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The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.
We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.
All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
Do you know what a pessimist is A man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Martyrdom, sir, is what these people like: it is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.
The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure is occupation.
In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence, and famine.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.
I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die and do not outlive yourself.
The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor he takes my measure anew every time he sees me, whilst all the rest go on with their old measurements, and expect them to fit me.
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
What is life but a seires of inspired follies The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance it doesn't come every day.
All my life, affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.
Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
Let a short Act of Parliament be passed, placing all street musicians outside the protection of the law, so that any citizen may assail them with stones, sticks, knives, pistols, or bombs without incurring any penalties.
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
The American Constitution, one of the few modern political documents drawn up by men who were forced by the sternest circumstances to think out what they really had to face, instead of chopping logic in a university classroom.
The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them -- that's the essense of inhumanity.
When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap. Being a force of Nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
A learned man is an idler who kills time with study. Beware of his false knowledge it is more dangerous than ignorance.
Alcohol is a very necessary article... It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.
Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time.
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.
A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
An institution which is populare because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
A socialist is somebody who doesn't have anything, and is ready to divide it up equally among everybody.
Do you know what a pessimist is? A person who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself and hates them for it.
Do you think that the things people make fools of themselves about are any less real and true than the things they behave sensibly about They are more true they are the only things that are true.
Englishmen hate Liberty and Equality too much to understand them. But every Englishman loves a pedigree.
Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.
Few people think more than two or three times a year I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.
I make a fortune from criticizing the policy of the government, and then hand it over to the government in taxes to keep it going.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.
I'm not a teacher only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead-ahead of myself as well as you.
If more than ten percent of the population likes a painting it should be burned, for it must be bad.
If the governments devalue the currency in order to betray all creditors, you politely call this procedure 'inflation'.
If the lesser mind could measure the greater as a footrule can measure a pyramid, there would be finality in universal suffrage. As it is, the political problem remains unsolved.
If you value a man's regard, strive with him. As to liking, you like your newspaper -- and despise it.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
In a battle all you need to make you fight is a little hot blood and the knowledge that it's more dangerous to lose than to win.
It took me twenty years of studied self-restraint, aided by the natural decay of my faculties, to make myself dull enough to be accepted as a serious person by the British public.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die; any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
Life is a disease; and the only diference between one another is the stage of the disease at which he lives.
My main reason for adopting literature as a profession was that, as the author is never seen by his clients, he need not dress respectably.
My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
Popular Christianity has for its emblem a gibbet, for its chief sensation a sanginary execution after torture, for its central mystery is an insane vengeance bought off by a trumpery expiation. But there is a nobler and profounder Christianity which affirms the sacred mystery of equality and forbids the glaring futility and folly of vengeance.
Reviewing has one advantage over suicide: in suicide you take it out on yourself; in reviewing you take it out on other people.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than saying a drunken man is happier than a sober man.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
The fickleness of the women whom I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
The man who listens to Reason is lost reason enslaves all whose minds are not strong enough to master her.
The notion that the colonel need be a better man than the private is as confused as the notion that the keystone need be stronger than the coping stone.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
We don't bother much about dress and manners in England, because as a nation we don't dress well and we've no manners.
We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence...on pain of liquidation.
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.
While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?
You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.
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