Activism Recap

 Posted by on 1 February 2015 at 9:00 pm  Activism Recap
Feb 012015
 

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of The Objective Standard:

Follow The Objective Standard on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

Link-O-Rama

 Posted by on 30 January 2015 at 12:00 pm  Link-O-Rama
Jan 302015
 

NoodleCast #332: Rapid Fire Extravaganza

 Posted by on 30 January 2015 at 8:00 am  NoodleCast
Jan 302015
 

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered questions on all sorts of topics from the Rapid Fire Queue with Greg Perkins. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You’ll find it on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

Podcast: Rapid Fire Extravaganza

Listen or Download:

Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher!

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

Introduction (0:00)

My News of the Week: I’ve been frantically preparing to depart for Aiken, which happens in the wee hours of Friday morning!

Rapid Fire Questions (2:44)

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

  • What is your view of common-law marriages?
  • Are smart animals like the sign-language-using ape, math-speaking African Grey parrot, dolphins, and some crows using concepts?
  • What are some good sources of humor that are consistent with and supportive of a rational, Objectivist worldview?
  • So, habitual drug use is bad. And so is impairing one’s mind in as much as our minds are our primary means of survival. I don’t do such drugs on principle, and am very happy this way. The question is: do you think it is rational to accept the offer to partake in a safe one-time experience using a relatively safe psychedelic drug that is similar to psilocybin, i.e. mushrooms? The intention would be to have a deep bonding experience with a trusted loved one (who is initiating the request).
  • Should emotions be subjected to moral judgment?
  • I can’t comprehend how some people care more about animals more than humans. Could it be that they’ve just met lots of jerks?
  • Can a person be justly blamed for not doing something he should have done, when the thought of doing it never occurred to him, but he would have done it if the thought had occurred to him?
  • Is love really a battlefield, or did Pat Benatar get it wrong?
  • Have you read any Kafka? If so, do you think interpreting his work as dark humour makes it seem more acceptable?
  • Is limiting the use of water during a drought a proper function of government? What about under normal circumstances?

Listen or Download:

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

Conclusion (1:04:38)

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

Preview: Thursday Radio: Rapid Fire Extravaganza

 Posted by on 28 January 2015 at 8:00 am  Announcements
Jan 282015
 

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on all sorts of topics from the Rapid Fire Queue. This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 29 January 2015, in our live studio. If you can’t listen live, you’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page.

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Rapid Fire Extravaganza. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later.

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

 

My latest Forbes piece is now out, “Does Your Right To Life Include The Right To Die?

I discuss the revived debate over physician-assisted suicide, especially in the wake of Brittany Maynard’s decision to end her life following a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. This issue is being debated in several state legislatures, including New Jersey and California, so we will be hearing much more about this in coming months.

I recognize that this is a controversial topic and that good physicians can disagree on this issue. Nonetheless, I believe this should be a legal option for patients, provided that there are appropriate safeguard to protect both the patient and the physician.

In my piece I cover three main subpoints:

1) Your life is your own.

2) The state has a legitimate (even vital) role to play in assisted suicide.

3) Physicians must not be required to participate

For more details, please read the full text of “Does Your Right To Life Include The Right To Die?

(Much of this material is drawn from the recent Philosophy In Action podcast by Diana and co-host Greg Perkins in their 1/18/2015 segment, “The Right To Die“.)

 

(Photo: Brittany Maynard by Allie Hoffman; Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike)

 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered questions on the regulation of ultrahazardous activities, declining gift solicitations, and more with Greg Perkins. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You’ll find it on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

Podcast: Ultrahazardous Activities, Declining Gift Solicitations, and More

Listen or Download:

Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher!

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

Introduction (0:00)

My News of the Week: I’ve been copyediting Explore Atlas Shrugged one last time and preparing for the trip to Aiken!

Question 1: The Regulation of Ultrahazardous Activities (2:28)

In this segment, I answered a question on the regulation of ultrahazardous activities.

Would the government of a free society issue bans or otherwise regulate activities dangerous to bystanders? At the turn of the 20th century it was common to use cyanide gas to fumigate buildings. Although it was well-known that cyanide gas was extremely poisonous and alternatives were available, its use continued and resulted in a number of accidental deaths due to the gas traveling through cracks in walls and even in plumbing. With the development of better toxicology practices, these deaths were more frequently recognized for what they were and at the end of summer in 1825 the NYC government banned its use. In this and other situations, it was recognized that the substance in question was extremely poisonous and could only be handled with the most extreme care – care that was rarely demonstrated. The question is this: Should the government step in and ban the substance from general use or should it simply stand by and wait for people to die and prosecute the users for manslaughter? Or is there another option?

My Answer, In Brief: Ultrahazardous activities should be subjected to a standard of strict liability in tort law, rather than the negligence standard used in other cases. If a negligence standard were used, that would allow businesses who engage in ultrahazardous activities to privatize profits and socialize costs.

Listen or Download:

  • Duration: 47:07
  • Tags: Business, Epistemology, Government, Law, Philosophy, Regulation, Rights, Risk, Science, Technology, Torts
  • Links:

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

    Question 2: Declining Gift Solicitations (49:35)

    In this segment, I answered a question on declining gift solicitations.

    How can I refuse solicitations for gifts for co-workers? I work in a department of about thirty people. In the past few months, we have been asked to contribute money to buy gifts for co-workers – for engagements, baby showers, bereavement flowers, and Christmas gifts for the department chair, administrative assistants, housekeeping staff, and lab manager. Generally these requests are made by e-mail, and I can see from the “reply all” messages that everyone else contributes. Often these donations add up to a large amount ($10-20 each time). I do not wish to take part, but am worried that since I am a newer employee my lack of participation will be interpreted negatively. What can I do?

    My Answer, In Brief: Businesses should not permit their employees to be socially pressured to give money for gifts and celebrations: they should institute policies that protect employees from the cost and distraction of a parade of small parties and gifts. If a business won’t do that, an employee can still decide whether and how much to participate in these office social rituals, and hopefully others will be understanding of their reasons.

    Listen or Download:

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

    Rapid Fire Questions (1:06:08)

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

    • Should prisoners have the right to vote?

    Listen or Download:

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

    Conclusion (1:07:51)

    Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!


    About Philosophy in Action Radio

    Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

    Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher!

    Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

    Activism Recap

     Posted by on 25 January 2015 at 1:00 pm  Activism Recap
    Jan 252015
     

    This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

    Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.


    This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

    Follow the Coalition for Secular Government on Facebook and Twitter.


    This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

    Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

    Link-O-Rama

     Posted by on 23 January 2015 at 1:00 pm  Link-O-Rama
    Jan 232015
     

     

    On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the regulation of ultrahazardous activities, declining gift solicitations, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 25 January 2015, in our live studio. If you can’t listen live, you’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page.

    This week’s questions are:

    • Question 1: The Regulation of Ultrahazardous Activities: Would the government of a free society issue bans/regulations to prevent harmful activity? At the turn of the 20th century it was common to use cyanide gas to fumigate buildings. Although it was well-known that cyanide gas was extremely poisonous and alternatives were available, its use continued and resulted in a number of accidental deaths due to the gas traveling through cracks in walls and even in plumbing. With the development of better toxicology practices, these deaths were more frequently recognized for what they were and at the end of summer in 1825 the NYC government banned its use. In this and other situations, it was recognized that the substance in question was extremely poisonous and could only be handled with the most extreme care – care that was rarely demonstrated. The question is this: Should the government step in and ban the substance from general use or should it simply stand by and wait for people to die and prosecute the users for manslaughter. Or is there another option?
    • Question 2: Declining Gift Solicitations: How can I refuse solicitations for gifts for co-workers? I work in a department of about thirty people. In the past few months, we have been asked to contribute money to buy gifts for co-workers – for engagements, baby showers, bereavement flowers, and Christmas gifts for the department chair, administrative assistants, housekeeping staff, and lab manager. Generally these requests are made by e-mail, and I can see from the “reply all” messages that everyone else contributes. Often these donations add up to a large amount ($10-20 each time). I do not wish to take part, but am worried that since I am a newer employee my lack of participation will be interpreted negatively. What can I do?

    After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”

    To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

    The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Ultrahazardous Activities, Declining Gift Solicitations, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

    I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics!

    Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

    Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

    Devaluing Marriage

     Posted by on 21 January 2015 at 10:00 am  Business, Conservatism, Culture, GLBT, Love/Sex, Marriage
    Jan 212015
     

    This news doesn’t surprise me… but I wish I’d predicted it! From Once, Same-Sex Couples Couldn’t Wed; Now, Some Employers Say They Must:

    Until recently, same-sex couples could not legally marry. Now, some are finding they must wed if they want to keep their partner’s job-based health insurance and other benefits.

    With same-sex marriage now legal in 35 states and the District of Columbia, some employers that formerly covered domestic partners say they will require marriage licenses for workers who want those perks.

    “We’re bringing our benefits in line, making them consistent with what we do for everyone else,” said Ray McConville, a spokesman for Verizon, which notified non-union employees in July that domestic partners in states where same-sex marriage is legal must wed if they want to qualify for such benefits.

    Employers making the changes say that since couples now have the legal right to marry, they no longer need to provide an alternative. Such rule changes could also apply to opposite-sex partners covered under domestic partner arrangements.

    The news doesn’t surprise me because it confirms my long-held view that companies offering benefits to unmarried people living together was largely a way to provide benefits to same-sex couples. And that’s part of why I think that conservatives have done more to devalue marriage than anyone else in recent decades. By opposing gay marriage, they encouraged people to view living together as basically the same as marriage. But… it’s not.

    If you want to know why I think that, take a listen to this question about the value of marriage from the 17 February 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. The question asked:

    What is the value of marriage? How is it different from living with a romantic partner in a committed relationship? Is marriage only a legal matter? Or does it have some personal or social benefit?

    You can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:

    For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I answered questions on the value of marriage, antibiotic resistance in a free society, concern for attractiveness to others, semi-automatic handguns versus revolvers, and more – is available as a podcast too.

    Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha