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Philosophy in Action Radio: Show Announcements

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on personality and sense of life, helping a self-destructive friend, taxes versus slavery, concern for the rights of rights-violators, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 5 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Personality and Sense of Life: What is the relationship between personality and sense of life? What is the difference between them? How does a person's sense of life relate to his personality? Does understanding someone's sense of life help us to understand his personality and vice versa?
  • Question 2: Helping a Self-Destructive Friend: Am I obliged to help a friend in trouble due to her own poor choices? I have a friend who is emotionally draining to me, and she is especially "down on her luck" this month. However, her situation is a direct result of especially poor personal choices over the last year, and there is no good path to get her out of the hole of poverty and depression. We don't have much in common other than similar-aged kids, and active participation in a local moms' group, but because I have come to her aid in the past, I feel an unspoken obligation to continue. (Maybe it's guilt, or pity, or empathy?) What are my obligations in a friendship that has recently become more taxing than beneficial? I don't dislike her, and we have many mutual friends, but I just don't think I can muster the time, financial resources, or energy this time to help bail her out of the latest fiasco. Is it morally acceptable to refuse to help? Should I talk to her about why now – or wait until she's less vulnerable?
  • Question 3: Taxes Versus Slavery: Are high taxes comparable to slavery? On Facebook, some friends suggest that America is becoming more like Nazi Germany. Others share images comparing Americans workers to slaves picking cotton in the antebellum south due to our ever-higher taxes. I think these comparisons go way too far: Americans are still some of the freest people the world has ever known. No doubt, our freedom is being chipped away, but are we really like slaves or serfs?
  • Question 4: Concern for the Rights of Rights-Violators: Is it wrong to be indifferent to the rights-violations of people who advocate rights-violations? Some celebrities actively promote the violation of rights by lending their support to political groups. For example, former American Idol contestant Krista Branch has actively campaigned against gay marriage on behalf of Focus on the Family. However, in a recent interview, Branch complained that people were pirating her songs. I know that Branch's intellectual property rights should be respected, and I would never pirate her music. Yet I can't feel any sympathy for her, given that she advocates violating other people's rights. I'm of the opinion that people who advocate for the use of force against others should not be spared from the consequences of the kind of culture that creates. Is that wrong? Am I being malevolent? Should I defend her rights, even though she advocates violating my rights?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Sense of Life, Taxing Friendship, Rights-Violators, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview emergency medicine physician Dr. Doug McGuff about "Avoiding the Emergency Room." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 8 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

People often think of major medical disasters as unpredictable "black swan" events. In fact, emergency physicians see the same injuries from the same causes time and again, and ordinary people can lessen those risks by their own choices. Dr. McGuff will explain the risks, how to mitigate them, and how to best cope if you or a loved one lands in the emergency room. 

Dr. Doug McGuff is an emergency medicine doctor practicing in South Carolina. He graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio in 1989, and then trained in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arkansas, where he served as Chief Resident. From there, Dr. McGuff served as Faculty in the Wright State University Emergency Medicine Residency and was a staff Emergency Physician at Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital. Today, Dr. McGuff is a partner with Blue Ridge Emergency Physicians. I interviewed Dr. Doug McGuff about fitness, weightlifting, and high-intensity exercise in December 2012

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Dr. Doug McGuff on Avoiding the Emergency Room. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on taxes versus slavery, infanticide after abortion, emergency medical care, poor communication from the boss, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 12 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Taxes Versus Slavery: Are high taxes comparable to slavery? On Facebook, some friends suggest that America is becoming more like Nazi Germany. Others share images comparing Americans workers to slaves picking cotton in the antebellum south due to our ever-higher taxes. I think these comparisons go way too far: Americans are still some of the freest people the world has ever known. No doubt, our freedom is being chipped away, but are we really like slaves or serfs?
  • Question 2: Infanticide After Abortion: Is killing a baby born after an abortion a form of murder? Kermit Gosnell is currently on trial for murder, due to accusations that he killed infants who were delivered in abortions at his clinic. If the facts are as reported, should he be convicted of murder? What should be done when a baby is born alive during an abortion? What are the likely cultural and political implications of this trial?
  • Question 3: Emergency Medical Care: Do people have a right to emergency medical care? EMTALA (a.k.a. the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) is a federal law that requires ERs to stabilize any patient with an emergency medical condition, regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Is that proper? Is that the same as a right to medical care?
  • Question 4: Poor Communication from the Boss: How can I make my boss more communicative? My boss hardly ever tells me company news affecting my projects, even when critical. As a result, I've wasted days and weeks on useless work, and I've gotten into needless conflicts with co-workers. I'm always guessing at what I should be doing, and I just hate that. What can I do to make my boss to be more communicative with me?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Taxes, Infanticide, EMTALA, Communication, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview Freedom Party of Ontario Leader Paul McKeever about "Advancing Liberty via a Political Party." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 15 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

Can a political party help advance the cause of liberty? Perhaps so, in a parliamentary system. Paul McKeever will explain how and why he advocates for individual rights via the Freedom Party of Ontario. 

Paul McKeever is the Leader of Freedom Party of Ontario. Paul joined Freedom Party in 1992. He first ran as a candidate for Freedom Party in Ontario's 1999 election. He became a Freedom Party spokesperson that year in 1999, and the party leader in 2002. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Paul McKeever on Advancing Liberty via a Political Party. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on individualism versus anti-social atomism, poor communication from the boss, visibility of disabled children, arranged marriages, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 19 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Individualism Versus Anti-Social Atomism: Does individualism imply social isolation and atomism? Many critics of Ayn Rand argue that her individualism is hostile to love, concern, and respect for other people. They claim that her "atomistic individualism" doesn't permit, let alone support, groups or community. Are these criticisms true? What is the right view of human society and sociability?
  • Question 2: Poor Communication from the Boss: How can I make my boss more communicative? My boss hardly ever tells me company news affecting my projects, even when critical. As a result, I've wasted days and weeks on useless work, and I've gotten into needless conflicts with co-workers. I'm always guessing at what I should be doing, and I just hate that. What can I do to make my boss to be more communicative with me?
  • Question 3: Visibility of Disabled Children: Should disabled kids be kept out of the public eye? Recently, a waiter at a restaurant refused to serve one party after hearing them make fun of a child with Down's Syndrome sitting with his family in a nearby booth. Both parties were regulars to the restaurant. Some people have praised the waiter's actions because he took offense at overhearing the first party say "special needs kids should be kept in special places." He called them on their rudeness and refused to serve them. Others think he was wrong: his catering to the party with the disabled kid is indicative of a culture that embraces mediocrity and disability. What is the proper assessment of the remark made and the waiter's response? Should people with disabilities be kept from public view?
  • Question 4: Arranged Marriages: Are arranged marriages legally and socially valid? A coworker of mine in his early 20s grew up in India. His parents have arranged his marriage to a young woman who also now lives in the US. He appreciates that his parents selected a wife for him: he doesn't want to spend the time or take the risk of finding a wife himself. Should such a marriage be considered legally valid? Is it just a marriage of convenience? Is the practice of arranged marriages immoral and/or impractical?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Individualism, Disabled Children, Arranged Marriages, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the ethics of open relationships, innate personality, conceiving again to save a child, the justice of alimony payments, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 26 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Ethics of Open Relationships: Can open relationships be moral? Can it ever be moral to have sex with someone else while in a relationship, assuming that you're honest with everyone involved? If not, why not? If so, what might be some of the pitfalls to be aware of? For example, should the criteria for selecting sexual partners be stricter than if you were single? How should you navigate the tricky territory of opening a previously closed relationship?
  • Question 2: Innate Personality: Can personality be innate? In past shows, you've indicated that you think that some aspects of personality are innate, rather than acquired by experience. What does that mean? What is the evidence for that view? Moreover, wouldn't that be a form of determinism? Wouldn't that violate the principle that every person is born a "blank slate"?
  • Question 3: Conceiving Again to Save a Child: Is it wrong for parents to have another baby to save the life of their sick child? In 1990, Marissa Ayala was born in the hope that she might be able to save her 16-year-old sister Anissa from a rare form of leukemia. (The parents went to extraordinary lengths to conceive.) Happily, Marissa was a suitable bone marrow donor, and Anissa's life was saved. At the time, many people criticized the decision as "baby farming" and treating the new baby as a "biological resupply vehicle." Yet today, the Ayalas are a close family, Anissa is alive and well, and Marissa is happy to have been born. Were the Ayalas wrong to attempt to save the life of one child by having another? What moral premises would lead a person to condemn this act?
  • Question 4: The Justice of Alimony Payments: Should alimony payments upon divorce be abolished? Traditionally, a man was obliged to financially support his ex-wife upon divorce. Recent reforms have decreased the amount and duration of alimony in some states, as well as made it gender neutral (in theory). But are such payments ever justifiable? If so, under what conditions?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Open Relationships, Innate Personality, Alimony, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

 

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview entrepreneur Jason Crawford about "Free Objectivist Books for Students." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 29 May 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

The Free Objectivist Books for Students web site aims to help more students read Ayn Rand. It does that by enabling donors to send books by Ayn Rand or about her philosophy of Objectivism to students eager to read them. Jason Crawford will explain how the project works – including the unusual way it connects donors and recipients – and why he thinks students should read Ayn Rand. 

Jason Crawford is a software developer and entrepreneur in San Francisco. He was co-founder and CTO of startup Kima Labs, and has worked at Amazon and Groupon. He was introduced to Objectivism in 1992 and has been a part of the Objectivist movement ever since. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Jason Crawford on Free Objectivist Books for Students. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on abortion rights and the violinist argument, Obama's cultural impact, laws against marital infidelity, managing demands for family time, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 2 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Abortion Rights and the Violinist Argument: Can abortion rights be justified based on Judith Thomson's "violinist" argument? Even if we accept that an embryo is a person with a right to life, can't abortion rights be justified on the basis of Judith Thomson's famous "violinist" thought experiment – meaning, on the grounds that one person does not have the right to use another person for life support?
  • Question 2: Obama's Cultural Impact: Will Obama's second term further damage American culture and values? I'm not as worried about the tax hikes, foreign policy, and other concrete policies of Obama's second term as I am about the cultural change that his administration will instill in society over the next four years, just as it did over the last four years. The next generation of liberals – college age kids, that is – are little socialists who repeat the phrases like "social justice" and "fair share." Is such cultural change a genuine problem? If so, what can be done to combat it?
  • Question 3: Laws Against Marital Infidelity: Should marital infidelity be illegal? Many states, including Colorado, have laws against marital infidelity on the books. These laws are rarely if ever enforced. Politicians often attempt to repeal them, but those attempts are often unsuccessful. Many people think that the government ought to "take a moral stand" even if the law isn't enforced. Does that view have any merit? Should these laws be repealed? Why or why not?
  • Question 4: Managing Demands for Family Time: Should I limit my time away from family in deference to their cultural expectations? My family comes from a conservative Turkish background. They see the amount of independence granted me as a 19-year-old as more than enough. I see it as unsatisfactory. In fact, they feel pushed to their limit by the amount of time I ask to spend away from family on a daily basis. They believe I should not ask for any more independence, as they are already trying their hardest to accept me having even a small amount. However, what I'm allowed is very little compared to most people my age. It affects what I can do or not with my life, not just in the short-term but in the long-term too. Should I respect my family's wishes on this point, given that they are already trying their hardest within the context of their own cultural values? Or should I ask for more independence, even if that violates their beliefs?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Abortion, Obama, Infidelity, Family Time, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on Objectivism versus libertarianism, bad ideas as a cause of mental illness, doctors refusing to perform abortions, broken relationships, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 9 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Objectivism Versus Libertarianism: Are Objectivism and libertarianism allies in the struggle for liberty? Libertarians have long claimed that Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism (or just its politics) is a form of libertarianism, but Objectivists rejected that. More recently, however, notable Objectivist John Allison assumed the presidency of the thoroughly libertarian Cato Institute with the support of the Ayn Rand Institute, and he claimed that "all objectivists are libertarians, but not all libertarians are objectivists." Is that true? What is the essence of libertarianism? When, if ever, should Objectivists ally or collaborate with libertarians?
  • Question 2: Bad Ideas as a Cause of Mental Illness: Can the consistent practice of wrong ideas lead to mental illness? Often, the most consistent practitioners of an ideology – such as Naziism or Islam – seem to become increasingly unhinged over time. Does fully embracing a fantasy-based ideology entail or encourage mental illness, such as paranoia and delusions? If so, are such people then not responsible for what they say or do?
  • Question 3: Doctors Refusing to Perform Abortions: Does a doctor violate a woman's rights by refusing to perform an abortion? Many people on the left claim that a doctor who refuses to perform an abortion – or a pharmacist who refuses to dispense Plan B – is thereby violating the rights of the woman. Those doctors and pharmacists, however, claim that they're exercising their own freedom of religion. Who is right?
  • Question 4: Broken Relationships: When is a relationship broken beyond repair? Relationships can be severely strained, fraught with anger and frustration, and perhaps put on ice for weeks or months or years. Yet in the end, the two people can often reconcile in some way, so that they can enjoy a genuine (even if not deep) relationship again. In some cases, however, that's not possible. Why not? In such cases, must the problem be that one person (or both people) continue to behave badly? Or might reconciliation be impossible between two good people? If so, why?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Libertarianism, Mental Illness, Broken Relationships, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview online marketing professional Trey Peden about "Privacy and Online Marketing." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 12 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

What do online marketing companies know about you? How do they gather data? Should you be alarmed by that? If so, what tools can help you protect your privacy online? 

Trey Peden is a seasoned online marketing professional who has been designing, building, and refining users' online brand experiences for over 15 years. He works for Acxiom Corporation – one of the largest marketing data, technology, and services vendors in the world – as a product marketer for their digital marketing suite of tools. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Trey Peden on Privacy and Online Marketing. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the meaning of life as the standard of moral value, broken relationships, armed society, the sex scandals of politicians, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 16 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Meaning of Life as the Standard of Moral Value: What does it mean to say that life is the standard of value? In "The Objectivist Ethics," Ayn Rand says that man's life is the standard of value. What does that mean? Does that mean mere physical survival? Is it mere quantity of years – or does the quality of those years matter too? Basically, what is the difference between living and not dying?
  • Question 2: Broken Relationships: When is a relationship broken beyond repair? Relationships can be severely strained, fraught with anger and frustration, and perhaps put on ice for weeks or months or years. Yet in the end, the two people can often reconcile in some way, so that they can enjoy a genuine (even if not deep) relationship again. In some cases, however, that's not possible. Why not? In such cases, must the problem be that one person (or both people) continue to behave badly? Or might reconciliation be impossible between two good people? If so, why?
  • Question 3: Armed Society: Is an armed society a polite society – or a violent society? Author Robert Heinlein famously said that "An armed society is a polite society." Many liberals, however, fear an armed society as barbaric and violent. Is widespread ownership and/or carry of arms a positive or a negative feature of a society?
  • Question 4: The Sex Scandals of Politicians: Should we stop caring about the sex lives of politicians? In response to the affair and resignation of David Petraeus, many argued that such sex scandals are the absurd consequence of American puritanism. These people claim that sex is easily compartmentalized in a person's life, such that sexual fidelity has no bearing on a person's intelligence, character, or suitability for public office. Is that right?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Ethical Foundations, Broken Relationships, Sex Scandals, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview biologist Dr. Monica Hughes about "Myths about Evolutionary Theory." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 19 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

Many Americans are woefully ignorant of the basics of evolutionary theory, even while they criticize or reject it. Biologist Monica Hughes will explain the basic claims of evolutionary theory, the evidence for the theory, and dispel common myths about it. 

Monica Hughes received her master's and PhD degrees in mycology and forest pathology at SUNY-ESF (State University of New York College of Environmental and Forest Biology). Broadly trained in aspects of plant and fungal biology, Monica's research is focused on an obscure but diverse group of insect-associated fungi, particularly co-evolution of the fungi with their hosts, and description of new species: her research uncovered roughly 50 new species of fungi from New Zealand, including several new genera. Since obtaining her PhD in 2008, Monica has worked as a biology professor in the Community College system of Colorado and at Regis University in Denver. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Dr. Monica Hughes on Myths about Evolutionary Theory. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on cultivating powers of self-control, lying for the sake of a happy surprise, people too young to raise children, dealing with a morally corrupt sibling, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 23 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: Cultivating Powers of Self-Control: Should a person cultivate his powers of self-control? What is self-control? Is strong capacity for self-control of value? Does self-control have a downside or limits? How can a person develop more self-control?
  • Question 2: Lying for the Sake of a Happy Surprise: Is it ever okay to tell a lie as part of a happy surprise for someone else? This question is from Ryan (age 11) and Morgan (age 8). We bought birthday presents for our brother Sean, and we had to sneak them into the house. We didn't want Sean to know what we were doing. At first, we thought we should make up a story about why we were going back and forth to the car. Morgan thought she should tell Sean she was going outside to swing. But then we talked about how that would be a lie and she decided to go out and actually swing before bringing her present inside, that way there was no lying involved. Should we have told the lie to Sean? Is it okay to tell a lie as part of doing something nice for someone?
  • Question 3: People Too Young to Raise Children: What's the rationale for declaring some physically mature people too young to have children? Given that nature has dictated that both male and female humans can procreate in their early teens and given that morality is deduced from reality, why would sex and procreation at that young age be immoral? Isn't that what nature intended? More generally, is there a rational basis for moral judgments about the proper age of procreation? Or is it purely subjective?
  • Question 4: Dealing with a Morally Corrupt Sibling: How should I respond to my morally corrupt sister? My 20 year old sister is morally destitute. She is an unapologetic shoplifter. Her justifications amount to things like: "My shoplifting is not an addiction because I can stop anytime I want to," "everyone does it," "companies account for shoplifters in their business plans so they mark prices higher to compensate for it," "I'd never steal from a friend," "I need to steal while I look young and can get away with it because no one suspects me," etc. Over the years she has stolen hundreds if not thousands of dollars from our parents, too. She lies and cheats frequently. She's accepted money in return for writing a paper for a friend. She knows what she does is "wrong," and she maintains that such is better than not knowing, at least. (That makes no sense, I know.) I also just found out that she's selling marijuana because, as she says, she needs a way to support her expensive taste in clothes and makeup. She has no integrity or moral conscience. She doesn't care about my horror at her behavior. She does not respond to reason. Part of me wants to help her by trying to talk sense into her. I care about her, and I want her to be a healthy person and not have a miserable life. Another part of me wants to forget her and let her ruin herself. Yet I don't want to stand by and watch that happen, and I also know that there's only so much I can do to really help her. What is the rational thing to do?

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Self-Control, Lying for Surprise, Corrupt Siblings, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on Aristotle on the final end, dealing with a morally corrupt sibling, studying philosophy, the legality of DDoS attacks, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 30 June 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: Aristotle on the Final End: Is Aristotle's argument for flourishing as the final end valid? In the "Nicomachean Ethics," Aristotle argues that flourishing (or happiness) is the proper final end. What is that argument? Does it have merit? How does it differ from Ayn Rand's argument for life as the standard of value? 

Question 2: Dealing with a Morally Corrupt Sibling: How should I respond to my morally corrupt sister? My 20 year old sister is morally destitute. She is an unapologetic shoplifter. Her justifications amount to things like: "My shoplifting is not an addiction because I can stop anytime I want to," "everyone does it," "companies account for shoplifters in their business plans so they mark prices higher to compensate for it," "I'd never steal from a friend," "I need to steal while I look young and can get away with it because no one suspects me," etc. Over the years she has stolen hundreds if not thousands of dollars from our parents, too. She lies and cheats frequently. She's accepted money in return for writing a paper for a friend. She knows what she does is "wrong," and she maintains that such is better than not knowing, at least. (That makes no sense, I know.) I also just found out that she's selling marijuana because, as she says, she needs a way to support her expensive taste in clothes and makeup. She has no integrity or moral conscience. She doesn't care about my horror at her behavior. She does not respond to reason. Part of me wants to help her by trying to talk sense into her. I care about her, and I want her to be a healthy person and not have a miserable life. Another part of me wants to forget her and let her ruin herself. Yet I don't want to stand by and watch that happen, and I also know that there's only so much I can do to really help her. What is the rational thing to do? 

Question 3: Studying Philosophy: Is studying philosophy in academia a waste? I have a strong interest in Objectivism, and I'd like to learn more about philosophy. However, my experience taking philosophy classes has been horrible. I'd like a class in which (1) I can trust the professor's objectivity enough to enjoy a lecture, (2) I can agree with the professor's analysis of a particular topic, and/or (3) the class and material is taught in an integrated, logical fashion. I've not found any of that. When I've mentioned my interest in Ayn Rand, I've gotten comments like "Well, I think she's someone to be outgrown." Do you know of any schools with good philosophy departments? How should I approach studying philosophy in academia? How could I make the best of what's offered? 

Question 4: The Legality of DDoS Attacks: Should "Distributed Denial of Service" (a.k.a. DDoS) attacks be illegal? DDoS computer attacks are illegal in the United Kingdom. Are such attacks analogous to convincing people to send many letters to an organization or to calling on the phone repeatedly, thereby crippling its infrastructure? Or are they more like trespassing on property? How should the law deal with them? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Aristotle, Corrupt Siblings, Studying Philosophy, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Tuesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview Community Preparedness Program Manager Fran Santagata about "Preparing for Wildfires and Other Natural Disasters." This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Tuesday, 2 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

Note the early day and time!  Due to Ms. Santagata's schedule, this interview will air live on Tuesday morning, 2 July 2013 at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET. I learned so much from her when she spoke to our neighborhood that I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to interview her while Colorado is in the midst of such an awful fire season. 

 

Colorado is experiencing yet another very destructive – even deadly – fire season. What can people do to prepare for that? How can they mitigate the risk to their property? How can they make sure that people and animals are evacuated safely?

Fran Santagata currently serves as the Community Preparedness Program Manager for the Office of Preparedness for Homeland Security & Emergency Management for the state of Colorado. She responsible for all aspects of community preparedness for the state. Prior to her current position, Santagata served as the Director of Emergency Management for Douglas County, Colorado. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Fran Santagata on Preparing for Wildfires and Other Natural Disasters. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on common sense versus rationality, jealousy over love lost, applying philosophy to new domains, marital infidelity in the military, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 7 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: Common Sense Versus Rationality: Is "common sense" a form of rationality? Wikipedia defines "common sense" as "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Is that a form of rationality? What's the value of such common sense? Should a rational person rely on common sense in moral decision-making? 

Question 2: Jealousy over Love Lost: Was Francisco's lack of jealousy in Atlas Shrugged rational or realistic? In Part 3, Chapter 5 of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Francisco tells Dagny, "...No matter what you feel for [John Galt], it will not change what you feel for me, and it won't be treason to either, because it comes from the same root, it's the same payment in answer to the same values..." Is that a rational and realistic response? Given his love for Dagny, shouldn't Francisco (and Hank) have been more disappointed in their loss of Dagny, and perhaps even jealous of John Galt? Is a person wrong to feel bitter disappointment or jealousy over a lost love? 

Question 3: Applying Philosophy to New Domains: Can rational philosophic principles solve problems in philosophy and other disciplines? Many advocates of Ayn Rand's philosophy hope to see its principles applied to solve philosophy's tough problems, such as the mind-body relation and the validity of induction. Moreover, they hope to apply the philosophy to other disciplines, such as psychology and education, to advance those fields. Is that possible? If so, what might be a fruitful method of approach? What might be some likely pitfalls? 

Question 4: Marital Infidelity in the Military: Should the military ban marital infidelity? On your June 2nd, 2013 radio show, you explained why marital infidelity should not be illegal. I agree with you, but I wonder about other contexts. Might some government groups legitimately ban and even criminalize infidelity for its members? According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, infidelity is against the law for military members. Might that be proper, particularly given that we have a volunteer army? More generally, might the military want to enforce strict rules of moral conduct on their members, even for seemingly private matters? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Common Sense, Jealousy, Applying Philosophy, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on today's feminist movement, the morality of jailbreaking, racism versus moral decency, the objectivity of color concepts, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 14 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: Today's Feminist Movement: How should the feminist movement be judged? Do today's feminist causes have any merit? Or is the feminist movement merely seeking special favors for women at the expense of men – perhaps even via violations of the rights of men? If the movement is mixed, how should it be judged, overall? Should better feminists eschew the movement due to its flaws – or attempt to change it from within? Can advocates of reason, egoism, and capitalism ally themselves with selected feminist causes without promoting the worse elements thereof? 

Question 2: The Morality of Jailbreaking: Is it morally wrong to 'root' or 'jailbreak' your own electronic devices? Maybe I'm just too stupid or lazy to read through all the legal-ese that comes with these devices, so I don't know whether technically a customer is contractually obligated not to do it. But I know that companies try to design their products so that people can't easily "root" or "jailbreak" them, and clever people find ways to do it. Is doing so a theft of intellectual property? 

Question 3: Racism Versus Moral Decency: Can a person be a racist yet still a morally decent person? Paula Deen has been in hot water – with her shows and sponsorships cancelled – because of allegedly racist comments that she admitted to making in a deposition. (The lawsuit was brought by Lisa Jackson – a former manager of a restaurant owned by her and her brother. Ms. Jackson alleges sexual harassment and tolerance of racial slurs at the restaurant.) Based on Ms. Deen's admissions in the deposition, is she racist? If so, can she still be a moral person? Do matters of race trump all other moral convictions? 

Question 4: The Objectivity of Color Concepts: Are concepts of color objective? Given that people from different cultures conceptualize colors differently, I don't see how concepts of color – or at least the demarcation of colors – can be objective. For example, in English, the colours "green" and "blue" have different names because they refer to different concepts. In Japanese, however, the word "aoi" can refer to either light green or blue: they don't draw a distinction between them. Similarly, English speakers refer to both the sky and a sapphire as "blue." But in Italian this is not the case: the word "blu" only refers to dark blue, and the sky is the distinct color of "azzuro." Do such cultural differences cast doubt on the claim that concepts of color are objective? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Feminism, Jailbreaking, Racism, Color, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview historian Scott Powell about "History is Dead, Long Live History." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 17 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

Why is knowledge of history important? How have historians failed to teach it? What's the proper approach? How can adults educate themselves about history? 

Scott Powell is the creator of Powell History and "A First History for Adults." He is a permanent traveler who teaches a distance learning homeschooling history program called "History At Our House" that provides an integrated curriculum for children from 2nd to 12th grade all over the world. He is currently writing his first book, "History is Dead, Long Live History." 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Scott Powell on History is Dead, Long Live History. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the "marginal humans" argument, sex when not in the mood, responding to polite homophobes, romanticizing historical figures in art, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 21 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: The "Marginal Humans" Argument: What's wrong with the "marginal humans" argument against uniquely human rights? Ayn Rand, following Aristotle, defined man as the rational animal – meaning that man's essential quality is that he possesses the faculty of reason, while other animals do not. Such is the basis for rights, in her view. Opponents of animal rights often appeal to this gap between humans and other animals to justify raising animals to be killed and eaten. They claim that animals can't have rights because they're not rational. Advocates of animal rights, however, often attempt to refute this claim via the "marginal humans" argument. They observe that human infants lack the faculty of reason, and hence, we should not use rationality as the moral criterion for rights. What is wrong with this argument? Do opponents of animal rights conflate potential with actual rationality, in that the infant seems potentially but not actually capable of reason? 

Question 2: Sex When Not in the Mood: Is it wrong to have sex when you're not in the mood? Assume that you're in a long-term romantic relationship with another person. You will not always going to feel the desire to have sex. If your lover wants sex, is it wrong to do so? Might you have sex anyway, perhaps because you want to do something nice for your lover – perhaps in the hope that your lover might do the same for you later? Many people seem uncomfortable with sex under those circumstances, i.e. absent a strong physical desire. Some claim that if you're truly in love, then your physical desires will fall into line. Hence, if you don't want to have sex, you might not really be in love – or you might have other philosophical or psychological problems. Others think that having sex even if not in the mood isn't right: it's degrading and might lead to resentment. Which of these views is right? 

Question 3: Responding to Polite Homophobes: How should I respond to people who think that homosexuality is an immoral or neurotic choice? I'm straight, but I have many gay friends. From years of experience, I know that they're virtuous and rational people. Moreover, their romantic relationships are not fundamentally different from mine. Also, I'm a strong believer in gay rights, including gay marriage. So what should I do when confronted with seemingly decent people who think that homosexuality is an immoral choice, based in neurosis, or otherwise unhealthy? These people often present their ideas in polite and seemingly respectable ways; they're not just flaming bigots. Yet still I find them appalling, particularly when used to justify denying rights to gays. Should I be more tolerant of such views? How should I express my disagreement? 

Question 4: Romanticizing Historical Figures in Art: Are there moral limits to romanticizing historical figures in art? For example, a writer might romanticize Robin Hood as the Ragnar Danneskjöld of the Middle Ages. If this is proper, is there an ethical limit as to what kinds of persons one may or may not romanticize, or as to how far one may stretch the historic truth? For example, does it matter if there are still contemporaries of that historic person alive who suffered unjustly because of them? Would it be wrong to ignore the unpleasant facts in order to present a fictionalized heroic character? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Marginal Humans, Wanting Sex, Polite Homophobes, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview hedge fund trader Jonathan Hoenig about "Common Fallacies about Financial Markets." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 24 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

Financial markets are often vilified – and misunderstood. How do financial markets work? What impact do they have on the economy? Are they dangerous – or beneficial? Jonathan Hoenig will explain the errors behind many common myths and fallacies about financial markets. 

Jonathan Hoenig is portfolio manager at Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC. He appears regularly on Fox News. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Jonathan Hoenig on Common Fallacies about Financial Markets. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on social contract theory, romanticizing historical figures in art, mental illness as an excuse for wrongdoing, fervent hatred for President Obama, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 28 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: Social Contract Theory: Is a "social contract" the proper basis for government? The idea of a "social contract" is often used to justify all kinds of government interventions for the so-called "greater good." What does it mean to say that society is founded on a social contract? What are the practical implications of that approach to politics? Was John Locke a proponent of this view? 

Question 2: Romanticizing Historical Figures in Art: Are there moral limits to romanticizing historical figures in art? For example, a writer might romanticize Robin Hood as the Ragnar Danneskjöld of the Middle Ages. If this is proper, is there an ethical limit as to what kinds of persons one may or may not romanticize, or as to how far one may stretch the historic truth? For example, does it matter if there are still contemporaries of that historic person alive who suffered unjustly because of him? Would it be wrong to ignore some unpleasant facts in order to present a fictionalized heroic character? 

Question 3: Mental Illness as an Excuse for Wrongdoing: Does mental illness excuse wrong behavior? Recently, a friend of mine apologized for making hurtful and unfair comments to me. (It's not the first time she's done that.) She said that she's been struggling with depression, and she's now on anti-depressants and in therapy. I'm not sure how to take that. I feel for her, yet I also feel like I'm being manipulated into overlooking her bad behavior because she's "sick." How should struggles with mental illness figure into explanations and apologies for wrong behavior – if at all? 

Question 4: Fervent Hatred for President Obama: How should I respond to friends who fanatically hate President Obama? As a free-market advocate, I'm distressed about President Obama's policies. However, I'm increasingly worried about some of my friends in the free-market movement exhibiting an alarming level of hatred for President Obama. I have seen my friends latch on to every "juicy"-sounding accusation against the President, which they spread all over Facebook, such as spurious claims that the administration violently threatened Bob Woodward, or that the President conspires to grant himself a third term. I think a reasonable discourse on Obama's faults is necessary, but the conspiracy theories and outright hatred cloud people's judgments. I want to ask my pro-free-market, Obama-hating friends that they not bring up their dubious accusations in conversation, but I don't know how to do that without offending them. Is there a solution to this dilemma? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Social Contract, Excusing Wrongs, President Obama, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview historian Eric Daniels about "Why Big Government Isn't the Problem." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 31 July 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

Is "big government" the fundamental problem of American politics? Historian Eric Daniels will explain why this common formulation is misleading, wrong, and even dangerous to liberty. 

Dr. Eric Daniels teaches history and works on curriculum development at the LePort Schools in Irvine, California. He has previously taught at Clemson, Georgetown, and Duke Universities. He has a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Eric Daniels on Why Big Government Isn't the Problem. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on identifying dangerous people, evolution and Objectivism, scolding other people's children, romantic infatuation, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 4 August 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: Identifying Dangerous People: How can I better identify dangerous or immoral people in my life? I don't like to be morally judgmental about personality and other optional differences. In fact, I like being friends with a variety of kinds of people: that expands my own horizon. Yet I've been prey to some really awful people in my life. Looking back, I'd have to say that I ignored some signs of trouble – dismissing them as mere optional matters, as opposed to moral failures. How can I better differentiate "interesting" and "quirky" from "crazy" and "dangerous" in people I know? 

Question 2: Evolution and Objectivism: Does evolutionary theory contradict the principles of Objectivism? I am new to atheism and Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, and I embrace both wholeheartedly. However, I take issue with the theory of evolution. Atheism seems to imply evolution, but evolution seems to clash with Objectivism. Evolution holds that man is an insignificant piece of the larger, grander picture of the randomness that is life, that man is just one small insignificant step in the collective evolution of the earth, and that man is one with Mother Earth, not superior to it. In contrast, Objectivism holds that man has a purpose and that man is the most significant being, supreme over all other life. Also, Objectivism holds that "A is A" and that "Existence exists." Evolution, in contrast, claims that life came from non-life, fish came from non-fish, and man came from non-man – meaning that A came from non-A. Am I correct in my criticisms? Might some theory other than evolution be more compatible with Objectivism? 

Question 3: Scolding Other People's Children: Is it wrong to discipline other people's children when they refuse to do so? I was eating lunch at an outdoor market. A woman and her son stopped near me, and the boy (who was probably around 8 years old) leaned over my table and stuck his finger in my food. Then he started laughing and ran around in circles. The mom looked at me and dismissively said, "He's autistic." Then she walked away. How should I have responded? Is there a respectful way to tell a stranger that her son's behavior is unacceptable in a public setting? Would it be wrong to speak to the boy directly? 

Question 4: Romantic Infatuation: Is it wrong to indulge romantic infatuation? I am infatuated with a young woman for whom I am not a suitable match, including because I am 30 and she is 16. It is strictly a fantasy; I make no effort to pursue or to make my feelings known to her and have no intention to ever do so. However, in private, I am deeply in love with her and practically worship her like a celebrity and collect all her pictures. (I refrain from masturbating to her because doing so makes me feel guilty.) Due to deficiencies in my life that I consider unfixable, I have low self-esteem and have given up on dating for the foreseeable future, if not indefinitely. Do you think my behavior is creepy, immoral, or bad for my own well being? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Dangerous People, Evolution, Annoying Kids, Infatuation, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll interview attorney Tom Varik about "Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege." This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 7 August 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

As the cause of gay marriage gains ever-more traction, many have wondered whether marriage really matters. Attorney Tom Varik argue that it does. He will discuss the legal status and importance of gay marriage, including the recent Supreme Court cases, as well as the history and limits of spousal privilege. 

Tom G. Varik is an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio, where he currently works for the Social Security Administration. He attended the University of Akron School of Law, earning a JD in 2009. Before that, he studied motion picture production at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where he produced several short films featured in various international underground film festivals, and earned a BFA in 2006. 

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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Tom Varik on Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege. It will be posted on Thursday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Wednesday evening... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on achieving practical certainty, the limits of sympathy for failures, scolding other people's children, responding to panhandlers, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 18 August 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later. 

This week's questions are: 

Question 1: Achieving Practical Certainty: What must I do to reach certainty about a course of action? Suppose that I'm being careful in my thinking about a practical matter – perhaps about how to solve a problem at work, whether to move to a new city, whether to marry my girlfriend, or whether to cut contact with a problem friend. When can I say that I'm certain – or at least justified in acting on my conclusions? Given my personality type (INTP), I tend to leave questions open for far too long, when really, at some point, I need to close them. Are there any general guidelines or principles around figuring out what that point of closure should be? Even then, when should I revisit my conclusions, if ever? 

Question 2: The Limits of Sympathy for Failures: How much sympathy should I have for people failing in their obligations due to personal struggles? In the past two years, I've witnessed two businesses (both one-person operations) crash and burn due to the owners' inability to continue to operate while suffering from severe depression. I don't know the trigger in the first case, but in the second case, the depression was precipitated by a divorce, then the murder of a toddler in the family. The business is online, and unhappy customers have been airing their frustration with the fact that they never received goods already paid-for. Some friends are stepping in to help, but the owner's reputation has been ruined. How much slack should I – or others aware of the situation – cut the owner? How far should my sympathy go? 

Question 3: Scolding Other People's Children: Is it wrong to discipline other people's children when they refuse to do so? I was eating lunch at an outdoor market. A woman and her son stopped near me, and the boy (who was probably around 8 years old) leaned over my table and stuck his finger in my food. Then he started laughing and ran around in circles. The mom looked at me and dismissively said, "He's autistic." Then she walked away. How should I have responded? Is there a respectful way to tell a stranger that her son's behavior is unacceptable in a public setting? Would it be wrong to speak to the boy directly? 

Question 4: Responding to Panhandlers: How should I respond to panhandlers asking for money? I live and work in a downtown area, and I am often asked by strangers on the street for money. These requests vary in form from the brief but honest ("Spare some change?") to the manipulative and dishonest. My stock response is to say that I have no cash, which is almost always true, but somewhat dishonest in that my lack of cash is not my main reason for refusing to give. Explaining my real reasons – I don't know who this person is, I don't know how he will spend the money, and I don't think giving people money helps reduce their reliance on handouts in the future – seems overly harsh on someone who is obviously having a rough time of it already, and takes a long time to boot. I feel like I should acknowledge the request somehow, but I want to effectively disengage from the situation as quickly and safely as possible. Is my stock response inappropriate because it is dishonest? If I shouldn't be using my stock response, what can I say to quickly and safely disengage? Also, I get a lot of dubious stories about being stranded downtown without bus fare. I've often thought about carrying a few valid, single-use transit tickets with which to respond to such stories. It's something I can afford, and it would in theory limit how my charity gets used. Would this be a wise or safe course of action? 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. 

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Certainty, Limits of Sympathy, Scolding Children, Panhandlers, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us on Sunday morning... and 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 Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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