Saturday, June 04, 2011

The 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 like to post some fresh links related to Objectivism from around the web for anyone interested in learning more about the philosophy.

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. Rational Jenn hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

My own 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 this week's questions:

  • Question 1: The Process of Forgiveness: What is the proper process of forgiveness? In your March 6th episode, you spoke about forgiveness from the perspective of the person wronged. However, imagine that you're the person who has done wrong to someone else, thereby harming him. What should you do now? How can you prove to that person that you're not as bad as you seemed at that time? What should you do if the other person isn't willing to hear you out?
  • Question 2: Visiting Home for the Holidays: Am I obliged to visit my family for the holidays? I'm in my mid-20s. My family expects me to return home for the holidays, i.e. for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I dislike the trouble of travelling during that hectic time. (I live across the country.) Also, I dislike the chaotic bustle at my parents' home during the holidays. I feel like I never get to spend meaningful time with anyone, and I'm stuck with people I can barely tolerate. I'd prefer to visit family I like at other times in the year. However, my parents would be extremely angry with me if I refused to come home during the holidays. They'd probably attempt to make me feel guilty for ruining their holidays. Should I just give in to their wishes? If not, how can I make them accept that I'd rather visit at some other time?
  • Question 3: Recycling: Should I recycle? When I don't have to go out of my way to recycle -- if both bins are right in front of me, say -- should I? And what if I am sharing an apartment with someone who will fish recyclables out of the trash and put them in the recycling bin? Are there cases where one should just recycle in order to avoid confrontations at home or work?
  • Question 4: Pharmacies Selling Homeopathic Remedies: Should pharmacies sell homeopathic remedies next to real medicines? For example, Cobroxin with Asian Cobra Venom 4x HPUS is sometimes sold next to acetaminophen. Calms Forte's non-drowsy sleeping pills are often displayed next to diphenhydramine (the generic for Benadryl or Tylenol p.m.) James Randi, a magician in his 80's, took 30 of these sleeping pills with no effect. Basically, these homeopathic alternatives are nothing more than expensive water. So is it wrong for pharmacies to sell them as if they were effective medicine?
  • Question 5: Objectivism and Psychology: Does Objectivism need a psychology? The philosophy of Objectivism does not address the domain of human psychology as a distinct and significant category. Does that make it incomplete? If so, is that important?
  • Question 6: From Objectivist Answers: Doctors Prescribing Placebos: Is a psychiatrist (or other doctor) prescribing placebos ethical? This question arose as a result of this article: The power of placebos. While the alleged benefits of placebos mentioned in the article can be argued, my question is: To the extent a placebo is beneficial to a patient, is the doctor justified in prescribing it to him? Of course, the doctor cannot reveal to the patient at the time of prescription since it nullifies the effect of the placebo.
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.

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