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The boundaries of rationality 📐

Published 6 months ago • 2 min read

Hey friends,

Broadly speaking, I’ve had three phases when it comes to my faith. The first stage spanned from my childhood to my mid-twenties, as I was raised in the Anglican tradition and church was a weekly occurrence. The second stage represented a reversal of belief, where I denounced religion and adopted a rather cynical version of atheism.

And the third stage - which is where I’m at now - is one where I neither reject nor embrace religious ideology. I see both its ugliness and its beauty, its divisiveness and its wholesomeness. And wherever contradictory truths like this exist, I know that there is wisdom to be found.

In today’s reflection, I wanted to delve deeper into the transition between that second and third stage. Werner Heisenberg once said that “the first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” While I’m still agnostic to a belief in God, I am fascinated by how this transition happens. How does a staunch rationalist end up finding peace in the idea of a higher being?

Well, it’s because reason has a hard limit on its ability to answer life’s most important questions. And today, I’m going to draw upon one of the most famous (and misunderstood) quotes in all of philosophy to explore this nuance further. When you’re ready, let’s dive right in:

The Boundaries of Rationality


Another Thing I Made

My drawing course, Draw Your Words, is now out in the internet wilderness, and many of you have picked it up. It’s always heartening when people decide to invest in their creativity, and I’m humbled that I can help you along this journey.

With that said, I’ve put together a free resource for those of you that want an inside look into my thoughts on drawing. It’s a 5-day email series that will explore why drawings are so effective, and when to include them in your work. Writers will benefit most from this series, but anyone with a passing interest in drawing will also get a lot out of it.

To get access to the series, simply click here and the first lesson will arrive in your inbox shortly. Enjoy.


A Thought I’ve Been Pondering

Most people journal about the “what”s of life. What they did that day, what they achieved, and so on.

But the far more powerful thing to journal about is the “why.”

Why did you feel that way? Why did you think that thought? Why did you want to achieve that?

Answering the “why”s will reveal more about yourself than any “what” ever will.


A Brief Parting Question

What’s a quote that’s been resonating with you a lot these days? Why?

The reason why I published today’s reflection is because the Nietzsche quote I reference has been growing in relevance. As technology marches onward with no hindrance in sight, I’m also seeing the void it leaves behind in its wake. And given that faith is no longer what replenishes it, I wonder if our attempt to do so with rationality will ever work.

What about you? What’s one quote that’s been a source of reflection on your end?


As always, hit reply to share any thoughts, to respond to the parting question, or to simply say hello. I love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share this email with anyone who might enjoy it. Have a great rest of your week!

-Lawrence Yeo

P.S. Thanks to all the wonderful people that support the blog on Patreon! It means so much. If you’d like to support More To That and get access to exclusive AMAs, offline posts, and other reflections, join as a patron today.

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More To That

by Lawrence Yeo

Illustrated stories on the human condition.

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