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 Shows
Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on most 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, 19 January 2014: Q&A on Faith in Reason, Free Speech, Gay Pride, and More
I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 19 January 2014.
- Question 1: Faith in Reason: Does being rational mean having faith in reason? I'm a high school student in a religious school. Many of my classmates claim that my belief in a knowable reality, science, and reason is merely a form of faith. So how can a person validate his own reason and senses? How can a person know that they are reliable means of knowing reality – unless he uses them and thereby engages in circular reasoning? My classmates claim that God is the only way out of this puzzle: God checks our reasoning by verifying and opposing our various conclusions. How can I respond to their arguments effectively?
- Question 2: Free Speech of Government Officials: Does freedom of speech apply to government officials? In August 2013, Rolling Stone caused a furor by putting accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. In response, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino wrote to the publisher of Rolling Stone, telling him that doing so "rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment" – treatment the magazine should have given to the survivors. Other government officials were similarly critical of Rolling Stone. My first reaction was that these government officials had no place saying anything about a publication. But then I wondered, doesn't the First Amendment still apply to them? In other words, do government officials have freedom of speech?
- Question 3: Gay Pride: Are "gay pride" parades legitimate? Sexuality is not chosen, so being gay is not something that a person could be proud of. However, these parades seem like harmless fun, and they might even help alleviate homophobia. (They might perpetuate stereotypes too, however.) So are they, on balance, of benefit? Also, what should be made of the fact that a "straight pride" parade would be seen as homophobic? Isn't the goal here equality? Does that show that gay pride parades are elevating a minority into something special and unequal?
The 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.
12 January 2014: Q&A on Justifying Punishment, Passive Income, Price Gouging, and More
I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:
What justifies punishing people for committing crimes? Is it moral to live on passive income or just work a 'four hour work week'? Is it morally wrong to profit from someone else's distress?
You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.
- Duration: 1:08:53
- Download: Enhanced M4A File (24.7 MB) or Standard MP3 File (23.7 MB)
- Tags: Benevolence, Business, Capitalism, Career, Central Purpose, Crime, Economics, Ethics, Hobbies, Justice, Law, Objectivity, Passive Income, Politics, Productiveness, Productivity, Punishment, Retributivism, Utilitarianism
Recent Blog Posts
Here 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.
- January 11: Dixie!
- January 11: Jumping Lila in a New Bit
- January 12: Activism Recap
- January 13: NoodleCast #266: Justifying Punishment, Passive Income, Price Gouging, and More
- January 13: Punctuation. Matters!
- January 14: Kid Shaming: Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong
- January 14: Jason Brown, Fabulous Free Skate
- January 15: New Questions in the Queue
- January 15: Last Chance for Half-Price Podcast on Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship
- January 15: Chilly Paintings
- January 16: Preview: Sunday Radio: Faith in Reason, Free Speech, Gay Pride, and More
- January 16: Asking for Rape?
- January 17: Suffering Worse Than Death
- January 17: Link-O-Rama