Unhealthy Food, Voting, Holidays, and More
Webcast Q&A: 6 November 2011
I answered questions on working for a minister, giving away unhealthy food, voting for horrible politicians, celebrating holidays, and more on 6 November 2011. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life... far and wide. That's why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.
My News of the Week: As usual, I've been tending to Dr. Gimpy. Mostly though, I'm thrilled to announce the new web site for the webcast: Philosophy in Action! Be sure to check out the archives and the new options for contributing!
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
Segments: 6 November 2011
Question: Is working for a minister giving religion moral sanction? As an atheist, I once worked for an ordained minster who was the owner of a gallery. I became his manager when I made it clear that I was an atheist, but that I was a good framing manager. I don't think I gave him a moral sanction for his irrationality by working for him under those terms. What do you think?
Answer, In Brief: An atheist shouldn't want to endorse or assist religion, but that doesn't preclude secular business relationships with religious believers.
Question: Is it immoral to give away food that you regard as unhealthy? Assuming that one believes (as I do) that candy and sweets are harmful to health (especially in quantity), is it immoral to participate in trick-or-treat by giving children candy when they come to your door? Or, is it immoral to "dispose" of an unwanted gift of, say, a rich chocolate cake by leaving it by the coffee machine at work to be quickly scarfed up by one's co-workers (as an alternative to simply discarding it)? Is the morality of these two cases different because in one case the recipients are children while in the other case they are adults?
Answer, In Brief: If I give a person something, it's because I value them. So I'd rather not give people something damaging, particularly if they're oblivious to its dangers. Ultimately, however, people are going to make their own decisions about what to eat.
Question: All the candidates are nearly perfectly horrid, just in different ways. Why should I even bother to vote?
Answer, In Brief: We're not always faced with choice between two varieties of evil in elections, and in those cases, it's proper to vote. Also, it's good to vote for ballot measures. So vote selectively!
Question: What is the value of celebrating holidays? How do you think holidays should or should not be celebrated? Also, what is your favorite holiday and how do you like to celebrate it?
Answer, In Brief: The joy of holidays is not just a break from ordinary life but also a sense of personal integration and community fellowship. Holidays should be celebrated selfishly, so that they're meaningful and enjoyable!
Rapid Fire Questions (44:09)
- Ayn Rand said publicly that homosexuality was immoral and disgusting. If you were around at the time, would you say publicly that her view was "horribly ignorant, armchair philosophizing at its worst ... truly unjustified and unjust" – as you said about Dr. Peikoff's views of transexuals?
- What do you think of Dr. Hurd's strategy of voting in anyone including Romney just to get rid of Obama?
- Why is Gary Johnson being excluded from the debates?
- Does Herman Cain really want to ban abortion?
- What's wrong with Roe v Wade?
- To what degree has Cain benefitted from affirmative action and white guilt?
- Is instituting daylight savings time a proper function of government?
- What is your favorite holiday music?
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
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 email@example.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 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.
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.
I can be reached via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.