Election Results, Break-Ups, Problem Father, and More
Radio Q&A: 11 November 2012
I answered questions on the 2012 election results, explaining a break-up, keeping contact with questionable family, and more on 11 November 2012. 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: 11 November 2012
Question: What should we think of the results of the 2012 election? Many free-market advocates are despairing over the election results, particularly the re-election of President Obama. They claim that America has sunk to a new low in re-electing an openly socialistic and egalitarian hater of America. Do you think that such despair is warranted? Also, how can intellectuals, activists, and others effectively promote individual rights over the next four years?
Answer, In Brief: Advocates of free markets need to stop despairing and start thinking about how to make progress over the next four years.
Question: Do I owe my boyfriend an explanation for my breaking up with him? I dated my recently-ex-boyfriend for a few months. Over the past few weeks, I realized that some personality and value differences preclude any long-term prospects. When I broke up with him, I didn't give him any reasons why, and that really upset him. Do I owe him an explanation? Would that help or hurt our chances of a cordial relationship in the future? If I should talk to him about my reasons, what should I say?
Answer, In Brief: If your former boyfriend is a decent person, then it's wrong not to honor his request for an explanation for the break-up: given your past intimacy, it's cruel to leave him in the dark.
Question: Should I keep in contact with my morally questionable and mystical father? Recently, I initiated contact with my father. I've not seen or spoken to him for most of my life. He left behind a lot of damage, and I was very hurt by that. I made amends with him, thinking that he was in recovery. However, I recently discovered his eastern mystic philosophy. Also, although he is fully recovered, he still has moral problems. Now I'm second guessing my decision. Would it be immoral for me to break off the contact with him after I've made peace with him? Should I preserve the relationship to keep my character intact? Or should I cut ties with him, on the principle that I should only maintain relationships of value to me?
Answer, In Brief: The critical question to ask is whether you can establish a relationship with your father that enriches your life and happiness. That requires having realistic standards, as well as some honest conversation with him.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:02:03)
- Why do you think men tend to gravitate more towards rationalism than women?
- Regarding the third question, should the questioner tell the father "I decided I need to practice non-attachment, so good bye"?
- Is there a rational concept of honor or is honor an empty sack worth the sack?
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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.
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 email@example.com.