Deliberately Unhealthy Choices
Radio Q&A: 10 June 2012, Question 2
I answered a question on deliberately unhealthy choices on 10 June 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Is it moral to smoke, drink, or eat unhealthy foods if one recognizes the costs of doing so? Suppose a friend makes a deliberate decision to eat foods he know to be unhealthy (such as frequent sugary desserts). He knows that it might harm his health, but he says that the personal enjoyment and satisfaction outweigh the risk of shortened lifespan and possible future harmful health effects. In other words, he claims he is making a rational choice to maximize his overall happiness. Is that moral?
My Answer, In Brief: Risks and trade-offs are inherent in life, and a person is not obliged to maximize lifespan. However, in this case, the person is likely discounting the troubles and pains of future health problems, as well as indulging in compulsions rather than genuine pleasures.
- Duration: 10:29
- Download: MP3 Segment (3.6 MB)
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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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