By Diana Hsieh
In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio, I'll answer questions on performance-enhancing drugs in sports, sexual values in romance, manipulating for good ends, intellectually inferior professors, and more with Greg Perkins.
- What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio: 2 September 2012
- Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
- When: Sunday, 2 September 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
- Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio
- Question 1: Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports: It is wrong for athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs? Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of his record seven Tour De France titles after allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs – particularly EPO, human growth hormone, and steroids. These drugs act to enhance vitality and endurance by increasing red blood cell count, stimulating new cell growth, and helping to regulate metabolism and immune function, respectively. Although I don't have a medical background, I can't find a moral difference between a competitive athlete taking such medications for peak performance and a regular person taking vitamins, herbs, and supplements for increased performance. Professional athletes are encouraged and expected to adopt other modern technologies such as lighter bicycle frames, carbon nanotube rackets, aerodynamic helmets, and expertly designed running shoes. So isn't it proper to embrace advances in medicine as well, so long as athletes are aware of the risks? Should we vilify such athletes on the grounds that they create an unfair advantage – or applaud them for maximizing performance via technology? Should sports leagues regulate or ban performance-enhancing drugs?
- Question 2: Sexual Values in Romance: How important are a person's particular sexual values in a romantic relationship? The problems in many relationships seem to be due to conflicting sexual values, such as one partner wanting variety while the other opposes an open relationship. So why aren't such sexual values considered at least on par with other important values in a relationship? When faced with sexual problems, why is the assumption that a couple needs to "work on them" – as opposed to thinking that such problems should be resolved before any commitment? In other words, before accepting and establishing a relationship, shouldn't people seek sexual compatibility in the same way they seek emotional compatibility?
- Question 3: Manipulating for Good Ends: Is it wrong to manipulate a dishonest person into honoring his promises? A friend of mine bought tires from ACME Tire Company (that's not their real name) and purchased the additional road hazard coverage. Road hazard coverage says that Acme will repair the tire if it loses pressure due to driving over some hazard. If the tire is too damaged to repair, they will sell you a pro-rated replacement tire. My friend's tire started losing air and he took it to Acme, but they couldn't find anything wrong, so they put more air in it and let him go. Three weeks later, it lost air again and he went back. He did this five times. One time they told him they found a bit of metal in his tire, but when he asked to see it they said they already threw it away. Another time they said the tire didn't have a good seal, so they re-sealed it. Another time they said they found a little hole and that they fixed it. He has explained each time his history with it and expressed a desire to simply purchase a pro-rated tire according to the terms of the agreement if they can't fix it, but they won't do it since each time they claim they found a problem and fixed it. But after five times he simply does not believe them. (Adding to his incredulity is the fact that during all this he has had his tires rotated and the same one still leaks.) If the tire were actually fixed, he wouldn't mind, but since it never gets fixed he's thinking that the only solution is to get a new tire. He's contemplating doing something to damage the tire to a point where they can't repair it. Would this be an ethical thing to do? Why or why not? What other options would you suggest?
- Question 4: Intellectually Inferior Professors: What should a student do when he thinks his professors are intellectually inferior? The idea is i'm aiming at is how to learn from a teacher whom shows no genuine interest in the fundamental aspects of knowledge in terms of it's fundamentals. For instance, I had a teacher whom never asked us to question the merit of given theories to mass media ethics, the ideas were presented as ready-made packaged deals of how censorship was ideal in the communication model presented to us via textbook. Considering also when asked the verity of such concepts, the teacher will hide by claiming since the textbook says so, it is truth, and if that is not satisfactory then look it up online. [Note from DH: I did not edit this question.]
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If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 2 September 2012.
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