An (un-)godly exercise

Here is an exercise i like to practice, a metaphysical exercise: sometimes understand the world as having no gods, as a self-contained existence, perhaps pointless; but at other times try to understand how there could be a god, how god might stand outside our world and transform it. Stretch your mind until it can encompass both truths, until it finally understands how both are also wrong. Then perhaps you might be free enough to imagine deeper truths.



2 Comments to “An (un-)godly exercise”

  1. I received a catalog from, sells dvds of lectures by fairly good college professors. In it Dr. Sam Wang, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at Princeton, offers a course, The Neuroscience of Everyday Life.

    The material explaining what the course is about has a couple of things that I think would be valuable to one engaged in “Ethipraxis.”

    1. Willpower: Willpower is more than a metaphor; it’s a measurable trait that drawson a finite mental resource, like a muscle. While any given individual has a consistent willpower capacity throughout life, it can be strengthened through training — again, just like a muscle.

    2. How to Stick to Your Health Regimen: If you use your nondominant hand to brush your teeth for two weeks, this can lead to a meeasurable increase in your willpower capacity. People who do this are then able to follow a diet or exercise program better.

    I’d think this was bunk if he wasn’t teaching at Princeton and have a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford School of Medicine.

    I think that that is fascinating. Maybe I’ll reinstate my long discarded belief in willpower.

  2. “Ethipraxis” is an interesting concoction i’ll have to nurse for a while.

    The will-power ideas are indeed standard “neuroscience knowledge” and very interesting as they straddle, and somewhat comfortably at that!, the old divide between science fact and moral practice.

    It is also interesting in that it points to how we can strengthen our minds (i assume this is the link to the post above) through simple, apparently unconnected practices.

    The most interesting bit, however, is probably that we can make substantial changes (will-power) to our minds through tiny though repetitive actions, and that is indeed exactly what i was getting at here, though Dr. Wang knows what he want to achieve (strong will) whereas i specifically do not.

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