Anti-Discrimination Laws, Cultural Change, and More
Q&A Radio: 10 February 2013
I answered questions on the wrong of anti-discrimination laws, Objectivism's potential to save the culture, declining to socialize at work, and more on 10 February 2013. 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: 10 February 2013
Question: What's wrong with anti-discrimination laws? Most people support anti-discrimination laws, even though such laws violate the freedom of association. Have such laws done genuine good by making racism, sexism, and homophobia unacceptable in the culture? Have such laws had negative side-effects? Should they be abolished – and if so, why?
Answer, In Brief: However well-intentioned, anti-discrimination laws violate every person's right of free association and encourage systems of racial quotas. They also drive racism underground, cast unjust doubt on their supposed beneficiaries, and promote a race-focused culture.
Question: Can Objectivism save the culture? Advocates of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism often claim that the philosophy is necessary for substantially changing the culture for the better. That seems presumptuous to me. Is it true? Also, is the philosophy sufficient for saving the culture? Or is more needed?
Answer, In Brief: Objectivism is important resource and guide in work of cultural change, but it's not sufficient and only partly necessary. The goal must be to actively apply and circulate its core values – including secularism, rationality, egoism, virtue, individual rights.
Question: How can I politely tell my co-workers that I'm not interested in socializing? I have always struggled with the pressure to form friendships at work. Personally, I don't want to hang out with my coworkers after work. I don't want to chit chat during work. I won't want to celebrate birthdays or other personal events. This is always interpreted as me being snobbish, aloof, and worst of all "not a team player." It's so annoying. I just want to do a good job and then leave, not join a social club. How can I communicate that without being offensive?
Answer, In Brief: A person can be friendly and pleasant at work while declining to participate in social activities outside of work.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:03:12)
- What do you think the DiSC personality types of Ayn Rand's heroes would be?
- What do you think of the proposed Idaho bill that would require school children to read "Atlas Shrugged"?
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.