Moral certainties

If they knew all their physical needs were met, some non-zero percentage of seventh-grade boys figure that playing video games for the rest of their lives would be the full measure of human happiness. Video games are thus an object of hope as Christianity understands the virtue, namely our confidence in the power of something to confer happiness.

The seventh grader might be corrected by his father and told that video games don’t bring fulfillment, since this requires getting a job and earning one’s way in the world. Dad’s argument is better in one sense but not simply speaking, since a video game is at least something done entirely for its own sake while a job is not necessarily so.

Despite his hope in the eudaimonic potency of video games, the seventh grader ends up in therapy and is told he is mentally ill since his behavior falls sort of an ideal known neither to him nor the person diagnosing him. The therapist speaks to him in the hope that the seventh grader will draw the answer out of himself, perhaps forgetting that he already drew the answer out of himself, and he even continues to be convinced that it’s true. He knows it’s video games.

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