By Diana Hsieh
Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.
Upcoming Radio ShowsPhilosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.
Sunday Morning, 5 May 2013: Q&A on Sense of Life, Burdensome Friend, Rights-Violators, and More
I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 5 May 2013.
- Question 1: Personality and Sense of Life: What is the relationship between personality and sense of life? What is the difference between them? How does a person's sense of life relate to his personality? Does understanding someone's sense of life help us to understand his personality and vice versa?
- Question 2: Helping a Self-Destructive Friend: Am I obliged to help a friend in trouble due to her own poor choices? I have a friend who is emotionally draining to me, and she is especially "down on her luck" this month. However, her situation is a direct result of especially poor personal choices over the last year, and there is no good path to get her out of the hole of poverty and depression. We don't have much in common other than similar-aged kids, and active participation in a local moms' group, but because I have come to her aid in the past, I feel an unspoken obligation to continue. (Maybe it's guilt or pity, or empathy?) What are my obligations in a friendship that has recently become more taxing than beneficial? I don't dislike her, and we have many mutual friends, but I just don't think I can muster the time, financial resources, or energy this time to help bail her out of the latest fiasco. Is it morally acceptable to refuse to help? Should I talk to her about why now – or wait until she's less vulnerable?
- Question 3: Taxes Versus Slavery: Are high taxes comparable to slavery? On Facebook, some friends suggest that America is becoming more like Nazi Germany. Others share images comparing Americans workers to slaves picking cotton in the antebellum south due to our ever-higher taxes. I think these comparisons go way too far: Americans are still some of the freest people the world has ever known. No doubt, our freedom is being chipped away, but are we really like slaves or serfs?
- Question 4: Concern for the Rights of Rights-Violators: Is it wrong to be indifferent to the rights-violations of people who advocate rights-violations? Some celebrities actively promote the violation of rights by lending their support to political groups. For example, former American Idol contestant Krista Branch has actively campaigned against gay marriage on behalf of Focus on the Family. However, in a recent interview, Branch complained that people were pirating her songs. I know that Branch's intellectual property rights should be respected, and I would never pirate her music. Yet I can't feel any sympathy for her, given that she advocates violating other people's rights. I'm of the opinion that people who advocate for the use of force against others should not be spared from the consequences of the kind of culture that creates. Is that wrong? Am I being malevolent? Should I defend her rights, even though she advocates violating my rights?
Wednesday Evening, 8 May 2013: Dr. Doug McGuff on "Avoiding the Emergency Room"
I'll interview ER physician Dr. Doug McGuff about "Avoiding the Emergency Room" on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday evening, 8 May 2013.
People often think of major medical disasters as unpredictable "black swan" events. In fact, emergency room doctors see the same injuries from the same causes time and again, and ordinary people can lessen those risks by their own choices. Dr. McGuff will explain the risks, how to mitigate them, and how to best cope if you or a loved one lands in the emergency room.
Dr. Doug McGuff is an emergency medicine doctor practicing in South Carolina. He graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio in 1989, and then went on to train in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arkansas, where he served as Chief Resident. From there, Dr. McGuff served as Faculty in the Wright State University Emergency Medicine Residency and was a staff Emergency Physician at Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital. Today, Dr. McGuff is a partner with Blue Ridge Emergency Physicians. I interviewed Dr. Doug McGuff about fitness, weightlifting, and high-intensity exercise in December 2012.
The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 8 May 2013. The podcast will be posted later that evening. For more details, check out the episode page.
Recent PodcastsThe podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.
28 April 2013: Q&A on Marriage, Religious Ceremonies, Space Travel, and More
I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:
Can marriage be self-interested? Is it wrong for an atheist to refuse to attend a sibling's religious ceremony? Is multigenerational space travel immoral? Is taking antidepressants and other prescribed drugs for mental problems a form of evasion?
You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.
- Duration: 1:06:24
- Download: Enhanced M4A File (23.9 MB) or Standard MP3 File (22.9 MB)
- Tags: Atheism, Children, Communication, Compromise, Egoism, Ethics, Evasion, Family, Free Society, Health, Integrity, Judaism, Marriage, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Parenting, Psychology, Religion, Rights, Romance, Sacrifice, Sanction, Self-Interest, Siblings
- Duration: 55:59
- Download: Standard MP3 File (19.3 MB)
- Tags: Activism, Colorado, Democrats, Firearms, Government, Rights, Self-Defense
Recent Blog PostsHere are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.
- April 27: Merlin Loves Prosciutto
- April 28: Activism Recap
- April 29: NoodleCast #210: Marriage, Religious Ceremonies, Space Travel, and More
- April 29: Cato Libertarians for Gun Control?
- April 29: Expressions of Mere Opinion
- April 30: Preview: Wednesday Radio: Jim Manley on Concealed Carry on Campus
- April 30: Computer Security Versus User Stupidity
- May 1: God, Tips, and Privacy
- May 1: Paul Hsieh Forbes OpEd: Big Brother Has A New Face, And It's Your Boss
- May 2: NoodleCast #211: Jim Manley on Concealed Carry on Campus
- May 2: Interest Rates and Hard Currency
- May 2: Over 18,000 Listeners on Sunday!
- May 3: Preview: Sunday Radio: Sense of Life, Taxing Friendship, Rights-Violators, and More
- May 3: Life's Great Potential
- May 3: Link-O-Rama