On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on spiritual values, advancing liberty through a new political party, welfare reform versus immigration reform, declining a friend’s plans for business partnership, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

Whole Podcast: 24 February 2013

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.

Podcast Segments: 24 February 2013

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


My News of the Week: I’ve been super-busy with house repairs, but don’t forget to register for SnowCon!

Question 1: Spiritual Values

Question: What are “spiritual” values? In your recent discussion of “Materialism in Marriage,” you talked about the importance of “spiritual values.” However, I found that confusing, since I’ve always associated “spirituality” with religion, often of the woozy variety. So what are spiritual values? How are they different from material values? Why are they important?

My Answer, In Brief: Understood rationally, “spiritual values” are values that sustain and nourish the mind. They are objective requirements of a person’s life and happiness.

Listen or Download:


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

Question 2: Advancing Liberty Through a New Political Party

Question: When would creating a political party advance the cause of liberty? At the moment, creating a new political party might not make sense in the United States because the Republicans and Democrats dominate the elections and the media. But when would be the right time to do so, if ever? In other countries, even tiny parties are discussed in the news, and they can win a few seats. Under those circumstances, does it make sense to create a political party advocating for individual rights? If so, what would be a good name for such a party?

My Answer, In Brief: With the two-party system firmly in place in the US, an activist would be wasting his time by creating a new political party. At present, activism outside of political parties is likely most effective.

Listen or Download:


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

Question 3: Welfare Reform Versus Immigration Reform

Question: Is the welfare state a good reason to restrict immigration? Conservatives – and even some Objectivists – claim that immigrants are flocking to the United States for our welfare benefits. They claim that immigration must be restricted until the welfare state is curtailed. Doesn’t this view amount to punishing would-be immigrants for our own welfare state?

My Answer, In Brief: Restricting immigration due to concerns about welfare evades the core problem of the welfare state, while massively violating the rights of would-be immigrants and everyone else.

Listen or Download:


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

Question 4: Declining a Friend’s Plans for Business Partnership

Question: How can I say no to a friend’s request to become a business partner? Over the past several years, I developed a home craft business. Now that it is successful, one of my friends wants to be involved. She sends messages asking to get together to discuss ideas for new products and expanding the business. However, I am not interested in having a partner. How can I let her know that I don’t want a partner – without coming across as mean or hurting her feelings? Also, since I want to support and encourage my friends’ interests, I’m struggling with guilt for saying “no.” How can I overcome that?

My Answer, In Brief: You need to be clear with your friend about the boundaries of your business, in a kind way – and perhaps apologize for any mixed signals sent in the past.

Listen or Download:

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

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Is there such a thing as “rational religion”?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 57:37
  • Duration: 2:36
  • 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: 1:00:13

About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

  • Mike R. Smith


    I don’t think anyone is evading the issue of the welfare state. However, we have one and it’s not going anywhere. The question is whether a policy on immigration that you advocate would entrench the welfare state and I think it would.

    Immigrants tend to be poor (or poorer) and their children as well. Even if immigrants aren’t able to get on welfare, their children (at least those who are born here) will. Their children, as voters, will support pro-welfare state politicians.

    The largest group of immigrants are Hispanics. Hispanics are more likely to be on welfare and over half of Hispanic families are headed by single women. Last year there was a referendum in California to raise the sales tax and also taxes on the wealthy. It passed because of overwhelming Hispanic support. The California that passed proposition 13 is almost unthinkable today because of immigration.

    I’d point out that the Hispanic support for this referendum is pretty clear evidence that what is driving them to vote leftist is not the Republican position on immigration. In fact, Republicans did worse with Hispanics after the Reagan amnesty in 86.

  Podcast #195: Chris Mortensen on Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged   Podcast #197: Nell Stephenson on Paleo for the Endurance Athlete
Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha