Buying Time in Elections, Regretful Parents, and More
Q&A Radio: 20 February 2014
I answered questions on buying time by voting Republican, avoiding regret over having children, and more on 20 February 2014. 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: 20 February 2014
Question: Should voters attempt to "buy time" for liberty by voting for Republican candidates? Often, supporters of free-market capitalism are told that they need to "buy time" in order to advocate for liberty – meaning: they should vote for Republicans to stave off disaster and allow time to persuade the public of the nature and value of freedom. Does the debacle with the rollout of ObamaCare contradict this claim? ObamaCare has suffered from widespread attacks, not just from the right wing, but also from many mainstream media outlets and average citizens. These backlashes have forced the administration to issue substantive revisions of the law, and its political backers appear to be running scared. In this case, a statist policy has gone into effect, the public has felt its harmful effects, and that public has turned against the statist policy and its supporting politicians. After this, I am more optimistic about Americans, as well as less inclined to support Republicans at the federal level. Given the utter failure of free market advocates to turn back the regulatory state, might the public need to learn more lessons like that of ObamaCare, just as much as they need to be educated about abstract philosophy? Does support for Republicans in the federal government, who will at best maintain the mixed economy – where the positives caused by freedom can cloud the negatives caused by controls – actually result in a perpetual solidification of the status quo? If so – and combined with some of the GOP's irrational theocratic tendencies – should people actively (or passively) support keeping the Republican Party as the minority party in the near future by refusing to vote for or support its candidates?
Answer, In Brief: If free market advocates want to change America's political landscape, they need to forget "buying time" or "let them suffer" as political strategies. Instead, we need to work on changing the terms of the debate, so that rights and free markets are part of the discussion.
Question: What should prospective parents do to ensure they won't regret having children? In your 10 March 2013 show, you discussed what parents should do if they regret having children. But what can potential parents do to ensure that won't happen? How can a person know what being a parent is like – for better or worse – before actually becoming a parent? Is a rational decision on this issue possible?
Answer, In Brief: People can and should make rational decisions in advance about whether to have kids or not. To do that, they need to gather data about life as a parent, identify their purpose and develop a plan, and be realistic about the demands of parenting.
Rapid Fire Questions (59:02)
- I imagine that most of running Philosophy in Action is very fun and rewarding. But what is one task or aspect of it that you dislike?
- How does one respond to people who use the very annoying phrase "don't judge" when they actually mean "be socially tolerant"?
- What is the self? Is it one's mind or reason?
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase 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 radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].