Quotations by Inge, William Ralph


True faith is belief in the reality of absolute values.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Confessio Fidei,” Outspoken Essays: Second Series (1922)
Added on 22-Mar-10 | Last updated 22-Mar-10
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Man, as we know him, is a poor creature; but he is halfway between an ape and a god, and he is traveling in the right direction.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Confessio Fidei,” Outspoken Essays: Second Series (1922)
Added on 2-Aug-10 | Last updated 2-Aug-10
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So the pendulum swings, now violently, now slowly; and every institution not only carries within it the seeds of its own dissolution, but prepares the way for its most hated rival.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Democracy and the Future,” The Atlantic Monthly (1922)

Full text.
Added on 27-Oct-11 | Last updated 27-Oct-11
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Democracy is a form of government which may be rationally defended, not as being as good, but as being less bad than any other.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)

See also Churchill.

Added on 19-Aug-09 | Last updated 19-Aug-09
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Like other idealisms, patriotism varies from a noble devotion to a moral lunacy.

Dean Inge - patriotism - wist-info

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 12-Oct-15 | Last updated 3-Jun-16
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Patriotism varies, from a noble devotion to a moral lunacy.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 29-Sep-11 | Last updated 20-Jun-14
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It is becoming impossible for those who mix at all with their fellow-men to believe that the grace of God is distributed denominationally.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 6-Oct-11 | Last updated 20-Jun-14
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Admiration for ourselves and our institutions is too often measured by our contempt and dislike for foreigners.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 14-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Beneath the dingy uniformity of international fashions in dress, man remains what he has always been — a splendid fighting animal, a self-sacrificing hero, and a bloodthirsty savage.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 28-Sep-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Human nature is at once sublime and horrible, holy and satanic. Apart from the accumulation of knowledge and experience, which are external and precarious acquisitions, there is no proof that we have changed much since the first stone age.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 5-Oct-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Democracy is a form of government which may be rationally defended, not as being good, but as being less bad than any other.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)

See Churchill.
Added on 19-Oct-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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History gives no countenance to the theory that popular governments are either more moral or more pacific than strong monarchies.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 26-Oct-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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If an autocracy does not rest on the army, which leads to the chaos of praetorianism, it must rely on ‘panem et circenses.’ Hence it has some of the worst faults of democracy, without its advantages.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 2-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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The excesses of revolutionists are not an argument against democracy, since revolutions are anything rather than democratic.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 9-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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The democracy is a ready victim to shibboleths and catchwords, as all demagogues know too well.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 16-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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No one can govern who cannot afford to be unpopular, and no democratic official can afford to be unpopular. Sometimes he has to wink at flagrant injustice and oppression; at other times a fanatical agitation compels him to pass laws which forbid the citizen to indulge perfectly harmless tastes, or tax him to contribute to the pleasures of the majority.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 23-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Democracy postulates community of interest or loyal patriotism. When these are absent it cannot long exist.

Inge - democracy - wist_info

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 30-Nov-15 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
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Senseless extravagance is the best friend of revolution.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 7-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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But it must be remembered that, in spite of the proverb, it takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Patriotism,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1915)

Sometimes quoted as "while wolves remain of a different opinion."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Devil-worship remains what it was, even when the idol is draped in the national flag.

Inge - flag - wist_info quote

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Patriotism,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1915)
Added on 4-Jan-16 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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But, though pugnacity and acquisitiveness have been the real foundation of much miscalled patriotism, better motives are generally mingled with these primitive instincts. It is the subtle blend of noble and ignoble sentiment which makes patriotism such a difficult problem for the moralist. The patriot nearly always believes, or thinks he believes, that he desires the greatness of his country because his country stands for something intrinsically great and valuable.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Patriotism,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1915)
Added on 11-Jan-16 | Last updated 11-Jan-16
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The history of the Jews also shows that oppression and persecution are far more efficacious in binding a nation together than community of interest and national prosperity. Increase of wealth divides rather than unites a people; but suffering shared in common binds it together with hoops of steel.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Patriotism,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1915)
Added on 18-Jan-16 | Last updated 18-Jan-16
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Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter. This is what makes the trade of historian so attractive.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Prognostications,” Assessments and Anticipations (1929)
Added on 11-Feb-11 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“The Idea of Progress,” Romanes Lecture (27 May 1920)
    (Source)
Added on 19-Oct-11 | Last updated 26-Jul-19
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The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“The Training of Reason” (1918)

In A. C. Benson (ed.), Cambridge Essays on Education (1918)

Added on 14-Dec-09 | Last updated 14-Dec-09
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In private life, no motive of action is at present so powerful and so persistent as acquisitiveness, which, unlike most other desires, knows no satiety.

Inge - acquisitiveness - wist_info quote

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Patriotism,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1915)
Added on 21-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Worry is the interest paid on trouble before it falls due.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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We must cut our coat according to our cloth, and adapt ourselves to changing circumstances.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
Lay Thoughts of a Dean (1926)
Added on 11-Mar-13 | Last updated 11-Mar-13
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There are two kinds of fools: one says, “This is old, therefore it is good”; the other says, “This is new, therefore it is better.”

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
More Lay Thoughts of a Dean (1931)
Added on 29-Apr-10 | Last updated 29-Apr-10
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Personalize your sympathies; depersonalize you antipathies.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
More Lay Thoughts of a Dean (1931)
Added on 21-May-13 | Last updated 21-May-13
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The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he is born.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
More Lay Thoughts of a Dean (1931)
Added on 8-Nov-16 | Last updated 8-Nov-16
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A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by a common hatred of its neighbours.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
The End of an Age: And Other Essays (1948)
Added on 13-Oct-11 | Last updated 13-Oct-11
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