Rapid Fire Questions
Q&A Radio: Sunday, 14 June 2015
I answered questions chosen at random by Greg Perkins impromptu on 14 June 2015. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this section below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
The questions were:
- If an infant is born with an incurable disease that will kill it after weeks of suffering, should it be permissible to simply euthanise the infant?
- How is weed legalization going in Colorado from your observations? Do you notice people casually smoking in public? Does the public there have an overall positive or negative view of it so far?
- Scanning the internet is shortening my attention span considerably. I feel impatient urges to move on whenever I start reading anything. Any advice for how to lessen the urges and retrain focus?
- How does a person stop himself from obsessing about a difficult conversation they are planning to have with someone? What are some signs that he has moved beyond reasonable planning to obsessing?
- A while ago I asked you about the moral considerations involved in having to revive my landlord, who didn't take care of her type-1 diabetes properly and had me and other people calling an ambulance for her regularly, nearly a dozen times within a year. (She ate irregularly, or skipped meals altogether, causing her to pass out, get very weak, or lose most of her cognitive ability.) My concern was whether it was ethical to just leave her in a catatonic state, and you stated that there's "duty to rescue" laws, where, given my relationship with my landlord, I was legally obligated to tend to her emergencies, regardless if they were honest or not. However, couldn't it be said that the landlord was literally forcing me to take care of her, violating my rights, since her diabetic emergencies were due to her irresponsibility? Shouldn't there be a limit to how many times or in what ways a duty to rescue law can apply? Shouldn't I be able to press charges, sue, or be relieved of obligations, such as being able to move out without illegally breaking the renter's contract?
- Isn't it true that, if the universe has always existed then that, in and of itself, is the strongest argument against design by God? In other words, for argument's sake, doesn't just the possibility of the universe being the metaphysical given render design arguments moot?
- Did Ayn Rand have a sense of humor? Is there room for humor in Objectivism?
- Could you give a brief overview of Stoicism and its good versus bad points?
- Was Oskar Schindler an altruist?
- Would you agree that musical theatre is the only art form that has always remained romantic? I have never heard or a realist musical or a stream of consciousness musical.
- Why do people describe John Rawls as an 'individualist' when his ideas seem to underly all of modern statism?
- Do you prefer the original Star Trek or The Next Generation?
- Duration: 37:13
- Download: MP3 Segment (12.8 MB)
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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].