On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on accepting voluntary sacrifices, agnosticism, introducing children to Objectivism, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 10 August 2014, 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: Accepting Voluntary Sacrifices: Is accepting voluntary sacrifices from others moral? Imagine that someone offers you a way to increase your wealth, lengthen your lifespan, or achieve your goals at great personal cost to and even sacrifice of himself. Is it wrong to accept that? What if you’ve tried setting them straight and telling them to act in their self-interest, but they still insist on trying to be altruistic? Would accepting such a sacrifice be a breach of integrity for an egoist, or would rational egoism urge you to enjoy the proffered benefits, so long as voluntarily bestowed? In other words, is accepting voluntary sacrifices from others different from forcing others to sacrifice to you?
- Question 2: Agnosticism: Can the non-existence of God be proven? I see how a person could believe – purely based on rational argument – that God’s existence cannot be proven, thereby becoming an agnostic. On the one hand, many non-theists criticize theists for believing in a deity strictly on faith, claiming that there’s no rational reason to believe in a deity. Most theists, however, would probably reject that, saying that they have rational reasons for their beliefs too. On the other hand, atheism seems just as unproveable as theism. Yet atheists claim that their beliefs are based on reason, rather than emotion or faith. As a result, aren’t the atheists covertly relying on faith? Or can atheism be proven purely based on reason? Why not just admit that we don’t know? Also, practically speaking, isn’t the agnostic basically the same as an atheist?
- Question 3: Introducing Children to Objectivism: How should I introduce my teenagers to Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism? I’d like to introduce my teenagers to Ayn Rand’s novels, as well as to the principles of her philosophy of Objectivism. How should I do that? My concern is that I’ll bungle it up and bore them to death or succeed too well and convert them into Objectivist jerks for the next ten years. What’s a rational approach for parents?
After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”
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The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Voluntary Sacrifices, Agnosticism, Teaching Children Objectivism, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:
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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.