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我們經常聽到有人說:「生命不值得活下去。」
我們都把它當成是:「今天天氣很好。」
沒有人會想到它可能對人類或世界會有嚴重的影響。

假如大家都相信這句話,
整個世界就要倒過來站。

兇手因為奪走人命,被頒給勳章;
救火員因為救人一命,而被譴責;
毒藥成為補藥;
健康才找醫生;
皇家動物保護協會被當成是一幫刺客般的連根拔除。

我們仍舊不去揣測,悲觀的對談到底會強化或瓦解這個社會;
因為我們認為背後的道理無關緊要。

We may easily hear a man say, "Life is not worth living."
We regard it as we regard the statement that it is a fine day;
nobody thinks that it can possibly have any serious effect on the man or on the world.

And yet if that utterance were really believed,
the world would stand on its head.

Murderers would be given medals for saving men from life;
firemen would be denounced for keeping men from death;
poisons would be used as medicines;
doctors would be called in when people were well;
the Royal Humane Society would be rooted out like a horde of assassins.

Yet we never speculate as to whether the conversational pessimist will strengthen or disorganize society;
for we are convinced that theories do not matter.

** G. K. Chesterton in Heretics
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