Chesterton, The Beginning of Morality

Morality did not begin by one man saying to another, “I will not hit you if you do not hit me”‘; there is no trace of such a transaction. There is a trace of both men having said, “We must not hit each other in the holy place.” They gained their morality by guarding their religion. They did not cultivate courage. They fought for the shrine, and found they had become courageous. They did not cultivate cleanliness. They purified themselves for the altar, and found they were clean. (ht)

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