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Unofficial Index to Dr. Peikoff's Podcasts

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Episode 070 - July 13, 2009



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00:44: Announcement: Sales of Atlas Shrugged have skyrocketed to an all-time high, 52 years after publication, triple over last year.

03:52: What is the proper response to the death of Michael Jackson?

09:20: Does an altruist have to advocate capitalism given his ethics because capitalism actually is what makes people happy, and that‚'s his professed goal?

11:46: What is the definition of "fact" when you talk about "facts of reality"?

14:00: If royalties must be paid for the use of a famous painting in a film, why shouldn't the paint on the wall behind the painting be paid a royalty? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 069 - July 06, 2009



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00:46: What is the Objectivist view on gays in the military?

02:22: Is it irrational to be in an intimate relationship with a woman who has no formed values, yet might someday?

03:42: What do you think of the concept of "nation"?

03:56: What should an individual‚'s attitude be towards the nation he was born into?

04:10: Is America the only legitimate nation since it was founded on the concept of individual rights?

04:28: Is the existence of multiple nations worth preserving, or should we aim at universal assimilation?

05:08: If you find that you are unknowingly taking Ayn Rand on faith, how can you fix it?

05:54: Is being a far left Democrat, like Obama, grounds for impeachment?

06:48: Roark wants to achieve values so as to gain pleasure; Keating wants approval from others so as to gain pleasure. Is there any difference in their characters and motivation?

09:44: How important should physical attractiveness be vs. values?

14:00: What is the Objectivist position of medicating away concern for the world?

14:40: If the welfare system is abolished, will the impoverished revolt against the government and people who have rightfully earned their money? And couldn't welfare then be justified by self-interest? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 068 - June 29, 2009



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00:45: How do you explain the concepts of "religion" and "God" to pre-school-aged children?

04:02: People are highly uncomfortable with the idea of their teenage kids having sex. Is this irrational?

05:02: What is your opinion of sex education, and abstinence education in particular?

06:02: Am I behaving rationally by remaining married to a woman that I no longer love in order to keep my physical home?

07:34: Suppose biology led to immortality. Would that wipe out the Objectivist morality because we wouldn't need values?

09:10: What was Ayn Rand‚'s opinion on profanity?

11:14: Is it rationally selfish for a man to voluntarily do his part to avert bad conditions in the future after he is dead for the sake of future generations if it means that his current standard of living will be affected negatively as a consequence?

14:14: During job interviews, I am often asked, "What‚'s your greatest weakness?" How should I answer this question? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 067 - June 22, 2009



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00:44: Should the word "spiritual", which suggests mysticism, be replaced by the word "consciousness"?

03:06: I went into medical school because I believed in altruism. I read Ayn Rand when I was almost finished and I‚'m anti-altruist now. What should I do?

05:10: Will a soldier continuing to serve in a Bush-Obama style war ever become counter-productive or a sanction on his own nation‚'s self destruction?

07:44: How should one handle professors that are out to destroy the rational mind?

12:02: Is there any moral distinction between a suicide who destroys himself only, and a genocidal killer who destroys others

13:04: What is the difference between "existence" and "reality" as concepts?

15:04: Have you ever used mind-altering drugs? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 066 - June 15, 2009


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00:45: How can I reconcile Objectivism but continue staying sober through the Alcoholics Anonymous program which promotes a higher power?

03:36: Is there a fundamental difference between sympathy and pity?

05:36: Is it immoral to make money trading the stocks of companies that the government has bailed out and is now running, such as GM?

07:50: Is there such a thing as a stupid question?

08:46: Without the ability of abstract thought, can an animal know that it will bear offspring

09:08: Can there be a revaluation of psychiatric practice in accordance with Objectivism?

09:30: Can someone be an implicit Objectivist without explicit knowledge of it?

10:10: What is the value of Shakespeare from an Objectivist standpoint?

11:16: Is Halloween anti-man? Is Objectivism opposed to it?

11:44: Is Santa Claus an altruist?

14:10: Can there be an evil genius?

16:33: In light of the current government spending spree, why is religion still a greater threat than socialism? Edited by Forum Publisher
Fixed typo

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Episode 065 - June 08, 2009



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00:46: How should I evaluate my teacher if she is nice sometimes, but then yells with no provocation?

04:00: Does Objectivism value goals over achievement?

07:38: Is it wrong to masturbate secretly in public if you are not caught?

09:00: Is it moral to collect old Soviet cameras and profit from their gradual increase in value, considering that they were manufactured under a totalitarian regime?

10:30: Is begging a form of stealing or earning?

11:36: In an Objectivist society, would advocating socialism be a crime?

13:40: Why have modern day socialist countries not degenerated into brutal totalitarian dictatorships?

15:10: Is religious proselytizing or missionary effort with an aim to gain converts to a religion immoral? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 064 - June 01, 2009



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00:45: Announcements on the resurgence of interest in Ayn Rand.

03:50: Is there value in having Objectivist churches?

06:54: How can an Objectivist survive ethically and honestly in a medical school when the professors are altruistic?

08:30: How can one agree with Objectivism, but never feel he can be John Galt?

11:40: Is having friends necessary to living happy?

14:48: If it is a legitimate role for the government to protect its citizens with police and armed forces, is it legitimate for the government to contract with private companies to buy the equipment from defense companies in order to perform its function?

15:40: Does morality require that you be in love with a person to have sex? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 063 - May 25, 2009



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00:46: If the U.S. has learned through intelligence that there is a chance a country in Africa will slaughter 250,000 of their own people, yet there is no military threat to the U.S. What should we do?

02:50: What will the United States and world be like in five, ten, fifty, a hundred, and a thousand years from now?

04:12: How is the principle of individual rights applied to those humans that are incapable of rational thought?

07:46: Is homosexuality immoral?

12:18: Is Atlas Shrugged coming true today?

14:40: What is your opinion on nihilism? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 062 - May 18, 2009



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00:50: If one is living under a totalitarian dictatorship, which of the following is moral? [Multiple choice question.]

01:50: Is it wrong for a musician who is an atheist to accept money to play at a religious service?

03:48: What are your thoughts on tenure?

08:30: Why don‚'t you, Dr. Peikoff, describe on your website the content of each podcast and thereby make it more valuable?

10:30: Is it right to mold my girlfriend into believing what I believe so we can then get married?

13:16: Is the government‚'s power unconstitutional?

14:00: [innocent until proven guilty. Fact versus law. Authority and fact.] Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 061 - May 11, 2009



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00:50: How far does the word "sacrifice" go?

03:18: How can an Objectivists live ethically in the western world when paying taxes involuntarily is immoral, and avoiding taxes is illegal?

05:12: [California's Proposition 1A]

05:50: If possible for a state to secede from a corrupt United States, would it be right?

07:00: How does the growth of technology in the last sixty years correlate with the continued growth of evil philosophy and religion which has taken place at the same time?

09:50: Is there a rational basis for not being comfortable with public nudity? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 060 - May 04, 2009



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00:50: How do you distinguish honest from dishonest people?

04:50: What is your take on learning about history or the social sciences in comparison with the hard sciences of physics and chemistry?

07:20: Ayn Rand, in Atlas Shrugged, said that courage is the virtue of being true to existence, and confidence is being true to one‚'s own consciousness. How do you justify this?

09:10: Is it true that one can only dismiss a statement as being arbitrary if its being true would involve a contradiction in reality?

11:20: What is your view today on socialized medicine?

15:05: Since Galt‚'s Gulch doesn't actually exist, or I haven‚'t yet received my invitation, is it fair to say that Objectivism in practice is not absolute? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 059 - April 27, 2009



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00:44: Is it true that there is a tendency among Objectivists to discount the importance of art and read non-fiction over fiction?

04:20: Is it ever proper for a person such as Richard Halley or Hank Rearden to pursue a "philosophy for Akston"?

06:40: Are all men equal? If not, is there any rational basis for believing that all men should adhere to the same code of morality?

08:42: Is your book, The DIM Hypothesis, a theory that needs a real technical knowledge, or can it be grasped by a general level of knowledge?

11:10: Is it possible to play and enjoy different pieces of music from different eras based on different senses of life?

14:12: What do you think about trade embargoes, and how do they fit in with the concept of free trade? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 058 - April 20, 2009



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00:44: Why didn't Ayn Rand like Senator McCarthy?

02:50: Marriage is a contract and every contract is enforced by the state. Is it therefore wrong to get married, since you would be using the power of the state against your loved one?

05:06: Why is "supply and demand" considered a law like the law of gravity? Doesn't this imply that it is outside the realm of human control?

07:20: There seems to be a desire among Objectivists to pin the status of romanticism and heroics onto art which is not romantic, and onto people who are not heroic. What are your views on the subject of Objectivists being too free to describe movies that they like as romantic?

13:40: Are some rationalists repulsed by the human body and experience sex as a vice because of an evasion of facts? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 056 - April 06, 2009



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00:44: After Dominique comes to Roark for the first time, why does Roark tell Dominique that he wouldn't want her if she didn't want to destroy him?

01:50: In Ayn Rand‚'s theory, the meaning of a concept is what it refers to. In other words it‚'s denotation. What then about the connotation? How can a concept which is denoted, also have a connotation?

04:42: If you, Dr. Peikoff, were in Barack Obama‚'s shoes on January 20th 2009, what would be your first three actions as president?

05:56: My boyfriend has a professional job that I respect, but he is not furthering his career because he is comfortable. I‚'m not happy with this. What do you think?

10:16: To what extent can people be friends if they are very competitive with each other?

14:00: Is borrowing or lending books immoral since the author is then not paid for the book?

16:20: Would it be immoral to wear an Ayn Rand T-shirt or use her image? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 055 - March 30, 2009



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00:45: Is a man acting immorally if he loves his girlfriend or wife, but masturbates to imagined sexual scenes with other women in his mind?

03:56: Is it appropriate for a free government to help its free citizens during an emergency?

05:24: If a being was so intelligent that the correct course of action was always clear, would that not be like a force too strong to resist, effectively negating its freewill?

07:46: Did Ayn Rand intend for her statement that life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action, to be a description or definition of the concept of life?

09:44: Is it okay for poets to do nothing if they want, no matter how the world is collapsing?

10:34: Can anger be a good response if it is a self-assertive emotional reaction to an injustice?

13:22: [Other than Ayn Rand's and his own, what are Dr. Peikoff's five "must-read" books?]

15:13: [What is the name of the virtue by which one acts to gain and or keep health, an objective value?] Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 054 - March 23, 2009



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00:44: Elaborate on your statement that Plato and Aristotle may not have been possible without Homer and Sophocles.

04:46: Why does the onus of proof principle not apply equally to negatives?

08:22: If not the government, who should be responsible for infrastructure, like roads, traffic lights, bridges, etc.?

09:32: If government requires payment for its services, would those who choose freely not to pay for government services not have their inalienable rights protected?

12:32: What is the justification of voting?

14:52: [Are government grants for scientific research handouts?] Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 053 - March 16, 2009



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00:44: How should one deal with Christian parents who say unless you repent you are doomed to hell?

04:28: Was Hank Rearden‚'s extra-marital affair with Dagny Taggart a violation of Objectivism?

06:54: Can you explain Ayn Rand‚'s view on death? [badger Clark's The Westerner.]

10:14: When I am watching beautiful women in a movie, I am enjoying myself; therefore, I need no other validation. On the other hand, I feel that I am envying something I do not have, and should instead go out and find an actual woman that fulfills the same desires. Which is right?

11:48: How can two different political parties look at the same facts but interpret them differently, and seemingly come up with two different opposing realities?

15:32: If the universe is eternal and infinity doesn't exist, isn't the universe actually infinite because there is not beginning and end? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 052 - March 09, 2009



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Group discussion.

00:44: How can there be objective facts in journalism?

06:44: [How does a journalist decide objectively which facts are relevant?]

15:38: [Who is the philosopher who would say that your conceptual framework determines what you would regard as a fact and cuts you off from true facts, from reality as it is in itself?] Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 051 - March 02, 2009



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00:48: What is the moral value of masturbation?

04:40: What should one do if asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding, but feels uncomfortable with the religious aspects of this honor?

06:46: Can a voluntarily, morbidly obese person consider himself or herself an Objectivist?

09:56: Can a person evade without knowing they are doing so?

11:22: What emotionally equivalent phrase can be used as an alternative to "You‚'re in my prayers"?

14:14: If smoking is an attempt on life and you have the right to protect your own life, should you also have the right to report smokers to the police even if in a public place? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 050 - February 23, 2009



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Group discussion.

00:44: [How does one deal with acute grief? Is there some way to work through it intellectually and emotionally?]

11:14: Does it make sense to be experiencing doubt about a remunerative career choice after working in the field for 15 years? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 049 - February 16, 2009



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00:44: [Announcement: 1) Objectively Speaking, edited by Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz, is now available, and 2) coming soon: podcast on why America is so much more religious than Europe.]

03:02: How far may the government go to protect minors from parent‚'s negligence?

08:48: Isn't Dagny too strong a person to fall in love, because that would mean she is dependent on another person?

13:30: A correction to a previous podcast answer about Objective journalism. Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 048 - February 09, 2009



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00:44: Is it okay to take a job that goes against a product or campaign that you don‚'t support?

03:06: What is your opinion on Stoicism? [Failure of Nerve]

04:24: [Question about Epicurus and his claim that free will was the result of atoms that causelessly swerve.]

05:44: Is swearing on the Bible in court, despite non-belief, an appropriate lie?

06:44: Is it irrational for an actor or director to enter into pornography and if so, is it irrational to watch pornography?

10:58: Should binding arbitration services and private security companies be legal?

12:30: A hypothetical scenario: My wife is extremely sick. She is my greatest value, but she will die within 24 hours if I do not acquire a certain medicine for her. Is it moral to steal the medicine if need be?

15:48: If you were to write up a constitution, knowing all you know of the vulnerabilities of our current one, what would you change? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 047 - February 02, 2009



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Group discussion.

00:44: How should one deal with internal guilt and conflict of not wanting to routinely visit a paralyzed friend in the hospital, but feeling he ought to?

12:40: Is the continuation of consciousness after death a metaphysical impossibility or merely an unproved assertion? Edited by Forum Publisher

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Episode 046 - January 26, 2009



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00:44: [The PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life poll found 92% of Americans believe in God, and this is in conspicuous contrast with the support of religion in Europe.]

02:12: [Why are Americans so much more religious than Europeans? Will this difference affect the political future of the two?]

03:22: What steps did you, Dr. Peikoff, take to overcome your early rationalist tendency?

08:30: What is the deeper source of "be good for goodness sake"?

11:42: When is sexual exclusivity in a romantic relationship a rational choice? Edited by Forum Publisher

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