Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): “I hate church and I don’t want to go any more!”

Maggie: Can we talk about something that has been on my mind for a while? John:   Sure. This is your blog too. So we can talk about anything that interests you, as long as it somehow relates to philosophy or religion. Maggie: This does. But I am not sure how to say it. John: We … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): “I hate church and I don’t want to go any more!”

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Developing Gratitude

  Maggie: One of my friends asked me what she should do to become more patient. John: The first step in the process of developing a virtue is asking questions about yourself, especially your strengths and weaknesses in relation to that virtue. So we can’t really help your friend, since she is not here to … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Developing Gratitude

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Principal Challenge to Happiness

Maggie: What do you think is the principal challenge to happiness? And I am especially interested in your answer as it applies to me and my friends, not to old people in their thirties. John: Wow, I am not sure what to do with that last part. But the question itself is thought provoking. Maggie: … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Principal Challenge to Happiness

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 4

  John: In the past three blog posts we have been discussing why we should be good people, rather than bad people. We concluded early on that we should be good because being good leads to happiness. We then defined happiness as (i) an activity, (ii) of the soul, (iii) in accordance with complete virtue, … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 4

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 3 continued

Maggie: In the last blog post we talked about the need for external goods to be happy. Some of my friends asked me about this, especially because you said we only need a few material possessions to be happy. But this is exactly the opposite of the way most people live their lives. Most people … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 3 continued

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 3

John: If you recall our September 2017 and October 2017 blog posts, we were discussing why we should be good people, rather than bad people. Maggie: Yes, I remember. In order to answer that question, we first asked the question “What is it that people want most in life?” We decided that thing is happiness. … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 3

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 2

John: If you recall our September 2017 blog post, we were discussing why we should be good people, rather than bad people. Maggie: Yes, I remember. We decided that the thing people want most in life is to be happy. And we left off with your suggestion that a person’s happiness depends upon whether or … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 2

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 1

Maggie: Why should I try to be good? Why should I try to be virtuous? When I look around I see people having great success who are neither good nor virtuous, and some who are just out and out bad. John: This is a wonderful question and one that philosophers have been wrestling with for … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): The Happiness Question, part 1

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Should our friends like us for who we are?

Maggie: Is there anything wrong with wanting my friends to like me for who I am? John: H’m… It is easy to say that people should like us for who we are, and we see this sentiment being expressed on social media with more and more frequency. But your question is actually quite complicated and … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Should our friends like us for who we are?

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Learning to Like Ourselves Helps Us Make Friends

Maggie: A lot of kids my age don’t really like themselves. Do you think we need to like ourselves before we can have good friends? John: It makes me a little sad to hear you ask this question. Being a young adult can be difficult at times. We need to talk more about the challenges … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Learning to Like Ourselves Helps Us Make Friends

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Do we really need friends?

Maggie: You have talked a lot about friendship, but do we really need friends to be happy? John: Yes, I think so. We are, after all, naturally political animals, which means we naturally seek relationships with other people. As political beings, friends are important for three reasons: (i) friends are our greatest external good; (ii) … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Do we really need friends?

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Three different types of friendships

Maggie: You previously said that friends can help me develop virtues, that they can help me become good. Can you explain this? John:  Wow, this is actually a very big question. To best answer it I need to unpack it into smaller more discrete issues. Afterwards, we will bring all the new information together into … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Three different types of friendships

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): How do I develop a virtue?

Maggie: We discussed the definition of a virtue, but how do I develop a virtue? How do I become a good person? John:  I love the fact that you are asking such excellent questions. Never stop doing that. Asking questions is the first step towards gaining wisdom. Also, it is important to remember that you … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): How do I develop a virtue?

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): What is a virtue?

Question: You said that being good is more about having virtues (good character) than about following rules. I like that because it gets rid of some of the pressure I feel trying to follow all the rules. But what is a virtue? Answer: That is a very good question. The best answer is given by … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): What is a virtue?

Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Following Rules and Being Good

Question: There are so many rules to follow, rules about everything. How can I be good when there are more rules than I can even remember? Answer: I agree. There are a lot of rules. I also can’t remember all the rules I am supposed to follow. But here is the thing: being good is … Continue reading Maggie and Me (a philosophical dialogue): Following Rules and Being Good