By Diana Hsieh
In my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on the wrong of utilitarianism, the morality of government jobs, planning in advance, padding your resumé, and more. As always, it's on Sunday, 29 April 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live. 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: The Wrong of Utilitarianism: What's wrong with utilitarianism? The basic principle of utilitarianism is "the greatest happiness for the greatest number." What's wrong with that as a moral standard? Should't a person act for the good of society?
- Question 2: The Morality of Government Jobs: Is it moral to work for the IRS? Is it morally wrong to work for government agencies like the IRS (or equivalent tax bureaus), IAS (Indian Administrative Services), or the EPA? I'm an advocate of free markets. Would I be a hypocrite to work for such illegitimate government agencies?
- Question 3: Planning in Advance: How much advance planning is optimal? Some people like to plan everything well in advance, while others prefer to allow events to unfold and make decisions on the fly. Is one approach better than the other? How much does it depend on the circumstances? How can people with difference preferences coordinate comfortably?
- Question 4: Padding Your Resumé: Is doing activities just to pad your resume dishonest? Some people work on mastering playing the violin, competing in tennis tournaments, learning calculus, and other activities – not because they have any interest in them or because they think they might develop an interest once tried, but rather because they think these activities will look good on an application or resumé. Is that dishonest? Is it unwise?
If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to our RSS Feeds. 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.