Monday, May 1, 2006

Food for Thought

By The Raving Atheist

Catholic philosopher G.K. Chesterton was a heavyweight -- intellectually speaking, of course. Here he offers some food for thought:

Gluttony is a great fault; but we do not necessarily dislike a glutton. We only dislike the glutton when he becomes a gourmet -- that is, we only dislike him when he not only wants the best for himself, but knows what is best for other people.

Atheist philosopher John Stuart Mill had similar thoughts about those who eat slop:

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides.

Neither man, then, subscribed to the common view that no one is ever in a position to decide what is best for anyone else. Both accepted the notion that some authorities are higher than others. The chief difference between the two is whether the highest authority of all is a man or a god. And I think we can all agree that the answer to that question is obvious to anyone who isn't a pig or a fool.