Q&A Radio: Sunday, 12 May 2013
I answered questions on taxes versus slavery, infanticide after abortion, emergency medical care, and more on Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday, 12 May 2013. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. You can listen to or download the podcast below.Remember, Philosophy in Action Radio is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love doing that, but each episode requires our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. You can send your contribution via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail.
My News of the Week: I attended the hearing of the Colorado Supreme Court regarding the Coalition for Secular Government's lawsuit in federal court. The main question discussed whether a single sentence of express advocacy in our policy paper makes the whole paper a policy paper or not. I'm still working on editing the galley proofs of soon-forthcoming book, Responsibility and Luck (a.k.a. my dissertation). Of course, that's taking longer than I'd like.
- Duration: 1:08:57
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Segments: 12 May 2013
Question: 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?
Answer, In Brief: Advocates of free markets discredit their cause by likening taxation to slavery. Slavery is the complete and utter violation of the rights of persons. It's a far worse horror than taxation, with differences in kind, not just degree.
Question: Is killing a baby born after an abortion a form of murder? Kermit Gosnell is currently on trial for murder, due to accusations that he killed infants who were delivered in abortions at his clinic. If the facts are as reported, should he be convicted of murder? What should be done when a baby is born alive during an abortion? What are the likely cultural and political implications of this trial?
Answer, In Brief: According to the testimony at the trial, Kermit Gosnell did not merely perform abortions: he killed born babies, i.e. persons with a right to life. A person who does that is guilty of murder, and he should be prosecuted and punished.
Question: Do people have a right to emergency medical care? EMTALA (a.k.a. the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) is a federal law that requires emergency rooms to stabilize any patient with an emergency medical condition, regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Is that proper? Is that the same as a right to medical care?
Answer, In Brief: EMTALA violates the rights of doctors, based on the false premise of a "right" to health care. In practice, it's a disaster for doctors, hospitals, and the working poor. Ultimately, only scammers and advocates of government-controlled medicine benefit by it.
- Is taxation a form of racket?
- Does your house have dignity?
- Have you ever noticed people mixing up a right to something and eligibility for it?
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Remember, Philosophy in Action Radio is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love doing that, but each episode requires our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. You can send your contribution via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail.
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
If you join us for the live broadcasts, you can ask follow-up questions and make comments in the text-based chat. Otherwise, you can listen to the podcast by subscribing to our Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the show archives, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.
I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].