G. K. Chesterton who wrote the following about atheism in his book Orthodoxy, in a
chapter entitled “The Suicide of Thought”:
“But the new rebel is a Sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has
no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that
he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything.
“For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern
revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by
which he denounces it.
“Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the
purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in
which he insults it himself.
“He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity, and then
curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that
war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of
time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and
then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to
have killed himself.
“A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic
profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble [mock scepter of
office], and then blames the oppressors of Poland or Ireland because they take
away that bauble.
“The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains
that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and
umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they
practically are beasts.
“In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite sceptic, is always
engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for
trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling
“Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all
purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to
rebel against anything.”