On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the regulation of ultrahazardous activities, declining gift solicitations, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 25 January 2015, in our live studio. If you can’t listen live, you’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page.
This week’s questions are:
- Question 1: The Regulation of Ultrahazardous Activities: Would the government of a free society issue bans/regulations to prevent harmful activity? At the turn of the 20th century it was common to use cyanide gas to fumigate buildings. Although it was well-known that cyanide gas was extremely poisonous and alternatives were available, its use continued and resulted in a number of accidental deaths due to the gas traveling through cracks in walls and even in plumbing. With the development of better toxicology practices, these deaths were more frequently recognized for what they were and at the end of summer in 1825 the NYC government banned its use. In this and other situations, it was recognized that the substance in question was extremely poisonous and could only be handled with the most extreme care – care that was rarely demonstrated. The question is this: Should the government step in and ban the substance from general use or should it simply stand by and wait for people to die and prosecute the users for manslaughter. Or is there another option?
- Question 2: Declining Gift Solicitations: How can I refuse solicitations for gifts for co-workers? I work in a department of about thirty people. In the past few months, we have been asked to contribute money to buy gifts for co-workers – for engagements, baby showers, bereavement flowers, and Christmas gifts for the department chair, administrative assistants, housekeeping staff, and lab manager. Generally these requests are made by e-mail, and I can see from the “reply all” messages that everyone else contributes. Often these donations add up to a large amount ($10-20 each time). I do not wish to take part, but am worried that since I am a newer employee my lack of participation will be interpreted negatively. What can I do?
After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”
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The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Ultrahazardous Activities, Declining Gift Solicitations, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:
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Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.