On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on net neutrality, rescuing other people's pets, too big egos, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 7 September 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Alcohol/Drugs

  • Q&A: Drunk Driving in a Free Society: 22 Jun 2014, Question 2
  • Question: Should driving drunk be illegal in a free society? Should the government of a free society forbid and punish people for activities potentially harmful to others when they've impaired their judgment via drugs or alcohol? Basically, should driving or shooting a firearm while drunk be illegal? Or should such decisions be left entirely to the discretion of private property owners? Also, given that the government owns the roads today, are laws against drunk driving unjust?

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, Crime, Ethics, Free Society, Government, Law, Negligence, Rights, Risk, Torts

  • Interview: Paul McKeever on Winning Elections with the Freedom Party of Ontario: 15 May 2013
  • Summary: Can a political party based on principles of individual rights win elections? Perhaps so – and Paul McKeever has a strategy for doing so with the Freedom Party of Ontario.

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, Canada, Elections, Epistemology, Ethics, Libertarianism, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Politics, Regulations, Voting, Voting

  • Interview: Michelle Minton on Your Freedom to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: 13 Feb 2013
  • Summary: The government heavily regulates food and drinks commonly regarded as dangerous or unhealthy. What motivates such regulations? Why are they so widespread? How can they be fought?

    Tags: Activism, Alcohol/Drugs, Free Society, Government, Health, Integrity, Law, Nutrition, Politics, Regulations, Rights, Science

  • Q&A: The Nature of Addiction: 27 Jan 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Is addiction a genuine phenomena? Can a person become dependent on alcohol or drugs to the point that he cannot prevent himself from consuming it, except perhaps by a supreme effort of will? Is such addiction physiological – or just a matter of bad habits of thought and action? Similarly, can a person be addicted to certain foods (such as sugar or wheat) or certain activities (like gambling or pornography)? If so, what does that mean? If a person is addicted to something, is the cure to abstain from it forever?

    Tags: Addiction, Alcohol/Drugs, Character, Ethics, Food, Habits, Psychology, Self-Control, Values, Willpower

  • Q&A: Keeping Contact with Questionable Family: 11 Nov 2012, Question 3
  • 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?

    Tags: Adult Children, Alcohol/Drugs, Communication, Ethics, Family, Honesty, Moral Wrongs, Relationships

  • Q&A: The 2012 Election Results: 11 Nov 2012, Question 1
  • 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?

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, America, Apocalypticism, Democratic Party, Elections, Gay Marriage, Immigration, Politics, Progress, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Calling the Police on Marijuana Smokers: 23 Sep 2012, Question 3
  • Question: Is it moral to use the law to force someone to stop doing something that shouldn't be illegal? Is it moral to make use of a law that shouldn't exist? For example, suppose you live in a condo and your next-door neighbor smokes marijuana. You're annoyed by the smell. On the one hand, it shouldn't be illegal for him to smoke up; on the other, the law's existence precludes your finding a condo association with a voluntary agreement not to use pot. Is it morally proper to call the cops or should you let him be?

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, Ethics, Law, Nuisances

  • Q&A: Blue Laws: 16 Sep 2012, Question 4
  • Question: Do "blue laws" violate rights? Many communities have "blue laws" – such as prohibitions on selling liquor, or even cars or other goods, on Sundays. Are these laws violations of the separation of church and state?

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, Business, Law, Politics, Religion, Rights

  • Q&A: Political Compromise on Legal Marijuana: 27 Nov 2011, Question 3
  • Question: When is it morally right or wrong to support political compromises? The marijuana legalization initiative for the 2012 Colorado ballot also specifies open-ended taxation that circumvents the protections of TABOR (the Taxpayer Bill of Rights). It specifies that the first $40 million raised goes to government schools. Both of these taxation items are compromises added to get voters to accept the marijuana legalization. Is it ethical to support more taxation to get more freedom from drug laws? Is it okay to circulate petitions to get this on the ballot so the voters can decide? More generally, when if ever should a person support political compromises that uphold some rights but violate others?

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, Compromise, Drug War, Elections, Ethics, Politics, Voting

  • Q&A: Heavy Drinking: 6 Mar 2011, Question 3
  • Question: What's right or wrong about "heavy drinking"? A while ago, you got into a heated discussion on Facebook about the rationality of what could be described as "heavy drinking." (The CDC defines "heavy drinking" as "consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day" for men and "consuming an average of more than 1 drink per day" for women.) What's your view of such drinking – and why?

    Tags: Addiction, Alcohol/Drugs, Ethics

  • Q&A: Dating a Pot-Smoker: 16 Jan 2011, Question 6
  • Question: Is it proper to date a girl who smokes pot? This woman, while not being an Objectivist, has many great qualities like being smart, attractive, funny, pro-reason and pro-man in general. She, however, likes to smoke marijuana. She says that it provides a great pleasure and relaxes her body and mind after a long day of work. What should I do about it? Confront her? Immediately break up with her?

    Tags: Addiction, Alcohol/Drugs, Dating, Egoism, Ethics, Judgment, Justice, Moral Wrongs, Relationships, Romance, Self-Interest

  • Q&A: Taking Drugs: 2 Jan 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Which mind-altering or mood-altering substances are rational to take? (alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, etc.) And what principles do you apply in deciding?

    Tags: Addiction, Alcohol/Drugs, Ethics, Health, Rationality

  • 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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