Free Market Reforms, Empathy and Morality, and More
Q&A Radio: Sunday, 3 November 2013
I answered questions on the speed of free market reforms, the role of empathy in morality, and more on Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday, 3 November 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: Monday's talk on "Why Personality Matters in Politics... But Not in the Way You Think" at Liberty on the Rocks - Flatirons was a blast. Lila and I went foxhunting (really, coyote chasing) on Wednesday. I've made good progress updating my scripts to accomodate old and new podcasts.
Note: The audio quality on this episode isn't wonderful, unfortunately. I wasn't able to record a local copy, so I was obliged to use the version recorded by BlogTalkRadio.
- Duration: 1:06:54
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Segments: 3 November 2013
Question: Should free-market reforms be gradual or instantaneous? Many advocates of free markets concede that reforms toward capitalism should be gradual. For example, Yaron Brook said recently about abolishing Social Security, "There is no way to eliminate it tomorrow. There is no way to eliminate it... cold turkey." But why not? What's wrong with the "cold turkey" approach? Is the concern simply that the only way to get people to accept reforms is to make them slowly? Or would it be somehow unjust to cut off people's entitlements suddenly, given that they've come to depend on them?
Answer, In Brief: If Americans were supportive, many free market reforms could and should be immediate. However, gradual reforms are wise in some cases, and welfare programs for people without the capacity to support themselves should be phased out gradually – for moral and practical reasons.
Question: What is the relationship between empathy and morality? Must a person possess a strong sense of empathy to be moral? Is empathy an important quality of character or moral emotion – or the most important? What's the role of empathy in a rational person's life?
Answer, In Brief: Feelings of empathy are morally neutral. A person faces various moral challenges and pitfalls, whether he feels empathy strongly and often or not. Morality – as concerns others – requires grasping perspective of others (among other things), and acting in decent and just way toward them.
- Would sidewalks be privately owned in a free society? If so, would I have to pay to walk out of my front door?
- Why do religions seem to get special treatment over secular world views?
- Oscar Wilde argued we should surround ourselves with beautiful things so as to make our lives as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Do you think this is good advice for a rational person?
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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 first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting 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].