Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Me Against the World, or isn't it??

Some philosophers thought of what they called a pre-social human or the man of nature in ancient Greek terms. There is no evidence in history that such a human being has ever existed. Humans are essentially social animals. Any human being born in this world needs to be taken care of for a relatively long time. An infant born in this world without parental support will certainly not survive. However, in addition to the relatively long period of time required for any human being to be capable to survive on his own, the social nature of human beings extends beyond the need for parental support. We share with some other animals this tendency to live among large groups. This tendency to bond with others is a natural product of biological evolution shared by so many species including humans. The concept of pres-social animal defies empirical evidence. However, it might be useful after all to think of how the life of such a human being, isolated from any social relations, would be like.

In addition, to the empirical evidence suggesting that human beings need to bond to others in a manner equal to their need for food, sex and shelter, philosophical reflections upon human life revealed that human beings living in isolation would lack lots of what makes us humans. Such a pres-social human would not desire any thing other than his biological needs satisfied. Such a human being conception of happiness would be entirely different from ours. It can further be argued that such a human being might not be conscious of life as well. Consciousness has been explained as our ability to reflect upon our perceptual experiences. Such reflection requires an ability to form beliefs. Those beliefs can be thought of as linguistic representations of our perpetual and introspective experiences. A pre-social animal lacks language. After all, language is a social practice. It might be hard to think of a human being who is not conscious of his surroundings. However, this might be better understood by reflection upon the first two years of your life. As a two years old infant, you lacked language. In this early stage of life, you were certainly able to perceive your surroundings, hold memories, and be aware of your feelings of hunger, or pain. However, even though your experiences were to a large extent similar to your current experiences as an adult, it can be claimed that you were not conscious back then. Lacking language, you were not able to reflect upon those experiences and therefore you were not conscious of them.

So, a pre-social human has a motivational background so limited compared to us. In addition, his experience of the world lacks consciousness. This would certainly make such a pre-social human different from how we think of human beings to a large extent.

What is important about attempting to think of such a human being is that it reveals a lot about what makes us humans. Living among a society certainly has a great effect on making us what we take ourselves to be.

Others make us humans through two main ways interacting together, namely through language and actions. As we learn language, we don't only get to learn the name of things or the rules of grammar but in addition we learn the rules of rationality and the ultimate goals of life. Any language has inherent within it rules of what makes its own statements true or false. Those rules constitute the basis of rationality. In addition, language is used by others to guide our behavior. Guiding our behavior through language allows us to conceive the goals toward which our actions should be directed. So, as we grow up and our linguistic communication with other expands, we get to acquire rationality and we get to theorize of what is most significant and valuable in life. Linguistic communication with others provides us with reason and in addition it reformulates our desire so that it would extend to a much wider extent than being limited to the satisfaction of our mere biological needs. This claim can be better understood if we returned back to our pre-social human. Certainly this man of nature, even though might have mental and physical abilities similar to you, would lack reason and values. This is not only because he lacks a language through which reason and values can be explained to him but because he is not living in a society in which reason and values are crucial for his own survival.

Living among others doesn't only allow our desires and reason to evolve but in addition it shapes our will. Desiring something is one things and wanting to follow your desire or not is a totally different thing. Whether you want to follow your desires or not is governed by your own will. Will is shaped to a large extent by your habits. Others affect your habits either directly or indirectly. You get used to do things in a particular way either through imitation of others as you grow up or by finding your own way. Even, when you start doing things your own way, you are affected by the social system you live in, and therefore, others would still affect how you get used to do things even when you are not imitating them any more. This developing habitual pattern of yours shapes your will.

The effects of others upon you, whether of shaping your reason, desire, or will, are not objects of obvious awareness to most of us. Most of us at best have mere intuitions about what they generally desire, will to do, or figure out as reasonable. Cognitive psychologists have found out that most of our learning process goes unconsciously in our frontal lobes. Christof Koch in "The Quest for Consciousness" argued, based on empirical evidence, that consciousness lies at the prefrontal cortex rather than within the frontal cortex itself. Learning and thinking take place within the frontal lobes. The results of those processes are presented to our consciousness in the prefrontal cortex as mere intuitions.

However, as we reflect more upon our intuitions and as we brake down the components of what resides in our frontal lobes and bring them to the consciousness of the prefrontal cortex, we get to find out that reason, desire, and will might pull us in different directions. The wisdom transmitted to each one of us by others through language and actions is not yet prefect. That's why each individual human being still has an unfinished job. Each one of us through his life, needs to realize his own desires without violation of reason and through reshaping his own will. As you figure out new ways to solve this conflict and as you become more successful in achieving this piece of mind, you will affect others in return. This interaction between each individual of us and with the sum of wisdom created by others through centuries of cultural evolution might help us one day to know what is most significant to us and how to act in the right way.

When each one of us understand the role played by others in shaping the human being one is, we would understand the scope of our individuality better and we would get to learn to have a mutual respect between society and the individual. How you should respect others and how should others respect your individuality is something that I will write about later.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Knowing Knowledge

There are lots of concepts which we take ourselves to understand clearly. However, philosophical reflection upon those concepts reveals that our initial grasp of them is infected with lots of inconsistencies. Philosophy has a bad reputation of unnecessarily making simple things more complex. However, philosophy through attempting to explain those apparently simple concepts don't only allow us to understand them better, but it also explains a lot about our own nature and the nature of the world we live in.

Attempting to define those concepts is not an easy job. Those attempts extend back to the time of Socrates and it might even extend for more ancient times. The failure of various accounts offered by so many distinguished philosophers to explain such concepts made lots of thinkers conclude that such attempts are destined to fail. Some argued that we should conceive it as a matter of fact that the human thought process lacks a concrete foundation. However, other philosophers, driven by their passion to understand, insisted on providing an explanation of those concepts. Their efforts didn't only prove worthy but in addition to explaining those concepts, they explained what went wrong with previous failed attempts. The persistence of contemporary philosophers like McIntyre, Putnam, Grayling and so many others allowed us to finally comprehend the foundation of the human thought process. At last, it seems more possible than ever that we can reach a solid ground upon which we can resolve our conflicts, to reach a better understanding of this world and to share a unified vision of what is most significant to us.

What is most fascinating about the most recent attempts to explain such basic concepts like knowledge, truth, reality, justice, love and so on is that the social nature of human beings was found to be so much significant in comprehending them. The efforts of various philosophers can be puzzled together to reveal that human conceptualization of those concepts was based on shared forms of social activities. Shared forms of social activities make up the foundation of the human thought process.

One of those concepts that I am so much fascinated with is the concept of knowledge. In this post, I will use this concept as an example to reveal what I have considered as the primacy of the social nature of human beings. I will not go into the details of the philosophical debate that went literally for centuries to explain the concept of knowledge. Instead, I will try to offer the most recent account explaining knowledge which was shaped by both philosophers and cognitive psychologists.

Human beings are characterized by some unique abilities. We are born in this world with an innate ability to distinguish objects present in our environment. Psychologists have realized that by the age of two, an infant gains the capacity not only to manipulate objects but to comprehend relationships of size and how such objects can fit together. In addition, infants at an even younger age can distinguish faces, facial expressions, and gestures such as pointing toward something. Certainly, our ability to distinguish various objects constituting this world is attained before our ability of linguistic conceptions of them. The cooperation among our various sense together with the basic construction of our brain allow us to acquire such an ability to distinguish and manipulate objects even if there is no language to aid in the formation of concrete conceptualization of them. This finding constitutes an evidence against the claim that perceiving is believing. A two year old child who can recognize his care takers from strangers and who can manipulate objects with an adequate level of dexterity is certainly perceiving those persons and those objects even though he is not capable of conceiving them or forming beliefs about them. He is not able to conceive them or to form believes about them because he still lacks a langue to constitute such beliefs.

Anyway, a child gains language skills by the age of four. This is a relatively very young age to acquire such a highly organized form of behavior. This remarkable ability to acquire language seems to have been allowed by long centuries of evolution. Through evolution, our left brain hemisphere has been shaped to develop Broca's area. The wiring among the neurons of Broca's area is taken to be what allow such a rapid process of language acquisition. The growth of a human being is taken to be generally similar to the process of evolution that created humans in the first place. However, the growth of language skill in today's world humans might not represent the process of evolution of language properly. There are evidences which suggest that it must have taken our ancestors so many years to develop a language that is much more simple compared to the complexity of any natural language existing today. The evolution of language must have progressed synchronously with the evolution of Broca's area in our left brain hemisphere to allow the rapid language acquisition seen in today's humans.

The evolution of language was allowed by our unique abilities to produce a wide variety of sounds together with our ability to imitate, to associate various stimuli together and to memorize. Primitive language consisted of simple names of objects. Our more primitive ability to distinguish objects and persons, together with our ability to respond to gestures allowed the creation of this primitive form of language. Even in its primitive form communication through language enhanced the survival of our ancestors to a great extent. It allowed them to avoid threats and to gain goods in a much more efficient way than before. Conformity to the rule of naming objects became crucial for the survival of any human being. It is important here to emphasize the importance of following rules. Any individual human being with the previous abilities I have just mentioned could have named any object with any name he might have came up with. However, such names in this case would be useless, since it deprives him from comprehending others and thus gaining the benefits of language. Any form of private language that is not shared by others is useless. Sharing rules of language plays, as I will explain later, a crucial part in explaining the primacy of the social nature of human beings, even when it comes to concepts such as knowledge.

Anyway, primitive languages continued to evolve. It extended beyond naming objects to explaining relations among those objects. Then, it continued to evolve to capture the rules of behavior of such objects. Here, there is an important point to mentions before explaining this next stage of language development. A pre-linguistic human don't only have the ability to distinguish and separate objects in the surrounding world, but in addition any individual human being has the ability to distinguish and separate himself from the rest of the world, even before acquisition of language. Psychologists have realized that an infant develops what they called the theory of mind before learning to use language. A pre-linguistic child, by the age of three, acts in a way that reflects his awareness that his own mental experience of the world doesn't necessarily coincide with the reality of this world. As a matter of fact, it is now argued that autistic children lack the capacity to develop this theory of mind. It is taken that is the reason why autistic children lack adequate communication skills. Having an ability to distinguish oneself from the rest of the world is again a mere capacity and not a conception in itself. A human can't conceptualize anything or become conscious of anything unless he becomes able to acquire beliefs about such a thing. Constitution of beliefs requires language. Therefore, before language acquisition, no conception of ones individuality can be achieved. However, the ability to distinguish one self from the rest of the world was crucial for the next stage of language evolution. Realizing that the world and I are two distinct things means realizing that the world extends beyond my initial scope of perception both in space and in time. Humans thus had the ability to recognize the extension of the world in both space and time even before being able to conceptualize space and time themselves. Names of objects together with the recognition that objects are related to each other and can be manipulated in different ways, in different spaces, and in different times allowed humans to develop a language that can describe events. This more complex form of language allowed further enhancement of survival chances. This more advanced form of language, again, had to follow rules so that it can be useful in communication.

The development of a complex form of language that can name objects or constituents of perceptual experience, and in addition can describe events, allowed humans to conceptualize objects and actions. With the concepts of objects and actions now available to human beings, they became able to construct an even more complex form of language. They have developed a language that can describe the basic form of behavior of the world and of other human beings. This form of language is not just an instrument anymore but it became what can be called a common folk scientific and psychological theory. It is important here to notice the importance of realizing that language can be thought of as some kind of a theory.

This unfamiliar claim can be clarified through the following example. A human being with a primitive form of language can name seasons such as summer and winter. With more complex forms of language, he can state that winter follows summer and that summer follows winter. However, in a language that constitutes a folk scientific theory, man can claim that there is such thing as a year in which one summer and one winter comes following each other. A year is not an object or a state of affair that can be experienced. Instead it is a linguistic concept that aids in describing the behavior of this world. As I have mentioned repeatedly, a language must have rules to allow communication. A language describing the behavior of the world or the behavior of others must have rules as well. Those rules must be recognized by all those who speak the same language so that they can gain the benefits of this language. Certainly, a language describing the repetitive expected behavior of the world and of others was of tremendous effect in enhancing our survival.

Many different languages have evolved in different parts of the globe. However, it is still one world that we share. That's why when it came to languages describing the behavior of the world; the rules of those different languages were more or less similar to each other. Encounters among different societies allowed further approximation of those rules. The folk scientific theories shared by early human societies were more or less alike. The rules used in this theory or in this more complex form of language made up the basis of human rationality.

It might be best to describe language in the way Quine did. He argued that language can be thought of as a spherical web of terms and statements. On the periphery of this sphere, there are the terms used to name objects and constituents of our perceptual experience. As we move inward, we first meet statements describing relationships among those object, constituents of perceptual experiences, time and space. Then we find statements describing events. More inward, we find statements describing the behavior of the world in a more abstract way. In the center of the sphere we find statements describing the rules of logic. How those statements are linked to each other is governed by the rules which the users of this language have agreed upon. It is those rules, which when conceptualized in abstract from any observational content, that constitute the logic in the center of the sphere of our language. It is this logic which represents our rationality in its purest possible sense.

This conception of language reveals that contrary to the common thought, human rationality is not something distinct from humans. It doesn't consist of laws which are enforced upon humans and which they might fail or succeed in realizing. Instead, rationality is formed of rules which were formed by humans themselves through centuries of mutual cooperation. Rationality evolved synchronously with the evolution of our language. It evolved as a requirement of having language as a useful instrument to enhance the survival of human beings. Rationality might have been developed as a requirement for having a language we can communicate with. However, this doesn't reduce the value of rationality. It is still required more than ever today. Without the rules of rationality or the rules of language use, knowledge can never be achieved.

Within the sphere of our language, we can construct various theories. We can link so many different statements together to construct many different theories. We can construct theories of science, religions, astrology, fiction and so much more. As the statements of this theory don't break any rule of language use and thus doesn't violate consistency, the theory can be considered as coherent. However, only one, among those many different theories we can construct, can amount to be considered knowledge. This is the theory which upon strict examination of the links between its constituent statements would not reveal any inconsistency. It is the theory which can include either any statement or its negation without any threat to consistency. It is the theory which can't be but accepted by any one of the language users who applies the rules of this language or the rules of the rationality. Finally, it is the theory which allows the achievement of the main goals for which language has been developed in the first place, namely survival and what ever else that we needed language for. A theory which can satisfy all those criteria is the theory that all of its statements can be called true and it is the theory which constitutes knowledge.

Up till now, no single theory has ever managed to satisfy all of those criteria. However, there is only one which seems more promising than others. It is the theory of science.

What is so revealing about conceptualizing knowledge in this way is to realize that knowledge is a shared social activity. What distinguish knowledge from fiction are rules inherent in our language which has been formed by our ancestors through very long time. Whenever, you attempt to acquire knowledge you have no choice but appealing to those rules.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Game Life: Nothing Less Than Gods

Today, Game Life manual will be completed. The final stage will be revealed. Up till now no player has ever managed to reach this stage. However, with determination, hope and with the continuous cooperation among players it might be reached one day even if in the so distant future. Some might argue that reaching this stage is impossible and in fact it might be. However, the goal of Game Life or Eudaimonia can never be fully actualized unless this final stage is attained. In the final stage of Game Life, the impossible itself is what you are required to conquer. It is the stage at which the real nature of us is revealed with out any further fear or shame.

Humans, the most amazing species of creatures, have managed to survive through many long centuries. We were driven, by our basic desire to bond to each other, to cooperate together to start our very own process of cultural evolution. In this process, our amazing abilities of communication, conceptualization, imagination and adaptation allowed us to get into existence our very own creations. We created values, vice and virtue, wrong and right, good and evil. We created the concept of happiness. We conceptualized happiness as the attainment of the wonderful values of friendship, knowledge, accomplishment, practical reasoning and pleasure. The conceptualization of those values became the essence of our own nature and our own will. We suffered a lot in attempting to achieve those values. We faced lots of challenges. We tried to give up on them sometimes, but we can't escape our own selves. We can't escape the destiny we draw for our own selves. We can't escape the ultimate goal of Game Life.

As the challenges imposed upon us while attempting to actualize our core values became so strong, we had no choice but to use our strongest faculty, the faculty of imagination. We imagined gods. We assigned various gods with various values. We indulged ourselves in conceptualizing those gods as the realizations of those values. Gods represented those values triumphed over all possible challenges. Soon, gods were reduced to one god. We worshiped this god. After all, he was the essence of what ever we thought of as good. God resided in all of us, not as an entity distinct from us but as a symbol of our own essence. God is the realization of our own values, and our own happiness. God is the realization of the ultimate goal of Game Life. He is the realization of Eudaimonia. However, even though it might seem so daring to state it, God can't remain forever in our heads; we are destined to bring him into existence. Our nature as humans will never be completely revealed unless we become gods. This is the final stage of Game Life; Nothing Less Than Gods.

Final Stage: Nothing Less Than Gods

As more and more players reach the "Living it to the Maximum" stage, their contributions to the actualization of Eudaimonia will allow other players in the future to cooperate together more effectively to face the challenges imposed by the world we live in. hopefully, one day we will acquire complete knowledge of this world. Later, we will realize how to control it and power over universe will be attained. Such an absolute knowledge and absolute power guided with our other values will make us what we have longed for, for so long time. It will make us gods.

The task of any player who reaches this stage is to fully realize Eudaimonia despite all the challenges. Once this task is accomplished, Eudaimonia will be realized. With the realization of the ultimate goal of Game Life, game will not be over. The goal of Game Life is its own reward. Once Eudaimonia is achieved, its constituent values will be transformed to the absolute. Knowledge will become omniscience, accomplishment will become absolute power, friendship will become benevolence, practical reason will become wisdom, and pleasure will become total and absolute joy. Eternity will be accomplished and in this eternity you will get to enjoy those values to the point of infinity. Your limitless imagination and creativity will go on fueling your aspirations for knowledge, pleasure, accomplishment, benevolence and wisdom.

Such a goal might reside for ever in dream world. It might never escape this imaginary line of thought I called Game Life. However, what we can't deny is that this is our real dream. It is what we want. It is what makes up our will. We want to be nothing less than gods. Again whether you liked it or not, whether challenges you face managed to get you down or not, you have no choice but to seek this ultimate goal. You have no choice but to follow your own well, to listen to your real nature, and to seek your own dream. You have no choice but to play Game Life.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Game Life: Living it to the Maximum

I wish you are not bored yet guys. It seems like I am trying to answer a very big question in a very limited space. However, I still want to go on considering this fascinating game. It is at least insightful for me to attempt to conceive life in this manner. I think I should reintroduce my whole vision in a clearer manner. I will certainly do this in the future. However for now, I want to finish what I have started. Today, I will present another portion of the manual of Game Life.

After completion of the first stage of Game life, you will move to the next stage. "Just a human being" was the first stage of Game Life. The second stage is "living it to the maximum". By completion of the first stage you should have realized what is most important for you. You should know by now your most important value whether it is knowledge, practical reasoning, friendship, accomplishment or pleasure. You should have done considerable deal of work to attain this value. Now you are ready for the next harder stage of Game Life.

Second Stage: Living it to the maximum

In the "just a human being stage", your initial PTE was enough. In the "living it to the maximum" stage you are expected to realize nothing less than the general PTE. Your main task in this stage is to realize that Eudaimonia or happiness can't be attained unless you have actualized the various values of friendship, accomplishment, knowledge, practical reasoning and pleasure. You should have realized this from reflection upon your own life and the lives of other players. It is not only that other players in Game Life hold different values that all can be reduced to one of the five values mentioned repeatedly in the manual, but you yourself hold those values to be important even though you might have not recognized this initially.

Realizing the general PTE is an easy task compared to the second task in this stage. After realizing the general PTE, you are supposed to construct a corresponding PACT. This task is so difficult. Up till now no player has ever managed to achieve it. The problem is that since you have understood that the core values of the general PTE are shared by all other players, your theory of how to achieve those values, or your PACT in simpler terms, should not only allow you to achieve those values in your life but it should be suitable for any one as well to allow him to achieve the same values in his life. You are now participating in the construction of a general PACT that has not yet been adequately constructed. You are participating in the construction of morality itself.

So, your tasks in the stage can be explained further through the following points;

· Realize that happiness or eudaimonia can only be achieved through the actualization of the values of friendship, pleasure, knowledge, accomplishment, and practical reasoning.

· You should get involved in practices that allow you to achieve those values in your own life. In addition, you should commit to those practices so that your belief in the importance of those values becomes authentic and goes all the way down in your own personality.

· You should realize the real nature of those values. You should realize that in today's state of Game Life they are shared by all players even if they don't recognize it. You should also realize that those values can only be achieved through social interaction and can never be achieved in isolation.

· You are driven by the value of practical reasoning to construct a PACT or a theory of action that allows you to actualize your core values. However, since you now hold the value of knowledge as well, you are driven by this value to make your PACT accepted by all other rational beings. That's why your PACT can't be limited to your own situation but it should be suitable for all other players in Game Life.

· Construction of a successful universal PACT is difficult since most of the players in Game Life are still in the "just a human being stage" and accordingly don't recognize the importance of all of the values constituting the general PTE. Variations among those players in their starting points and the challenges they face make them vary even more considerably in their individual PACTS. In addition, the world you all players share place significant fluctuating challenges upon you that make it so difficult to construct a universal successful PACT corresponding to the general PTE.

· Since the construction of such a PACT is so difficult, all that's required from you in the "living it to the maximum stage" is to realize the five core values in your own life and to make what is considered by a significant portion of other players as a significant contribution to the construction of a universal successful PACT.

· Your contribution to the construction of a universal PACT should be transmitted by you to other generations of players in Game Life to allow them not to waste so much time in "just a human being" stage. Developing a successful universal PACT essentially requires solving lots of problems imposed upon you and upon other players by the world you share and by limitations of your abilities. Managing those problems successfully has never been achieved up till now. It will take the life time of so many players in Game Life. however, with the contribution of various players in "living it to the maximum"stage would allow one day other players to reach the final stage of Game Life, which is not only a stage of a game but the reward of Game Life itself.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Game Life: Just A Human Being...

Hi again guys. I will go on writing about Game Life. First of all, I would like to remind every one that the series of posts I write under the title Game life are not referring to some video game. It is rather an imaginary account attempting to answer the question "how should one live his life?" I thought it would be more stimulating and more appealing to you to answer this question in this alternative way. I wish you like it so far. Anyway, here is the rest of the manual of how to play Game Life. Enjoy it.

Stages of the game

Game life is a multi stage game. The first stage as argued before is a preparatory stage. In the preparatory stage you acquire the PTE and PACT. Again, you are not evaluated in this preparatory stage. The real game begins in the next stage. Once you reach adulthood, your mental abilities have fully developed and it is in this stage that evaluation of your progress in the game begins. Once the preparatory stage is over, you should pass through three different stages. It is those three stages that count.

First stage: "just a human being"

This stage can be considered as the first stage of the real game. You start this stage with a given starting point. You had a very limited role in shaping this starting point. However, you are supposed to work on this starting point to modify it so that you can achieve the ultimate goal of the game, namely achieving Eudaimonia. This is the main challenge of Game Life. Each player has a different starting point. The details of this starting point consist of the following:

· You are a member of various societies of other players. Those societies range from your family, the institution at which you work, circle of friends, marriage, partnership, recreational institutions and so on. In addition you are a citizen in a particular state. On the other hand, in today's current form of Game Life, you are also a member of a developing international society that extends to include the entire globe. Any of those societies might be more or less well defined. What makes a society or a group of players well defined or not is whether at least some of the players involved in this society have managed to constitute a well defined PTE or not. Any society with a well defined PTE would have a corresponding more or less defined PACT. This PACT might be well defined or not in the same manner as the PTE. In addition PACT might be successful or not depending upon whether it does in fact allow the realization of the corresponding PTE or not. Whether any of the societies you are involved in have a well defined PTE and PACT or not, and whether you recognize those social PTEs and PACTs or not, and whether those social PTEs and PACTs are consistent with your individual PTE and PACT might all vary in your starting point.

· You have a particular set of abilities; physical and mental. Those abilities together with the PTE and PACT of the societies you were involved in while in the preparatory stage have formed your own initial PTE and PACT.

· In addition to being a member of various societies, you also exist in a physical world. This world has its own form of behavior. This behavior has been explained best by the science theory developed by other players in the game. Taking this theory in account is essential for any successful PACT. The physical world you live in has a large impact on you in Game Life. All objects available to you in Game Life belong to the physical world and are governed by its form of behavior. Your body itself belongs to the physical world and similarly it follows its form of behavior. That's why having at least a primary grasp of the world surrounding you is essential for any successful PACT.

Clearly, your starting point in Game Life is complicated. Game Life is hard but don't give up on it, playing it properly would prove worthy of the effort invested in it.

Your ultimate goal in Game Life as mentioned before is to achieve eudaimonia. This ultimate goal can be achieved through fulfilling the tasks of each stage. In "just a human being" stage your tasks are the following;

· Grasp your initial PTE. The general PTE is the theory that is shared by all players of Game Life even though not recognized by them all. General PTE conceives happiness as a concept that can be reduced to various valuable concepts. According to general PTE, happiness or Eudaimonia can be achieved when one achieves friendship, understanding, practical reasoning, accomplishment and pleasure in his life. However, most of the players in Game Life start with an initial PTE that recognizes only one or some of those values but not all. This is again because in the preparatory stage your abilities, the societies you were involved in, and the world behavior surrounding you made it seem more possible for you to achieve one of those values rather than others. However, all that is required from you in the "just a human being" stage of this game is to recognize the value which is so important for you. Some might take friendship to be the most important thing; others might take accomplishment to the best thing in life, and certainly most would take pleasure to the most crucial in a happy life. Don’t resist your initial PTE. Take it as it is. Remember that what is required from you in this stage is to know what is the most important to you even if you have short slightness.

· Once you have determined the most important value to yourself, it will be time to move to the second more difficult task. The second task is the construction of an appropriate PACT. Knowing how to achieve what you take to be the most valuable is not an easy job. Lots of considerations must be put in mind while planning your action plan. This task can be broken down into the following more direct tasks.

· It is all about the activities you are involved in. to achieve your most valuable you must be involved in an activity within a social group that aims toward the actualization of this value. You can never achieve your most significant value in isolation.

· If the activities you are involved in are not adequate for the actualization of your main value, pick up new ones and get into them. You might even have to develop a whole new kind of activity directed toward the actualization of your main values. However, you will have to get others involved in this kind of activity. Together you will have to develop a well defined PTE and PACT of this new kind of activity.

· There are lots of challenges which will face you in actualization of your main value. Those challenges might be imposed by the world you live in, or by the social groups you are a member of. Manage those challenges as much as possible.

· Mange your time properly

· Mange your health situation

· Even if you don't accept the general PTE, you should try to remain away from any conflict with the PACT corresponding to this general PTE. Try as much as possible to avoid conflicts with others. If there is something you don't like about the behavior of others remember that what you are concerned with in this stage of the game is to actualize your main value. Affecting the general PTE and the corresponding PACT is left to the next stage of the game.

· In lots of times you might loose your motivation to pursuit your most significant value. Those are the times known as Pauses in Game Life. They might arise because of exhaustion or because of problems facing you. Remember that taking adequate care of your health status and solving problems imposed upon you by the world or by others is so crucial to avoid Pauses. However, most of the pauses are caused by neither exhaustion nor problems. Most of the Pauses are caused by lack of adequate habitual pattern. Your performance in Game Life depends to a large degree upon the kind of habits you have developed before. That's why you should develop a pattern of behavior that actualizes your most significant value and try to commit to it as much as possible to develop the adequate habitual pattern. By time Pauses will be encountered much less.

· Your performance in this stage can't all be devoted to the only one value you take to be the most significant. You will find yourself inclined to pursuit other values as well. After all the general PTS is still implanted in your head, its just lack of realizing it that prevents you from recognizing that all of its values are equally important. Don’t resist your desire to pursuit of other values. Instead learn from such tendencies. Learning from them will make you get more and more in contact with the general PTE which is very important for the next stage of the game. Allow your self to pursuit other values but without wasting so much time and effort. Save most of your time and effort to actualization of your most significant value.

· In Game Life, there are various supplementary games like sports, video games and so on. All of those supplementary games are great arena for training. They would allow you to develop the right sort of realization of a goal and rules in any game. They would also allow you to notice how being committed can help you greatly in playing this game.

By the end of this stage you are supposed to actualize your main value to a large degree. You should realize the general PTE and the importance of other values in your life. This stage of Game Life is not easy. However, when ever you feel like over whelmed by it, then this would be a good time to relax and focus on other values than the one you are most occupied with. After all it is just a game.

Before moving on to the next stages of the game, here is the summary of your task in the "just a human being" stage; know yourself and what is most significant to you whether knowledge, accomplishment, friendship, practical reasoning, pleasure or a group of those values. Remember that values can't be actualized except through interaction with others. Manage challenges facing you and focus on your goal. Develop the right habitual pattern needed for actualizing of your goal. Remember that Game Life is not easy but it certainly worth it

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Game Life: The Ultimate Goal

In the last post I started conceiving life in a totally different imaginary way. Life is a game. I called this game "Game Life". Game Life is the game we all play. Whether we liked it or not we have no choice but playing it. I promised you that the manual of this game will be delivered to you soon. So here it is; the manual of Game Life.

Goal of the game

The ultimate goal of this game is to achieve Eudaimonia. You don't know what Eudaimonia is? Eudaimonia is an ancient Greek term commonly translated as happiness, flourishing or wellbeing. Why is the goal of this game stated as Eudaimonia rather than happiness? It is because the term Eudaimonia emphasizes the most adequate account we can offer of happiness. It emphasizes that happiness is the supreme good of any of your actions. It also emphasizes that achieving happiness can only be conceived as the realization of a list of irreducible values. Those values are friendship, understanding, accomplishment, practical reasoning, and last but not least pleasure.

Game Life is a multiplayer game. As a matter of fact more than 6 billion other players share this game with you at the moment. Millions of other players have played it long ago and those past players have contributed significantly to building this game and to your current situation in it. It is expected that many more players, more than what you might be even able to imagine will play this game in the future. Similarly, they will continue to influence this game.

To achieve eudaimonia, you must interact with other players. Interaction with other players is crucial for your progress in this game.


In this game each player must start with two different theories interacting together. First you must have what is called in this game the primary theory of Eudaimonia or (PTE). In addition you must have a primary theory of action or (PACT). PTE is a primary theory you hold of what you should achieve in this game. It is your initial vision of the goal of this game. PACT on the other hand is your initial theory of how to achieve the goals determined by your PTE.

In this game you pass through a preparatory stage. It is a stage corresponding to the childhood and adolescence stages of human life. In this stage you get, through other players, whether playing the role of parents, friends, celebrities, authors, or media figures, to form your PTE. In this stage you are not evaluated. Once you reach the adulthood stage, the real game begins.

In the preparatory stage, other players guide your actions. You are programmed to develop habits. Those habits will form your PACT. Your PACT aided by your built in ability to conceptualize will allow you to build your PTE. PTE and PACT interact together. Fist PACT form PTE, then PTE might change PACT. Again changes in PACT enforced upon you by surrounding circumstances or by the development of new habits might change the PTE which might again change PACT and so on. This continuous process of interaction between PACT and PTE is what is called learning. This process starts in the preparatory stage and goes on through all but the stage of the game. However, you will not be evaluated in this game until you pass the preparatory stage. It's PACT and PTE held by you then that counts the most.

Ancient players of this game had a PTE that was focused on mere survival and bonding to as much other players they can communicate with as possible. Through several generations of players, PTE has evolved into the form defined above. Current PTE held by most players conceives Eudaimonia as the realization of the above mentioned values. Unfortunately, lots of current players while holding this most recent form of PTE don't recognize that they do. In today's state of Game Life, lots of current players while in the preparatory stage get to develop a PACT that focuses mainly on the value of pleasure. This affected their PTE which similarly takes pleasure to be more important than other values. Such inappropriate PACTs and PTEs might have been facilitated by the relative easier possibility of gaining pleasure compared to other values in today's state of Game Life. Your very first task in Game Life might be to recognize the PTE that you really hold and develop a suitable PACT accordingly. More about this task will be explained later in the manual when tasks are explained.

There is an additional precaution which you must hold on your mind while playing this game. As it has been mentioned before, interaction with other players in this game is the most crucial part of the game. You have no choice but accepting the PTE and PACT formed in you by others in the preparatory stage. You can only develop the PTE and PACT you hold upon reaching adulthood. You can never discard them and start from scratch. If you do so, you have lost this game and game will be over for you. Developing the PACT and PTE you hold by the end of the preparatory stage is the main way through which the ultimate goal of the game can be realized. Again as mentioned before and as will be explained downward, developing PACT and PTE can only be achieved through interaction with other players.

Ok, guys, I think that's enough for now. I hope you like this imaginary line of thought I follow to consider how one should live his life. I will go on imagining in next posts. Till then, good luck…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Game Life: Wanna Play??

Through the last series of posts, and through the last post in particular, I offered what I think is the most coherent account that can be offered for happiness. The theoretical work is done. What I want to consider in this post is how this account can be applied practically in the life of each one of us.

The answer I offered to the question "How should one live life?" signified the importance of values in our life. However, arguing that one should live his life attempting to become ideal and reducing happiness down to morality might seem less motivating and more exhausting to lots of us. That's why I would like to describe the practical implications of this theoretical account of happiness in a totally different way. This way certainly depends on the utilization of the most significant faculty we humans have, namely imagination. So, I am asking you to open up your mind and let your imagination takes you to conceive life in a new way.

I am introducing to all of you the most fascinating game you could ever play. It's Game Life. Game Life is a virtual reality game. This game is not just a high quality third person game you get to play on X-box or play station. It is designed in a way that would allow your senses to be so soaked totally in it. It is an experience that is so vivid and real. It is so real that you can't distinguish it from reality itself.

You are not motivated to play Game Life just by the mere sake of having fun or by commercials surrounding you every where convincing you that is so pleasurable. Your motivation to play this game is the very basic essence of your own well. Your well screams upon you to play this game. You can't escape it. Even when you think that you have given up on this game and when you believe that you have reached the decision that it just doesn't worth, all you are actually doing is that you leave one tournament of it to another, gave up on one of its goals just to seek another. This game is you and nothing less than you.

Game life is not easy. It is the hardest game you might ever play. But while it is hard, it is certainly amazing and very much rewarding. It is a multistage game. None and I mean none has ever passed the first stage of it. However, every one is so eager to reach its end stage. Players are just crazy about it. Even though, most of them have recognized that its end stage is so difficult to be reached and might even be impossible, they keep on trying. They keep on transmitting their knowledge about how to play this game from one generation to another hoping that one day in the future some one might just do it. This game requires you to think and act, but above all it requires you to imagine. Some players imagined things so wonderful that have just enriched the game and made it much easier. Others let their imagination take them to wicked places and the results were awful. Even though imagination is essential to get through this game, it might have terrible consequences. However, with the basic urge of the players to survive, with reason, with hope, and with being open to learn, you will get to mange the dangers involved in playing this game.

So, are you ready to play this game? Whether your answer is yes or no, you have no choice but to play it. You are already playing it as you read this post. So, instead of resisting it, it is better for you to learn about its stages, tasks, rules and goals. You will have your manual in the next posts. For now, be patient….