Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)

Polyamory, Procrastination, In-Laws, Theism, and More

Webcast Q&A: 5 December 2010

I answered questions on polyamory versus monogamy, values after death, the problem of procrastination, in-laws as 'Mom' and 'Dad', Objectivism versus theism, sanctioning the TSA, and more on 5 December 2010. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.

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Segments: 5 December 2010


Question 1: Polyamory Versus Monogamy

Question: What's wrong with multiple sexual partners at a time? Why do you think that multiple romantic partners are psychologically destructive for everyone involved? What is it about romantic love that you think demands attention on one and only one other person?

Answer, In Brief: Sex is an inherently intimate act, and it's not possible to be in meaningful sexual relationship with two people without doing harm to oneself in some way or other.

Tags: Dating, Ethics, Monogamy, Polygamy, Psychology, Relationships, Romance, Sex

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Question 2: Values After Death

Question: Should I care what happens to the world after I die? Should I care about my friends and projects after I die? What about caring about humanity long after my death? Should that affect my actions today?

Answer, In Brief: Values must be experienced as thoroughly long-range, even extending beyond one's life, but they are for the living!

Tags: Afterlife, Atheism, Death, Ethics, Values

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Question 3: The Problem of Procrastination

Question: How can I procrastinate less? Often, I avoid doing unpleasant tasks for days or weeks, and I feel terrible about those delays. How can I motivate myself to just get those dreaded chores out of the way?

Answer, In Brief: Procrastination is often due to subconscious conflict. Introspect to unearth and resolve that conflict, so that you can get the dreaded task done.

Tags: Emotions, Procrastination, Productivity, Psycho-Epistemology, Psychology

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Question 4: In-Laws as "Mom" and "Dad"

Question: Should people call their parents-in-law "Mom" and "Dad"? My brother in law started calling my parents "mom" and "dad" – and in turn my sister now calls his parents "mom" and "dad". This seriously offends me. My parents earned the title of mom and dad. They RAISED us – they cared for us, educated us, taught us values, loved us, and corrected us when we were wrong. My relationship with my parents is one of the most important relationships of my life and one I don't take lightly. I would never think to call anyone else "mom" and "dad" because no one else has even remotely earned it. It would only cheapen the relationship for me. I think my brother in law is being too familiar with my parents, and disrespectful to his own (and vice versa for my sister). Are my feelings valid? And what can I do about them if they are not?

Answer, In Brief: What other people call each other is not your concern. Focus on what matters to you: your relationship with these people.

Tags: Communication, Family, In-Laws, Marriage, Relationships

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Question 5: Objectivism Versus Theism

Question: Can an Objectivist believe in God? Can a person be a theist and an Objectivist? Or is that too fundamental a conflict? If so, why?

Answer, In Brief: Philosophies must be judged by essentials, and on that basis, Christianity nothing less than wholly opposed to Objectivism.

Tags: Altruism, Atheism, Capitalism, Christianity, Epistemology, Ethics, Faith, Metaphysics, Politics, Religion, Wealth

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Question 6: Sanctioning the TSA

Question: Given the TSA's policies, is choosing to fly giving the sanction of the victim?

Answer, In Brief: To sanction something is to endorse it, and to unwillingly comply with force is not to sanction it.

Tags: Ethics, Government, Rights, Sanction

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Conclusion (59:21)

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The vast majority of Philosophy in Action Radio – the live show and the podcast – is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because my mission is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as I do every week to thousands of listeners. I love producing the show, but each episode requires requires the investment of time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value my work, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, regular contributors enjoy free access to my premium content.

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About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.

From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.

You can listen to these 362 podcasts by subscribing to the Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the podcast archive, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.

My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.

You can also read my blog NoodleFood and subscribe to its Blog RSS Feed.

I can be reached via e-mail to diana@philosophyinaction.com.

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