Hume's best remark on religion and philosophy

Yesterday I had to reread the conclusion of Book I of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature and saw this wonderful remark on religion and philosophy:

Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

I certainly had read this remark before and liked it, but I didn't remember it. So when I was rereading it, it was as if I was reading it the first time and I was able to experience anew the feeling of being deeply impressed. It was a wonderful feeling.


Berkeley's reminder

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Berkeley's famous remark on philosophy:

We have first raised a dust and then complain we cannot see.

I have become more and more convinced that most published philosophy nowadays, probably including my own writings, fits this description.

I am suffering from intellectual self-doubt; what I doubt is not my intellectual abilities, but my intellectual activities and their products. I am feeling a bit lost; I need a new direction.


Polygamy and infidelity

Adam Phillips again. Here is what he says about monogamy that I find quite interesting:

Like a magnet that collects our virtues and vices, monogamy makes the larger abstractions real, as religion once did. Faith, hope, trust, morality; these are domestic matters now. Indeed, we contrast monogamy not with bigamy or polygamy but with infidelity, because it is our secular religion. God may be dead, but the faithful couple won't lie down. (Monogamy, p.10)

There are indeed people whose understanding of monogamy comes from their religion, but Phillips are not talking about them. What he suggests is that people, including (or particularly) those who do not have a religion, need monogamy the way they need religion.

This sounds to me an exaggeration. I do think, however, he is right that we contrast monogamy with infidelity. This raises a question: How is infidelity in polygamy different from infidelity in monogamy? In polygamy, when the husband (or the wife if it is polyandry) is unfaithful, he is unfaithful to more than one person. Is it worse than, or not as bad as, being unfaithful to just one person as in the case of infidelity in monogamy? Conversely, when one of the wives is unfaithful, can we say that she is unfaithful only to part of the husband because she shares him with his other wives? If we can say that, should we also say that her infidelity is not as bad as that in monogamy?