Philosophy In Action

Every Sunday morning, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh answers your questions on the principles for living a happy, virtuous, and free life in her live Philosophy In Action Webcast. It's at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at http://www.PhilosophyInAction.com. Submit your questions here!
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4 votes Vote

Could nineteenth-century contract laborers consent to their employers' use of violence on them?

During the nineteenth century, it was commonly understood among Asian contract laborers in Hawaii's sugar cane fields that they could be whipped by supervisors if they worked too slowly. Did the contract laborers therefore tacitly consent to the...
legendre007, 05.01.2014, 08:55
0 comments
4 votes Vote

Do artists deserve royalties from unique works with every sale?

Every time a copyrighted book is purchased, the copyright holder receives some royalties for that. The same applies to recordings of music and other intellectual property. However, if an artist sells a painting, no matter the future value of...
Sajid Anjum, 30.06.2014, 10:24
1 comment
4 votes Vote

Does ethical egoism discourage reconciliation after a dispute?

I believe in ethical egoism, and I think humans can validly achieve certainty in their convictions. I don't think people should apologize for their virtues or for being right. I think ethical egoists who believe in rational certainty tend to come...
legendre007, 12.07.2014, 04:03
0 comments
4 votes Vote

Does the "political spectrum" have any validity?

Typically, when I admit my capitalist views people think of and call me a "far right-wing'er." This bothered me for quite some time because I am an openly bisexual man and the right is so closely associated with theocracy and anti-gay views....
Chris , 10.10.2014, 03:30
0 comments
4 votes Vote

Why do socialists hate the market yet use it for their needs?

Socialists have to eat, wear clothes, stay warm in the winter, use transportation, etc., like everyone else. They could live in public housing, use public transit, and get health care supplied by the state. But for their other goods and services,...
Mark Plus, 31.10.2014, 09:12
1 comment
4 votes Vote

What's the value of hierarchical organizations?

One of the main goals of socialists is to abolish hierarchy. They seek to do this by abolishing capitalism, which they see as inherently hierarchical. Advocates of free markets have pointed out, however, that it is perfectly possible for a...
Adam, 28.01.2015, 03:20
0 comments
4 votes Vote

Should I respond to an "Earth Hour" company email?

Every year my company's HR department sends out an email telling us to turn everything off and share stories about "the amazing things... (we)... get up to... saving the planet." I feel like I should respond -- to at least offer an alternative...
Jonathan, 24.03.2015, 20:24
1 comment
3 votes Vote

Does government welfare protect people against theft and violence by the poor?

If government welfare were abolished, the poor would have to fend for themselves. Granted, some would finally start working, but others would likely resort to theft and violence. So isn't welfare in the interests of the middle and upper classes,...
Anonymous, 28.08.2012, 19:34
0 comments
3 votes Vote

How can I make up for my being accidentally rude for years to a friend?

I recently discovered that my friend hates the nickname that I've used for him for years. I feel really bad about that, but I also wish he'd spoken up sooner. What should I do now? Should I apologize -- or just stop using the nickname?
Anonymous, 28.08.2012, 19:49
-1 comment
3 votes Vote

What's wrong with campaign finance disclosure laws?

I understand that people should be able to donate to whatever political campaigns they see fit, but what's the problem with campaign finance disclosure laws? Aren't transparency and accountability genuine values for voters in today's complex...
Anonymous, 12.09.2012, 13:53
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Should I refuse to be the beneficiary of racism or sexism?

When reviewing my job position file, I realized that my job could only be filled by a white female. I'd already planned to leave that job, but imagine that I'd planned to stay. In that case, what should I have done? Should I have left the job...
Kristen Howell, 01.02.2013, 09:48
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Should soldiers be subject to punishment via the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

Via the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the military can dole out discipline in the same ways as ordinary employers -- such as via loss of pay, suspension, firing, and so on. In addition, it can prosecute and punish behavior in military...
Kyle Serrecchia, 02.06.2013, 11:32
0 comments
3 votes Vote

What human qualities count at metaphysical versus the man-made?

Many human qualities -- including simple ones such as handedness -- seem to be influenced by a person's genetic makeup. Often, such qualities develop substantially before the person can make conscious choices. In the case of handedness, every...
Tili, 08.01.2014, 01:49
0 comments
3 votes Vote

How can I create more realistic expectations about the trajectory of my job?

I've really only worked for two companies in my 15 years of work experience and I am presently on the hunt for a new job. In both cases, my job hunt has been initiated by the simple fact that I'm long past my breaking point in terms of being...
Plain Tired, 30.05.2014, 14:15
0 comments
3 votes Vote

What is moral character?

In "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics," Tara Smith describes moral character as an aspect of human action, as a sort of averaging of the type of actions someone performs. In contrast, most Aristoteleans regard moral character as an aspect of the person...
Adam, 12.09.2014, 02:38
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Does justice require proportionality?

The maxim that "the punishment should fit the crime" tends to go unquestioned in discussions of retributive justice. Those discussions often revolve around whether a particular punishment is proportional or not, rather than taking a step back and...
Adam, 25.09.2014, 01:25
0 comments
3 votes Vote

What counts as a fair book review?

Independent authors who publish their books on their own to Amazon owe much of their success or lack thereof to the star ratings given on their work. Higher average star ratings make their work appear in featured areas of the site and appear...
Trey, 28.10.2014, 10:11
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Is it hypocritical to manufacture products based on wrong ideas?

I work in CNC manufacturing (computer numerical control), and I recently purchased one of our machines in order to start a side business as a craftsman. Many immediate family members, for instance, would be interested in personalized home...
Ryan Babcock, 11.01.2015, 09:12
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Should I trust the medical profession more?

I suffer from a serious chronic disease. I have become extremely dismayed both at how limited medicine is in its ability to help me and how consistently wrong the doctors I've consulted have been about everything they've ever said. I have come to...
Brian Gates, 12.01.2015, 20:00
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Is the existence of a prison system congruent with a free and just society?

Prisons are seen as a kind of "criminal holiday resort" by some and by others as a sort of criminal "training center." Prisons help criminals network, harden their character, and learn new crime skills. In addition, the prison system has grown up...
Adam, 20.01.2015, 02:23
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Are the religious freedoms of Christian bakers being infringed?

Over the past year, the news has been inundated with stories about Christian bakery owners refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings. These bakers are defended by the Christian right for exercising their "religious liberty" and decried by the...
Zak Szalewski, 26.01.2015, 09:50
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Why do you think men have dominated societies throughout most of history?

The obvious answer to that question is that men are physically stronger, therefore they have been able to take and keep political and intellectual control. But I wonder if there other factors that have also contributed, such as psychological...
NathanSmith, 09.06.2015, 22:37
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Can I help my family deal with their grief over the death of my nephew?

My teenage nephew passed away six months ago. He was murdered at a party by someone who crashed it, someone who he had never met before. It was unexpected, and there are a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of anger towards the boy who did it....
Anonymous, 12.04.2015, 18:49
0 comments
3 votes Vote

What is the harm of granting unearned forgiveness?

Some people are too forgiving. For example, some religions preach that people should forgive a cheating or abusive spouse or forgive a deadbeat sibling who has stolen money from the family -- and many people do just that. I have even seen some...
Carrie, 29.04.2015, 11:54
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Do doctors deserve our trust?

It seems that the majority of doctors are extremely second-handed today. Their attitudes toward medicine revolve around what they were taught in school and the edicts of the FDA.They have almost no intellectual independence and would be paralyzed...
Brian Gates, 08.07.2015, 18:05
0 comments
2 votes Vote

Is social morality objective and enforceable by government?

Are "right" and "wrong" and "good" and "bad" enforceable objective standards or subjective preferences? If they are objective, what is the most effective means of social enforcement? If they are subjective, should we then encourage unrestrained...
Arthur Russell, 02.10.2012, 07:34
0 comments
2 votes Vote

Is religion is necessary because otherwise people would be free to do evil?

Theists often argue that religion is the way that people's behavior can be governed. Without it people would be free to do as they wish. One statement of this idea is in The Brothers Karamozov--if God is dead then everything is permitted. Is...
Bill Perry, 17.12.2011, 07:57
2 comments
2 votes Vote

Should abortion be left to the states?

Many people -- some for abortion rights and some against abortion rights -- think that abortion laws should be decided by each state, rather than dictated by the federal government. People mostly argue for that view on the grounds that the right...
Anonymous, 12.09.2012, 13:04
1 comment
2 votes Vote

If evolution is true, how can homosexuality be genetic?

According to evolutionary theory, shouldn't we be seeing a sharp decrease in homosexuality if such is genetic? Reproduction of any "gay genes" is only possible if gays act against their natures, which fewer gays seem to be doing these days....
Jacob, 29.01.2013, 20:17
2 comments
2 votes Vote

Shouldn't egoism be limited to protect others from harm?

You advocate an egoistic ethics, according to which people should always act in their self-interest. However, isn't such egoism dangerous if unchecked? Wouldn't the egoist cheat, manipulate, and even murder others in order to get what he wants?...
Anonymous, 06.02.2013, 21:50
0 comments

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