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.
Parenting Is... 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 the questions that I'll answer this week:
- Question 1: Moral Standards for Public Figures: Should public figures be held to higher moral standards? Public figures -- like actors, politicians, and athletes -- are often lambasted in the media for committing commonplace wrongs like dishonesty and hypocrisy. Is that fair? If Michele Obama is an outspoken opponent of childhood obesity and lists the things my children and I shouldn't eat, is she a hypocrite for indulging in her Shake Shack? Should I not value Tiger Woods as a professional golfer with exceptional talent because he screwed around on his wife?
- Question 2: Friendships with People of Opposite Philosophy: How can I maintain my integrity in friendships with people of opposite philosophic views? I struggle to keep good relations with family and friends who support our current political system in which some people are helped at the expense of others, which I regard as slavery. They support ObamaCare, EPA restrictions, and welfare programs. Through years of caring discussions, I realize that they do not hold the individual as sacred but instead focus on what's best for "the group." At this point, I often feel more pain than pleasure being with them, even though we have many other values in common, yet I hate to cut them off. How can I maintain good relationships with them -- or should I stop trying?
- Question 3: Friendships with Intellect Property Thieves: Should I terminate friendships with people who steal music and other intellectual property from the internet? I don't know a single person who doesn't steal something off the internet. I used to do this myself, but stopped when I realized it was wrong and why. Normally, I would cut off contact with anyone who violates rights, because that's worse than just holding wrong ideas, but the activity is so prevalent now that doing so would end my social life. Even now, my clear moral position strains my friendships. So what should I do?
- Question 4: Joining Professional Groups: Is it proper to join non-mandatory professional groups? Many professional organizations provide great benefits to their members, such as educational opportunities, professional conferences, networking, journal subscriptions, insurance, and product discounts. However, many also engage in lobbying of government officials on issues both related to the profession's direct interests and on issues only loosely associated (i.e. funding for political candidates). While some of this lobbying can be viewed as professional self-defense in an immorally regulated industry, where does one draw the line? Is there a point where joining professional associations is providing sanction to activities you believe are wrong?
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.