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.
Rule of 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 self-destructive pleasures, privacy in a high-tech society, pushy fundraising, browsing locally, buying online, and more. As always, it's on Sunday, 13 May 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: Self-Destructive Pleasures: It is wrong to pursue self-destructive pleasures? Suppose that you know that drinking to excess is not good for your mind or body, but you want to enjoy the oblivion of drunkeness. Or perhaps you know that sleeping with your ex-girlfriend is a very bad idea, but you want the pleasure of sex with a warm body. Is it wrong to pursue these pleasures, if you're willing to accept their destructive consequences?
- Question 2: Privacy in a High-Tech Society: Do you have the right to privacy with respect to information that I can gather about you from observation of you while I'm on my own property? For instance, if I have technology that allows me to gather photons or sound waves that you emit from your property while I'm sitting on my property next door, can I post that information onto YouTube or Facebook? For example, imagine that I have an infrared video of your activities emitted through your bedroom wall or the audio of your personal phone conversation that can be detected by sensitive microphones from 100 yards away. Have I violated your rights by gathering and publicizing information you've chosen to allow to be broadcast to anyone who can detect it with the right equipment?
- Question 3: Pushy Fundraising: How should I respond to the constant demands to contribute to fundraisers from my child's school? I am barraged with "requests" for contributions to school fundraisers. This week, for example, each student in the band is asked to put together a "buddy bag" with sweets (against my views), a toy (more plastic junk to fill the landfills), and a gift (I can't afford that). Every week, there's another fundraiser, for which parents asked to spend their money on things they don't value or aren't a fair value. Should I refuse these requests – and if so, how should I do so?
- Question 4: Browsing Locally, Buying Online: Is it wrong to browse in a local store but then buy online? Suppose that you shop for an item in a brick-and-mortar store, taking advantage of the opportunity to browse and get recommendations for staff, but then make your purchases at a discounted online retailer – for example, browsing through a local bookstore but then buying from Amazon at a lower price. Is that wrong or unfair?
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.