Saturday, May 19, 2012

Philosophy Weekend: Q&A Radio Preview

By Diana Hsieh

In my live Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on warning others about dangerous people, explaining a firing, investment versus sacrifice, downloading music after hard drive failure, and more. Join us for this lively hour of applying rational principles to the challenges of real life, where you can share your thoughts and ask questions in the text chat!

  • What: Live Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio

  • Who: Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy) and Greg Perkins

  • When: Sunday, 20 May 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET

  • Where:
This week's questions are:
  • Question 1: Warning Others about Dangerous People: Should you warn others about vicious people in your community? If you know a person to be dishonest, but that person is well-regarded in your community, should you tell others in that community what you know? Does it matter if the person is in a position of authority (perhaps over an organization's finances), such that he could do a whole lot of damage? What kinds of immorality would be serious enough to warrant warning others?

  • Question 2: Explaining a Firing: Should an employer have to explain and justify his firing of an employee? Should an employer be able to fire an employee for some alleged misconduct, even though the employer never bothered to verify the misconduct, nor even asked the employee for his side of the story? For example, suppose that when the employee shows up for work he is simply told that he's been fired because someone made a complaint about him. The employee could easily prove the complaint to be false but the employer isn't concerned with proof or lack thereof. The employee's reputation in the eyes of possible future employers is damaged, even if the employer never discusses the firing with anyone else. In such a case, should the employee be able to sue for having been fired without proper cause?

  • Question 3: Investment Versus Sacrifice: What is the difference between "investment" and "sacrifice"? In your February 26, 2012 webcast, you indicated that you regard sacrifices as something very different from investments. But doesn't sacrifice just mean giving up something? In that case, don't investments in the future require sacrifice now? Or: What's the difference between sacrificing some ease and comfort for your goal versus investing time and work to achieve a goal?

  • Question 4: Downloading Music After Hard Drive Failure: Does repecting intellectual property require me to re-purchase my music collection lost due to hard drive failure? Over the years I have purchased quite a bit of digital music and have built quite a large library. Recently, due to a computer crash and lack of backup, a large segment of that library was erased. Since I paid for all of the music that was lost, I would like to restore it, whether by coping from my friends or by downloading illegal copies from the internet. But I am not entirely sure what I have the right to do based on my original purchases. When purchasing intellectual property am I paying for the right to only the original individual copy or am I paying for the right to access that intellectual property even when the original copy is damaged or lost? In other words, am I morally and legally obliged to purchase new copies of my music or can I replace what was destroyed? Also, does it make any difference if my original copy was from a CD versus an MP3 download?
After answering those questions, I'll answer a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend live, you can share your thoughts and ask questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page: Q&A Radio: 20 May 2012.

Also, don't forget to Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Show Archives, where you can listen to the audio from whole episodes or just selected questions. And visit to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming broadcasts.

I hope to see you in the chat on Sunday morning!

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