Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

30 September 2011

Two Videos on the Ethics and Politics of Nudity


In Sunday's Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed two questions on private and public nudity. Since people's views on this topic are often driven by religion, I thought that I'd post the videos of my answers here.

The first question was:

What's the proper approach to nudity? Should we all be nude all the time? Should nudity be saved for your lover only? Should children see their parents naked? Should we have clothing-optional get-togethers with friends? Basically, what is your view of the proper contexts for nudity?
Here's the video of my answer:
The second question was:
Do restrictions on nudity and sex visible to others violate rights? While having a zestful online debate, someone claimed that Ayn Rand contradicts herself in claiming that public nudity should be censored. (See "Thought Control" in The Ayn Rand Letter.) Since sex is a beautiful act, why should people be protected from it? Could a ban on visible pornography or sex be a slippery slope to other intrusions by government?
Here's the video of my answer:
If you like them, please share them! Also, all my webcast and other videos can be found on my YouTube channel.

My next live Rationally Selfish Webcast -- where I answer questions on practical ethics and living well -- will be on Sunday morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can submit and vote on questions, as well as watch the live webcast and join the chat, from www.RationallySelfish.com.

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:
  • Question 1: Fear of Death: Should death be feared? Why or why not? Also, why do most people fear death? How can a person overcome that, if ever?

  • Question 2: Using the Do Not Call Registry: Should the "Do Not Call" Registry exist? The National Do Not Call Registry was established in 2003, and it's run by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Is this legitimate? Does a person have a right not to be called by solicitors and other unwanted persons? Given that there was no real attempt to come up with a private, market-based solution for the issue of unwanted solicitations, was this a legitimate case of "market failure"? Should advocates of free markets put themselves on the "Do Not Call" list and/or report violators thereof? Why shouldn't a person just hang up?

  • Question 3: Genetic Influences on Thinking: Do our genes affect our reasoning? Evolution makes fruit taste sweet and burning human flesh smell awful. Presumably, evolution can hard wire pleasures and pains because interaction with that thing has caused our ancestors to live longer or die earlier. Wouldn't this same process make certain actions easier or more difficult, such as sacrificing yourself to save your child versus watching your child die? Couldn't evolution affect that decision by making focus more difficult, so that a person is easier impelled by his immediate emotions?

  • Question 4: The Morality of Selling Your Body: Is it moral to sell your body? Selling our bodies or certain parts of them are perfectly acceptable in our society, such as being an egg or sperm donor, being a pregnancy surrogate, or selling hair. But others are condemned, such as prostitution or selling organs. Where should the line be drawn? When is it moral to sell a part of oneself -- and why?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you're unable to attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as NoodleCast podcasts by subscribing in iTunes to either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format.


28 September 2011

Jesus or Jail = Violation of Church and State


Wow... Alabama Town Gives Offenders a Choice: Jesus or Jail:

Given the choice between jail and church, which would you choose?

The small southern Alabama town of Bay Minette is giving non-violent offenders a chance to pick between lockup and the Lord.

Beginning next week, Operation ROC (Restore Our Community) will have a city judge offer those found guilty of misdemeanors the choice between working off their offenses in jail and paying a fine or attending the church of their choice every week for a year. WKRG-TV in Mobile, Ala., reported 56 churches in North Baldwin County are participating in the program.
The mugger says: "Your money or your life!" The judge says, "Jail or Jesus!" Both are violations of rights.


27 September 2011

Go Marines!



The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at [Tulsa's biggest gay community center] Tuesday morning. Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.


02 September 2011

Video: Circumcision and Religious Freedom


In Sunday's Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed circumcision and religious freedom. Here's the video, now posted to YouTube:

If you like it, please share it! All my webcast and other videos can be found on my YouTube channel.


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