Friday, April 15, 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 wanted to announce that I'm going to be discussing "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" in the new Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 movie in my live Rationally Selfish Webcast tomorrow (Sunday) at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You don't need to register to join, just go to www.RationallySelfish.com. Here are the questions that I'm scheduled to answer, although I've got so much to say about the movie that some might be deferred until next week:

  • Question 1: What did you think of the movie Atlas Shrugged, Part 1?
  • Question 2: Is it morally wrong to be a free rider? Some people say that it's wrong to be a free rider -- for example, by sneaking into a movie without paying for it, using a gas station bathroom without buying anything, accepting a ride to the airport but refusing to return the favor, hiking on trails in your community without helping to maintain them, or enjoying the Christmas lights of your neighbors without putting up your own. In such cases, you seem to be enjoying a benefit from someone else that you've not paid for or earned. Isn't that unjust, and hence, morally wrong?
  • Question 3: Is it immoral to browse a store with no intention of buying there? Is it immoral to take advantage of the freedom to look through books in a bookstore, or to try out a laptop in a shop, with no intention to actually buying it in that shop? For instance, you check out a book in the shop to decide whether you want to buy it, knowing that if you buy it, you'll do so from Amazon instead. Is that wrong?
  • Question 4: Should age matter in romance? Is it in your rational best interest to date someone who is significantly older or younger than you? Assuming that both individuals are mature, is there anything wrong with an 18 year old dating someone who is 38? Or a 40 year old dating someone who is 60? Or a 70 year old dating someone in their 20s? Does age matter?
  • Question 5: Do I have any responsibility towards my younger brother? My parents constantly ask me to help my brother with his studies, homework, etc, and look after him when they're out and do things for him at the expense of my own studies and time. But I don't find any value in helping my brother. Should I refuse to help my parents in this way?
  • Question 6: From Objectivist Answers: How do you validate free will? For example, if a man is hungry and he values his life, then wouldn't his eating be predetermined?
If you're unable to attend the live webcast, 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.

Also, The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome, including posts on food and health. Erosophia hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

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