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 for Philosophy in Action Radio on 11 November 2012. 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.
My News of the Week: On Saturday, I spoke at a Liberty on the Rocks Workshop on the virtues required for free society, particularly honesty, productiveness, and justice.
- Duration: 1:08:45
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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 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.
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