Podcast #238: Rapid Fire Extravaganza

 Posted by on 26 August 2013 at 8:00 am  Podcasts
Aug 262013

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on all sorts of topics from the Rapid Fire Queue. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 22 August 2013

Listen or Download:

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Podcast Segments: 22 August 2013

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


My News of the Week: Let’s get started!

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Why are wrong things so grating to listen to? Instead of bells in my head going “WRONG!” shouldn’t I just take it as “This person is convinced of this other thing”?
  • Is there anything wrong with finding violence – really serious, bloody, gory violence, given a certain state of “suspension of disbelief” – to be genuinely funny?
  • My daughter has a different last name than me, from her absentee father. She refuses to believe that her last name is not mine, what should I do?
  • Is it okay to fart and blame it on someone else?
  • If it was proper to justify the subjugation of the Native Americans because they were “savages,” does that imply a far superior alien race could claim the same right over humanity?
  • Should Wikipedia sell ad space on their pages? They’re always asking for donations, but with their traffic, with ads they’d make billions of dollars.
  • What would be the morality of uplifting a species or otherwise creating rational beings through science? Would there be the danger of someone mass producing indoctrinated voters?
  • What’s the value (if any) of protesting outside? Wouldn’t things like the tea parties make more progress by giving out copies of things like “Economy in one Lesson” And Bastiat’s “The Law”?
  • Is there a kind of people (aside from age category) who are more likely to like Objectivism? Do you think that most of it being only in writing tilts the scale? Is there hope for non-bookworms?
  • Given that you regularly interview people (on your Wednesday radio show), would you call yourself a journalist as well (rather than just a philosopher)?
  • Would it be wrong for parents to have a lot of children because doing so would limit the amount of attention that can be given to each child? For example, is having 8 or more kids at home too many?
  • If I know without a doubt that I will be financially well enough off in about a year, is it then okay to conceive a child now, or should I wait until I am financially well-off?
  • I have the opportunity to create art for an anti-fur fashion design scholarship. While it makes me want to go shoot a bear and make myself a coat, I also need the money greatly. Would it be wrong to enter?
  • Instead of one big passion, could I have several passions that I plan to pursue successively in different stages in my life?
  • How does an Objectivist deal with romantic rejection? You know the person wasn’t right for you, but it still stings.
  • Is online dating a good way to meet your future mate or an obscene waste of time and energy?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 3:05
  • Duration: 1:01:01
  • Download: MP3 Segment

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


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: 1:04:07

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  • William H. Stoddard

    I don’t usually see uplift being proposed to be aimed at household pets.

    The more common version looks at animals that are already highly intelligent, such as apes or dolphins (elephants, parrots, or ravens could be other candidates), and proposes bringing them to the human level. I think the envisioned payoff there is to have another species on the conceptual level to interact with, one that would give us a second perspective on reality.

    A different version most often looks at dogs—but with the aim of making them, not sycophants, but working partners in fields such as hunting, herding, or law enforcement. That does create ethical issues, since, as you say, they would be “slaves by nature” in Aristotle’s sense: intelligent enough to understand and carry out orders, but not enough to fully direct their own lives. But it’s not driven by sentimentality or by a desire for pseudo-self-esteem; it at least has aspects of the desire for a better tool.

    There are still ethical issues about creating either type of uplifted species, of course.

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