Rapid Fire Questions
Q&A Radio: Sunday, 14 June 2015
I answered questions chosen at random by Greg Perkins impromptu on 14 June 2015. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this section below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
The questions were:
- If an infant is born with an incurable disease that will kill it after weeks of suffering, should it be permissible to simply euthanise the infant?
- How is weed legalization going in Colorado from your observations? Do you notice people casually smoking in public? Does the public there have an overall positive or negative view of it so far?
- Scanning the internet is shortening my attention span considerably. I feel impatient urges to move on whenever I start reading anything. Any advice for how to lessen the urges and retrain focus?
- How does a person stop himself from obsessing about a difficult conversation they are planning to have with someone? What are some signs that he has moved beyond reasonable planning to obsessing?
- A while ago I asked you about the moral considerations involved in having to revive my landlord, who didn't take care of her type-1 diabetes properly and had me and other people calling an ambulance for her regularly, nearly a dozen times within a year. (She ate irregularly, or skipped meals altogether, causing her to pass out, get very weak, or lose most of her cognitive ability.) My concern was whether it was ethical to just leave her in a catatonic state, and you stated that there's "duty to rescue" laws, where, given my relationship with my landlord, I was legally obligated to tend to her emergencies, regardless if they were honest or not. However, couldn't it be said that the landlord was literally forcing me to take care of her, violating my rights, since her diabetic emergencies were due to her irresponsibility? Shouldn't there be a limit to how many times or in what ways a duty to rescue law can apply? Shouldn't I be able to press charges, sue, or be relieved of obligations, such as being able to move out without illegally breaking the renter's contract?
- Isn't it true that, if the universe has always existed then that, in and of itself, is the strongest argument against design by God? In other words, for argument's sake, doesn't just the possibility of the universe being the metaphysical given render design arguments moot?
- Did Ayn Rand have a sense of humor? Is there room for humor in Objectivism?
- Could you give a brief overview of Stoicism and its good versus bad points?
- Was Oskar Schindler an altruist?
- Would you agree that musical theatre is the only art form that has always remained romantic? I have never heard or a realist musical or a stream of consciousness musical.
- Why do people describe John Rawls as an 'individualist' when his ideas seem to underly all of modern statism?
- Do you prefer the original Star Trek or The Next Generation?
- Duration: 37:13
- Download: MP3 Segment (12.8 MB)
To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link above. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
Support Philosophy in Action
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.
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 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.