Saturday, January 21, 2012

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.

Try Reason! 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 wrongful convictions of the innocent and the guilty, the morality of the death penalty, alternatives to America, choosing a place to live, and more. As always, it's on Sunday, 22 January 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free lives!

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

  • Question 1: Wrongful Convictions of the Innocent and the Guilty: Why is punishing an innocent man worse than failing to punish a guilty man? English jurist William Blackstone said that "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." What does this mean, and is it true? Is some higher ratio of wrongly-punished to wrongly-released acceptable?

  • Question 2: The Morality of the Death Penalty: Is the death penalty moral? I understand why people are opposed to the death penalty when there might be genuine doubt as to whether the accused person really committed the crime. Certainly, we've seen cases where DNA evidence has exonerated someone who was convicted several years ago for a crime they didn't actually commit. But if someone confesses to first degree murder and if there's incontrovertible physical evidence to confirm their guilt, is the death penalty then appropriate?

  • Question 3: Alternatives to America: What other countries besides America have a relatively healthy sense of life? Suppose America takes a bad turn politically and I need to relocate to another country. What other countries still have a relatively healthy "sense of life" and decent culture – in that they respect reason, accomplishment, and productiveness – even if their politics are left-leaning? Over the past few months, I've heard various people discuss Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, China, and India as possible places to relocate to. What do you think of the cultures of those countries?

  • Question 4: Choosing a Place to Live: Is it rational to value good weather over good politics when choosing a place to live? I currently live in a state with fairly good politics, with respect to taxes, gun rights, and so on. However, I have friends who live in California who say that the weather there is so good, that it's worth it to them even if the taxes are high, the gun laws are terrible, and the overall political climate is abysmal. Is it rational to value something like good weather over good politics in choosing a place to live?
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, including questions on paleo, nutrition, and health. 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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