Sunday, October 28, 2018

Ornamental Sweet Potatoes

My brother asks whether he can eat the sweet potatoes he found in his hanging pot with a sweet potato vine. The tubers are radish red, but shaped like a potato.

Yes, they are edible--if you haven't fertilized your hanging plant with chemicals. These "ornamental" sweet potatoes aren't as tasty as regular sweet potatoes that are bred for sweetness. But i daresay, that wouldn't matter much in a side dish of roasted roots, for example.

Harvesting vegetables from your flower pots feels like a 2-for-1 deal--beautiful vines in the hanging flower pot all summer, and, after frost, a harvest of vegetables.

This reminds me of Pascal's Wager. The seventeenth century philosopher, mathematician, and physicist, Blaise Pascal, says that a rational person should live as though God exists. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some worldly pleasures), whereas she stands to receive infinite gains (represented by eternity in heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in hell).

We could fine-tune Pascal's Wager by recognizing that unwholesome, unskillful conduct leads to stress in the here and now. Yes, unskillful conduct can feel like fun, but our conscience knows. We don't even need to believe (or not believe) in God. The proof of Pascal's Wager lies in our very own emotional bodies.

If we act with wholesome intentions, we can harvest the flowers and the vegetables of a life well-lived.

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