Limited Government, Enjoying the Moment, and Lots More
Q&A Radio: 10 July 2014
I answered questions on limited government, enjoying the moment, and more on 10 July 2014. 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 July 2014
Question: Should the government of a free society be permitted to do more than just protect rights? If the proper purpose of government is to protect individual rights, why shouldn't a government of a free society do other, additional things as long as it does them without violating anyone's rights? If courts, police, and military could be publicly financed without the use of force, couldn't roads and schools? Is there some reason besides reliance on taxation why these sorts of government programs would be wrong?
Answer, In Brief: The sole job of the government of a free society is to protect rights. A proper government should refuse to take on any other projects – not merely because that's impractical and inefficient, but also because that's a danger to it's purpose of protecting rights.
Question: How can I convince myself that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence? Whatever subject I study, I think about all the other subjects I'm not studying. Whatever work I'm doing, I think about all the other work I'm not getting done. Whatever book I'm reading, I think about all the other books I could be reading. I want to do everything, and I want to do all of it right now. How can I convince myself to be happy with what I'm actually doing and able to do? How can I stop this perpetual cycle of boredom and longing for change?
Answer, In Brief: A happy and successful person needs to be able to concentrate on the task at hand and be present in the moment. To achieve that, you can work on developing better cognitive habits and seek therapy if needed.
Rapid Fire Questions (41:51)
- Why was belief in "the paranormal" so mainstream and respectable in the 1970s? Was it due to the sense of life of the general culture?
- What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
- What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
- Should a rights-respecting absolute monarch be opposed or overthrown?
- How true is the statement that "we see what we want to see"?
- Is a savvy negotiator who leverages his superior skills over an opponent to obtain the best possible deal for himself acting on the principle of predation rather than trade?
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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.