Monday, February 07, 2011

Another Chestertonian Golden Oldie

His chapter on Maniacs from Orthodoxy. A Chesterton-Dawkins debate would be a delight to see.


Dan Lower said...

I'm not sure it would be much of a debate...

Gregory said...

I find it interesting that the oft spoken pop-psychology maxim (i.e. "believe in yourself") has all the same trappings as believing in God....or, rather, it's another case of believing in God--except that this "god" happens to be you and me. But why should any humanist expect another person to believe in him/her when everyone else is too busy believing in themselves? Imagine this little dialogue:

Frank: So, George, did you know that they just unearthed a 1500 year old Byzantine Church in Israel?

George: Oh, yeah? So says you. I don't got time for that Churchy stuff. I believe what I want because I believe in myself. That's all I need.

Frank: Really? You mean that "facts" don't matter to you?

George: Oh, I believe in facts alright. I have my own "facts". You don't have to "like them apples", but they're the ones I pick and eat where I want and when I want.

Perhaps the pervasive psychological pathologies of our present time might have been lessened, maybe even averted, were it not for the gospel of "believe in yourself". But that's ok. We have pills. Lots and lots of pills. Ask your Doctor about which one "might be right for you".

I'm not saying that we shouldn't take medicines. If you need them, then take them. If you are on them, then stay on them!!!

I'm only suggesting that we take away a bad idea.

On a practical level, I would prescribe this maxim: "doubt yourself". Jimi Hendrix, and many other persons of note, always doubted their own achievements. Hendrix never settled with the flattering opinions of others. Instead, his own self-doubts regarding his playing/techniques is what led him to greatness.