On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on winning friends and influencing people, accepting government welfare, mercenary essay contest writing, government scientists in a free society, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 10 November 2013, in our live studio. If you can’t listen live, you’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page.
This week’s questions are:
- Question 1: Winning Friends and Influencing People: Should a person try to “win friends and influence people”? In the classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie offers a wide range of advice on how to get what you want from other people. Some of this seems manipulative or second-handed, but is that right? Is the advice in the book of genuine value to a rational egoist seeking honest trade with others?
- Question 2: Accepting Government Welfare: Should a person without other options accept welfare from the government? I’ve had generalized anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. I live in Sweden, and my government has so many labor regulations that no business can hire me, and charities don’t exist to help me. Is it wrong, in such a case, to accept government assistance? I don’t have any savings, and it seems like my only other options are criminal activity and suicide.
- Question 3: Mercenary Essay Contest Writing: Is it wrong to write essays I don’t believe to win contest money? I am a current university student with severe financial limitations. I’ve found that one of my best assets is my knack for writing a solid, persuasive essay. Recently, I’ve come across a trove of very generous scholarship essay contests. I feel confident that I could write a solid essay for most of them. The problem is that the majority are funded by organizations whose values I don’t support. Specifically, I’d have to write essays in favor of social and political policies with which I disagree. Would it be moral for me to enter these writing competitions? If I did, would I just be demonstrating my writing ability – or misleading the sponsor into thinking that I agree with what I’ve written?
- Question 4: Government Scientists in a Free Society: Would the government of a free society employ scientists? In a fully free society, would there be any scientists employed full-time by the government for police, legislative, or judicial services? If not, how would judges obtain the necessary scientific knowledge to make proper rulings in the court cases that would replace today’s environmental and other regulations? Might scientists be hired by the government of a free society for the military or other purposes?
After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”
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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.