Optimism for the Future
Webcast Q&A: 15 May 2011, Question 6
I answered a question on optimism for the future on 15 May 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
How can I be optimistic when society seems doomed? I am beginning to see the United States as the oak tree at the beginning of Atlas Shrugged, an empty shell whose heart rotted away long ago. Ayn Rand writes often of the failure of our age, of seeing corruption rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice, and of seeing these as evidence of our society being doomed. Given the recent, and increased, interest in Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand, I should be hopeful for the future. But is it too little, too late? I have small children, and I never thought it would become generally accepted that America's best days are behind us. How do I cope with the destruction going on today? How can I be optimistic for my children's future? As an Objectivist it seems as though I must be missing the obvious answer.
My Answer, In Brief: The key to keep fighting, even if one is pessimistic about the future, is to understand and live Ayn Rand's phrase "Anyone who fights for the future lives in it today."
- Duration: 10:30
- Download: MP3 Segment (3.6 MB)
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- May 24th lecture "Health Care Reform: Setting Doctors Free" by John Lewis, to be webcast by the Ayn Rand Center
- Paul Hsieh's AtlosCon lecture on Activism 101.
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in 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 book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. 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 most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer 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 Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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