Change in Islam, Appearance and Self-Esteem, and More
Q&A Radio: 24 November 2013
I answered questions on positive change in Islam, self-esteem and appearance, and more on 24 November 2013. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
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Segments: 24 November 2013
Question: Can Islam change for the better? Many critics of Islam claim that the religion is inherently totalitarian, violent, and repressive – and hence, that change for the better is utterly impossible. An Islamic reformation or enlightenment will never happen, they say. Is that true? More generally, what are the limits of a religion's ties to its own scriptures?
Answer, In Brief: As in every other religion, Muslims are not bound to the barbaric elements of Islamic texts. Islam can change – and hopefully will, for the better.
Question: How is a person's appearance related to self-esteem? Should a rational person care much about his body – including height, weight, musculature, beauty, and so on? Is that second-handed somehow? How much effort should a person exert to make himself look the way he wants to look? Should a person's looks affect his self-esteem?
Answer, In Brief: A person should care about his body, but he ought to focus more on being healthy, capable, happy, and confident than on satisfying any cultural ideal of beauty.
Rapid Fire Questions (56:46)
- Given that it's inapt to say taxation is slavery, would it still be a mistake to say that compulsory taxation is 'partial enslavement' or 'a less severe form of slavery'?
- Is there any validity to the primary/secondary quality distinction?
- Should a person use the term "black" or "African-American"?
- Why do socialists want equality of outcome?
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].