On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on Objectivism versus secular humanism, moral judgment of European colonizers, the right time to declare love, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 8 December 2013

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Podcast Segments: 8 December 2013

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.


My News of the Week: Many thanks to the reviewers of my new book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. If you’ve read it, please review it on Amazon! Get a signed copy for just $25 in December! Also, I’ve made good progress on my updates to Explore Atlas Shrugged, as I just finished Session 10!

Question 1: Objectivism Versus Secular Humanism

Question: What are the similarities and differences between Objectivism and secular humanism? Objectivism and secular humanism are two secular worldviews. What are their basic points? Are they hopelessly at odds? Or do they share some or even many attributes?

My Answer, In Brief: Secular humanism is an attempt to meld secularism with altruistic and collectivist ethics, plus leftist politics. It’s not a coherent philosophy – or well-grounded in facts. I urge secular humanists to honestly consider at Ayn Rand’s philosophy as an alternative.

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To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Moral Judgment of European Colonizers

Question: How should European colonizers be judged for their treatment of Native Americans? Some people, especially conservatives, give blanket praise to Columbus and European colonizers, notwithstanding their conquest and displacement of native populations. Those Native Americans are sometimes denigrated as ignorant, brutal, and/or lacking any concept of property – and hence, as unworthy of the protection of rights. Many others consider the Native Americans either noble savages or at least the rightful owners of the land. They condemn European colonization as unethical conquest or even genocide. Are either of those approaches correct? What counts as a fair judgment of European colonizers in their behavior toward Native Americans? How should European colonizers have treated native persons?

My Answer, In Brief: The common views of colonization – from many on the left and right – are sadly mistaken in their moral judgments and political claims. Conflict was inevitable, but greater justice and decency was certainly possible.

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To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: The Right Time to Declare Love

Question: When should a person declare his love for another? What is an appropriate amount of time to wait before saying “I love you” in a new relationship? New relationships often start out strong, but then the feelings of eros dissipate after a few months. When you meet someone who you share the same values and ideals (and you are super-attracted to him or her) when should you say those three little words?

My Answer, In Brief: Love is not a binary state, and saying “I love you” isn’t magic. Nonetheless, such can be done wrongly or badly – or to honestly deepen the intimacy and connection in a relationship.

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To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Is downloading Anthem moral, given that Ayn Rand lost her copyright to the work by accident?
  • Is it wrong to hate all the pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness every October?
  • Is an age of sexual consent below the age of majority – say 16 – proper?

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  • Start Time: 1:01:48
  • Duration: 7:25
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.


Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:09:13

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  • Tom Burroughes

    Greg, get well soon. Lots of chicken soup and vitamin C!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha