Morality of Abortion, Injuries on the Job, Self-Sacrifice, and More
Q&A Radio: Sunday, 5 January 2014
I answered questions on the morality of elective abortion, liability for injuries on the job, guilt over self-sacrifice, and more on Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday, 5 January 2014. 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'm on my way to visit Paul's family, and I've started eating Whole30 for January!
- Duration: 1:10:52
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
Audible.com is the best source of audiobooks on the planet, hands down.
I've subscribed to Audible since 2005. With my "Platinum Annual Membership," I enjoy 24 books per year for just under $10 per book. I read far more books than I would otherwise, thanks to Audible. I listen to them while in my car, as well as while cooking, cleaning, gardening, and more. I enjoy books more too, particularly classic fiction: a good reader adds a rich layer of color to the text.
If you want to try the delights of listening to books, be sure to take advantage of our special offer of free 30-day trial subscription to Audible. You'll get a great deal, and you'll support Philosophy in Action in the process. It's a win-win! You can also support Philosophy in Action with a direct contribution to the tip jar.
Segments: 5 January 2014
Question: Is elective abortion morally wrong? Some people support abortion in the cases of rape or incest, as well as in cases of serious medical problems with the fetus or the pregnancy. However, they regard the termination of a normal, healthy pregnancy as morally wrong, particularly as irresponsible. Are such abortions wrong? Does the judgment change if the couple used birth control or not?
Answer, In Brief: Abortion is a moral choice whenever a pregnancy – let alone raising a child – would be a sacrifice of herself, her goals, and her happiness. For many unwanted pregnancies, an early-term abortion is a far better option than adoption or becoming a parent.
Question: Should employers be required to warn employees of possible harms on the job? Discovery Channel's TV show Gold Rush depicted a South American gold miner using mercury in the mining process because mercury binds to gold and makes extraction from a "sluice." Mercury, being heavier, falls below the surface and is collected at the bottom of a "sluice box." The episode (titled "The Jungle") depicts workers using their bare hands in the sluice where I'm assuming they are in direct physical contact with the toxic mercury. In a free society, should employers be allowed to expose their employees to such dangers? Should employers be obliged to warn employees of those dangers or to take precautions? Or are workers responsible for the risks of their job?
Answer, In Brief: In a free society, people would be entitled to take whatever risks they deem fit. However, when those risks are taken on behalf of another, such as for a job, they must be disclosed, understood, and consented to.
Question: Should a person feel guilty for not acting selfishly enough? According to rational egoism, a person ought to act selfishly – not in the sense of hurting others, but in the sense of pursuing his own good. If a person fails to do that, should he feel guilty for failing to act morally?
Answer, In Brief: An egoist can and should feel guilty when he harms himself – if that harm is serious and the product of a willful failure of morality, as opposed to a mere mistake.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:00:52)
- What place does Ayn Rand deserve in the history of philosophy? Is she one of the "big ones," like Kant and Descartes, or is her philosophy just a minor variation on Aristotle's?
- How do I keep myself from just coming off as a contrarian when I disagree with something that's more ingrained than just mainstream?
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio! If you enjoyed this episode, please contribute to contribute to our tip jar.
Support Philosophy in Action
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.
Thank you, if you've contributed to Philosophy in Action! You make our work possible every week, and we're so grateful for that!
If you enjoy Philosophy in Action, please help us spread the word about it! Tell your friends about upcoming broadcasts by forwarding our newsletter. Link to episodes or segments from our topics archive. Share our blog posts, podcasts, and events on Facebook and Twitter. Rate and review the podcast in iTunes (M4A and MP3). We appreciate any and all of that!
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].