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Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions with Greg Perkins on staying objective, deliberately unhealthy choices, consuming celebrity news, refuting Marxist arguments, and more. Don't miss this engaging hour on the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 10 June 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Staying Objective: How can a person be certain of his own objectivity? It's often difficult to stick to the facts in reasoning, and it's even harder to make sure that you're focused on all and only the relevant facts. How can a person know that he's being objective – as opposed to relying on unwarranted assumptions, ignoring relevant facts, or rationalizing what he wants to be true?
  • Question 2: Deliberately Unhealthy Choices: Is it moral to smoke, drink, or eat unhealthy foods if one recognizes the costs of doing so? Suppose a friend makes a deliberate decision to eat foods he know to be unhealthy (such as frequent sugary desserts). He knows that it might harm his health, but he says that the personal enjoyment and satisfaction outweigh the risk of shortened lifespan and possible future harmful health effects. In other words, he claims he is making a rational choice to maximize his overall happiness. If he's truly weighed all the relevant factors without evading the consequences and makes an informed choice to eat those desserts – or engaging in similar unhealthy choices such as drinking or smoking to excess – can that be moral?
  • Question 3: Consuming Celebrity News: Is consuming celebrity news self-destructive? Is there anything wrong with being interested in celebrities and entertainment news? Does "celebrity culture" foster destructive values in people?
  • Question 4: Refuting Marxist Arguments: How can I effectively counter Marxist economic arguments? My family and friends often advocate Marxist economic ideas – for example, that wealth should be redistributed according to need, that corporations and corporate profits are evil, and that rich people have too much money. How can I best respond to these arguments?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 10 June 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

In the meantime,

Connect with Us via social media, newsletter, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Show Archives, where you can listen to any past episode or question. And visit the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming episodes.

We hope to see you in the chat on Sunday morning!

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The Rationally Selfish Webcast has a new name and new web site: Philosophy in Action! (The web site won't be available until the morning of the webcast.) Here's this week's announcement. I hope to

Good stuff! I got a chance on Sunday to sit and listen to some of these Webcasts. Some good and helpful hints here and there and everywhere. The thing I like most about them is the "philosophy

In

this evening's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll discuss "Morality without God" with live callers.

Is objective morality possible or necessary without God? Can and should morality be based on observable facts? Join me for an engaging half-hour call-in show on the secular basis of morality!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Advice Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh with live callers
  • When: Wednesday, 13 June 2012 at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

If you attend the live show, you can share your experiences and ask questions by calling the show or via the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Advice Radio: 13 June 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. Take a peek at the

Episodes on Tap for the scoop on upcoming shows! In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, newsletter, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Show Archives, where you can listen to any past episode or question. And visit the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming episodes.

I hope that you'll join us tonight!

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In

Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on objectively assessing yourself, friendships at work, keeping up with the news, child labor laws, and more. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion of the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 17 June 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Objectively Assessing Yourself: How can a person objectively assess his own character? If a person has a good character, then he'll recognize that fact. But if a person has a bad character, then he'll probably deceive himself into thinking himself good. So it seems likely that every person will think that he has a good character, even when that's not true. So, is objective assessment of one's own character possible? If so, how?
  • Question 2: Friendships at Work: Is it wrong to be friends with subordinates at work? Work is a place where you have a certain contractual and moral obligation to the company you work for to put the company's interests ahead. With workplace friendships, particularly with subordinates, this can lead to problematic situations, particularly in maintaining a sense of objectivity both to yourself and among your peers and subordinates. There are also problems with the friendship itself; items that you are not supposed to share with subordinates and big events in your friend's life (looking for another job, for example) that either put you in a rough situation or have to be left out of the friendship entirely. Is being friends with someone who is subordinate to you at work practical or moral?
  • Question 3: Keeping Up with the News: Should I keep up with current affairs? As we know, most reporting is pretty bad. In print, and especially on the rolling 24-hour news channels. It's myopic, biased, and lacking in any principled coverage. The reporters are just clueless, and are like children pointing at all the pretty, crazy colors. But there must be some value in reading the paper, right? Or is it only for people in certain intellectual occupations, whose work involves commentary on the world today? I've not followed current affairs for the last few years myself, and I'm happy for it, but do just worry that I'm missing something.
  • Question 4: Child Labor Laws: Should children be protected by child labor laws? Currently, federal and state governments restricts "child labor" in various ways. The US Department of Labor "restricts the hours that youth under 16 years of age can work and lists hazardous occupations too dangerous for young workers to perform." The goal is to "protect the educational opportunities of youth and prohibit their employment in jobs that are detrimental to their health and safety." Is this a proper function of government? Does it violate the rights of parents, children, and/or employers? If so, what's the harm done?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 17 June 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

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this evening's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll discuss "Why Style Matters" with style consultant Miranda Barzey and live callers.

What is style? Why should you care about your own personal style? How can you improve your wardrobe?

  • What: Philosophy in Action Advice Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh with Miranda Barzey and live callers
  • When: Wednesday, 20 June 2012 at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

If you attend the live show, you can share your experiences and ask questions by calling the show or via the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Advice Radio: 20 June 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. Take a peek at the

Episodes on Tap for the scoop on upcoming shows! In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, newsletter, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Show Archives, where you can listen to any past episode or question. And visit the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming episodes.

I hope that you'll join us tonight!

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Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on corporal punishment of kids, parenting as a central purpose, compartmentalized cheating, faith in something greater than the self, and more with Greg Perkins. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion of the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 24 June 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Corporal Punishment of Kids: Is corporal punishment of children ever proper? The
    raises the question of whether it's ever necessary or proper to physically discipline children. Does the age of the child matter, particularly given that you can't reason with younger children? Does the amount of force used matter? When does physical punishment violate the child's rights?
  • Question 2: Parenting as a Central Purpose: Can parenting be a central purpose in life? Many people think that only a career can serve as a person's central purpose. They think that a central purpose must be remunerative, and that it can't be merely temporary. Is that right? Can parenting be a person's central purpose, even if only for a few years?
  • Question 3: Compartmentalized Cheating: Is it true that, "if you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partner"? A few months ago, a Republican presidential candidate said of Newt Gingrich, "if you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partner." Leaving aside the specifics of any particular politician's personal life, is the broader principle accurate? If you knew that someone cheated on his wife, does that mean he should be regarded as an untrustworthy for a business partnership? Or as morally unfit to be your doctor? Or as unfit to be an elected official?
  • Question 4: Faith in Something Greater than the Self: Doesn't everyone need to have faith in something greater than themselves? Most people have faith in something greater than themselves – whether God, their community, the state, the environment. Doesn't everyone need that, to help steer them in life? Or do you think that's unnecessary or even wrong?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 24 June 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

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In tonight's live broadcast of

Philosophy in Action Advice Radio, I'll discuss "Parenting without Punishment" with Jenn Casey, Kelly Elmore, and live callers.

How can parents set and enforce limits for their children without punishments or rewards? What are the benefits of that approach? What are the problems with parenting by punishments and rewards?

  • What: Philosophy in Action Advice Radio
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh with Jenn Casey, Kelly Elmore, and live callers
  • When: Wednesday, 27 June 2012 at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

If you attend the live show, you can share your experiences and ask questions by calling the show or via the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Advice Radio: 27 June 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us tonight!

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In

Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on knowing your biological parents, second-hand smoke, changing core beliefs with age, man the rational animal, and more with Greg Perkins. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion of the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 1 July 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Knowing Your Biological Parents: Do adopted people have a right to know who their biological parents are? Some adopted people want to know their biological parents, and knowing one's family medical history could be important to a person. So does a person have a right to know his biological parents? If so, does that apply to children conceived with sperm or egg donors? Do parents giving children up for adoption or donating reproductive tissue have a right to privacy?
  • Question 2: Second-hand Smoke: It is wrong to inflict second-hand smoke on other people? Although smoking is detrimental to a person's health, whether or not someone smokes is (or should be) a matter of his personal choice. However, what is the proper moral and legal status of "second-hand smoke"? If second-hand smoke contributes to the development of respiratory diseases or if others simply find it noxious, shouldn't people refrain from smoking in public or smoking around people who haven't consented to it? In a free society, would and should most workplaces ban smoking? Could second-hand smoke be considered a tort, such that the state should forbid smoking around people who object to it?
  • Question 3: Changing Core Beliefs with Age: Why are older people less likely to change their core beliefs? Recently, I had a conversation with a long-time committed leftist who "blinked" when confronted with the fact that collectivism always fails, and it fails because the underlying theory is wrong in principle. Many people, particularly older people, are unwilling to reconsider their core views, however. As to the reason why, my hypothesis is that older people have significant sunk costs in their philosophy, such that they could not psychologically survive the realization that they were so wrong for so many decades. Is that right? If so, what can be done to help them change for the better, if anything?
  • Question 4: Man the Rational Animal: What does it mean to say that "man is a rational animal"? The fact that man is a rational animal distinguishes him from all other living entities and makes the whole of philosophy possible and necessary. But, taking a step back, what does it mean to say that man is a (or the) rational animal? What is rationality, not as a virtue, but as the essential characteristic of man?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 1 July 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

— Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy)

Philosophy In Action

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Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on the validity of psychic powers, managing office politics, responsibility for wrongdoings of friends, the cost of freedom, and more with Greg Perkins. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion of the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 8 July 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Validity of Psychic Powers: Are psychic powers bunk? A friend convinced me to join him in visiting a psychic for a tarot card reading. Although I am opposed to mysticism, I didn't mind going and thought it would be funny. I was surprised to find this psychic knew things about me that (while vague) were very accurate descriptors, and could not have been known from my appearance (nor prior knowledge since it was an impromptu visit). It seems highly unlikely they could have guessed (and have guessed so accurately) correct character traits, issues and feelings. Is this evidence in favor of psychic powers? Or have I been mislead?
  • Question 2: Managing Office Politics: How can a person effectively manage office politics? In almost any job, the internal politics of the company can be overwhelming. If you speak out, you can be embroiled in conflict and drama. If you stay silent, the pushy people will have their way, often for the worse. What should a person do who wants to actually work?
  • Question 3: Responsibility for Wrongdoings of Friends: Am I responsible for the actions of my friends? Suppose that a friend of mine does something that others find objectionable. Am I obliged to state my opinion of what my friend did? If I refuse to state an opinion, should others assume that I endorse my friend's actions? In general, should we expect people to speak out if they object to what others do? When is a person obliged to speak in protest?
  • Question 4: The Cost of Freedom: Shouldn't freedom be "free"? I often hear the bromide "freedom isn't free," or some variation of it, such as, "there's a price for freedom." But isn't freedom actually free? A person acts by right in pursuing his own life and happiness, and criminals do not have any right to coerce or threaten others. If freedom is the political expression of rights in a social or political context, it follows that there should be no "cost" to exercising one's rights. It isn't a sacrifice to not violate others rights, since respect for them is a selfish virtue, nor would it be a sacrifice to voluntarily fund a proper government that protects one's rights, since the benefit outweighs the cost. Am I correct in thinking freedom, properly understood and protected, is indeed free, or not? If I am, what do people mean when they say, "freedom isn't free," and what's the proper response?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 8 July 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

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In

Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on multiculturalism and tolerance, speaking out against bigotry, acting out emotions versus acting on emotions, justified war, and more with Greg Perkins. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion of the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 15 July 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Multiculturalism and Tolerance: What's wrong with multiculturalism? Many people think that "multiculturalism" just means being tolerant of people with different cultural practices than your own. Is that right? What is multiculturalism? What are some examples of it? What's wrong with it, if anything?
  • Question 2: Speaking Out Against Bigotry: When should a person speak up against bigotry toward gays? My boyfriend and I were at a party at the home of one of his coworkers. One person at the party started using offensive homophobic slurs, so I asked him not to use that kind of language. He persisted, and the conversation escalated into an argument. My boyfriend did not take a position, and he later said he “didn’t want to get involved” and that it had been “none of my business” to stick my neck out against the bigot. I believe that silence implies acceptance. Though there may not be a moral obligation to intervene, it still seems like the right thing to do. What is the moral principle behind this? Is it important enough to end a relationship over?
  • Question 3: Acting Out Emotions Versus Acting On Emotions: What's the difference between acting on emotions and acting out emotions? Emotions sometimes cry out for bodily expression, such as hitting something when you're angry. Is "acting out emotions" in that way a form of emotionalism? How is it different, if at all, from acting on emotions?
  • Question 4: Justified War: When would a free society go to war? What would the attitude of a rights-respecting country be toward war? When would the country go to war – or not? How would wars be funded and manned? Is isolationism or interventionism the proper approach?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 15 July 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

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In

Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on expressions of love, exposing security flaws, the nature of happiness, the importance of a candidate's views on abortion, and more with Greg Perkins. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion of the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 22 July 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Expressions of Love: What do you think of the "Five Love Languages"? The basic idea of the "Five Love Languages" is that every person has "a primary way of expressing and interpreting love," and that "we all identify primarily with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch." What do you think of this concept? Do you think that a person's "love language" might be connected to his personality traits?
  • Question 2: Exposing Security Flaws: Is it moral to post information on security flaws that can help criminals better commit crimes? Some people publish information on how to pick locks or how to bypass computer password protection programs. Yes, sometimes this information might be used by good people to better protect themselves, but it's likely that criminals will use it to commit crimes, perhaps crimes that they'd not have attempted otherwise. Can the person posting the information rightly say, "This information can be used for both good or bad purposes, and I'm not morally responsible for what someone else chooses to do with it"?
  • Question 3: The Nature of Happiness: What is happiness? When philosophers such as Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Ayn Rand speak of happiness, what do they mean? Is happiness just a fleeting sensation of pleasure? Or is it something more enduring and stable?
  • Question 4: The Importance of a Candidate's Views on Abortion: How important are a political candidate's views on abortion? Why should we be worried about a political candidate's bad views on abortion if their views on other issues like economics are generally good? After all, as US President, Mitt Romney couldn't outlaw abortion even if he wanted to. But a good or bad President could have a tremendous good or bad effect on our economic liberties. Conversely, President Obama wants to keep abortion legal but that positive pales in significance to his terrible negative views on economics. Shouldn't a candidate's views on economics be more important at present than their views on abortion?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page:

Q&A Radio: 22 July 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

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tonight's episode of Philosophy in Action Talk Radio, I'll interview Dr. Paul Hsieh on surviving socialized medicine.

  • What: Philosophy in Action Talk Radio: Surviving Socialized Medicine
  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh, with Dr. Paul Hsieh, plus live callers
  • When: Wednesday, 25 July 2012, 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio

With ObamaCare confirmed by the Supreme Court, what can a person do to preserve his health under America's increasingly socialized system of medical care?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your experiences and ask questions by calling the show or via the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here:

Talk Radio: 25 July 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us tonight!

— Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy)

Philosophy in Action

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In

Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on the morality of cloning, hypocritical allies, standards of beauty, capitalism and altruism, and more with Greg Perkins.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Morality of Cloning: If cloning humans were possible, would it be wrong? Most people think that cloning humans, if possible, would be terribly immoral and creepy. What are their arguments? Are those arguments right or wrong? Also, would cloning a person without his or her consent be some kind of rights violation?
  • Question 2: Hypocritical Allies: What should you do when your allies are exposed as hypocrites? Just because a person advocates good ideas doesn't mean that he practices them. For example, a defender of free markets might use zoning laws to prevent the construction of a new building on land adjacent to his home, an advocate of justice and independence as virtues might condemn and ostracize people who disagree with him on trivial matters, and an advocate of productive work might sponge off friends and relatives. When you discover such behavior in your allies, what should you do? Should you attempt to defend them? Should you try to keep the hypocrisy quiet? Should you condemn them? Should you say that "nobody's perfect"? What's fair – and what's best for your cause?
  • Question 3: Standards of Beauty: Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? In your November 13th, 2011webcast discussion of aesthetic body modification, you rejected the idea that beauty is just a matter of personal taste or cultural norms. What's your view – and why?
  • Question 4: Capitalism and Altruism: Is capitalism altruistic? Some people attempt to defend capitalism and free markets on altruistic grounds. Under capitalism, they say, a successful businesses must serve the needs of its customers. Hence, capitalism promotes altruism. Is that true? Is it an effective way to defend capitalism?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here:

Q&A Radio: 29 July 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

— Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy)

Philosophy in Action

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Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on contributing to animal welfare groups, inappropriate gifts from in-laws, sacrifice in war, condemning evil versus praising good, and more with Greg Perkins.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Contributing to Animal Welfare Groups: Should a person contribute to animal welfare organizations? Animal shelters find good homes for abandoned and abused pets. They also offer assistance to pet owners during emergencies, such as the recent wildfires in Colorado. That work seems laudable to me – and something that a rational person might support and even contribute to. Yet such groups often advocate wrong views (such as veganism) and support rights-violations (such as animal welfare laws). So are such groups worthy of support or not?
  • Question 2: Inappropriate Gifts from In-Laws: How should I respond to an unwanted gift given by my in-laws? My in-laws often give me presents that I don't much like – like frumpy boring sweaters and books I'll never read. I thank them kindly for the present, but I'm not effusive in my praise. Recently, they gave me something really pretty inappropriate for me – on par with giving a bacon cookbook to a vegetarian. I wasn't sure whether it was just clueless or hostile. How should I respond?
  • Question 3: Sacrifice in War: Is it a sacrifice for a soldier to fight for his country? Most people regard fighting for one's country to be a glorious sacrifice. The soldier risks life and limb, but gets little in return. Assuming a proper government and a justified war for self-defense, is serving in the military a sacrifice? And if so, is that sacrifice noble?
  • Question 4: Condemning Evil Versus Praising Good: Why do so many cultural commentaries condemn the evil rather than praise the good? The virtue of justice, properly understood, means that praising good is more important than condemning evil. As Leonard Peikoff says in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand: "The conventional view is that justice consists primarily in punishing the wicked. This view stems from the idea that evil is metaphysically powerful, while virtue is merely 'impractical idealism.' In the Objectivist philosophy, however, vice is the attribute to be scorned as impractical. For [Objectivists], therefore, the order of priority is reversed. Justice consists first not in condemning, but in admiring – and then in expressing one's admiration explicitly and in fighting for those one admires..." (pg 284). Despite that, the majority of cultural commentaries, including those written by Objectivists, focus on exposing and condemning evil, rather than praising the good. Why is that? Is it a mistake?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here:

Q&A Radio: 5 August 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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  • 4 weeks later...

In tonight's episode of Philosophy in Action Talk Radio, I'll answer questions from live callers on any and all topics — including current politics.

Got questions? We've got answers! In this show, we'll answer questions and take calls on any topic, including current politics.

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your experiences and ask questions by calling the show or via the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: 29 August 2012: Any Topic Under the Sun.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us tonight!

— Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy)

Philosophy in Action

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on performance-enhancing drugs in sports, sexual values in romance, manipulating for good ends, intellectually inferior professors, and more with Greg Perkins.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports: It is wrong for athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs? Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of his record seven Tour De France titles after allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs – particularly EPO, human growth hormone, and steroids. These drugs act to enhance vitality and endurance by increasing red blood cell count, stimulating new cell growth, and helping to regulate metabolism and immune function, respectively. Although I don't have a medical background, I can't find a moral difference between a competitive athlete taking such medications for peak performance and a regular person taking vitamins, herbs, and supplements for increased performance. Professional athletes are encouraged and expected to adopt other modern technologies such as lighter bicycle frames, carbon nanotube rackets, aerodynamic helmets, and expertly designed running shoes. So isn't it proper to embrace advances in medicine as well, so long as athletes are aware of the risks? Should we vilify such athletes on the grounds that they create an unfair advantage – or applaud them for maximizing performance via technology? Should sports leagues regulate or ban performance-enhancing drugs?
  • Question 2: Sexual Values in Romance: How important are a person's particular sexual values in a romantic relationship? The problems in many relationships seem to be due to conflicting sexual values, such as one partner wanting variety while the other opposes an open relationship. So why aren't such sexual values considered at least on par with other important values in a relationship? When faced with sexual problems, why is the assumption that a couple needs to "work on them" – as opposed to thinking that such problems should be resolved before any commitment? In other words, before accepting and establishing a relationship, shouldn't people seek sexual compatibility in the same way they seek emotional compatibility?
  • Question 3: Manipulating for Good Ends: Is it wrong to manipulate a dishonest person into honoring his promises? A friend of mine bought tires from ACME Tire Company (that's not their real name) and purchased the additional road hazard coverage. Road hazard coverage says that Acme will repair the tire if it loses pressure due to driving over some hazard. If the tire is too damaged to repair, they will sell you a pro-rated replacement tire. My friend's tire started losing air and he took it to Acme, but they couldn't find anything wrong, so they put more air in it and let him go. Three weeks later, it lost air again and he went back. He did this five times. One time they told him they found a bit of metal in his tire, but when he asked to see it they said they already threw it away. Another time they said the tire didn't have a good seal, so they re-sealed it. Another time they said they found a little hole and that they fixed it. He has explained each time his history with it and expressed a desire to simply purchase a pro-rated tire according to the terms of the agreement if they can't fix it, but they won't do it since each time they claim they found a problem and fixed it. But after five times he simply does not believe them. (Adding to his incredulity is the fact that during all this he has had his tires rotated and the same one still leaks.) If the tire were actually fixed, he wouldn't mind, but since it never gets fixed he's thinking that the only solution is to get a new tire. He's contemplating doing something to damage the tire to a point where they can't repair it. Would this be an ethical thing to do? Why or why not? What other options would you suggest?
  • Question 4: Intellectually Inferior Professors: What should a student do when he thinks his professors are intellectually inferior? The idea is i'm aiming at is how to learn from a teacher whom shows no genuine interest in the fundamental aspects of knowledge in terms of it's fundamentals. For instance, I had a teacher whom never asked us to question the merit of given theories to mass media ethics, the ideas were presented as ready-made packaged deals of how censorship was ideal in the communication model presented to us via textbook. Considering also when asked the verity of such concepts, the teacher will hide by claiming since the textbook says so, it is truth, and if that is not satisfactory then look it up online. [Note from DH: I did not edit this question.]

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 2 September 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on fear of rape, conflicts between family members, prayers of atheists, bans on smoking, and more with Greg Perkins.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Fear of Rape: Should men be sensitive to women's fears of being raped? Recently, I became aware of an ongoing debate among the online atheist community regarding proper conduct of men toward women they do not know. In a June 2011 video reporting on a conference, "Skepchik" Rebecca Watson talked about her experience of being asked to the room of a strange man in an elevator at 4 am. (See 4:00 to 5:45 in this video.) That invitation made her very uncomfortable, and she thought it was very wrong to so sexualize her. Her comments created a firestorm of controversy. Do you think that men need to be sensitive to women's fears about being raped? Should women have such fears around unknown men?
  • Question 2: Conflicts Between Family Members: How can I stay out of conflicts between family members? When two people you love have competing claims about the facts in a conflict between them, how do not imply that one or the other is lying? My daughter said she told my wife something important. My wife said my daughter didn't say anything about it. How can you react without destroying one or the other's trust? I wasn't there: I can believe or dis-believe either one. But I am forced by each to choose. When I refuse to choose side, I'm still subjected to being accused of taking the other's side and calling each one a liar. What can I do to make peace, at least with me?
  • Question 3: Prayers of Atheists: Is it wrong for an atheist to pray? I used to be a Christian, but I've not believed in God for many years. However, I still pray when I'm under stress, even though I know that it doesn't accomplish anything. What's the harm in praying to a non-existent being?
  • Question 4: Bans on Smoking: Do smoking bans violate rights? Cities are banning smoking in private businesses like bars and even smoke shops. Are these bans immoral – meaning, do they violate rights? Does second-hand smoke violate the rights of non-smoking patrons or employees? What should be the policy for government-owned property like parks, court houses, sidewalks, etc?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 9 September 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on judging people struggling with temptations, judging others when flawed, chivalry as a virtue, blue laws, and more with Greg Perkins.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Judging People Struggling with Temptations: Does a person deserve extra moral praise for acting rightly despite strong contrary emotions? How does overcoming strong emotions in order to do the right thing (or refrain from doing the wrong thing) factor into morally judging a person? If person A has no emotional conflict and thus does the right thing more or less "effortlessly," while person B takes the same correct action despite strong emotional motivation to act otherwise, does person B deserve any extra moral credit for the amount of emotional or mental effort he made? Or is moral judgment to be made solely on the basis of actions, with internal mental effort being irrelevant?
  • Question 2: Judging Others When Flawed: It is wrong to judge others when I'm still flawed? Given that I have various inconsistencies and unresolved contradictions, for me to morally judge others seems like self-righteousness. Does a person need to be morally good (or even perfect) to justly judge others?
  • Question 3: Chivalry as a Virtue: Is chivalry virtuous? In the Aurora Masacre, three men died in the process of physically shielding their girlfriends from the gunfire, as reported by CNN. Is that kind of sacrifice noble? More generally, does chivalry have any place in an ethic of rational egoism?
  • Question 4: Blue Laws: Do "blue laws" violate rights? Many communities have "blue laws" – such as prohibitions on selling liquor, or even cars or other goods, on Sundays. Are these laws violations of the separation of church and state?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 16 September 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on the morality of nuclear weapons, passing genetic diseases to kids, using an unjust law to stop an annoyance, productiveness versus recreation, and more with Greg Perkins.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Morality of Nuclear Weapons: When should nuclear weapons be used, if ever? Under what circumstances would a free society use nuclear weapons – or chemical or biological weapons? Are they so destructive that their use would never be acceptable? Or might they be used in self-defense to win a war or win a war more quickly?
  • Question 2: Passing Genetic Diseases to Kids: Should people with severe genetic diseases take active measures to prevent passing the disease to their children? Some people have severe hereditary diseases – such as Huntington's or Multiple Sclerosis – that might be passed on to their biological children. If that happens, the child will be burdened with the disease later in life, perhaps suffering for years and dying young. Is it wrong for such people to conceive and merely hope for the best – rather than screening for the disease (and aborting if necessary), using donor eggs or sperm, or adopting? Are the parents who just hope for the best harming their future child? Are they violating their child's rights by refusing to take advantage of available technology for preventing the disease?
  • Question 3: Using an Unjust Law to Stop an Annoyance: Is it moral to use the law to force someone to stop doing something that shouldn't be illegal? Is it moral to make use of a law that shouldn't exist? For example, suppose you live in a condo and your next-door neighbor smokes marijuana. You're annoyed by the smell. On the one hand, it shouldn't be illegal for him to smoke up; on the other, the law's existence precludes your finding a condo association with a voluntary agreement not to use pot. Is it morally proper to call the cops or should you let him be?
  • Question 4: Productiveness Versus Recreation: Is time for recreation compatible with the virtue of productiveness? If productive work is the means by which I achieve my values, how can one justify spending even one minute doing something that doesn't propel me toward some value? I am specifically referring to leisure activities like going to the movies, playing video games, and following sports. I'm not referring to activities that have obvious benefits like sleep, exercise, or cooking healthy food. What about hobbies that are enriching, but ultimately have no productive purpose like dance or guitar lessons (assuming I don't want to perform in either context as a career)? Is pursuing such hobbies 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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 23 September 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on greed in the NFL dispute with referees, a religious wedding for an atheist groom, preventing information overload, food safety in a free society, and more with Greg Perkins.

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio: NFL Referees, Religious Weddings, Food Safety, and More
  • When: Sunday, 30 September 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Greed in the NFL Dispute with Referees: Were the NFL owners guilty of greed in their dispute with the referees? Until earlier this week, the NFL was in a labor dispute with its referees, and so the first three weeks of games used replacement referees. Those replacements, however well-meaning, simply weren't capable of performing up to the standard required in the NFL. Games were rife with missed or wrong calls, dangerously dirty play, and out-of-control fights. Commentators and fans were disgusted and furious, particularly after the touchdown ruling in Monday night's game between the Packers and the Seahawks. That furor seemed to force the NFL's hand. An agreement with the regular referees was reached on Wednesday night. Before that, lots of people claimed that the NFL owners were motivated by "greed." Is that right? If the NFL hadn't brought back the regular referees, should fans have boycotted games?
  • Question 2: A Religious Wedding for an Atheist Groom: Should an atheist refuse to have a religious wedding? I'm an atheist, but my fiancée is a not-terribly-devout Christian. My parents – and her parents too – are Christian. Everyone wants and expects us to have a religious wedding, but I don't want that. My future wife would be willing to have a secular wedding, but she prefers a religious one. Mostly, she doesn't want to argue with her parents over it. Should I insist on a secular wedding? Or should I just let this one go? What's the harm, either way?
  • Question 3: Preventing Information Overload: How can I prevent information overload? What are some good ways to limit the amount of information I process in the age of the internet? Besides Philosophy in Action, I follow several other podcasts, blogs and news feeds. What's the best way to prioritize and limit my inputs without feeling like I'm missing something important? How can I retain the information I process and not feel like I'm jumping from one feed to the next without remembering anything?
  • Question 4: Food Safety in a Free Society: How would the government protect the safety of food and drugs in a free society? Would the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) exist in free society? If so, would food or drugs have to gain FDA approval to be sold? Would it have the power to remove food or drugs deemed unsafe from the market? If not, what would protect consumers from harm due to adulterated or otherwise unsafe food or drugs?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 30 September 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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  • 2 weeks later...

In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on pursuing personal values in an imperfect world, working for the IRS versus collecting welfare, upselling to unwary customers, being like Hank Rearden, and more with Greg Perkins.

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio: Our Imperfect World, Work Versus Welfare, and More
  • When: Sunday, 14 October 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Pursuing Personal Values in an Imperfect World: Given the terrible state of the economy and culture, is it wrong to pursue your own private values? Shouldn't we all be working full time at counteracting the terrible ideas that run rampant in our culture? Is time taken away from "the good fight" in pursuit of other activities merely a useless distraction, counterproductive, and possibly immoral – as some people claim? Or is the pursuit of your own values a moral way to enjoy one's life in spite of the grim state of the culture, politics, and the economy?
  • Question 2: Working for the IRS Versus Collecting Welfare: Is it wrong to accept Social Security disability benefits when I could work? I'm blind. Although I can work, my recent job at the IRS seemed to be so soul-draining and vexing that I determined to look elsewhere for employment. However, jobs are limited right now, and I am not sure what else I want to do at this point. Was it right for me to quit my job before having the next one lined up? In the meantime, is it moral for me to receive Social Security? Have I gone from being a maker to a taker?
  • Question 3: Upselling to Unwary Customers: Should a waitress upsell a customer without warning when given an ambiguous order? At the restaurant where I work, we sell wine. Customers often ask for "just a red/white wine, whatever." Many servers take that as an opportunity to sell them the most expensive wine. Is that moral and/or wise? (Personally, if the customer gives me an order like that, I suggest a few options, usually the house wine and some more mid-range brands.) Should we tell the customer what wine we're selling them and its price? Should we give them the cheapest or house wine? Or should we sell them the most expensive wine, since that will generate the largest tip?
  • Question 4: Being Like Hank Rearden: Should I try to be more like Hank Rearden? After reading Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged," I've come to an important conclusion: I want to be more like Hank Rearden. What tips would you offer to someone desiring to be so awesome?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 14 October 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on federal, state and local government, parenting via empty threats, circumcision versus female genital mutilation, reasons for everything, and more with Greg Perkins.

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio: Government, Empty Threats, Circumcision, and More
  • When: Sunday, 21 October 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Federal, State and Local Government: Is it proper for state or local government to enact laws that a federal government should not? A proper government is one that fulfills and is limited to the role of protecting citizens from initiations of force by other individuals or other nations. However, in a free and proper society, is it proper for local and state governments to enact laws that go beyond the proper functions of a federal government? For example, in a properly-governed United States, could states enact certain laws that regulate behavior beyond what the federal government could enact, perhaps based on the religious or other values held by most people in that community – on the assumption that any person who disagreed could leave the area?
  • Question 2: Parenting Via Empty Threats: Should parents make empty threats to their children? At the grocery store last week, I heard a mother threaten to throw away her daughter's favorite toys unless the daughter behaved. That seems to be pretty common: parents make empty threats in an attempt to scare their kids into better behavior. They'll say that it works, and perhaps it does. But what are the consequences? Are such empty threats a valid parenting technique?
  • Question 3: Circumcision Versus Female Genital Mutilation: Is circumcision on par with female genital mutilation? Many people decry female genital mutilation, but they regard circumcision as the right of parents. Is that wrong?
  • Question 4: Reasons for Everything: Does everything happen for a reason? When confronted with some unwelcome turn of events, many people tell themselves that "everything happens for a reason." What does that mean – and is it true? Is it harmless – or does believing that have negative effects on a person's life?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 21 October 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on circumcision versus female genital mutilation, anarcho-capitalism, duties to government, and more with Greg Perkins.

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio: Female Genital Mutilation, Anarcho-Capitalism, and More
  • When: Sunday, 28 October 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Circumcision Versus Female Genital Mutilation: Is circumcision on par with female genital mutilation? Many people decry female genital mutilation, but they regard circumcision as the right of parents. Is that wrong?
  • Question 2: Anarcho-Capitalism: What's wrong with anarcho-capitalism? Libertarian anarchists – such as Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs, and Stefan Molyneux – claim that anarcho-capitalism is the only political system compatible with the "non-aggression principle." Is that right? Must any government initiate force by excluding competing defense agencies, as anarchists claim? Should governments be abolished in favor of a private markets in force?
  • Question 3: Duties to Government: In a free society, would people be obliged to support or obey the government? Ayn Rand defined government as "an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area." She said that a government has – and must have – "a monopoly on the legal use of physical force." Given that, must a person support the government – morally or financially – in order for his rights to be protected? Would a person have to swear loyalty, pay taxes, or serve in the military? What would be the status of an anarchist – meaning someone who regards all government as illegitimate – in such a society?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 28 October 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on the nature of mysticism, breast implants, choosing to live in a socialist country, cleaning the house for guests, and more with Greg Perkins.

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio: Mysticism, Breast Implants, Socialism, and More
  • When: Sunday, 4 November 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Nature of Mysticism: What is mysticism? Is mysticism distinct from religion, faith, and belief in the supernatural? Can a person be non-religious but mystical?
  • Question 2: Breast Implants: What advice should I give to a friend considering breast implants? A friend of mine is considering breast implants, purely for cosmetic reasons. In other words, she's not having reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy: she just wants larger breasts. Do you think that purely cosmetic breast implant surgery is moral? Is it wise? What advice should I give her, if any?
  • Question 3: Choosing to Live in a Socialist Country: Is it moral to choose to live in a socialist country? A person might move to England to study at a conservatory or move to China for a job. Would it be moral to do that – meaning, to move to a socialist country and make use their government institutions? Would there be some kind of obligation to "pay back" what the person gains from that country's taxpayers, such as by giving philanthropy to organizations that promote capitalism in that country? Or would it be immoral altogether, such that a person should pursue whatever opportunities he can in America (or where he is)?
  • Question 4: Cleaning the House for Guests: Is is second-handed to work hard to clean and repair your house before company arrives? I'm constantly fighting a battle to get my house looking reasonable. Then, right before company arrives from out-of-town, I make an extra big push to get it as clean and tidy as possible. I'd like it to always be that way, but I'll work a lot harder when I know that someone else will be in the space. So is it second-handed to want to present a better home than I normally maintain? Or is putting in that effort that a matter of respecting and providing for people that I value?

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. If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 4 November 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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Breast implants and cleaning the house prior to the arrival of guests are important philosophical topics? Is this the state of the art of modern Objectivist philosophical "action" and "activism"?

J

You seem to assume that every topic any Objectivist intellectual discusses has to be geared toward either a ) activism to spread Objectivism, or b ) new and profound generalizations. Why can't someone's purpose be, say, helping people who already live by the principles apply them to everyday life? Could people never find value in this, considering that the only reason the principles exist is so that they can be applied?

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