Feb 042013

I broadcast a new episode of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday, 3 February 2013, answering questions on the value of studying personality, the golden rule, yelling at employees, atheism as religion, and more. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to or download the audio podcast (or segments thereof) any time. You’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

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Podcast: 3 February 2013: Studying Personality, The Golden Rule, and More

My News of the Week: Last night, I attended a great lecture by Craig Biddle on “The Trinity of Liberty.” Also, registration for SnowCon 2013 is now open!

Listen or Download:

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

Question 1: The Value of Studying Personality (2:29)

In this segment, I answered a question on the value of studying personality.

What is the value of understanding personality differences? You’ve become increasingly interested in personality theory lately. What are the major practical benefits of better understanding personality? Is understanding personality differences as important – or perhaps more important – than knowing philosophy?

My Answer, In Brief: If a person wants to deeply integrate the virtues into his own life, make better choices about his life and work, and enjoy more rewarding relations with others, then studying personality theory is invaluable!

Listen or Download:

Tags: Ethics, Personality, Psychology

Relevant Links:

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

Question 2: The Golden Rule (24:55)

In this segment, I answered a question on the golden rule.

Is the Golden Rule a valid and useful principle of ethics? In past podcasts, you’ve mentioned that you consider the Golden Rule – meaning, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – as flawed. What are some of the problems with this rule? Does it have any value?

My Answer, In Brief: The Golden Rule aims at some genuine values in ethics, but it’s too deeply rooted in subjectivism and formalism to be a valid or useful principle of ethics.

Listen or Download:

Tags: Christianity Religion, Ethics, Judaism, Justice

Relevant Links:

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

Question 3: Yelling at Employees (39:49)

In this segment, I answered a question on yelling at employees.

Is yelling at and shaming an employee ever justifiable? Imagine that a product at work must be shipped by a certain deadline – and if it’s late, the company will suffer a major loss. All the workers involved know that, yet as the deadline approaches, one worker works slowly, seemingly without concern for the deadline. When reminded, he acknowledges the deadline, yet his work continues to be as slow as ever. In such cases, might yelling at that worker – even shaming him in front of co-workers – be just what he needs to motivate him to get the project done? If not, what else should be done?

My Answer, In Brief: Yelling at and shaming employees is a disastrously unprofessional tactic in the workplace. It’s not only likely to backfire with that particular employee, but likely to destroy your relationships with your other employees too.

Listen or Download:

Tags: Ethics, Personality, Productivity, Work

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

Question 4: Atheism as Religion (49:41)

In this segment, I answered a question on atheism as religion.

Is atheism just another form of religion? I often hear from religious people that atheism is just another form of religion – and just as much based on faith as Christianity and the like. Is that right or wrong?

My Answer, In Brief: Atheism is not any kind of religion or faith. Religion involves belief (without adequate evidence) in the supernatural, and atheism denies such claims because they’re utterly without rational foundation.

Listen or Download:

Tags: Atheism, Faith, Religion

Relevant Links:

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

Rapid Fire Questions (58:22)

In this segment, I answered questions impromptu. The questions were:

  • Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
  • What do you think about celebrating Ayn Rand’s birthday as “Randsday”?
Listen or Download:

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

Conclusion (1:03:24)

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  • Joe Reed

    I can’t seem to download this week’s podcast (#189). When I select “save as…”, the file name looks funny: 2013-02-03_mp3 I tried changing the file name but that didn’t work. Any ideas?

  • Joe Reed

    I see a message that says

    “This website is offline No cached version is available”

    Hurry! I need my fix! :)

    • http://www.philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

      Oh noes! It just loaded for me about 5 minutes ago, so that’s really odd. Have you restarted your browser? Or tried another one?

  • Joe Reed

    No dice. I tried using Firefox (I was using IE the first time). Same result. When I told Firefox to save the file, all I got was a 2k MP3 file (obviously not the complete file, unless the show was a little shorter than usual this week).

    • Joe Reed

      FYI – I’m able to download the “segment” files, but neither of the “full” files (MP3 or M4A) works.

      • http://www.philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

        Gah! I’m so sorry! (I’ve gotten the usual number of downloads on these episodes, so I think that you’re having some kind of unique problem. My podcast host did recently move its servers, and perhaps your DNS hasn’t updated?) Anyway, you can always download them from the BlogTalkRadio site: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/philosophyinaction

        • Joe Reed

          OK, I finally got it. There sure are a lot of ways to get to it. Thanks for your help, and keep up the great work!

          • http://www.philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

            Great! I’m sorry that you had so many problems!

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