On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on psychics in a free society, fear of leading a worthless life, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 5 October 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Emergencies

  • Q&A: The Trolley Problem: 1 Sep 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Does the "trolley problem" have any validity or use? I often come across people who think ethical philosophy consists of asking others what they would do in hypothetical situations in which they are allowed only two options, both terrible. One I keep coming across is that of the Trolley Problem proposed by Philippa Foot and modified by Judith Thomson, in which one must choose whether to kill one person or let five others die. Is it valid for moral philosophers to pose the Trolley Problem to people and to insist that people's answers show that one can only either be a deontologist or a utilitarian?

    Tags: Emergencies, Ethics, Philosophy

  • Interview: Fran Santagata on Preparing for Wildfires and Evacuations: 2 Jul 2013
  • Summary: Colorado is experiencing yet another very destructive – even deadly – fire season. What can people do to prepare for that? How can they mitigate the risk to their property? How can they make sure that people and animals are evacuated safely?

    Tags: Emergencies, Government, Planning, Responsibility, Values

  • Q&A: Emergency Medical Care: 12 May 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Do people have a right to emergency medical care? EMTALA (a.k.a. the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) is a federal law that requires emergency rooms to stabilize any patient with an emergency medical condition, regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Is that proper? Is that the same as a right to medical care?

    Tags: Altruism, Charity, Egalitarianism, Emergencies, Ethics, Free Society, Justice, Law, Law, Medicine, Politics, Poverty

  • Q&A: Deception in a Crisis: 16 Dec 2012, Question 2
  • Question: Is it moral to deceive to someone to help him through a crisis? Imagine that a man is about to break up with his girlfriend (or divorce his wife), but then he discovers that she has a serious disease or she suffers a serious accident. Is it moral for him to help her through the crisis under the false pretense of a stable, loving relationship? (What if that would take months of deception?) Or should the man be frank with the woman as soon as possible about parting ways, perhaps only offering help as a friend, if that? Would that be cruel?

    Tags: Character, Communication, Emergencies, Ethics, Honesty, Relationships, Romance

  • Q&A: Chivalry as a Virtue: 16 Sep 2012, Question 3
  • Question: Is chivalry virtuous? In the Aurora Masacre, three men died in the process of physically shielding their girlfriends from the gunfire. Is that kind of sacrifice noble? More generally, does chivalry have any place in an ethic of rational egoism?

    Tags: Chivalry, Emergencies, Ethics, History, Integrity, Religion, Sacrifice, Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice, Sexism, Virtue

  • Q&A: Obligations to Help Others in Need: 27 Nov 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Do we have an obligation to help others in need? Many people think that the need of others creates an obligation to help. Is that right or wrong? Why? When should a person help others?

    Tags: Altruism, Benevolence, Charity, Egoism, Emergencies, Ethics, Integrity, Self-Interest

  • Q&A: Helping a Stranger in an Emergency: 27 Feb 2011, Question 6
  • Question: Should you help a man who's dying in front of you? Suppose it will cost you two hours and 200 dollars to save the life of a man you do not know. Should you do it?

    Tags: Altruism, Benevolence, Emergencies, Ethics, Sacrifice, Self-Sacrifice


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