Quotes from Small Gods

Terry Pratchett ·  400 pages

Rating: (85.9K votes)


“Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“He says gods like to see an atheist around. Gives them something to aim at.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“What's a philosopher?' said Brutha.
Someone who's bright enough to find a job with no heavy lifting,' said a voice in his head.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods



“The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote (provided that he wasn't poor, foreign, nor disqualified by reason of being mad, frivolous, or a woman). Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible, and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Just because you can explain it doesn't mean it's not still a miracle.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water! A mere quantum-mechanistic tunnel effect, that'd happen anyway if you were prepared to wait zillions of years. As if the turning of sunlight into wine, by means of vines and grapes and time and enzymes, wasn't a thousand times more impressive and happened all the time...”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“We are here and it is now. The way I see it is, after that, everything tends towards guesswork.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods



“The trouble was that he was talking in philosophy but they were listening in gibberish.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“I think," he said, "I think, if you want thousands, you have to fight for one.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Words are the litmus paper of the mind.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods



“There’s no point in believing in things that exist.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“That's why it's always worth having a few philosophers around the place. One minute it's all is truth beauty and is beauty truth, and does a falling tree in the forest make a sound if there's no one there to hear it, and then just when you think they're going to start dribbling one of 'em says, incidentally, putting a thirty-foot parabolic reflector on a high place to shoot the rays of the sun at an enemy's ships would be a very interesting demonstration of optical principles.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“The people who really run organizations are usually found several levels down, where it is still possible to get things done.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Thou shalt not submit thy god to market forces.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


“Probably the last man who knew how it worked had been tortured to death years before. Or as soon as it was installed. Killing the creator was a traditional method of patent protection.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods



“It's hard to explain," said Brutha. "But I think it's got something to do with how people should behave... you should do things because they're right. Not because gods say so. They might say something different another time.”
― Terry Pratchett, quote from Small Gods


About the author

Terry Pratchett
Born place: in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, The United Kingdom
Born date April 28, 1948
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