When every benefit received is a right, there is no place for good manners, let alone for gratitude.— Theodore Dalrymple
The most joyful Theodore Dalrymple quotes that will transform you to a better person
Nonjudgmentalism is not really nonjudgmental.
It is the judgment that . . . everything is the same, nothing is better. This is as barbaric and untruthful a doctrine as has yet emerged from the fertile mind of man.
A curious reversal in the locus of moral concern has taken place: people feel responsible for everything except for what they do.
The bravest and most noble are not those who take up arms, but those who are decent despite everything; who improve what it is in their power to improve, but do not imagine themselves to be saviours. In their humble struggle is true heroism.
Where a reputation for intolerance is more feared than a reputation for vice itself, all manner of evil may be expected to flourish.
Feeling good about yourself is not the same thing as doing good.
Good policy is more important than good feelings.
If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.
Equality of Ugliness: If we can't all live in a beautiful place we must all live in an ugly place.
There is nothing an addict likes more, or that serves as better pretext for continuing his present way of life, than to place the weight of responsibility for his situation somewhere other than on his own decisions.
There is something deeply attractive, at least to quite a lot of people, about squalor, misery, and vice. They are regarded as more authentic, and certainly more exciting, than cleanliness, happiness, and virtue.
To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.
The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
The idea that man is a tabula rasa, or Mao's sheet of blank paper upon which the most beautiful characters can be written, is an old one with disastrous implications. I do not think though that the cults you mention could survive honest thought about human nature.
The need always to lie and always to avoid the truth stripped everyone of what Custine called 'the two greatest gifts of God-the soul and the speech which communicates it.' People became hypocritical, cunning, mistrustful, cynical, silent, cruel, and indifferent to the fate of others as a result of the destruction of their own souls.
Childhood in large parts of modern Britain, at any rate, has been replaced by premature adulthood, or rather adolescence. Children grow up very fast but not very far. That is why it is possible for 14 year olds now to establish friendships with 26 year olds - because they know by the age of 14 all they are ever going to know.
The idea that freedom is merely the ability to act upon one's whims is surely very thin and hardly begins to capture the complexities of human existence; a man whose appetite is his law strikes us not as liberated but enslaved.
Orders can be benign or malign, but the habit of obeying them can become ingrained.
It is only by having desire thwarted, and thereby learning to control it — in other words, by becoming civilized — that men become fully human.
I've heard a hundred different variations of instances of unadulterated female victimhood, yet the silence of the feminists is deafening. Where two pieties--feminism and multi-culturalism--come into conflict, the only way of preserving both is an indecent silence.
There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.
Obesity is the result of a loss of self-control.
Indeed, loss of self-control might be said to be the defining social (or anti-social) characteristic of our age: public drunkenness, excessive gambling, promiscuity and common-or-garden rudeness are all examples of our collective loss of self-control.
When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.
How many people does each of us know who claim to seek happiness but freely choose paths inevitably leading to misery?
The loss of the religious understanding of the human condition—that Man is a fallen creature for whom virtue is necessary but never fully attainable—is a loss, not a gain, in true sophistication. The secular substitute—the belief in the perfection of life on earth by the endless extension of a choice of pleasures—is not merely callow by comparison but much less realistic in its understanding of human nature.
Do I grow cleverer with age, or does the world grow more stupid?
Life is a biography, not a series of disconnected moments, more or less pleasurable but increasingly tedious and unsatisfying unless one imposes a purposive pattern upon them.