Saturday, November 26, 2011

Objectivist Links

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 a link to The Objectivist Roundup. 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!

Also, in my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on the wisdom of friends with benefits, obligations to help others in need, supporting political compromises, lying to a dying person, and more. It's on Sunday, 27 November 2011 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com. Please join me for this hour of lively discussion, where we'll apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous and happy lives!

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:

  • Question 1: The Wisdom of Friends with Benefits: Are "friends with benefits" relationships a mistake? It is moral and/or wise to pursue sexual relationships with friends, even though you're not in a romantic relationship? What are some of the benefits and/or pitfalls? If it's a mistake, what should a person do to avoid such entanglements?

  • Question 2: Obligations to Help Others in Need: 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?

  • Question 3: Supporting Political Compromises: When is it morally right or wrong to support political compromises? The marijuana legalization initiative for the 2012 Colorado ballot also specifies open-ended taxation that circumvents the protections of TABOR (the Taxpayer Bill of Rights). It specifies that the first $40 million raised goes to schools. Both of these taxation items are compromises added to get voters to accept the marijuana legalization. Is it ethical to support more taxation to get more freedom from drug laws? Is it okay to circulate petitions to get this on the ballot so the voters can decide? More generally, when if ever should a person support political compromises that uphold some rights but violate others?

  • Question 4: Lying to a Dying Person: Is it wrong to lie to a person on their deathbed? Is lying in such cases justified so that the dying person can "go in peace"? For instance, a man might tell his fellow soldier dying on the battlefield that his heroism helped win a critical victory, even if it actually made no difference. Or a nurse might tell a dying mother desperate to make peace with her long-estranged daughter that the daughter called to tell her she loves her, even if that didn't happen. Is that wrong? If so, what's the harm?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive. Finally, don't forget to submit and vote on the questions that you'd most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

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