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