Saturday, January 22, 2011

Objectivist Roundup & Rationally Selfish Webcast

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Reepicheep's Coracle hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

Also and once again, my Rationally Selfish Webcast -- where I answer questions on practical ethics and living well -- will be tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can submit and vote on questions, as well as watch the live webcast and join the chat, from this page: Rationally Selfish Webcast. Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:

  • If a person has cheated on his/her spouse, should he/she always tell that spouse afterward? Imagine that a woman cheats on her husband, then regrets doing so, and decides to re-commit herself to the marriage. Should she tell her husband about that infidelity? What if the cheating was a short fling rather than a serious affair? What if the revelation would seriously damage or even destroy the marriage?
  • Is it moral and/or wise to pursue someone else's "significant other"? In particular: (1) Is it immoral to try to pursue or court another person's committed romantic partner? (2) Would a rational person want to be with the person who abandoned an existing relationship to be with with him/her? Also: (3) And if pursuing an already-attached person can be moral, do you have any advice about succeeding?
  • Why are children only an 'optional value'? What does it mean to say that children are an "optional" value? Does that mean that every person should regard them as optional in his/her life -- or something else? Also, given that life is the standard of value and the none of us would exist without reproduction, don't we have a moral obligation to bear and raise the next generation?
  • 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?
  • Why did you get a PhD? Given your recent comments about the pointlessness of much of modern college education, why did you get a PhD in philosophy? More generally, do you think that a Ph.D can be of value?
  • From Objectivist Answers: In the essay "Racism" in The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand mentions that public institutions and government agencies should not discriminate against or on behalf of individuals. In her talk of private property, however, she says that government should not attempt to prevent private racism in private establishments and that a man’s rights are not violated by a private individual’s refusal to deal with him. My question is: How are his rights not violated if the owner discriminates against him?
Questions that aren't answered this week will remain in the queue for me to answer in upcoming webcasts.

You can listen to these webcasts later as NoodleCast podcasts by subscribing in iTunes to either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format.

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