Podcast #291: Rapid Fire Extravaganza

 Posted by on 27 June 2014 at 10:00 am  Podcasts
Jun 272014

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on all sorts of topics from the Rapid Fire Queue. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 26 June 2014

Listen or Download:

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Podcast Segments: 26 June 2014

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


My News of the Week: I’ve finally resumed work on Explore Atlas Shrugged.

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Why do you think that marriage contracts should be enforced by the state? Wouldn’t private arbitration be a better option?
  • Why do you think so few people question the consensus of the culture on ethics? (People tend to form their own political views, but very few people seem to form their own ethical views.)
  • Is magnanimity a virtue or a moral amplifier?
  • What on earth is ‘queer theory’? Why, as a gay man, do I find it deeply troubling?
  • What is “good taste”? Is it objective?
  • Why is infinity incompatible with identity? Why couldn’t infinite size, for example, be part of the nature of an entity?
  • Is a bird in the hand better than two in the bush? Doesn’t this maxim encourage mediocrity and laziness?
  • Does it make sense for Objectivists to use “Who is John Galt?” as a slogan? It seems to me that this is what people in the novel said when they could not see what was wrong with the world.
  • Is it true that thought and speech are limited by historical context?
  • Are there quick ways to identify crazy people? I think I’m pretty okay myself as long as I take my medication.
  • Is there any value to childhood ‘innocence’? Or is that just a product of Christianity?
  • Does Buddhism qualify as a form of nihilism, since Buddhists believe that morality consists in rejecting all your desires, and clearing your mind, so that you become ‘one with the universe’ i.e. dead?
  • I’ve heard that Kant included some good elements in his philosophy to make the rest of his ideas palatable. What were those things?
  • Would you agree that Rand’s philosophy is a sort of reconciliation of Aristotle with the existentialists?
  • Is it advisable for citizens in a pure capitalist society to create a “social safety net” comparable to what exists in welfare states, but through voluntary charity?
  • What is bourgeois morality, and should we approve of it?
  • What about the Negative Income Tax, which is sort of what Milton Friedman proposed, or the idea of a “guaranteed income” that would replace welfare?
  • What is “a sense of duty” and how can I get rid of it?
  • Ayn Rand thought that plot was the most important element in literature. I would say however that an aesthetic based on virtue ethics dictates that characters ought to be more important. What do you think?
  • If you could have a superpower, what superpower would you choose?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 4:48
  • Duration: 1:03:39
  • 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: 1:08:27

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