On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on ambition as a virtue, happiness without close friends, refusing involvement in a biological child's life, responsibility for a sibling, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 27 April 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Abortion

  • Q&A: Refusing Involvement in a Biological Child's Life: 27 Apr 2014, Question 3
  • Question: It is wrong to refuse any involvement in my biological child's life? Some years back I had a contraceptive malfunction, and a child was conceived as a result. I offered to pay for an abortion but the woman refused. The child was born, and the mother and child moved away. I voluntarily pay child support, but I have no desire to be part of the child's life. I never wanted to be a father nor do I want to now. Am I right – morally and legally – to take this stance?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Child Support, Ethics, Fatherhood, Obligation, Parenting, Responsibility, Rights

  • Q&A: Defending Abortion Rights: 20 Apr 2014, Question 3
  • Question: How can abortion rights be more effectively defended? Although the biblical case against abortion is weak, the religious right has gained much traction against abortion rights in the last decade or two. The "personhood" movement is growing every year, and incremental restrictions on abortion have mushroomed. Even more alarming, the demographics seem to be against abortion rights: young people are increasingly opposed to abortion. What can be done to more effectively defend abortion rights? Can any lessons be drawn from the success of the campaign for gay marriage?

    Tags: Abortion, Communication, Conservatism, Ethics, Politics, Pregnancy, Rights

  • Q&A: The Morality of Elective Abortion: 5 Jan 2014, Question 1
  • Question: Is elective abortion morally wrong? Some people support abortion in the cases of rape or incest, as well as in cases of serious medical problems with the fetus or the pregnancy. However, they regard the termination of a normal, healthy pregnancy as morally wrong, particularly as irresponsible. Are such abortions wrong? Does the judgment change if the couple used birth control or not?

    Tags: Abortion, Adoption, Children, Duty, Ethics, Obligation, Parenting, Responsibility, Sacrifice, Self-Sacrifice, Sex

  • Interview: Cheryl Hein on Parenting a Child with Disabilities: 28 Aug 2013
  • Summary: What are some of the rewards and challenges of parenting a child with disabilities? How should parents navigate family dynamics, education, and social interactions? How can parents do right by their disabled child, as well as themselves and other family members?

    Tags: Abortion, Adult Children, Children, Disability, Disability, Education, Independence, Parenting

  • Q&A: Doctors Refusing to Perform Abortions: 9 Jun 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Does a doctor violate a woman's rights by refusing to perform an abortion? Many people on the left claim that a doctor who refuses to perform an abortion – or a pharmacist who refuses to dispense Plan B – is thereby violating the rights of the woman. Those doctors and pharmacists, however, claim that they're exercising their own freedom of religion. Who is right?

    Tags: Abortion, Conservatism, Ethics, Medicine, Politics, Progressivism, Religion, Rights

  • Q&A: Abortion Rights and the Violinist Argument: 2 Jun 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Can abortion rights be justified based on Judith Thomson's "violinist" argument? Even if we accept that an embryo is a person with a right to life, can't abortion rights be justified on the basis of Judith Thomson's famous "violinist" thought experiment – meaning, on the grounds that one person does not have the right to use another person for life support?

    Tags: Abortion, Academia, Ethics, Intuitions, Judith Thomson, Law, Personhood, Philosophy, Politics, Trolley Problem

  • Q&A: Conceiving Again to Save a Child: 26 May 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Is it wrong for parents to have another baby to save the life of their sick child? In 1990, Marissa Ayala was born in the hope that she might be able to save her 16-year-old sister Anissa from a rare form of leukemia. (The parents went to extraordinary lengths to conceive.) Happily, Marissa was a suitable bone marrow donor, and Anissa's life was saved. At the time, many people criticized the decision as "baby farming" and treating the new baby as a "biological resupply vehicle." Yet today, the Ayalas are a close family, Anissa is alive and well, and Marissa is happy to have been born. Were the Ayalas wrong to attempt to save the life of one child by having another? What moral premises would lead a person to condemn this act?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Ethics, Health, Medicine, Parenting

  • Q&A: Infanticide After Abortion: 12 May 2013, Question 2
  • Question: Is killing a baby born after an abortion a form of murder? Kermit Gosnell is currently on trial for murder, due to accusations that he killed infants who were delivered in abortions at his clinic. If the facts are as reported, should he be convicted of murder? What should be done when a baby is born alive during an abortion? What are the likely cultural and political implications of this trial?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Crime, Ethics, Infanticide, Law, Politics, Pregnancy, Rights

  • Q&A: Parental Consent for Abortion: 14 Apr 2013, Question 2
  • Question: Should minor girls be required by law to obtain parental consent for an abortion? Normally, parents are legally empowered to make medical decisions for their minor children, and minors cannot obtain medical procedures without parental consent. How should that apply in the case of pregnancy? Should pregnancy and abortion be treated differently from other medical conditions? Should parents be allowed by law to force a daughter under 18 to carry a pregnancy to term or to abort against her will?

    Tags: Abortion, Ethics, Health, Law, Parenting, Pregnancy, Religion, Rights, Sex, Young Adults

  • Q&A: Mandatory Child Support: 27 Jan 2013, Question 4
  • Question: Isn't mandated child support basically just welfare for needy children? What is the moral difference between compelling parents to support their children and compelling all people to support the needy in society? Many critics of the welfare state believe that parents should be compelled to support their children with basic levels of physical sustenance and education, such that failing to provide these constitutes violating children's rights. But how is that different from compelling people to support other needy or vulnerable people? Is the blood relationship what creates the obligation to support the child – and if so, how?

    Tags: Abortion, Adoption, Children, Child Support, Ethics, Fatherhood, Free Society, Government, Law, Parenting, Pregnancy, Welfare

  • Q&A: Veto Power over Abortion: 20 Jan 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Should a man be able to prevent his pregnant girlfriend from aborting his baby? Sometimes, a man will get his girlfriend pregnant accidentally, and they disagree about what should be done. If the man wants the woman to carry the pregnancy to term, whether to give up the baby for adoption or him take sole custody, while the woman wants to get an abortion, should he be able to prevent her? It's his baby, shouldn't he have some say?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Child Support, Ethics, Fatherhood, Pregnancy, Rights

  • Q&A: Sex-Selective Abortions: 19 Aug 2012, Question 2
  • Question: Are sex-selective abortions wrong? In Canada, some hospitals refuse to tell prospective parents the sex of their fetus when discovered in a second-trimester ultrasound, because the members of many immigrant groups will selectively abort girls. Apparently, such sex-selective abortions are common enough that the birth demographics in some areas are clearly skewed. Are such abortions wrong? Should doctors withhold information about the sex of a fetus in an effort to stop the practice? Could a doctor legitimately choose to perform abortions for any reason at 8 weeks, but refuse to do so at 21 weeks simply because the parents don't want a girl? If so, what's the moral difference between those two situations?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Culture, Discrimination, Ethics, Medicine, Parenting, Pregnancy, Rights, Sexism

  • Q&A: The Importance of a Candidate's Views on Abortion: 22 Jul 2012, Question 4
  • Question: How important are a political candidate's views on abortion? Why should we be worried about a political candidate's bad views on abortion if their views on other issues like economics are generally good? After all, as US President, Mitt Romney couldn't outlaw abortion even if he wanted to. But a good or bad President could have a tremendous good or bad effect on our economic liberties. Conversely, President Obama wants to keep abortion legal but that positive pales in significance to his terrible negative views on economics. Shouldn't a candidate's views on economics be more important at present than their views on abortion?

    Tags: Abortion, Elections, Politics, Rights

  • Q&A: Knowing Your Biological Parents: 1 Jul 2012, Question 1
  • Question: Do adopted people have a right to know who their biological parents are? Some adopted people want to know their biological parents, and knowing one's family medical history could be important to a person. So does a person have a right to know his biological parents? If so, does that apply to children conceived with sperm or egg donors? Do parents giving children up for adoption or donating reproductive tissue have a right to privacy?

    Tags: Abortion, Adoption, Children, Ethics, Family, Parenting

  • Q&A: Gary Johnson for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 5
  • Question: Should I support Gary Johnson for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Johnson deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election? Also, should supporters of Gary Johnson vote for him on a Libertarian Party ticket?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Ron Paul for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 4
  • Question: Should I support Ron Paul for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Paul deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Newt Gingrich for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Should I support Newt Gingrinch for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Gingrinch deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Mitt Romney for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Should I support Mitt Romney for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Romney deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Evasion Versus Rationalization Versus Context-Dropping: 13 Nov 2011, Question 3
  • Question: How are evasion, rationalization, and context-dropping similar and different? When thinking over a problem I notice that these terms can often be applied simultaneously. So what do they mean – and how are they similar and different?

    Tags: Abortion, Emotions, Epistemology, Ethics, Infidelity, Marriage, Politics, Psycho-Epistemology, Psychology

  • Q&A: Voting for Horrible Politicians: 6 Nov 2011, Question 3
  • Question: All the candidates are nearly perfectly horrid, just in different ways. Why should I even bother to vote?

    Tags: Abortion, Elections, Politics, Republican Party, Rights, Rights, Voting

  • Q&A: Child Support from Unwilling Fathers: 19 Jun 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Should a man unwilling to be a father have to pay child support? Suppose that a man and a woman have sex, and the woman becomes pregnant – even though the couple used contraception based on a shared and expressed desire not to have children. If the woman decides to raise the baby, should she be able to collect child support from the man? What if they'd never discussed the possibility of pregnancy? What if they didn't use any form of birth control?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Child Support, Fatherhood, Finances, Law, Parenting, Pregnancy, Rights

  • Q&A: Adoption Versus Abortion: 27 Mar 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Why do you think that giving a child up for adoption can be "problematic"? Why wouldn't adoption be preferable to abortion in most cases? (This question is a follow-up to the discussion in the 23 January 2011 webcast about children as an optional value.)

    Tags: Abortion, Adoption, Children, Ethics, Parenting, Pregnancy

  • Q&A: The Morality of Abortion: 23 Jan 2011, Question 4
  • Question: When is abortion morally right or wrong? Is abortion only proper in "extreme" cases like risk to life or health of the mother, rape or incest, or serious fetal deformity? Is terminating a healthy but unwanted pregnancy morally wrong? Is it an evasion of responsibility for the known consequences of one's actions?

    Tags: Abortion, Children, Ethics, Parenting, Pregnancy

  • Q&A: Important Ideological Disagreements: 9 Jan 2011, Question 4
  • Question: How can Diana and Greg 'co-exist' with their difference regarding the question of personhood at/before birth, as seen in the 19 December 2010 show? I ask this especially in light of the discussion in the 26 December 2010 discussion of reality being binary. One of you is wrong on the personhood issue and the issue is so fundamental, I could never tolerate a dispute at this level with a close friend.

    Tags: Abortion, Conflict, Philosophy, Pregnancy, Relationships, Sanction

  • Q&A: Criminal Death of a Fetus: 19 Dec 2010, Question 4
  • Question: Should a criminal who kills a pregnant woman (and her unborn child) be charged for two murders or one? Does it matter if she's obviously pregnant or not? (Perhaps it should only matter in the sentencing phase of the trial?) I've read your paper on the "personhood" movement and I agree that a person does not have rights until they're born, but it seems different in this situation. Where is my thinking flawed, or is it?

    Tags: Abortion, Crime, Ethics, Pregnancy, Rights

  • Interview: Stephen Bailey on Politics Based on Principle: 23 Sep 2010
  • Summary: What does a principled political candidate say and do? Stephen Bailey – the Republican candidate for US House of Representatives for Colorado's Second District in 2010 – gives us a good example in this discussion of his principles and prospects.

    Tags: Abortion, Alcohol/Drugs, Campaign Finance, Economy, Elections, Environmentalism, Government, Immigration, Personhood, Politics, Religion, Rights, Taxes


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