By Diana Hsieh
On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on seeking welfare, initiating contact in friendship, poking fun at values, gay "conversion" therapy, and more. I thought that might be of interest.
This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 6 January 2013, at 8 PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later.
This week's questions are:
- Question 1: Seeking Welfare: Is it wrong to manipulate your finances to qualify for welfare? An acquaintance of mine – who is moderately wealthy – feels justified in manipulating her finances to get government aid whenever possible on the grounds that it is "getting back" some of what she has paid. For example, she had her elderly mother buy a new car for her own use, in order to have her mother deplete her savings faster and qualify for Medicaid. However, while she had paid much in tax, her mother collects more in social security every month than she ever paid in taxes. Is it rational to view this as "getting back" money that was taken inappropriately, or is it actually immoral and self-destructive?
- Question 2: Initiating Contact in Friendship: Should friends initiate contact with each other roughly equally? Some of my friends never initiate contact with me. They are friendly, loyal, and otherwise great friends. But for any interaction or get-togethers, I must initiate conversation, suggest activities, and so on. Sometimes, I feel as if I value the friendship much, much more than the other person does. Is that an accurate assessment or is something else going on? Should I just seek other friends? Should I talk to these friends about this issue? (If so, what should I say?) In the future, should I seek out different kinds of friends?
- Question 3: Poking Fun at Values: When does humor work against my values? Sometimes, I wonder whether my jokes undermine what I value. Is it wrong to poke fun at my friends or myself? Is it wrong to joke about principles that I hold dear? How do I draw the line?
- Question 4: Gay "Conversion" Therapy: Was California right or wrong to ban "gay cure" therapy for minors? Recently, California banned "reparative" or "conversion" therapy – meaning, therapy that aims to make gay teenagers straight. Such therapy is widely regarded as dangerous pseudo-science by mental health professionals. The ban only applies to patients under 18. So adults can still choose such therapy for themselves, but parents cannot foist it on their minor children. Is such therapy a form of child abuse? Or should parents have the power to compel such therapy on their children, even if they're morally wrong to do so?
To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.
Again, if you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: 6 January 2013.
I hope that you join us on Sunday morning, but if you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later!
Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.