Secular Humanism, European Colonizers, Declaring Love, and More
Q&A Radio: 8 December 2013
I answered questions on Objectivism versus secular humanism, moral judgment of European colonizers, the right time to declare love, and more on 8 December 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: 8 December 2013
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:01:48)
- 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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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].