Hierarchy, Status, and Pride

Hierarchy, Status, and Pride Hierarchies are central to the human social environment. Consequently, status—our position within a hierarchy—is crucial. In human society there are many different hierarchies. Hierarchies form based on factors such as geography (e.g., neighborhood, city, state) and subject (e.g., economic, political, social, professional, recreational). The types of hierarchies likely have expanded as humans progressed from living in small tribes to living in large, complex nations. Look closely,…

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Human Nature

Human Nature We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology.” ― Edward O. Wilson, The Social Conquest of Earth Human nature is a powerful force. A wise person understands human nature because it affects their ability to make and carry out good decisions. Assumptions about human nature guide our actions. Different beliefs can lead to different results. Therefore, insight into human nature…

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What does it mean to thrive?

What does it mean to thrive? To thrive as a human being has become my purpose -- the overriding goal that other subsidiary life goals should align with. I should be able to judge the value of other life goals by asking whether they further thriving or not. What does thriving mean? The term sounds positive but vague. But the term is rich in meaning and can be interpreted in…

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Purpose in Life

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On having a purpose or goal in life Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. 'Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she went on. 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,'…

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Introduction to Essays

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Introduction to Essays on How to Live These essays have a theme – how to live. They address the timeless questions of our purpose in life, the values to live by, acquiring knowledge, becoming wiser, and making good decisions. These essays are my perspective on a few selected subjects I found particularly helpful and powerful.We all want to live a "good" life, whatever that means. Living well is hard. Everyone…

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Essays on How to Live and Thrive

Essays on How to Live The Basic Question in Life This collection of essays on how to live and thrive address one of the basic questions: How should I live my life? How should I live to be happy and thrive?Most of us at some point think about the meaning of life, the goals we should pursue, and what is most important. We develop, whether we know it or not,…

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How To Be Good

Being a "good" Person I believe most people have a basic desire to be good. It may not be their primary focus in life or a part of their daily thoughts. But few people pursue the opposite and most would say they try to be good. We are encouraged to be good even if there is disagreement about what good is. Being a good person and thriving are related. There…

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Is controlling desires a key to happiness?

Is Controlling Our desires a Key to Happiness? John Stuart Mill and Desire John Stuart Mill said “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than seeking to satisfy them.” This seemed odd for Mill to say this. Mill was perhaps the most influential 19th century philosopher. His best known works are “On Liberty” and “Utilitarianism.” He was a strong proponent of individual liberty. Individual speech and actions…

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Reconciling Secular and Religious Perspectives on Moral Codes

Reconciling Secular and Religious Perspectives on Moral Codes “Have you heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly, "I seek God! I seek God!" As many of those who do not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter... "Whither is God," he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed him -…

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The Moral Animal – A Brief Review

The Moral Animal - a Book on Evolutionary Psychology by Robert Wright What is Evolutionary psychology Reading Robert Wright's book on evolutionary psychology is sobering. It is a readable, interesting, and provocative explanation of this new field of science and its implications. More than once I put the book down mid-page to let the significance of what he said sink in. One cannot read this book without looking at human…

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