Friday, August 20, 2010

What not to drink with anything

The world is awash with advice about what not to drink. All kinds of virtuous products, in which honest labour and the love of life have been distilled for your benefit--unpasteurized milk, for example--have been forbidden by the health fanatics. Not a week passes without a newspaper article rehearsing the damage done to the human constitution by spirits, carbonated drinks, coffee or cola, and it seems to me that the time has come to draw a line under all this nonsense and to lay down a few simple principles. The first is that you should drink what you like, in the quantities that you like. It may hasten your death, but this small cost will be offset by the benefits to everyone around you.

The second principle is that you should not, through your drinking, inflict pain on others: drink as much as you like, but put away the bottle before gaiety gives way to gloom. Drinks which have a depressive effect--water, for example--should be taken in small doses, for medicinal reasons only.

--Professor Roger Scruton
I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher's Guide to Wine

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