Showing posts from July, 2022

On Pascal and the door of a Church (series: notes to myself)

We live in a tiny village. Green fields and trees anywhere you look, apart from the local Church and its graveyard, our quiet neighbourhood.  The other day I went to visit it. I had been planning to meditate inside it, surrounded by symbols, evidence of other people's faith, of their beliefs in transcendence and supernaturalism. A step on Pascal's road, I had thought. Only, in my case, to the re-acquisition of faith, not its acquisition or protection. Keep trying and you will believe, apparently. Well, it turns out to be way more difficult in practice than when you read it in a book. It feels like wanting to believe that the world is different from what it screams to be: messy, accidental, random, chaotic, godless, so pervasively and bottomlessly historical.  I thought I could get inside, in the silent space of the navel of the Church, spend a moment reflecting, and maybe record some thoughts, like I'm doing now. While walking to the Church, I even wondered whether some loc

"Notes to myself" available on Amazon

"Notes to myself" are now available as a little book on Amazon: - ebook free for kindle unlimited or  £2.50, lowest rounded price allowed by Amazon - paperback on Amazon:   $4, lowest, rounded prize allowed by Amazon MANY THANKS to everyone who sent suggestions and notes of encouragement.  I hope it won't disappoint you.

On the importance of lacking the courage (series: notes to myself)

Courage is a virtue. Everybody knows this. It’s one of the four classic ones. It's used as an example in any ethics class, often in some old-fashioned way. You know, like philosophers always talking about horses as if they were the most obvious objects in the world.  In the good old days (kind of), courage referred to your attitude in battle. And not in any battle, but one in which you engaged with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat, with weapons the size of a broom. After all, our founding father, Socrates, served in the Athenian army as hoplite and distinguished himself during the Peloponnesian war. Not your average prof in some academic ivory tower. Plato was taught by the equivalent of a decorated marine, who died for his beliefs. Aristotle argued that courage is in between rashness and cowardice. It seems something good, always to be praised. You want to be courageous, if not in battle, at least in everyday life, at least in upholding your beliefs, defending your actions, taking