On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on the right to die, marriage without love, creating art, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 18 January 2015

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Podcast Segments: 18 January 2015

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

Introduction

My News of the Week: I’ve been busy with the show, as well as preparing for Aiken.

Question 1: The Right to Die

Question: Should a person who does not wish to live be forcibly prevented from committing suicide? John doesn’t like living. He finds no joy in life, and only lives because it would upset other people if he ended his life. He has tried counseling and medication, but he simply has no desire to continue to live. He makes no real contribution to society, nor does he wish to be a part of society. If John wants to die, he can, but the state will attempt to stop him at every turn, even to the point of incarceration. Is there a point when the law (and other people) should simply respect his wishes and allow him to end his life – or perhaps even assist him in doing so?

My Answer, In Brief: A person’s right to his own life includes the right to commit suicide. The law’s sole job is to ensure that a person’s choice to die reflects his considered judgment, freely made, as well as to differentiate between helpers and murderers.

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

Question 2: Marriage without Love

Question: Should people who merely like and respect each other ever marry? Imagine that a person doesn’t think that he’ll ever find true and deep love – perhaps for good reason. In that case, is it wrong to marry someone you enjoy, value, like, and respect – even if you don’t love that person? What factors might make a decision reasonable, if any? Should the other person know about the lack of depth in your feelings?

My Answer, In Brief: A relationship that begins with mutual affection and respect but not love can grow into a romance, if both people put in a serious effort. If not, it’ll likely be a disaster of two unsatisfied people growing apart.

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

Question 3: Creating Art

Question: Is creating art necessary for a moral life? Since material values are a human need, independence requires that human beings engage in productive activity. Can the same logic be applied to art? Since art is a human need, does independence require human beings to be artistically creative? Would someone who enjoys art without producing any be an “aesthetic moocher”?

My Answer, In Brief: The experience of art is necessary to human life, but the creation of art is not. This argument is deduction gone awry.

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

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Where have the Audible book recommendations gone?
  • What, if anything, should be done to help the people of North Korea, such as distributing literature or helping citizens leave?
  • Do you know of any resources or websites that list businesses or career opportunities for human beings that follow the Objectivist Philosophy?
  • Should doctors who purport to be able to “cure homosexuality” be prosecuted for fraud?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 49:26
  • Duration: 15:14
  • 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: 1:04:41


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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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