unadulterated female victimhood, yet the silence of the feminists is deafening. Where two pieties–feminism and multi-culturalism–come into conflict, the only way of preserving both is an indecent silence.
A curious reversal in the locus of moral concern has taken place: people feel responsible for everything except for what they do.
Do I grow cleverer with age, or does the world grow more stupid?
It is only by having desire thwarted, and thereby learning to control it вЂ” in other words, by becoming civilized вЂ” that men become fully human.
So what exactly are the rewards of resentment. It is always a relief to know that the reason we have failed in life is not because we lack the talent, energy, or determination to succeed, but because of a factor that is beyond our control and that has loaded the dice decisively against us.
The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
Parents are perhaps the most common object of resentment, the people who are most frequently blamed for all our failings and failures alike.
There is nothing an addict likes more, or that serves as better pretext for continuing his present way of life, than to place the weight of responsibility for his situation somewhere other than on his own decisions.
Where a reputation for intolerance is more feared than a reputation for vice itself, all manner of evil may be expected to flourish.
I do not think it possible for anyone to get by in life without prejudice. However, the attempt to do so leads many people to suppose that, in order to decide any moral question, they have to find an indubitable first principle from which they can deduce an answer.
The bravest and most noble are not those who take up arms, but those who are decent despite everything; who improve what it is in their power to improve, but do not imagine themselves to be saviours. In their humble struggle is true heroism.
There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.
Many young people now end a discussion with the supposedly definitive and unanswerable statement that such is their opinion, and their opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s. The fact is that our opinion on an infinitely large number of questions is not worth having, because everyone is infinitely ignorant.