Truth and pity

Chesterton on virtue:
When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. 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.

1 comment:

Grim said...

Chesterton's aphorisms are very often wise. Of course it's right that virtue causes more harm than vice; virtue is an excellence of capacity, after all. It's a strength, a power. Power can be used well or badly.