The notion of sobriety as a virtue might seem rather puritanical. However, Aristotle and other ancient philosophers made clear that this virtue of moderation in drink brings more joy than getting drunk.
Sobriety is a good and useful habit for those who are in the pursuit of a peaceful life. The scriptures are full of encouragements that counsel us always to show restraint when drinking.
Drunkenness causes of so much strife, violence and unnecessary heartache.
The need to know one’s limit in drinking and the harmful consequences of ignoring it can be plainly in any bar or even restaurant on weekends. Alcohol-related fights take place very often as Friday approaches.
However, even for religious people, sobriety does not mean a rejection of all alcohol as sinful. A lot of characters and saints drank wine moderately.
The Summary of Theology stresses that a moderate intake of wine is good for the body and cheering for the heart. Especially when it is drunk as a means of making merry with friends, as friendship is held in the highest regard, .
Therefore in drinking, as with other carnal pleasures, the virtue is to be found in the mean. The virtuous person is one who has accustomed himself to drinking within his sensible and enjoyable limit.
Unfortunately, it takes a long time to learn the disgusting side effects of reckless drinking.
Why is it so hard to just enjoy a couple of drinks with friends and family, quietly knowing that we are practicing the virtue of sobriety?