George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist

Author Quotes

Two people getting together to write a book is like three people getting together to have a baby. One of them is superfluous.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

We mustn't be stiff and stand-off, you know. We must be thoroughly democratic, and patronize everybody without distinction of class.

What is hope? A form of moral responsibility. Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short, is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.

When a heretic wishes to avoid martyrdom he speaks of “Orthodoxy, True and False” and demonstrates that the True is his heresy.

Those who minister to poverty and disease are accomplices in the two worst of all crimes.

Two starving men cannot be twice as hungry as one; but two rascals can be ten times as vicious as one.

We are the living graves of murdered beasts slaughtered to satisfy our appetites We never pause to wonder at our feasts If animals, like men, can possibly have rights We pray on Sundays that we may have light To guide our footsteps on the path we tread We're sick of war We do not want to fight The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead Like carrion crows we live and feed on meat Regardless of the suffering and pain We cause by doing so. If thus we treat Defenseless animals for sport or gain How can we hope in this world to attain the PEACE we say we are so anxious for We pray for it o'er hecatombs of slain To God, while outraging the moral law Thus cruelty begets its offspring: war.

We need men who can dream of things that never we're, and ask why not.

What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day.

When a man of normal habits is ill, everyone hastens to assure him that he is going to recover. When a vegetarian is ill (which fortunately very seldom happens), everyone assures him that he is going to die, and that they told him so, and that it serves him right. They implore him to take at least a little gravy, so as to give himself a chance of lasting out the night.

Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners were left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You can't have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?

UNDERSHAFT: My religion? Well, my dear, I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.

We are the only real aristocracy in the world: the aristocracy of money

We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence... on pain of liquidation.

What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness.

When a man says money can do anything that settles it: he hasn't got any. When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

Those who understand evil pardon it.

Undershaft: You have made for yourself something that you call a morality or a religion or what not. It doesn't fit the facts. Well, scrap it. Scrap it and get one that does fit. That is what is wrong with the world at present. It scraps its obsolete steam engines and dynamos; but it won’t scrap its old prejudices and its old moralities and its old religions and its old political constitutions. What’s the result? In machinery it does very well; but in morals and religion and politics it is working at a loss that brings it nearer bankruptcy every year.

We become wise not because they reminisce about our past, but as we become responsible for our future.

We sing in a church, why can we not dance there?

What is the matter with universities is that the students are school children, whereas it is of the very essence of university education that they should be adults.

When a man says money can do anything, that settles it: he hasn't got any.

The menu is not the meal.

The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.

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George Bernard
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Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist