Luck, Public Breastfeeding, Memories, and More
Webcast Q&A: 8 April 2012
I answered questions on cultivating good luck, public breastfeeding, national identification card, mulling over memories, and more on 8 April 2012. 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: I really enjoyed giving a talk on luck and responsibility at Liberty on the Rocks in Denver on Wednesday. Alas, much of my time for the rest of the week was consumed by WTFuffles. This week, I will finally complete the move of NoodleFood to Philosophy in Action!
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
Segments: 8 April 2012
Question: Can and should a person try to cultivate his own "good luck"? For example, a construction worker might leave his business card with neighbors in case they or anyone they might know happens to need his services in the future. Similarly, an investor might look to buy stock in companies with promising patents pending or forthcoming products. Is pursuing these kinds of uncertain opportunities a means of cultivating good luck?
Answer, In Brief: Good luck is not a force in the universe that a person can cultivate. Rather, to the extent that a person extends his knowledge and control over his life, he minimizes the effects of luck in life. That's the right approach.
Question: Is breastfeeding children in public wrong? My wife and I want to have kids, and one question we have concerns public breastfeeding. Is it immodest or improper to breastfeed in public? Should stores permit or forbid it on their premises? Should public breastfeeding be restricted or banned by law as indecent?
Answer, In Brief: People ought to support public breastfeeding, even if they prefer not to look at it. It's not a sexual act, and mothers should be able to feed their babies when they're out and about.
Question: Should the government institute a national id card? Periodically, politicians speak of instituting a national identification card in order to protect identify and track potential terrorists, prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants, stop welfare fraud, and more. Would such a national id card violate rights – or be unwise for other reasons? Are state-level identification cards sufficient? Are they proper?
Answer, In Brief: A national ID card is not only unnecessary: it's a grave threat to rights. A person should not have to show his papers to engage in ordinary activities.
Question: Should I mull over my memories less frequently? Is it unhealthy for a person to continuously mull over previous events and specific memories? I go over past events in my mind on a constant basis. I try to recall specific details (i.e., things I was thinking at the time, etc.) and keep a perfect "image" of the memory/event in my mind as long as possible. Is this strange, unhealthy, or counterproductive?
Answer, In Brief: You need to ask yourself: What's the purpose and value of this practice? You need to make sure that it's helping you live in reality, not serving as an escape from reality.
Rapid Fire Questions (49:04)
- What do you think about the EU?
- What is the difference between someone who identifies themselves as rational but not an Objectivist and someone who identifies as rational and an Objectivist?
- Is moral perfection a habit and if so is it one of yours?
- Isn't life meaningless without God?
- Why do you think that paganism has been almost entirely replaced by monotheism?
- How do you know that God doesn't exist?
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 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 most Sunday mornings and some 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 discuss 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.
I can be reached via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.