[D]o not be oppressed by the frightful sum of human suffering; there is no sum; two lean women are not twice as lean as one, and two fat women are not twice as fat as one. Poverty and pain are not cumulative; you must not let your spirit be crushed by the fancy that it is.
George Bernard Shaw, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, London, 1828, sect. 84
Man is not yet an ideal creature. At his present best many of his ways are so unpleasant that they are unmentionable in polite society, and so painful that he is compelled to pretend that pain is often a good. Nature, also called Providence, holds no brief for the human experiment: it must stand or fall by its results. If Man will not serve, Nature will try another experiment.
George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah, London, 1945, preface