In my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I’ll answer questions on the principle of sustainability, playing practical jokes on kids about Ewoks, donating sperm or eggs anonymously, revealing atheism to inquisitive strangers, and more. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we’ll apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous and happy lives!
- What: Live Philosophy in Action Webcast
- Who: Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy) and Greg Perkins
- When: Sunday, 4 December 2011 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
- Where: PhilosophyInAction.com
Here are the questions that I’ll answer this week:
- Question 1: The Principle of Sustainability: What’s wrong with the principle of sustainability? In the discussion of “sustainable agriculture” in your October 9th webcast, you didn’t explain the problem with the basic principle of the “sustainability movement,” namely “that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Doesn’t that just mean respecting rights? If not, what does it mean and why is it wrong?
- Question 2: Playing Practical Jokes on Kids about Ewoks: Should parents play practical jokes on their kids, such as pretending that Ewoks are real? As recounted in Wired, a father told his kids that Ewoks from Star Wars lived in the Sequoia National Forest. On their recent family vacation, they made a game of looking for these imaginary Ewoks. Afterwards, the father photoshopped a few Ewoks into the family vacation pictures. Are these kinds of deceptions harmless or are they bad parenting? The father said: “Maybe I’m a little wrong for lying to her and falsifying the pictures, but I don’t care. She’ll never forget the time she spent in the big woods with Ewoks.”
- Question 3: Donating Sperm or Eggs Anonymously: Is it moral to anonymously donate sperm or eggs, not knowing how the resulting children will be raised? Is the answer the same for donating fertilized embryos left over from an in vitro fertilization procedure, where the DNA is both yours and your spouse’s?
- Question 4: Revealing Atheism to Inquisitive Strangers: Should I reveal my atheism to strangers when asked? I work at a hospital. One night a patient asked me if I’m religious. I answered yes. He then asked me if I believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I answered yes. Then he took my hand and prayed for me. Immediately, I felt guilty, because I lied in answering these questions. In fact, I’m an atheist. The next day, I told the patient the truth, and he thanked me for my honesty. What should I have done in answering his original questions?
After that, we’ll do a round of totally impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”
If you can’t attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to the NoodleCast RSS feed:
- Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe in iTunes or your RSS reader
- Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe in iTunes or your RSS reader
You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive. Also, don’t forget to submit and vote on the questions that you’d most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.
I hope to see you on Sunday morning!