Obligations to Help Others in Need
Webcast Q&A: 27 November 2011, Question 2
I answered a question on obligations to help others in need on 27 November 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.
Do we have an obligation to help others in need? Many people think that the need of others creates an obligation to help. Is that right or wrong? Why? When should a person help others?
My Answer, In Brief: All the arguments for moral obligations based on need fail. Every person's life – and hence, every person's needs – are his own responsibility. Moral obligations arise from a person's choices, and ought to be based on shared values and interests, not mere need.
- Duration: 17:38
- Download: MP3 Segment (6.1 MB)
To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link above. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Altruism: The Morality of Logical Fallacies and The Creed of Sacrifice vs. The Land of Liberty by Craig Biddle
- The Objectivist Ethics in The Virtue of Selfishness and "Causality Versus Duty" in Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand
- Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer
- Helping a Stranger in an Emergency on Philosophy in Action
- Should you help a man who's dying in front of you? on Objectivist Answers
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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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