Quotations Skepticism

Skepticism and Authority

G.K. Chesterton, The Hole in the Wall

In the village or suburb outside there’s an inn with the sign of St. George and the Dragon. Now suppose I went about telling everybody that this was only a corruption of King George and the Dragoon. Scores of people would believe it, without any inquiry, from a vague feeling that it’s probable because it’s prosaic. It turns something romantic and legendary into something recent and ordinary. And that somehow makes it sound rational, though it is unsupported by reason. Of course, some people would have the sense to remember having seen St. George in old Italian pictures and French romances; but a good many wouldn’t think about it at all. They would just swallow the scepticism because it was scepticism. Modern intelligence won’t accept anything on authority. But it will accept anything without authority.

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