Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pursuit of Happiness: To be Good

To society,

In order to be happy, we must be good, but what does that mean? I'm sure that most people consider themselves to be good in general. However, others may disagree with our personal evaluation. What does it mean in general for something to be good?

When we say something is good, we tend to mean that it fulfills a purpose we have in mind. A good screwdriver should be able to screw in screws. If the handle breaks as soon as I try, then the tool is not good. A good textbook likewise is supposed help me learn about a subject. A bad textbook would make the subject even more confusing. We can therefore infer that for us to be good means that we fulfill our own purposes as well.

Like all things, mankind has a general purpose and can have many specific purposes. The general purpose is to love, as I mention in many of my letters. The specific "purpose" is something we generally search for ourselves or feel called to. These can be our careers or a passion we do outside of work. For some people, it's simply partaking in the general purpose of love and applying it to their everyday life, such as parenting.

In addition to purposes, we also judge things based off requirements that help aid in fulfilling those purposes. For example if the binding of a book easily breaks, I would consider the book to be bad no matter the contents inside. How important each of these requirements is varies, but they exist nonetheless. When it comes to being a good person, we can find hints in the form of fundamental human rights.

Rights help us understand the various needs of people. They help us move toward fulfillment and therefore perfection and happiness. Understand that I do not consider power and rights to be the same thing. Even if you can do something, it does not mean you should. Just as different books don't share all the same pieces, so too different people don't necessarily need all of the same non-fundamental rights, we just try to make sure they have access to them in case they need them, unless said right contradicts their purposes.

Does a cookbook need a prologue? No, but a novel could benefit from it. Likewise, one man may need to marry, but it might be best for another to refrain from all romance. There are books that instruct how other books should be formed so as to aid in their purpose. Similarly, when we claim someone does not have a right to something, the best arguments are those that show how the right ultimately contradicts their need to need to be good.

An example of this would be when someone is in need of medical treatment. It's good to want to help, but if there are professionals there already treating, then the good thing is to let them work and simply be available when they need your help.

We should note that our specific purpose and rights should never interfere with our general purpose of love. If there is ever opposition, then love should win. Otherwise we are sure to commit some evil, which is the opposite of good. Can we truly say we are good if we willingly choose to oppose good?

Being good is intrinsically linked to our perfection and therefore happiness. When we fulfill our purposes and prerequisites, then there's nothing more we can do to obtain happiness on our end. So let's choose good and work towards becoming happy.

With love,
N. D. Moharo

Friday, January 19, 2018

Pursuit of Happiness: The Right to Religion

To society,

When it comes to man's happiness, I previously showed that love is man's perfection and therefore key to obtaining happiness. Now, I intend to explain one of the fundamental rights pertaining to that love; the right that early American settlers valued dearly: the freedom of religion.

Simply speaking, religion is about rendering what is due to God*. The focus is not on us, but on God. Religion falls under the realm of Justice, but in doing so, we show our love to God.

Of course, there are many religions and it can be difficult to say which is true. However, this is not because of religion itself, but rather it's relationship with faith, philosophy, and morality.

Faith and religion are not the same, but they are very much connected. Faith gives us premises to build our logic. Most of our knowledge and ideas are based upon faith. We exercise this in science when we trust that prior scientists did everything correctly. No one has time to prove everything that others have proven before, otherwise we would make no progress. We also have faith in our own experiences, which in turn affect our philosophy.

Philosophy is the way we view how the universe works. If we say science is how things are, philosophy is the logic for why. Religion and philosophy play a give and take game as philosophy influences religion, and faith gives premises for philosophy. Morality then is applying that knowledge to how we should act, of which religion is part.

The reach of morality is largely dependent upon the scope of faith and philosophy. For example, Christianity in general has "love your neighbor as yourself" as it's second greatest commandment. It also heavily teaches that God associates himself with each individual person. As a result of this world view, it has a huge stake in preaching how we should treat others. At the same time, you can see how each denomination differs in how it treats God based off their differing philosophies.

Now, since it is difficult to judge which religion as they are matters of faith, it is important to recognize them for what they are. By understanding that religion is how we are to give back to the Divinity, we can see why it's important to be free from political powers. History and modern times are filled with persecutions by politicians who see religion as an obstacle to their selfish ambitions. While I will not admit all religions are good, there is good in the nature of giving back as it is our nature to love.

With love,
N. D. Moharo

* for the definition of religion, I took from the catechism of one of the world's largest religions. If Catholicism cannot have a say in what religion is, then I don't know who can. However, I think it's fair to say that when we say religion today, we mean the whole package of faith, philosophy, and morality.

P.s. it can be an act of love to allow people to practice their religion. Even if we oppose a religion, we must make sure there is no hatred and no desire to harm anyone, otherwise we are more likely to be the agents of evil

Friday, December 22, 2017

Pursuit of Happiness part 3: The hierarchy of rights

To Society,

Human rights are essential to society, but we have a tendency to not fully understand them. People fight over the rights of free speech, religion, marriage, etc. all of the time. However, for any debate to really take place, Rights need to be define. After that, we need to properly understand the hierarchy of rights and what their goals are. With this understanding in place, we can better understand if something is a right or an abuse.

A right is simply something that allows you to seek perfection, honored by society. When we argue people have natural rights, we are arguing that these are good and required by nature. Examples of rights are Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to defend oneself and family, the ability to rest, the right to an education, the right to security and privacy, etc. If you examine each of these rights, you should find that they allow men and women attempt to be the best they can be.

Another thing about rights is that they must adhere to the Philosophical Moral Code. They must exist because they allow men and women to reach perfection. A right can never be to promote selfishness or inhibit the ability to love. For example, to enable someone to sue someone for saving his life would be a violation. This is because it promotes selfishness and limits our ability to love each other.

Now you may already know where I am headed with this. The absolute basic right of man is the Pursuit of Happiness. It is from there that we can philosophically explain the other rights. To help with that, let me present to you a model. Now this is not a complete model and there is room for debate, but this is what I will refer to as I show how the different rights point towards Happiness as it's goal.

For now, I will simply leave you with this diagram so that you can ponder it. I hope to cover every branch in some way or another in the near future. I intended to to it all in this piece, but it was already getting too long and complicated. However, I hope that this diagram itself will help encourage you to think how things are ordered and help make sense of the world.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Handling a Panic Situation

Let's put the model of the pursuit of happiness to use.

Consider a person in the state of panic. What should we do to help? When they tell you to do something, you can either do it or not. However, in this case, you should make your decision quickly. The reason for this is that they are desperate to reach a state where they are content. If you do the action commanded, then they might call down a bit. If you refuse, then you need to give a good explanation why not. Doing now will only make this situation worse.

Panicked people are very dangerous. This is because you don't know what they will do and neither do they. They are in a emotional state that blocks reasoning. This is also why it can be good to follow their instructions. When they instruct you to do something, that shows they have some reasoning. If you deny this, then they will likely enter a full panic state.

Examine the model of happiness. The person, being desperate, has made a decision on an action to reach a goal of contentment. Since he is desperate, he feels the need to reach that state as fast as possible. If he cannot, then he will turn to something that he feel can help him reach that state, even if it's stupid and dangerous.

If you refuse the command, there are a few requirements in order to prevent the increase in panic and stress. First is a continued calm presence. If you show stress, then it'll only add up. Second is a quick and accurate deduction what is needed for him to reach the state of contentment. Third is to use that info and propose an alternative path to reaching that state. If you do all of this quickly, then things should work out.

Now I'm not a professional nor psychologist. I can be completely wrong. This is based off theory and one recent event in my life. However, I think it has merit. What do you think?

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness Part 2

To society,

Continuing from my previous letter on the pursuit of happiness, I would like to present a model that I think accounts for most actions we perform.

The cycle of the pursuit of happiness starts with us recognizing an imperfection. This prompts us to make a decision about an action to take. Our goal is to reach a state where we are satisfied or content with the results. Our motivation here is essential as it reveals why we might act or not act. An example for why to act is to stop a suffering. This is common when you want to solve a problem. An example for not acting is that you might suffer more for acting than not. In this case, you've decided you are satisfied with tolerating the problem than create a worse one for yourself.

After we make a decision based off our reasons, we take our decided course of action and evaluate the results. If we are satisfied with the results, we are content and move on. If not satisfied, then we pick another course of action until we are content.

When we are content, we have a taste of happiness. This is because one of the effects of happiness is that you don't want anything because you are fulfilled. We want to be in this state because to want something indicates we are not fulfilled. An old definition of the word want is to lack. You can see how it reached it's current definition of to desire something. When you lack something, you feel a sort of pain. Therefore you feel like you need it in order to be complete. As a result of this need, you desire it.

Our life is primarily spent in this cycle. This is because man has many needs and the capacity to want is infinite. However, once all our needs are fulfilled, then we finally exit the cycle and reach the state of happiness. In my next letter on the subject, I intend to examine what those needs are and how they relate to each other. Until then, I hope you find that this model actually helps you understand more about how your psychology works so that you may better find the true path to happiness.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo


Now I'm sure you have some questions. In this section, I shall try to anticipate then and provide what I believe to be the answers

What are our reasons for acting and not acting?

I cannot give a complete list because the completeness is dependent upon how deep you want to go, but I can say what I have identified, though there will be some overlap.
For not acting, there is
  1. Fear of greater suffering
  2. Incapability
  3. Not seeing benefits
  4. Action is contrary to goal
  5. Lower priority
  6. Not Understanding
  7. Moral opposition/hatred
  8. Not fun
  9. Change
For acting, most if not everything can be said to fall under some sort of suffering. Here we have
  1. Fear of suffering
  2. ‎Desire for completion
  3. ‎Possibility for improvement
  4. Fun

What accounts for our other actions?

In all cases, I believe happiness is the cause of actions. For the pursuit of happiness cycle, it's the goal. However, once we obtain happiness, it's the fuel for our actions. Consider when a woman finds a man she falls heads over heels in love. Does she not try to help her single friends find love as well? I remember that I was so happy by finding a job that I asked all of my friends that were searching if they tried the same website I used.

If I don't want anything, does this mean I won't do anything anymore?

As mentioned in the previous answer, happiness actually makes us perform actions. This is because man's nature and perfection is to love.

Also need to be careful about the word "want." When I said that "when you are happy, you don't want anything," I was referring to the old definition described following that statement. So in today's terms, it is probably best to say, "When you are happy, you do not need anything in order to be happy." This does not exclude desiring to help people. When you are happy because of goodness and love, you will act because it's your nature to act out of love.

Consider the example from before. Whether or not my friends actually used the website I used to find a job doesn't affect my happiness. I acted out of love for them, but their response has no effect on me.

Some people say that God wants us. Does that mean he's not perfectly happy?
I included this question because I'm certain some people are going to ponder theology based off this model. Some people might reject this model because they feel like it threatens their theology. Other might try to embrace it by saying that it proves theology is wrong. That might be true, but you can't really debate on this because there are a few things to consider.
  1. What is the nature of God?
    1. This relies on theological premises. If you can't agree on the premises, then you can't really argue and therefore it doesn't really concern this model.
  2. Perfection for Man is not necessarily the same as Perfection for God
    1. while I argue what the perfection of Man is, I cannot say the same about God unless God tells me.
  3. What do we mean by the word perfection?
    1. Could it be that the original meaning of perfection is akin to how a lover thinks his beloved is perfect because he desires and admires her so much? Or is it that God is truly perfect in that he is complete?
  4. Which definition of "want" should we be using?
    1. If we are using want as in "he needs us in order to be happy," then God isn't perfect in that sense. However, if it's simply "he desires us as something nice to have," then that's a different story. For example, there are many games that I "want" to play, but I don't need to play them in order to be happy. In this case, they are simply nice to have.
      Logically speaking, if you accept the premises that God is Love and that being with God is essential to us being happy, then of course he would desire us to be with him.
What relation do external sources have with our happiness?

While the model I presented doesn't show it, because it's a model for the actions we take, external sources play a large role in the cycle. They can make use dissatisfied, change our reasons for acting,  and even give us happiness.

An unfortunately common marketing tactic is to create a need where there is not one. The makers of Listerine coined the phrase halitosis in order to sell their product. On the more positive side, external sources also point our our imperfections so that we can indeed improve.

For the second point, by debating with us, an external source might make us decide to act or refrain. They may even do what was needed and therefore you don't need to do a thing. As a result, you can also say external sources can make us content.

On the last point, there is room for a little debate. While we can say that external sources can make us feel happy, can they actually make us enter the state of happiness? I argue yes.

Man is a social animal and needs some external help when it comes to obtaining his perfection. One thing we desperately need is true love. When our love tanks are full, we are filled with joy and become the best versions of ourselves. We need love not only because it's our precious fuel for being good, but also because it is our perfection.

One philosophical argument about the nature of God stems from the argument that God is the source of all that is good. Everything that man needs to reach perfection is a good. Therefore God can fulfill Man's needs. Now this doesn't prove that God exists. It is simply logic to show why people can believe that God is essential for happiness. Personally, I like the notion that God as a source of infinite love makes it so that man's love tank is always filled. It's a nice idea but is not proof of any sort.

Why do we brood?

Brooding is an action that doesn't bring us to happiness but instead makes us miserable. Yet we choose to brood. This was actually a reason why I held off on presenting my model for a long time. However, I have two ideas about this and the result is that brooding actually follows the model in a corrupted way.

First is that brooding is an action we instinctively believe that brooding will get us toward happiness. Babies cry until they get what they want. When they become children, they still try this tactic with some success. Even adults use this to some success where they "play the victim." Brooding is the act wallowing in the belief that we are the victim. We use this to help us feel justified when we take another action that otherwise would be condemned.

The second idea stems from the claim that brooding is a selfish action. While it does not bring our good nature towards completion, it does grow our ego. That ego always wants to grow. Therefore, while it may not truly bring us towards happiness, our ego believes that it will bring it to completion. However, this is not reality. Instead, it makes us even more miserable and we in turn act to create misery for others. Brooding is a fuel for bullying.


I hope these answers help give answer your questions either directly or indirectly. I contemplated having them in a separate post as this got really long, but I figure it was best to keep it together with the main piece. While some questions can certainly be their own piece, I felt it best to address them now rather than later. Perhaps I will share them again individually so that I may expand upon them.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Timing of Feedback

To Critics,

Feedback is an important part of our society. It's when we convey what was good, what was bad, and what can be improved. However, if you truly wish for your feedback to be positively effective, timing is off the utmost importance. Specifically when the recipient is ready to receive it.

Perhaps the best example to illustrate this is taking care of a child. Everyone has different opinions about how to raise children. This is a combination of exposure to ideas, experience spent with children, and your own personality. The stereotypical story is the working father doing something and the housewife instructs what he should be doing. This does not work. People do not want to be doing what they think is best only to be told that they are wrong, especially while they are in the midst of struggling. Instead, they would more likely be willing to receive help and, after things calm down, discuss what would have been the best method.

I think when people are having trouble, they don't want advice unless asked for. Instead, they want to see signs that they are cared about and appreciated. When they think they did the right thing also isn't a good time to critique. Instead they need to doubt first that they were right. However, you probably don't want to knock them of their horse right away either. If it can wait, let them enjoy their pride for a moment or they might start to think every conversation with you will be to criticize what you have done.

When people know they did something wrong, this is a bit more tricky. Some want consolation while others want to know how to improve and others want to try and fix things. Also keep in mind that some may want a break. It could be to reflect on their own or maybe they are tired of thinking about the subject. After all, constantly thinking about something you cannot do anything about is a big cause of stress. Therefore it is important to consider many variables such as time, gravity, appearance, and personality before giving feedback.

Another reason to ponder timing is that you might not be ready to give feedback either. If you are angry, you'll likely be unable to avoid personally attacking in your critique. If you are upset, you likely won't be clearly logical in your argument. Even if you are logical in your head, you'll likely neglect to mention certain key points, making it difficult for anyone to follow your line of reasoning. In addition, they might be distracted by the emotion in your voice leading them to think more like, "How can I get him to calm down?"

Feedback is an important thing as it allows us to praise someone for their work or advise on how to improve it. However, in all cases, we should be patient and consider when is the best time to give it.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness part 1

To Society,

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are three fundamental rights listed in the United States' declaration of Independence. When the founding fathers wrote this document, they swapped the right to property with the pursuit of happiness. While this does not mean they did not believe in the right to have property, it does mean they brought attention to the basis for all other human rights and the driving force of humanity.

Happiness is the ultimate goal. There is no reason to be happy except to be happy. The characteristics of this ultimate state is that it's perfectly fulfilling, cannot be lost, and blissful. Since happiness is the perfect state, we can say it is the pursuit of absolute perfection. While you are not guaranteed to obtain happiness, it is indeed the fundamental right.

Consider what the purpose of liberty is. There is no other benefit for freedom except to realize your full potential. That is why it is so precious and yet sometimes must be sacrificed. When you realize this purpose, you understand that when you can only improve by sacrificing some freedom that it is actually the best choice. Babies have no bias towards a language, but if they wish to grow and mature, they must take up a language and follow its rules. This logic can also be applied to security and privacy.

It can be said that life is the state of constant change. While some things appear to persist, everything that is living is constantly changing in one way or another. Death, on the other hand, is the setting of a person's final state. There is nothing more that person can do to change himself. Therefore, if someone wishes to progress towards perfection, he must live.

Now one thing I must address is that even though we have the right to pursue happiness, not all of our actions are justified. If you seek justification, then you must consult the key to morality, which is true love. If you do, then I would think you have a great chance at obtaining happiness.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

P.S. Next time I address the pursuit of happiness, I intend to present a model explaining the cycles of the pursuit of happiness and how various situations fit in it. However, I need more time to polish it so that it is easy to understand. Please be patient as I work to polish what perhaps accounts for all of our choices.