Sep 262011

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on appropriate contexts for nudity, public nudity and rights, regretting time spent at work, addressing problems with neighbors, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 25 September 2011

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Podcast Segments: 25 September 2011

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


My News of the Week: Like last week, I’ve been tending to Paul and programming the new web site for this webcast. Also, I created a Facebook page for Ayn Rand Fans for Gary Johnson.

Question 1: Appropriate Contexts for Nudity

Question: What’s the proper approach to nudity? Should we all be nude all the time? Should nudity be saved for your lover only? Should children see their parents naked? Should we have clothing-optional get-togethers with friends? Basically, what is your view of the proper contexts for nudity?

My Answer, In Brief: A wide range of reasonable approaches to nudity with others are possible. However, be careful (1) not to sexualize non-sexual relationships, (2) to be polite to others, and (3) not to be motivated by bad ideology.

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

Question 2: Public Nudity and Rights

Question: Do restrictions on nudity and sex visible to others violate rights? While having a zestful online debate, someone claimed that Ayn Rand contradicts herself in claiming that public nudity should be censored. (See “Thought Control” in The Ayn Rand Letter.) Since sex is a beautiful act, why should people be protected from it? Could a ban on visible pornography or sex be a slippery slope to other intrusions by government?

My Answer, In Brief: In a free society, nuisances would only pertain to their perceptual forms, not their conceptual content. Hence, sexual displays could not be banned for being sexual, even if offensive to some.

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

Question 3: Regretting Time Spent at Work

Question: At death, should a person regret all the years spent at work? I often hear the saying, “No one ever laid on their death bed wishing they had spent more time in the office.” What should a person think of that – and of the fact that so many people agree with it – in light of the virtue of productiveness?

My Answer, In Brief: What should attitude toward work at end of life? It should be, “My work was meaningful. It made life interesting. It sustained me. It was worthy purpose.” If that’s not going to be your view, then make changes now!

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

Question 4: Addressing Problems with Neighbors

Question: How do I ask my neighbor not to take liberties with my driveway? I work out of my office on the ground floor of our home overlooking the street with partial view of our driveway. Every day, several times a day, a neighbor uses our driveway as a turnaround instead of using the intersection one house down, or her own driveway. My big problem with this is that she is using our private property for public use. I also find this distracting when I’m working as every time she pulls into the driveway I think someone is visiting. I’m having a difficult time deciding how to approach this as I want to remain friendly with my neighbor, and don’t want to come off as an unbearable jerk for just asking her not to use my property. How would you approach this situation?

My Answer, In Brief: Talk to your neighbors in a clear, calm, and friendly way about the problem, and if that fails, implement for Plan B.

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

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Would Roark have compromised his work if he had a family that could not be provided for by working in the quarry?
  • Should a person always want to live an extra 20, 50, or 100 years, assuming good health?
  • What do you think of the nudists’ claim that semi-public nudity is an effective way to eliminate a negative body-image (as in the case of religious indoctrination)?

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  • Start Time: 54:10
  • Duration: 6:59
  • 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: 1:01:10

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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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