On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on compulsory vaccination, accepting voluntary sacrifices, requiting evil with good, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 3 August 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.

Value-Density, Christianity Versus Capitalism, and More

Webcast Q&A: 27 February 2011

I answered questions on living a value-dense life, Christianity versus capitalism, being sentimental, student and senior discounts, buying an evildoer's book, helping a stranger in an emergency, and more for Philosophy in Action Radio on 27 February 2011. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download the podcast below.

Remember, Philosophy in Action Radio is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love doing that, but each episode requires our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. You can send your contribution via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail.

Listen Now

  • Duration: 1:01:06

Download the Episode

To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link:
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:

Share This Episode


Segments: 27 February 2011


Question 1: Living a Value-Dense Life (6:21)

Question: What does it mean to live a "value-dense" life? What is value density? How can we make our lives more value dense? How might the concept apply to productivity, vacations, education, and social events, for example?

Answer, In Brief: To live a value-dense life means that your life rich with values – as opposed to when you simply fritter away your time, energy, and resources.

Tags: Ethics, Value-Density, Values

Listen or Download

Comments


Question 2: Christianity Versus Capitalism (11:24)

Question: How can a conservative Christian also be a supporter of capitalism? Isn't the Christian philosophy diametrically opposed to the basic principles of egoism and reason necessary to fully support laissez-faire capitalism?

Answer, In Brief: While many Christians support free markets, they cannot be reconciled. Christianity is hostile to every value of capitalism – wealth, profits, individual rights, planning, material pursuits, private property, and egoism.

Tags: Altruism, Atheism, Capitalism, Christianity, Conservatism, Egoism, Ethics, Faith, Politics, Property, Religion, Self-Interest, Wealth

Listen or Download

Relevant Links

Comments


Question 3: Being Sentimental (25:48)

Question: Is it moral to be sentimental? Some dictionaries define sentiment as an attitude based on emotion rather than reason. Is this accurate? Would it then be moral or rational to be sentimental? For example, would it be moral or rational to: (1) Hold on to your favorite childhood toys when you are an adult (assuming you have the space for them), even if they don't carry the same meaning for you now but they bring about good memories and feelings? (2) Keep old love letters or pictures of friends that you are not on speaking terms with (but were, at one time, good friends with) because they remind you of "the good times"?

Answer, In Brief: To be sentimental is to be "of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia." That can be rational or not, depending on the particulars. To live in the past or to romanticize the past is wrong. But reflections on and mementos of past achievements and experiences is part of what makes a person's life an integrated sum, rather than just a series of moments. And that's good!

Tags: Emotions, Ethics, Psychology, Rationality

Listen or Download

Comments


Question 4: Student and Senior Discounts (31:20)

Question: Are student and senior discounts proper? Aren't these purely need-based discounts? Isn't that unjust, i.e. penalizing people for earning more? For example, is it wrong to ask for monetary contributions for this webcast from people able to pay, but allow people unable to pay to attend too?

Answer, In Brief: Student and senior discounts in business are not altruism, but rather sources of additional profit, as well as investment in future customers.

Tags: Business, Ethics

Listen or Download

Comments


Question 5: Buying an Evildoer's Book (38:38)

Question: Would you recommend buying Nathaniel Branden's Vision of Ayn Rand or not? Given Nathaniel Branden's history of dishonest attacks on Ayn Rand and Objectivism, would you recommend that anyone buy this book? (It's the book version of his "Basic Principles of Objectivism" course.) I've thought about buying it, but I don't want to support that man in any way.

Answer, In Brief: You should not give moral sanction to an evildoer's book, recommend it without qualifications, or give the evildoer a platform. However, if the book would be of value to you, then you ought to buy it.

Tags: Business, Ethics, Evil, Judgment, Justice, Sanction

Listen or Download

Comments


Question 6: Helping a Stranger in an Emergency (47:23)

Question: Should you help a man who's dying in front of you? Suppose it will cost you two hours and 200 dollars to save the life of a man you do not know. Should you do it?

Answer, In Brief: We have no moral obligation to help others simply in virtue of their need. However, a person who would refuse to offer assistance in case of an emergency – when to do so would not be a sacrifice – displays frightening and dangerous ignorance of the value of other people.

Tags: Altruism, Benevolence, Emergencies, Ethics, Sacrifice, Self-Sacrifice

Listen or Download

Comments


Conclusion (1:00:20)

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio! If you enjoyed this episode, please contribute to contribute to our tip jar.


Support Philosophy in Action

Philosophy in Action Radio – the live show and the podcast – is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love producing every episode, but each requires requires the investment of our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated.

You can contribute online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank's bill pay service. You can easily create recurring contributions with any of those methods of payment. If you want to pay by some other method, choose "Other" below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it's a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Name:
Email:
Tip Amount:
Payment Method:
Payment recurrence:
Comments/Questions:
I'd love to hear what work of mine inspired your generosity in these comments. I want to know what my fans enjoy most, so that I can do that more!
 

Once you submit this form, you'll be automatically redirected to a page for payment. If you have any questions or further comments, please email me at diana@philosophyinaction.com.

Thank you for contributing to Philosophy in Action! You make our work possible every week, and we're so grateful for that!

If you enjoy Philosophy in Action, please help us spread the word about it! Tell your friends about upcoming broadcasts by forwarding our newsletter. Link to episodes or segments from our topics archive. Share our blog posts, podcasts, and events on Facebook and Twitter. Rate and review the podcast in iTunes (M4A and MP3). We appreciate any and all of that!


About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. 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 radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and most Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or chat about a topic of interest.

If you join us for the live broadcasts, you can ask follow-up questions and make comments in the text-based chat. Otherwise, you can listen to the podcast by subscribing to our Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the podcast archive, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.

For regular commentary, announcement, and humor, read my blog NoodleFood and subscribe to its Blog RSS Feed. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and connect on social media too.

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

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