Sunday, 12 August 2007


Next the book God's Debris moves from religion to willpower. A simple example of eating too much and hunger urges are discussed, the conclusions is summed up below:

Morality and willpower are illusions. For any human being, the highest urge always wins and willpower never enters into it. Willpower is a delusion. (page 94)

Morality was just added to the discussion at that moment and grouped together with willpower. Nevertheless even though willpower is an illusion it is still useful for society to control people's urges "by shame and condemnation and the threat of punishment" (page 94). It is easier to blame something that doesn't exist (willpower) than to blame the urges behind them.

This chapter also means that even though we are together building the Internet because we are all part of God (page 52), God wants us to have negative urges and wants society to punish those urges.

We all have negative urges, we all do "wrong" things. Somehow we are able to just know that we have done something wrong. I do believe that we each have a different level or strength of urges as everyone else, but that is still saying we have our vices (negative urges). Others may even be more aware of our vices than we are (I'm sure this is true for me). But I do think we are responsible for our vices. The problem I see is that we have vices (things that don't meet up to a standard) and for us to overcome all our negative urges is impossible.

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means-the only complete realist. (C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity)


  1. I'm wondering how this author would view temptation (which is linked closely with willpower).

    Would they say that temptation exists?

  2. Hey Tiger,

    I'm not sure if this does reflect the authors real point of view, but I did get the impression that the old man in the story would have the same view for temptation as willpower, that is, temptation doesn't exist.

    That is why I kinda made the jump from negative urges to mean temptation. Temptation makes a moral statement on urges. If morality is an illusion then I don't see a difference between positive urges and negative urges. I think this line of thinking may end up something like: "if we have these urges, why shouldn't we act upon them?"