“Human life is conducted on a thin crust of normality, in which mutual respect maintains a genial equilibrium between people. Beneath this thin crust is the dark sea of instincts, quiescent for the most part but sometimes erupting in a show of violence. Above it is the light-filled air of thought and imagination, into which our sympathies expand and which we people with our visions of human value. Culture is the collective practice which renews those visions and extends our sympathies into all the corners of the heart. It is the ongoing record of the life of feeling which offers to every new generation the examples, images and words that will teach it what to feel. But when the eruptions come it can do nothing to tame the violence. Nor can religion do anything, nor can ordinary morality. For violence breeds violence, and anger breeds anger. Good people, whether educated or uneducated, whether aesthetes or philistines, will try to bring order and decency in the midst of chaos but bad people will always resist them, and in the worst moments of human conflict it is the bad people who prevail. Some of these bad people will be cultivated; some will be religious; all of them will be bent on a path of destruction, consulting their faith or their education only as a source of excuses, and never as an order to stop. No institution, no doctrine, no art that human beings have devised has ever been able to prevent the atrocities that occur once the crust of normal life has broken.”

— Roger Scruton, Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged