On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on limited government, enjoying the moment, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 10 July 2014

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Podcast Segments: 10 July 2014

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


My News of the Week: I’ve been busy laying out the book of study questions for Explore Atlas Shrugged!

Question 1: Limited Government

Question: Should the government of a free society be permitted to do more than just protect rights? If the proper purpose of government is to protect individual rights, why shouldn’t a government of a free society do other, additional things as long as it does them without violating anyone’s rights? If courts, police, and military could be publicly financed without the use of force, couldn’t roads and schools? Is there some reason besides reliance on taxation why these sorts of government programs would be wrong?

My Answer, In Brief: The sole job of the government of a free society is to protect rights. A proper government should refuse to take on any other projects – not merely because that’s impractical and inefficient, but also because that’s a danger to it’s purpose of protecting rights.

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

Question 2: Enjoying the Moment

Question: How can I convince myself that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence? Whatever subject I study, I think about all the other subjects I’m not studying. Whatever work I’m doing, I think about all the other work I’m not getting done. Whatever book I’m reading, I think about all the other books I could be reading. I want to do everything, and I want to do all of it right now. How can I convince myself to be happy with what I’m actually doing and able to do? How can I stop this perpetual cycle of boredom and longing for change?

My Answer, In Brief: A happy and successful person needs to be able to concentrate on the task at hand and be present in the moment. To achieve that, you can work on developing better cognitive habits and seek therapy if needed.

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

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Why was belief in “the paranormal” so mainstream and respectable in the 1970s? Was it due to the sense of life of the general culture?
  • What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  • What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  • Should a rights-respecting absolute monarch be opposed or overthrown?
  • How true is the statement that “we see what we want to see”?
  • Is a savvy negotiator who leverages his superior skills over an opponent to obtain the best possible deal for himself acting on the principle of predation rather than trade?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 41:51
  • Duration: 21:34
  • 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: 1:03:26

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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.

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