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dianahsieh

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  1. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on managing differences with family, forbidding the sale of dangerous goods to minors, worthy charities, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 14 December 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Managing Differences with Family: How should a young adult manage persistent differences with his family? As I grew up, I turned out radically different from what my family expected. They think college is necessary for success in life. I didn't, and I dropped out. They eat the Standard American Diet and hate fat. I eat Paleo, and I glorify fat. And so on. Basically, we diverge on many points. I've never committed the mistake of attempting to preach to my family in order to persuade them, but many of them grew unduly concerned with these differences between us. They would argue with me on the subject for months, if not years, no matter what good results I had to show them. Assuming that the relationship is otherwise worth maintaining, how should an older child or young adult handle such contentious differences with his family? How can he best communicate his point of view to them – for example, on the question of college, after they've saved for two decades for his college education? Question 2: Forbidding the Sale of Dangerous Goods to Minors: Should minors be forbidden from buying dangerous goods? Under current law, minors are often restricted from buying goods regarded as dangerous, such as cigarettes, alcohol, fireworks, or firearms. In a free society, should those restrictions be abolished or upheld? Should parents be allowed to permit their children to buy such goods? Question 3: Worthy Charities: What kinds of charities are worthy of support? Many people laud donating to charities, but they don't seem particularly concerned with which charities they support. However, I'd like my charitable dollars to do some good in the world – and do me good in return. So when is it proper to donate to charity? What kinds of charities are worthy of support or not? How can I judge the effectiveness of a charity? Are local charities better than national or international charities? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Differences with Family, Sales to Minors, Worthy Charities, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  2. On Thursday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll chat about "Philosophy of Religion: Design Arguments for the Existence of God, Part 4" with listeners. This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 11 December 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. I discuss various Design Arguments for the existence of God, particularly objections to William Paley's Analogical Argument for Design. To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Chat on Philosophy of Religion: Design Arguments for the Existence of God, Part 4. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in this topic! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  3. As I’ll be resuming my podcast series on philosophy of religion tomorrow evening, y’all might want a bit of a refresher. The past podcasts can be found via these links: Philosophy of Religion: Overview: I introduce the philosophy of religion by discussing its importance, the burden of proof principle, and the nature of God. Recorded on 11 September 2009. Cosmological Arguments, Part 1 – I present three kinds of Cosmological Arguments for the existence of God. Recorded on 18 September 2009. Cosmological Arguments, Part 2 – I discuss the major objections to the Cosmological Arguments for the existence of God. Recorded on 25 September 2009. The Ontological Argument – I discuss the Ontological Argument for God’s existence and objections thereto. Recorded on 2 October 2009. Design Arguments, Part 1 – I discuss various Design Arguments for the existence of God, focusing on the Aquinas’ Teleological Argument and the Fine Tuning Argument. Recorded on 9 October 2009. Design Arguments, Part 2 – I discuss major objections to Design Arguments for the existence of God, focusing on Aquinas’ Teleological Argument and the Fine Tuning Argument. Recorded on 16 October 2009. Design Arguments, Part 3 – I discuss various Design Arguments for the existence of God, focusing on William Paley’s Analogical Argument for Design. Recorded on 2 November 2009. In particular, you might want to listen to that last podcast before Thursday evening’s show, as we’ll be discussing objections to William Paley’s Analogical Argument for Design. (I will recap that argument for y’all, in any case.) I’ve got a number of podcasts upcoming in this series, including on the Argument from Miracles, the Problem of Evil, Pascal’s Wager, and Faith Versus Reason. Those future shows will be broadcast live for free, but I’m going to charge a bit for the podcasts — probably $10 for all of them. (Of course, regular contributors to Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar will get access for free.) I loved teaching classes on these topics when I was a graduate student, so I’m excited to complete this podcast series! Once that is done, I might want to turn some of my other classes into podcasts. Link to Original
  4. My latest column at PJ Media is a change of pace from the usual health care writing. It is entitled, “Should You Have to Speak with Others in a Way the Government Can Understand?” I discuss the demands by the federal government for “backdoor” access into your encrypted smartphone data and communications. Fortunately, Apple and Google are standing up to the government’s demands. I explain why they are right to do so. Link to Original
  5. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the reality of karma, responsibility for pets, meaningless gift exchanges, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 7 December 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Reality of Karma: Is karma real? Although the concept of "karma" has religious roots, it seems to contain a grain of truth, namely that people will, in the end, get what they deserve. So if a father is mean to his children, he will find them unwilling to help him when he suffers a health crisis in his old age. In contrast, children raised with love and kindness will be eager to help their ailing father. Is this understanding of karma true? Is this a concept that rational people might or should use in their moral thinking? Question 2: Responsibility for Pets: Should I put my cat down rather than leave him in a shelter? After listening to the podcast question about the person who lived in Philadelphia and wanted to get out of the ghetto, I got the motivation to land a great new job in Seattle. I am moving to a new city in a few weeks and will be traveling quite a bit. I will not be able to take care of my cat with all of the traveling. I don't have the money to hire people to watch my pet while I am gone. I have put the cat up on billboards and ebay classifieds with no responses. The cat isn't friendly to anyone but me, so I doubt a prospective adopter would choose to take him after meeting him. As my move date grows closer, I am wondering if it would be better to have my cat put down than to leave him with a shelter. What should I do? Question 3: Meaningless Gift Exchanges: How can I stop exchanging meaningless holiday presents with my siblings? My siblings and I are friendly but not close, but we still exchange Christmas presents. Mostly, that means that we buy each other stuff that we really don't want. That seems like a waste of time and money. I'd like to stop exchanging gifts with them, but how can I do so without hurting their feelings? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Karma, Responsibility for Pets, Gift Exchanges, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  6. Alex Epstein’s new book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels — available in hardback or kindle — recently received a glowing review from the Wall Street Journal. The review begins: Which would be worse: a hostile foreign regime using a sinister magnetic pulse to take down the entire electrical grid–or the chief executives of the world’s major oil companies having a collective personal crisis about carbon emissions, shutting down their operations, and sending their employees to live the rest of their days off the grid in rural Vermont? Either way, the country goes dark. Transportation stops. Schools, hospitals and businesses close down. We are left to grow our own scrawny vegetables and slaughter our own animals for meat. We cannot even text. If you drive a car, or use modern medicine, or believe in man’s right to economic progress, then according to Alex Epstein you should be grateful–more than grateful. In “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” the author, an energy advocate and founder of a for-profit think tank called the Center for Industrial Progress, suggests that if all you had to rely on were the good intentions of environmentalists, you would be soon plunged back into a pre-industrial hell. Life expectancy would plummet, climate-related deaths would soar, and the only way that Timberland and Whole Foods could ship their environmentally friendly clothing and food would be by mule. “Being forced to rely on solar, wind, and biofuels would be a horror beyond anything we can imagine,” writes Mr. Epstein, “as a civilization that runs on cheap, plentiful, reliable energy would see its machines dead, its productivity destroyed, its resources disappearing.” When you consider that most of us live what we would consider decent, moral lives, it seems extraordinary that anyone feels it necessary to write a book called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” We use fossil fuels and their by-products in everything we do and rarely consider it a vice. A pang of conscience may strike us when we read of oil spills or melting icebergs. But not when we are sitting on a plastic chair, visiting a power-guzzling hospital or turning on our computers. To call fossil fuels “immoral” is to tarnish our entire civilization and should plunge us all into a permanent state of guilt, which seems a bit strong. Fabulous! Go read the whole thing… and then check out The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. I interviewed Alex Epstein about “How Coal and Oil Improve Our Lives” on the 12 September 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. If you’ve not yet heard it, you can listen to or download the podcast here: Duration: 1:03:15 Download: Standard MP3 File (14.5 MB) For more details, check out the episode’s archive page. Link to Original
  7. On Thursday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll chat about "Responsibility & Luck, Chapter Five" with listeners. This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 4 December 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. In Chapter Three of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle develops the outlines of a theory of moral responsibility. He argues that responsibility requires (1) control and (2) knowledge. In Chapter Five of my book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, I explored and further developed this theory of responsibility. In our discussion of this chapter, we'll explore this theory in depth, considering twists and turns like the role of regret and involuntary ignorance and incapacity. To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Chat on Responsibility & Luck, Chapter Five. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in this topic! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  8. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the objectivity of manners, fighting words, obsessing over past conversations, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 30 November 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Objectivity of Manners: Are manners objective? In a recent Rapid Fire Question, I think you rather too quickly dismissed the idea that manners or etiquette can be objective. You fairly quickly threw the whole lot of them over into the socially-subjective category. However, I think there's a lot that's not at all subjective, nor even optional, about manners. I happen to live in a country, China, which is much-renowned for its lack of basic human decency, and I would argue that this is a fair claim. For example, it's quite regular for a parent to pull his child's pants down and facilitate his or her urinating or defecating all over a vehicle of transportation, up to and including an international flight. It's also quite normal to hawk in such a way as to clear every cavity in one's upper torso, admire a particular piece of ground, and splat the results of one's personal nasal expiration for all to admire and tread upon. After a home-cooked meal, a guest is expected to belch massively. A small belch is a sign of dissatisfaction. To me, the latter seems quite a matter of optional cultural choice. What you said before about manners applies quite nicely to that issue: it's fairly arbitrary whether you should or you should not belch after your meal. At my in-laws' place, please do. At my mom's place, please don't. However, when I think about other ways in which Chinese people are "rude" to an American, I can think of a thousand examples where it's not just subjective. Pissing or shitting on a public bus is not just arbitrarily unacceptable to us silly overwrought Westerners. It's objectively rude. For another example, today when I was trying to get onto a bus, hale and hearty Chinese twenty-somethings were pushing in front of me in a giant triangle of evil. Nobody cared if I was there before them, nobody cared if the signs all said to line up respectfully, they just elbowed each other out of the way in order to get on the bus. So are manners objective, at least in part? Question 2: Fighting Words: Do verbal insults sometimes justify a response of physical violence? In a recent discussion of bullying, most people agreed that the child in question should not have hit the kids bullying him, given that those bullies were merely making awful remarks, as opposed to being violent or threatening. However, one person suggested that a physically violent response might be justified if all other avenues were exhausted – meaning that the bully was told to stop, efforts to enlist the help of the authorities failed, and a warning was given. Is that right? Is it ever right to respond to purely verbal insults with physical violence? Question 3: Obsessing over Past Conversations: How can I stop obsessing over past conversations? After having a conversation with someone, I often obsess about what I said to them and the way that I said it. I think about they ways they could have misinterpreted what I meant, and I worry that they thought I was being rude or disrespectful. Most of the time, of course, whatever nuances I thought would offend them were either non-existent or just went straight over their head. How can I overcome this obsessiveness, while still maintaining a healthy level of concern for how what I say may be interpreted? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Objectivity of Manners, Fighting Words, Past Conversations, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  9. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the moral arguments for veganism and vegetarianism, courage as a struggle against fear, ungrateful people, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 23 November 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Moral Arguments for Veganism and Vegetarianism: Are the moral arguments for veganism (and vegetarianism) rational? People often argue for vegetarianism on the grounds that a person can (and perhaps should) regard the lives of animals to be a higher value than the advantages to eating meat such as taste or nutrition. Is this a rational moral outlook, consistent with rational egoism? Question 2: Courage as a Struggle Against Fear: Does the virtue of courage require struggling against the temptation to succumb to fear? In your September 16th show, you argued that "it is far better for a person to cultivate a virtuous moral character so that right actions are easy for him, rather than constantly struggling against temptation." How does this apply to the virtue of courage? The common understanding of courage is that it requires acting rightly in spite of fear. So the courageous person struggles to do the right thing in face of the temptation to retreat in fear. Is this a correct formulation? If so, wouldn't that mean that a courageous person must constantly struggle against fear, not overcome it? If this view of courage is wrong, how would you define the virtue and its relation to fear? Question 3: Ungrateful People: Why aren't people grateful for what others do for them? I volunteer a lot, and I try to be very generous with my time and efforts in the groups that I'm involved with. Mostly, I just want people to express thanks and gratitude for what I've done for them. Mostly though, they don't thank me – or their thanks just seem perfunctory. Why is that? Am I wrong to want a little gratitude? Right now, I feel taken advantage of, and I want to tell everyone to go to hell. Is that wrong? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Veganism and Vegetarianism, Courage, Ungrateful People, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  10. On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered questions on anarchism’s case against government, the value of sportsmanship, sleeping around, and more with Greg Perkins. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You’ll find it on the episode’s archive page, as well as below. Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Podcast: Anarchism’s Case Against Government, Sportsmanship, Sleeping Around, and More Listen or Download: Duration: 8:37 Download: MP3 Segment To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread. Conclusion (1:05:47) Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too! About Philosophy in Action Radio Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives. Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher! Link to Original
  11. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on anarchism's case against government, the value of sportsmanship, sleeping around, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 9 November 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Anarchism's Case Against Government: Does the government monopoly on the use of force violate rights? Anarchist libertarians have long argued that a rights-respecting government is a contradiction in terms. A government, by its very nature, must have a monopoly on the use of force. That must be a coercive monopoly, since the government will not permit competition in the form of any competing defense agencies advocated by anarchists. Hence, government will always violate rights. What is wrong – if anything – with this argument? I've never gotten a good answer, despite often inquiring about it. Moreover, what assurances do we have that this government monopoly will not behave like other monopolies, such that it gets out of control, increases costs, and eventually fails? Question 2: The Value of Sportsmanship: What is the meaning and value of sportsmanship? Kids are often taught – or not taught – to be "good sports." What does that mean? What's the value in that? More broadly, what's a healthy versus unhealthy attitude toward competition in life – not just in sports, but also work, hobbies, friendship, and so on? Question 3: Sleeping Around: Why would anyone even want to sleep around? Ayn Rand used Francisco D'Anconia to describe her view of sexuality in Atlas Shrugged, but while her explanation was easy enough to understand, there were some things she left out. Namely: why would someone, anyone, sleep around? I've met, and read articles by, women who describe their experiences in the "hookup" culture, and across the board they agree that most of the men they slept with were poor lovers who cared little for them once the act was finished. I know men like this in real life who seem surprised at how unfulfilling their sex lives (admittedly much more active than mine) really are. So I have to ask: why would someone choose to have sex with someone when they know, or at least have good reason to believe, that the person has no actual interest in them personally? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Anarchism's Case Against Government, Sportsmanship, Sleeping Around, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  12. On Thursday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on improving candidates for office, increasing psychological visibility, sleeping around, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 30 October 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Improving Candidates for Office: How can people improve the quality of politicians in office? Although it's easy to condemn all politicians, some are better than others. How can we get more of the better politicians into office? Should people committed to rights run for office? Or should those people work to elect better (but still mixed) politicians? Or should they try to convince established politicians to embrace rights? What's the best strategy for effective political change? Question 2: Increasing Psychological Visibility: How can I achieve greater psychological visibility? Recently, I realized that many of my emotional difficulties in life – such as in maintaining motivation or keeping serene – may be exacerbated by feelings of psychological invisibility. In other words, I feel uncared for and unnoticed, and the deep dissatisfaction stemming from that could be potentially affecting a lot of areas in my life. For instance, I recently spoke to my manager as to my problems at work, and it made me feel so uniquely good that I was able to finish my shift in peace and on-track, in contrast to the bitter, near seething prior hours. That unique feeling indicates that I may have a deep unfulfilled emotional need in this area, hurting other realms of performance. Thus, what is psychological visibility? What does it add to my life? How can I satisfy it? Question 3: Sleeping Around: Why would anyone even want to sleep around? Ayn Rand used Francisco D'Anconia to describe her view of sexuality in Atlas Shrugged, but while her explanation was easy enough to understand, there were some things she left out. Namely: why would someone, anyone, sleep around? I've met, and read articles by, women who describe their experiences in the "hookup" culture, and across the board they agree that most of the men they slept with were poor lovers who cared little for them once the act was finished. I know men like this in real life who seem surprised at how unfulfilling their sex lives (admittedly much more active than mine) really are. So I have to ask: why would someone choose to have sex with someone when they know, or at least have good reason to believe, that the person has no actual interest in them personally? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Improving Politicians, Psychological Visibility, Sleeping Around, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  13. This XKCD graph on the legal recognition and social acceptance of interacial marriage versus gay marriage is fascinating. As the alt text says, “People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years.” And… HOLY *%@*!&*, a majority of people disapproved of interracial marriage until the mid 1990s? Sometimes, it’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come as a culture in my own lifetime. Link to Original
  14. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on voters' responsibility for politicians, charity to strangers, quitting or waiting to be fired, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 19 October 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Voters' Responsibility for Politicians: To what extent are voters responsible for the actions of politicians? Suppose that a candidate announces his plans and actions for next term before the election. Are the people who vote for that candidate morally sanctioning and/or responsible for those actions, for better or worse? For example, you vote for a candidate who supports de-regulation and ending social welfare programs, even though he's completely against abortion in all circumstances, even when that might result in the woman's death. Since you, as a voter, knew his position when you voted for him, aren't you partially responsible for any deaths of women caused by his anti-abortion policies? Question 2: Charity to Strangers: Is charity to strangers virtuous? In a recent podcast, you answered the following Rapid Fire Question: "Does providing voluntary, non-sacrificial help to innocent, unfortunate poor people qualify as virtuous? In a free society, would such charity be a moral obligation?" You said that it's not a moral obligation, and I agree with that. You also said that you think it's a "great thing to do." But why? I'd evaluate it as such if the person you're helping is a good friend or a close relative. In that case, the act would be an expression of integrity, or of loyalty to one's personal values. But I don't understand why it's a "great thing" to provide charity to people you don't know, even if you're contextually certain that they didn't bring their hardship upon themselves and you don't view it as a moral duty. I'd think that such an act is morally neutral, or at best slightly positive. Can you explain your evaluation a bit more, please? Question 3: Quitting or Waiting to be Fired: Should a person quit or wait to be fired from an increasingly intolerable job? I have been employed with a large company for 26 years, and it has been a mildly satisfying career until recently. Since a new CEO took the helm, working conditions have degraded exponentially. Some changes were necessary. Others are arbitrary and designed to intimidate employees to the point of resignation. For example, I recently phoned to report in sick, and I had to argue for an hour and a half before they would show me unavailable. The actuarial value of my pension at this point is about $400,000. If I stay for six more years, that amount will double. I believe that the shareholders have a right to fire me if I don't toe the line. But I believe that management is violating my rights by blatantly circumventing my contract. (For example, time off depends on manpower available, but they've laid off 20% of the workforce.) So should I quit now – or should I hang on and wait to be fired? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Responsibility of Voters, Charity to Strangers, Leaving a Bad Job, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  15. Despite the defeats of “personhood” measures in 2008 and 2010, Colorado voters will once again vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to grant all the rights of born persons to zygotes, embryos, and fetuses in November 2014. The Coalition for Secular Government is pleased to announce an updated and expanded paper on the “personhood” movement by Ari Armstrong and myself, titled “The ‘Personhood’ Movement Versus Individual Rights: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception.” The paper is currently available for download as a PDF or for reading as an HTML page. Formats: HTML / PDF Please share it with friends and on social media! Here’s our media release on it: New Paper Criticizes “Personhood” Movement and Colorado’s Amendment 67 Wednesday, October 8, 2014 Coalition for Secular Government: http://www.SecularGovernment.us A new paper criticizes the “personhood” movement and Colorado’s Amendment 67, a measure that would treat abortion as murder under the law; outlaw abortion even in cases of rape, incest, risks to a woman’s health, and severe fetal deformity; outlaw some types of birth control; outlaw common forms of in vitro fertility treatments; and ban embryonic stem-cell research. The 54-page paper, coauthored by Diana Hsieh and Ari Armstrong, offers extensive historical and scientific background on the “personhood” movement, abortion, and related matters. The paper also offers philosophic arguments supporting a woman’s right to seek an abortion. “Amendment 67 is extremely misleading in its language,” Hsieh said. “The proponents of the measure apparently want voters to believe that it is about protecting pregnant women from vicious criminal attacks, but the reality is that the measure would treat women as murderers for getting an abortion or even for using certain types of birth control or in vitro fertility treatments.” Amendment 67 seeks to extend full legal protections to “unborn human beings,” which its sponsors define as all embryos from the moment of conception. As the new paper discusses, Colorado law already establishes criminal penalties for harming a pregnant woman’s embryo or fetus against her consent. If you have any questions about the paper, please email me. Link to Original
  16. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on psychics in a free society, fear of leading a worthless life, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 5 October 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Psychics in a Free Society: In a free society, would psychics be prosecuted for fraud? How would the government in a rational, free-market system handle people and businesses, such as the Psychic Friends Network, which claim to have psychic powers (such as being able to talk to the dead) and charge the gullible hundreds of dollars in fees for "spiritual consultations"? Would the government prosecute such people for fraud? Or would the government have a "caveat emptor" attitude and say, "If people want to waste their money on that nonsense, that's their rightful prerogative"? Question 2: Fear of Leading a Worthless Life: How can I overcome my fear of leading a value-less life? Ever since I was young, I've had an overwhelming fear of leading a valueless life. I saw my parent and other adult role models live this way. There was nothing in their life: they never strived for anything, never had dreams, and tended to discourage dreams from others. I always thought that I would be different. I always thought that I could live in a fulfilled way. But slowly I noticed that I was falling into their path. I didn't start college till 23 because of student aid issues. Until then I worked minimum wage, and I went without food some days. Now at 26, I have a 2 year degree. Even with my new job I still live in a drug and prostitution infested ghetto in Philadelphia because this is the only place I can afford. After calculating how long it will take me to get my career off the ground, I could graduate with a MS by thirty or thirty two. But noticing the patterns that I see in other people, I have this overwhelming fear that all attempts at achieving a value will slowly slip my grasp. I constantly needed to push values off till tomorrow until I get today straightened out. I am scared that tomorrow will never come. I have so many goals and dreams and values but I might never get to achieve them. I see it so clearly sometimes: 45, divorced, alone, with nothing to show for my hard work, debt, a giant mortgage or even worse perpetual renting, and my only outlet going to the pub with other Philly white trash middle-agers. How can rational philosophy help me gain perspective on this fear that I have had since a kid? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Psychics in a Free Society, Fear of a Worthless Life, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  17. This Friday, the Coalition for Secular Government? will be in federal court, arguing that Colorado’s campaign finance regulations on “issue committees” violate our free speech rights. (Our case is being argued by the fine attorneys of the Center for Competitive Politics.) Basically, I don’t want to have to do the equivalent of filing taxes every two weeks just so that Ari Armstrong and I can publish a very wonkish policy paper on abortion rights. Our policy paper isn’t like a campaign ad, yet it’s treated like one by the law… which sucks. (For details, read my December 2011 testimony to Colorado’s Secretary of State.) If you want to see litigating for liberty in action, the trial will be held on Friday, starting at 10 am, in the federal courthouse at 901 19th Street in Denver. We’re before Judge Kane. We have a good shot at making a dent in these unjust laws… and I’m very excited! Link to Original
  18. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the possibility of an atheistic afterlife, concealing a pet from a landlord, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 28 September 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Possibility of an Atheistic Afterlife: Is it wrong for an atheist to believe in some kind of afterlife? I don't believe in God, but I hate to think that this life is all that I have. I can't stand the thought of never again seeing my parents, my children, or my friends again. So is it wrong to think that some kind of afterlife might exist? What's the harm? Question 2: Concealing a Pet from a Landlord: It is wrong to keep my pet a secret from my landlord? My fiancee and I own a cat. By the rules of our apartment, we should notify our landlord and pay monthly pet rent and deposits. However, we keep a cleaner apartment than the majority of people without pets. If the cat's not tearing up carpet and peeing on walls, I don't feel I should pay more than, say, someone who is disrespectful of the property and causes more damage to the unit. Moreover, I recently heard firsthand from a group of experienced landlords that they prefer cleaner tenants with pets as opposed to straight up dirty tenants. So should I fess up and pay or not? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Atheistic Afterlife, Concealing a Pet, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  19. Why Do People Hit Their Kids? Failure, that’s why: Now, this is the part where I point out that study after study after study has proven that corporal punishment—even a light spanking—does not work. At all. Corporal punishment makes kids sullen, violent, and angry. I know this because I have dabbled in corporal punishment with my own children, particularly my oldest kid. (Poor first children are always the beta kids: The kids parents fuck up with the most before applying better techniques to their younger siblings.) I have tried spanking the kid, and giving the kid a light smack on the head, and threatening the kid. My dad spanked me once or twice as a child. That’s it. I don’t even remember it, really. And yet I’ve probably tried more ways of physically correcting my child than he ever did. And the reason I tried all of these methods is because I am a failure. That’s what corporal punishment is. It’s a failure. It’s a complete breakdown of communication between parent and child. Children are unpredictable, reckless, and occasionally violent. They can drive otherwise rational humans into fits of rage. And I have had moments—many moments, certainly—where I have felt that rage after exhausting every last possible idea to get them to behave: bribery, timeouts, the silent treatment, walking away (they follow you!), distraction, throwing the kids outside (they end up ringing the doorbell a lot), you name it. So I have tried corporal punishment as a final resort, a desperate last stab at closure. That’s an easy way for parents to justify it: You forced me to do this, child. Spanking the kid did nothing for me. It only made me realize what a fucking failure I was. Oh, and the kid still kept yelling. Spanking and beating your kid teaches your kid to talk with violence. It validates hitting as a legitimate form of communication. Everything is modeled. I have yelled at my kids, and then seen them yell. I have smacked my kid, and then watched her smack someone else. They don’t learn to be good from any of it. They don’t learn to sit still and practice piano sonatas. All they learn is, Hey, this works! And then they go practice what you just preached. Beating a kid creates an atmosphere of toxicity in a house that lingers forever: One beating leads to the next, and to the next, and to the next, until parents don’t even know why they’re beating the kid anymore. They just do. Once it is normalized, it takes root. Parents begin to like the habit. Those pictures of Peterson’s kid? The violence can get worse … much worse … so much worse it’s astonishing. Go read the whole thing. The honesty of the piece is refreshing, to say the least. As it happens, I answered a question about corporal punishment of kids on the 24 June 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. If you’ve not yet heard it, you can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here: Duration: 48:57 Download: Standard MP3 File (11.2 MB) For more details, check out the episode’s archive page. Link to Original
  20. This is a horrifying story: Cancer doc admits scam, giving patients unneeded chemo. This doctor gave unnecessary chemotherapy — basically, he poisoned his patients — for money. (The profit motive is usually a tremendous force for good… but not always.) Here’s the bright spot in this morally bleak story — the nurse who turned him in as soon as she saw (in a job interview) him doing wrong: Angela Swantek, a chemotherapy nurse who blew the whistle on Fata to state authorities in 2010, was in the courtroom during Fata’s guilty plea. She said she was relieved to hear him admit to things she witnessed years ago in his office. “I’m numb,” she said in a court hallway. “I’m not surprised though; I wondered how his team was going to defend him. The charts don’t lie.” Swantek, 45, of Royal Oak, said she went to Fata’s office for a job interview in 2010 when she saw patients getting chemotherapy in a manner that wasn’t correct. “I left after an hour and half. I thought this is insane,” she said. That same day, Swantek went home and wrote a letter to the state and suggested they investigate him. According to Swantek, the state did nothing and notified her in 2011 that they had found no wrongdoing. “I handed them Dr. Fata on a platter in 2010 and they did absolutely nothing,” said Swantek, noting she was elated when she learned the federal government charged Fata in 2013. “I started crying,” she said. “I thought about all of the patients he took care of and harmed.” Kudos to her for reporting him to the authorities, rather than just walking away. If only those authorities had done their job… Link to Original
  21. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on blaming crime victims, the validity of concealed carry permits, hijacking Ayn Rand's ideas, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 21 September 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Blaming Crime Victims: Is it wrong to suggest that a crime victim should have taken greater precautions? My wife and I were discussing the recent iCloud data breach in which a hacker stole and published nude photos of hundreds of female celebrities. I made the comment that while the hacker’s actions were despicable, at the same time I thought the celebrities were stupid to have trusted iCloud to protect the privacy of their photos in the first place. My wife balked at this, saying that this amounts to blaming the victim, and is no better than saying a woman who is raped was stupid for wearing a short skirt, or for drinking alcohol. But I see it as being more akin to saying a person whose bag was stolen from their car was stupid for leaving the door unlocked. Do comments of this sort really amount to ‘blaming the victim’? Is it proper or improper to make such comments? Does my level of expertise or the victim's level of expertise make any difference? (As a computer engineer, I am very aware of the dangers of the cloud, whereas your average celebrity would probably be clueless about it.) Intuitively, I feel like the comments would be improper in my wife’s example, proper in my example, and I’m unsure about the data breach itself. But I’m struggling to identify what the defining characteristics are for each case. What's the right approach here? Question 2: The Validity of Concealed Carry Permits: Should concealed carry permits be required to carry firearms concealed? In the United States today, most states have "shall-issue" concealed carry laws, whereby the sheriff of a county must issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who meets the requirements. Those requirements usually include no history of criminal activity, no history of mental illness, and some training. However, two states permit "constitutional carry," meaning that any law-abiding citizen has a right to carry a concealed firearm, without the need for a permit. Is requiring a "concealed carry" permit a violation of the right to self-defense? Or is "constitutional carry" a dangerous form of anarchy? Question 3: Hijacking Ayn Rand's Ideas: What can be done to prevent the hijacking of Ayn Rand's ideas? Ayn Rand has become more and more popular over the last decade, and her ideas have begun to spread into academia. There is more literature being written about Objectivism now than ever before. But there is one thing that worries me. There is a great risk that as Ayn Rand becomes "trendy," second handers will try to use her ideas, manipulate them, to gain respect, and to further their nefarious ends. This is exactly what happened to Friedrich Nietzsche – when his ideas became popular, his philosophy was hijacked by anarchists, nazis, and postmodernists, completely destroying his reputation for a century. How do we prevent this from happening to Ayn Rand? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Blaming Crime Victims, Concealed Carry Permits, Hijacking Ideas, More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  22. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on net neutrality, rescuing other people's pets, large egos, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 7 September 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: Net Neutrality: Should "net neutrality" be law? Lately, many people on the left have been advocating for "net neutrality." What is it? What would its effects be? What are the arguments for and against it? If it shouldn't be law, might private "net neutrality" be a good thing? Question 2: Rescuing Other People's Pets: Should a person be prosecuted for property damage when committed in order to rescue the property owner's pet from harm or death? Recently, I heard a story about a man who smashed the window of a stranger's car in order to rescue a dog left inside. It was a very hot day, and the dog would have died or suffered brain damage if it had not been rescued. Was it moral for the man to do this? Should he be charged with criminal damages for smashing the window? Should the owner of the dog be charged with leaving the dog to die in the car? Question 3: Large Egos: Can an egoist have too big an ego? People often speak disapprovingly of "big egos." The idea seems to be that a person is not supposed to think too well of himself or be too assertive. Is this just the product of altruism, including the idea that a person should be humble? Or can a person really be too big for his britches? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Net Neutrality, Rescuing Pets, Large Egos, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  23. On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered questions on “the friend zone”, making hard choices, frivolous lawsuits, and more with Greg Perkins. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You’ll find it on the episode’s archive page, as well as below. Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Podcast: The Friend Zone, Hard Choices, Frivolous Lawsuits, and More Listen or Download: Duration: 6:29 Download: MP3 Segment To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread. Conclusion (1:06:52) Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too! About Philosophy in Action Radio Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives. Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher! Link to Original
  24. On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on "the friend zone", making hard choices, tort reform, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 31 August 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. This week's questions are: Question 1: "The Friend Zone": Is there any validity to the concept of "the friend zone"? The "friend zone" is used to describe the situation of a man who is interested in a woman, but she's not interested in being more than friends with him. Then, he's "in the friend zone," and he can't get out except by her say-so. So "nice guys" in the friend zone often use the concept to describe the frustration of watching the women they desire date "bad boys" while they sit over to the side waiting for their chance to graduate from being just friends to being something more. Feminists suggest that this concept devalues a woman's right to determine the context and standard of their sexual and romantic interests, that it treats a woman's sexual acceptance as something that a man is entitled to by virtue of not being a jerk. Is that right? Or do women harm themselves by making bad choices about the types of men they date versus the types they put in the "friend zone?" Question 2: Making Hard Choices: How can a person make better hard choices? How to make hard choices was the subject of a recent TED talk from philosopher Ruth Chang. Her thesis is that hard choices are not about finding the better option between alternatives. Choices are hard when there is no better option. Hard choices require you to define the kind of person you want to be. You have to take a stand for your choice, and then you can find reasons for being the kind of person who makes that choice. Her views really speak to me. In your view, what makes a choice hard? How should a person make hard choices? Question 3: Tort Reform: Should judges refuse to hear cases from lawyers behind frivolous suits? In your 15 May 2014 show, you expressed curiosity about possible improvements to the justice system. I came up with the following idea after sitting on a jury for a civil trial where, after the plaintiff presented his case, the judge dismissed the suit without even having the defendant present his defense. In cases where a judge thinks everyone's time and money were wasted by a pointless case, the judge should refuse to hear any future cases from the lawyer for the losing side. That would cause the lawyer to think twice about representing any frivolous cases, since he would risk being banned from the presiding judge's courtroom henceforth. In addition, judges who know each other could share lawyer blacklists, preventing the lawyer from wasting other judges' time as well. Would this be possible? Would it fix the problem of frivolous lawsuits? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: The Friend Zone, Hard Choices, Reforming Courts, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
  25. On Thursday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview educator Kelly Elmore about "Why Growth Mindsets Matter." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 28 August 2014, in our live studio. If you can't listen live, you'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page. Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success offers a new perspective on learning. People with a "fixed mindsets" believe that traits like intelligence or social skills are fixed and cannot be changed much. People with "growth mindsets" believe that humans have the potential to change the traits they possess and constantly learn and improve. As a part of the research for her dissertation, Kelly Elmore has explored the psychological research conducted by Dweck and other cognitive psychologists that led to Dweck's development of the concept of "mindsets." In this interview, she'll explain what mindsets are and the research behind them, as well as discuss how to apply these ideas to improve our lives. Kelly Elmore is working on her PhD in rhetoric and composition at Georgia State University, teaching freshman composition, helping her 10 year old daughter educate herself, and working with students from 8-18 on writing, Latin, grammar, and rhetoric at a local homeschool co-op. Kelly is in the planning stages of writing her dissertation, which will focus on Carol Dweck's concept of mindset and its relevance to writing. She also cooks (homemade mayo, anyone?) and practices yoga and mindfulness. She doesn't have spare time because she fills it all up with values, happiness, and breathing in and out. To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Kelly Elmore on Why Growth Mindsets Matter. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in this topic! Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
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