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!

NoodleCast #103: Live Rationally Selfish Webcast

 Posted by on 31 October 2011 at 7:00 am  NoodleCast
Oct 312011
 

On Sunday, 30 October 2011, I hosted another episode of my live Rationally Selfish Webcast, where I answered questions from viewers on practical ethics and the principles of living well. The live webcasts are held every Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. The webcast consists of me broadcasting on video, Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers on audio, and the audience in a text chat.

As usual, an audio recording of Sunday’s live webcast is now available as a NoodleCast podcast. To get these podcasts automatically, you can subscribe to the feed in iTunes — just choose either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format. They’re the same content, but the M4A format breaks each question into its own “chapter.”

While the Rationally Selfish Webcast (and Podcast) is available to anyone free of charge, it’s not free for us to produce. It requires time, effort, and expense. So if you enjoy it, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated.

If you prefer to send a check, please write “RS Webcast” in the memo field and send it to “Diana Hsieh; P.O. Box 851; Sedalia, CO 80135.”

Whether you contribute or not, please do submit and vote on questions on the widget on the page for the Rationally Selfish Webcast — or via Idea Informer.

The Video

The full video for the webcast is only available to live attendees. Now, you can listen and/or download the audio podcast. However, I’ll post my favorite segments of video to my YouTube channel later this week.

The Podcast

Listen Now

    Duration: 1:01:16

Download the Episode

Subscribe to the Feed

In This Episode

The following segments are marked as chapters in the M4A version of the podcast. Thanks to Tammy Perkins for helping compile the show notes!

Introduction (0:00)

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 (3:34)

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 July 10, 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.

Links:

Question 2: Restrooms for the Transgendered in Transition (22:00)

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.

Links:

Question 3: Private Versus State Prisons (41:45)

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.

Links:

Question 4: Revealing Atheism to Religious Parents (47:04)

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.

Rapid Fire Questions (51:15)

In this segment, I answered a variety of questions off-the-cuff. The questions were:

  • 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?

Conclusion (59:13)

Comments or questions? Contact us!

If you enjoyed this episode, please don’t forget to contribute to our tip jar! Also, remember to submit and vote on questions in the the ongoing question queue!

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!

Preview: Rationally Selfish Webcast

 Posted by on 26 October 2011 at 7:00 am  Announcements
Oct 262011
 

Come join my next live Rationally Selfish Webcast! This week, I’ll answer questions on the purpose of bankruptcy law, bathrooms for the transgendered, private versus state prisons, revealing atheism to religious parents, and more.

As always, it’s on Sunday morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can watch the webcast and join in the text chat via www.RationallySelfish.com. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers will be my audio co-host.

Each week, I answer questions on practical ethics and the principles of living well. I select the most popular and interesting questions from the ongoing queue of questions. Please submit your questions, as well as vote and comment on questions that you find interesting!

Here are the questions that I’ll answer this week:

  • Question 1: The Purpose of Bankruptcy Law: 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? You’ve suggested that a person shouldn’t be able to do that, but shouldn’t lenders be responsible for who they lend money to?
  • Question 2: Bathrooms for the Transgendered: Which bathroom should a 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?
  • Question 3: Private Versus State Prisons: Should prisons be run by the state or private companies? After reading this Huffington Post article ( http://huff.to/pqmeAk ), 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?
  • Question 4: Revealing Atheism to Religious Parents: 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 college?

After that, we’ll do a round of totally impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”

If you can’t attend the super-fun live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to the NoodleCast RSS feed:

However, I hope that you’ll join the live webcast, because that’s more exciting and lively than the podcast. People chat merrily amongst themselves while watching the webcast. And I love the immediate feedback of a live audience — the funny quips, serious comments, and follow-up questions. So please join the live webcast when you can!

Finally, you can support the Rationally Selfish Webcast (and Podcast) contributing to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. If you would prefer to send a check, please send it to “Diana Hsieh; P.O. Box 851; Sedalia, CO 80135.” Please write “RS Webcast” in the memo field.

I hope to see you on Sunday morning!

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!)

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha