Feb 112013

I broadcast a new episode of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday, 10 February 2013, answering questions on the wrong of anti-discrimination laws, Objectivism’s potential to save the culture, declining to socialize at work, 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: 10 February 2013: Anti-Discrimination Laws, Cultural Change, and More

My News of the Week: I’ve been working on house repairs, planning for SnowCon 2013, and finalizing my dissertation for publication.

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

Question 1: The Wrong of Anti-Discrimination Laws (2:06)

In this segment, I answered a question on the wrong of anti-discrimination laws.

What’s wrong with anti-discrimination laws? Most people support anti-discrimination laws, even though such laws violate the freedom of association. Have such laws done genuine good by making racism, sexism, and homophobia unacceptable in the culture? Have such laws had negative side-effects? Should they be abolished – and if so, why?

My Answer, In Brief: However well-intentioned, anti-discrimination laws violate every person’s right of free association and encourage systems of racial quotas. They also drive racism underground, cast unjust doubt on their supposed beneficiaries, and promote a race-focused culture.

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Tags: Culture, Discrimination, Ethics, Free Society, Law, Race, Racism

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

Question 2: Objectivism’s Potential to Save the Culture (28:46)

In this segment, I answered a question on Objectivism’s potential to save the culture.

Can Objectivism save the culture? Advocates of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism often claim that the philosophy is necessary for substantially changing the culture for the better. That seems presumptuous to me. Is it true? Also, is the philosophy sufficient for saving the culture? Or is more needed?

My Answer, In Brief: Objectivism is important resource and guide in work of cultural change, but it’s not sufficient and only partly necessary. The goal must be to actively apply and circulate its core values – including secularism, rationality, egoism, virtue, individual rights.

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Tags: Activism, Culture, Objectivism, Philosophy

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

Question 3: Declining to Socialize at Work (50:44)

In this segment, I answered a question on declining to socialize at work.

How can I politely tell my co-workers that I’m not interested in socializing? I have always struggled with the pressure to form friendships at work. Personally, I don’t want to hang out with my coworkers after work. I don’t want to chit chat during work. I won’t want to celebrate birthdays or other personal events. This is always interpreted as me being snobbish, aloof, and worst of all “not a team player.” It’s so annoying. I just want to do a good job and then leave, not join a social club. How can I communicate that without being offensive?

My Answer, In Brief: A person can be friendly and pleasant at work while declining to participate in social activities outside of work.

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Tags: Communication, Friendship, Personality, Productivity, Psychological Visibility, Relationships, Work

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

Rapid Fire Questions (1:03:12)

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

  • What do you think the DiSC personality types of Ayn Rand’s heroes would be?
  • What do you think of the proposed Idaho bill that would require school children to read “Atlas Shrugged”?
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To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion (1:08:43)

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