On Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on keeping secrets, choosing an ultimate end, studying history, moral blacks and whites, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 29 September 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later.
This week’s questions are:
- Question 1: Keeping Secrets: When should I respect a person’s request to keep information secret? Often, people ask me to keep something they’ve told me (or will tell me) to myself. Or, they’ll ask me not to share it with anyone other than my spouse. Such secrets might consist of happy news that will soon be known, such as future career plans or a pregnancy. That’s no problem. However, when the matter is more serious – like psychological struggles, personal wrongdoings, marital troubles, and conflicts with mutual friends – I feel like I’m caught in a bind. Often, I have reason to fear that other people I care about might be hurt, and I feel an obligation to warn them. Is that right? Or am I obliged to keep secrets scrupulously?
- Question 2: Choosing an Ultimate End: Can a person choose an ultimate value other than his own life? Ayn Rand claims that each person’s life is his own ultimate value. Similarly, Aristotle says that each person’s final end is his own flourishing or well-being. Does that mean that a person cannot have another ultimate value or final end? Or just that they should not?
- Question 3: Studying History: How should a person approach the study of history? I’ve always prided myself on being a “student of history” – meaning that I read and think a great deal about the past and try to apply its lessons to the future. Is this a valid concept? Am I missing a bigger picture? Do you have any tips on being a better “student of history”?
- Question 4: Moral Blacks and Whites: Can life be morally black and white? People often say life is not “black and white,” meaning that sometimes we must navigate morally gray zones, particularly when dealing with complex decisions involving other people. However, if we make decisions based on objective absolutes, doesn’t that eliminate these so-called “morally gray zones”?
After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”
To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.
If you miss the live broadcast, you’ll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Keeping Secrets, Ultimate Ends, Studying History, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:
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I hope you join us on Sunday morning… and please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics!
Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.