Haunted House Fear

 Posted by on 31 October 2011 at 8:00 am  Funny
Oct 312011
 

So awesome: a slideshow of people in various forms of fright in haunted house camera. Happy Halloween!

Oct 312011
 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on the purpose of bankruptcy law, restrooms for the transgendered in transition, private versus state prisons, revealing atheism to religious parents, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 30 October 2011

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 30 October 2011

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: As usual, I’ve been tending to Dr. Gimpy. I’ve also been working on a paper on abortion with Ari Armstrong for The Objective Standard. This will be the last “Rationally Selfish” webcast: next week we’ll be “Philosophy in Action”! (Hooray!) Finally, last week I saw Matt Nathanson and Scars on 45 on tour, and they were both awesome!

Question 1: The Purpose of Bankruptcy Law

Question: What is the proper purpose of bankruptcy laws? When should a person renegotiate his debt with lenders, if ever? Should a person be able to wipe his debt clean by going into bankruptcy? In your 10 July 2011 webcast discussion of strategic default on mortgages, you suggested that a person shouldn’t be able to do that, but shouldn’t lenders be responsible for who they lend money to?

My Answer, In Brief: The purpose of bankruptcy law not to give people a fresh start, but rather to peacefully and fairly resolve conflicts that arise between the debtor and his creditors when the debtor is truly unable to pay his debts.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Restrooms for the Transgendered in Transition

Question: Which bathroom should a pre-operative transgendered person use? The brutal attack at McDonald’s on a transgendered person in April 2011 was apparently started because that person used the ladies restroom, which was already occupied by a 14 year old. Was the transgendered person wrong to use that restroom?

My Answer, In Brief: Transgendered people deserve to be treated with respect, just like everyone else! As for restrooms, they should use whatever restroom matches their outward appearance.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Private Versus State Prisons

Question: Should prisons be run by the state or private companies? After reading this Huffington Post article, I wonder whether prisons should be run by private companies or the state. I tend to think private is almost always better than anything state-run, but the current system of private prisons seems to be corrupt at best. More generally, what would a prison system look like in a free society?

My Answer, In Brief: Private prisons aren’t more or less of a problem than state-run prisons, since any prison must be either run by or funded and overseen by the government. The crucial problem is that far too many people in prison are innocent of any real crime.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 4: Revealing Atheism to Religious Parents

Question: How much should I tell my parents about my beliefs, given that I’m still financially dependent on them? I’m in college, and if I told my parents that I’m an atheist, they’d probably stop paying my tuition. Should I tell them now, or wait until I’m done with college?

My Answer, In Brief: A person in college is not obliged to tell his parents everything, but to live a lie or seek values from others under false pretenses is self-destructive.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Does the Bible condemn abortion, as many Christians say?
  • Doesn’t Christianity deserve praise for introducing individualism into Western culture?
  • Can a person be an honest deist?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 51:15
  • Duration: 7:57
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 59:13


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


Open Thread #313

 Posted by on 30 October 2011 at 11:00 am  Open Thread
Oct 302011
 

Artiga de Lin Vista

For anyone wishing to ask a question, make a observation, or share a link with other NoodleFood readers, I hereby open up the comments on this post to any respectable topic. As always, please refrain from posting inappropriate comments such as personal attacks, pornographic material, copyrighted material, and commercial solicitations.

NoodleFood’s Wednesday and Sunday Open Threads feature creative commons photographs from Flickr that I find interesting. I hope that you enjoy them!

Activism Recap

 Posted by on 30 October 2011 at 9:00 am  Activism Recap
Oct 302011
 

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

This week on Mother of Exiles:

This week on the blog of Modern Paleo:

Objectivist Roundup

 Posted by on 27 October 2011 at 12:10 pm  Objectivist Roundup
Oct 272011
 

The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Parenting Is… hosted this week’s Objectivist Roundup. Go take a look!

You can submit your blog article to the next edition of The Objectivist Roundup using this submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found here. If you’re an Objectivist blogger, you can get weekly reminders to submit to the carnival by subscribing to OBloggers @ OList.com.

Also, here are the ten most recent additions to the question queue for the Rationally Selfish Webcast. Please vote for the questions that you’re most interested in hearing me answer!

Join us for the live webcast at www.RationallySelfish.com on Sundays at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET.

Open Thread #312

 Posted by on 26 October 2011 at 11:00 am  Open Thread
Oct 262011
 

IMG_1466

For anyone wishing to ask a question, make a observation, or share a link with other NoodleFood readers, I hereby open up the comments on this post to any respectable topic. As always, please refrain from posting inappropriate comments such as personal attacks, pornographic material, copyrighted material, and commercial solicitations.

NoodleFood’s Wednesday and Sunday Open Threads feature creative commons photographs from Flickr that I find interesting. I hope that you enjoy them!

Oct 262011
 

The New York Objectivist Society will be holding a conference with a fabulous lineup of speakers next weekend — Friday, November 4th to Sunday, November 6th. It looks like you can still register to attend — just check out the web site for details.

Also, you can help students attend by providing them with scholarship money. Nathan Fatal of the New England Objectivist Society was kind enough to put together this announcement:

As many of you may be aware, the New York Objectivist Society is hosting a conference on the weekend of November 5th. The conference will include a series of unique lectures by fellow Objectivists, including Andrew Bernstein, Shoshana Milgram, Jean Moroney, Yaron Brooks, Eric Daniels, and Harry Binswanger.

For students with valid photo IDs, NYOS is offering a reduced price of $300. There are many students who would likely love to attend this conference but would have a difficult time affording the expense.

Anyone willing to help a student of Objectivism to attend the conference would be helping fellow renaissance men to learn more about Objectivism and how to apply and promote it (you’ll also be supporting ARI, which supports student groups around the country). By attending this conference, students will gain a better understanding of Objectivism generally, and more specifically as it applies to emotions, history, psycho-epistemology, the nature of evil, the judicial system, and the debate over the role of government. It will also give them the opportunity to meet more people who share their values and live happily and selfishly. The value of meeting people one’s own age, who have embarked on the same journey, cannot be overstated.

It looks like the only method of payment for this event is by check, which can be made payable to New York Objectivist Society, Inc. To sponsor a student completely or in part, mail a check to the following address:

A. Benlian
c/o NYOS
P.O. Box 939
Bronxville, NY 10708

More information on New York Objectivist Society and their 2011 conference, including speakers and lecture topics, can be found here: www.newyorkobjectivistsociety.org…

I’ve sent $50 for a student to attend, and I recommend that you do the same, if you can!

Video: State Involvement in Marriage

 Posted by on 25 October 2011 at 7:00 am  Law, Love/Sex, Politics, Videocast
Oct 252011
 

In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed whether and how the state should be involved in marriage — a crucial question for the debates about gay marriage. The question was:

Should the state be involved in marriage contracts? Many people say that gay marriage shouldn’t be a political issue, because the state shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage at all. Is that right? Why or why not?

My view, in brief:

We ought to separate politics and marriage, by treating marriage like any other contract. The state has a limited but crucial role to play in marriage to ensure that marriage contracts are objective, voluntary, and enforced. However, the state should not play social engineer by deciding who can get married or the terms of that marriage.

Here’s the video of my answer:

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends in e-mail and social media! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

All my webcast and other videos can be found on my YouTube channel.

What If God Disappeared?

 Posted by on 24 October 2011 at 1:00 pm  Atheism, Funny, Religion
Oct 242011
 

What If God Disappeared?:

(Yes, it’s a parody!)

Oct 242011
 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on state involvement in marriage, last names in marriage, marrying someone for a Green Card, being too much crazy in love, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 23 October 2011

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 23 October 2011

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: As usual, I’ve been tending to Dr. Gimpy. I’ve also been programming for new web site, particularly splitting the audio files per question for the archives. Everything should be ready for launch in the first webcast in November, if not a bit sooner!

Question 1: State Involvement in Marriage

Question: Should the state be involved in marriage contracts? Many people say that gay marriage shouldn’t be a political issue, because the state shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage at all. Is that right? Why or why not?

My Answer, In Brief: We ought to separate politics and marriage, by treating marriage like any other contract. The state has a limited but crucial role to play in marriage to ensure that marriage contracts are objective, voluntary, and enforced. However, the state should not play social engineer by deciding who can get married or the terms of that marriage.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Last Names in Marriage

Question: Should women adopt the last names of their husbands? In today’s culture, some newly-married women adopt the family name of their husbands. Some keep their own last name. Some hyphenate their names together. Some use their maiden name for work, but their married name in their personal life. Some couples adopt a wholly new name for themselves. What do you think of these various options? Should the possibility of divorce affect a woman’s decision? Should the husband have a say in the woman’s decision? Should men be more willing to change their own last name to that of their new wife?

My Answer, In Brief: A married couple has a wide range of options in last names, and they ought to choose whatever suits them best… except hyphenation.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Marrying Someone for a Green Card

Question: Is it moral to marry someone just to obtain a green card? Given the difficulties of immigrating to the United States, is it immoral to circumvent those bad laws by marrying someone solely to obtain a green card? Would it matter if the person were a good friend?

My Answer, In Brief: America’s current immigration laws systematically violate rights, so it’s not immoral to break them per se. But in this case, the sacrifice required would likely be too great.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 4: Being Too Much Crazy in Love

Question: Is it irrational to be “crazy in love” with your boyfriend or girlfriend – such as wanting to keep an old shirt and other discarded items? Does it matter whether the relationship is in an early or later stage?

My Answer, In Brief: Everything depends on what, how, and why is done, but people shouldn’t invent attachments that don’t yet or might never exist.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Can it be written in the marriage contract that anyone can end their marriage at will?
  • What should you do to defuse an e-mail conversation that has gotten too heated?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 1:01:32
  • Duration: 3:41
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:05:14


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


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