"In order to have any sense of control over our own life, we need to know that we’re able to make sense out of our experience, in all of its many aspects. It’s the need that religion addresses, that philosophy addresses... if you have a moral code that you do your best to live up to, other things being equal, it’s very positive in its consequences for your self esteem, even if the moral code is in some ways mistaken. If you conscientiously try to live it to the best of your ability, that would have a salutary effect on your self-esteem. If you violate it, it would have a negative effect on your self-esteem. But suppose you have nothing to violate, no worldview—that absence will limit your self-esteem, because you need to feel aligned with reality. You need feel that you are in appropriate contact with the real world. Now your theory of what the real world is might be right or wrong. But so long as you are able to believe that you are in contact with the real world and are acting on that knowledge, your self-esteem benefits... Regardless, upsetting as it may be to orthodox Objectivists, I think you can show that in the short run and in [a coerced] environment, a person who has some overarching faith has a better chance of surviving. But I wouldn’t explain that all away by saying ignorance is bliss. The point is to understand what function a belief system provides. Then you can understand why an imperfect one is sometimes beneficial"