If the universe is running down like a clock, the clock must have been wound up at a date which we could name if we knew it. The world, if it is to have an end in time, must have had a beginning in time.
— William Inge
Love remembered and consecrated by grief belongs, more clearly than the happy intercourse of friends, to the eternal world; it has proved itself stronger than death.
Bereavement is the deepest initiation into the mysteries of human life, an initiation more searching and profound than even happy love.
Democracy is only an experiment in government, and it has the obvious disadvantage of merely counting votes instead of weighing them.
The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.
Gambling is a disease of barbarians superficially civilized.
We tolerate shapes in human beings that would horrify us if we saw them in a horse.
The wise man is he who knows the relative value of things.
The object of studying philosophy is to know one's own mind, not other people's.
What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.
A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he can't sit on it.
Public opinion, a vulgar, impertinent, anonymous tyrant who deliberately makes life unpleasant for anyone who is not content to be the average person.
I think middle-age is the best time, if we can escape the fatty degeneration of the conscience which often sets in at about fifty.
The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot.
Prayer gives a man the opportunity of getting to know a gentleman he hardly ever meets. I do not mean his maker, but himself.
True faith is belief in the reality of absolute values.
Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.
In praising science, it does not follow that we must adopt the very poor philosophies which scientific men have constructed. In philosophy they have much more to learn than to teach.
Action is the normal completion of the act of will which begins as prayer. That action is not always external, but it is always some kind of effective energy.
Bereavement is the sharpest challenge to our trust in God; if faith can overcome this, there is no mountain which it cannot remove.
Literature flourishes best when it is half a trade and half an art.
A cat can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which is more than can be said for human beings.
I have no fear that the candle lighted in Palestine years ago will ever be put out.
The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he is born.
Don't get up from the feast of life without paying for your share of it.
The soul is dyed with the color of its leisure thoughts.
It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.
In dealing with Englishmen you can be sure of one thing only, that the logical solution will not be adopted.
There are no rewards or punishments - only consequences.
Many people believe that they are attracted by God, or by Nature, when they are only repelled by man.
Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true.
No Christian can be a pessimist, for Christianity is a system of radical optimism.
A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbours.
Faith is an act of rational choice, which determines us to act as if certain things were true, and in the confident expectation that they will prove to be true.
All faith consists essentially in the recognition of a world of spiritual values behind, yet not apart from, the world of natural phenomena.
Faith always contains an element of risk, of venture; and we are impelled to make the venture by the affinity and attraction which we feel in ourselves.
Man, as we know him, is a poor creature; he is halfway between an ape and a god and he is travelling in the right direction.
It was said that Mr. Gladstone could persuade most people of most things, and himself of anything.
A good government remains the greatest of human blessings and no nation has ever enjoyed it.
Let none of us delude himself by supposing that honesty is always the best policy. It is not.
The wisdom of the wise is an uncommon degree of common sense.
To marry is to get a binocular view of life.
Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next.
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
Every institution not only carries within it the seeds of its own dissolution, but prepares the way for its most hated rival.
Consciousness is a phase of mental life which arises in connection with the formation of new habits. When habit is formed, consciousness only interferes to spoil our performance.
Originality is undetected plagiarism.
Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.
Theater is, of course, a reflection of life. Maybe we have to improve life before we can hope to improve theater.