Ed Driscoll

When A Man Ceases To Believe In G.K. Chesterton...

In recent articles, both Umberto Eco and Mark Steyn have referenced an aphorism frequently attributed to G.K. Chesterton that goes something like this:

“When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.”

Both men are careful not to directly cite Chesterton: Eco writes that “G K Chesterton is often credited” with the above quote, and Steyn avoids the use of quotation marks when referencing the phrase.

One of Steyn’s readers alerts him to its origin story, which can be found here.

And speaking of mangled quotes, as I posted earlier today, Jim Lindgren of The Volokh Conspiracy believes he’s found the actual, original source of “Thomas Jefferson’s” quote that “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”.