My view of mind, beliefs and life claims that false beliefs can still be used well and serve what people of diverse views agree to be good. Thus not all religion is bad, not all religious practice is bad and perhaps at any given time a wrong belief does more good than a correct belief.
This simple paragraph seems to split the blogging atheist community into two camps. On my recent “What are Beliefs” post, some colleagues argued against my position. To accent their point, a poignant quote by George Bernard Shaw was put forward. So I have decided to put together a little quote war below. The “Sober Camp” are the hyper-rationalists (who believe that wrong beliefs are always bad because they always lead to bad outcomes) and the “Drunk Camp” emotive-rationalists (my camp, and yes, I made up that word, who belief emotions and beliefs are always linked and that the emotional life is as important as the mental life – perhaps, at times, more important.) In a later post, I shall enjoy writing more about alcohol.
“Sober Camp”: Hyper-Rationalists
“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”
-George Bernard Shaw(Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1856-1950)
“Strength of mind rests in sobriety; for this keeps your reason unclouded by passion.”
-Pythagoras (57- 495 BCE)
“Drunk Camp”: Emotive-Rationalists
“To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity.”
-Aristotle(Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scientist and Physician, 384 BCE-322 BCE)
“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”
-Jalal ad-Din Rumi(Persian Poet and Mystic, 1207-1273)
“The problem with some people is that when they aren’t drunk, they’re sober.”
-William Butler Yeats(Irish prose Writer, Dramatist and Poet. 1865-1939)
“The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour.”
-William James(American Philosopher and Psychologist, leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, 1842-1910)