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

23 March 2012

Letter and Reply on Abortion Rights

By Diana Hsieh

The latest issue of The Objective Standard was recently posted online. In it, Ari Armstrong and I replied to a letter from Walter Hudson on our essay in defense of abortion rights. Hudson is a writer for PJ Media and the chair of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots.

For the full story, first read Ari's and my essay: The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties. Then read Hudson's letter and our reply: An Objective Case Against Abortion?

Hudson's letter begins:

The thing I most admire about Objectivism is its uncompromising affirmation of life. No other philosophy I have encountered consistently holds thriving human existence as its chief value. I was therefore disappointed to read Diana Hsieh and Ari Armstrong's argument for an alleged right to terminate the life of the unborn ("The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties," TOS, Winter 2011-2012).

In the interest of full disclosure, I confess that I am a Christian, and thus not an Objectivist. I nonetheless consider myself an advocate of Objectivism's prescriptions for civil society, and I am cognizant of the necessity for objective rational argument in the craft of public policy.
Our reply begins:
Walter Hudson's letter regarding our article neglects our central argument and relies on a faulty theory of rights.

Hudson rightly recognizes that the philosophy we subscribe to, Objectivism, entails an "uncompromising affirmation of life"; however, this must be understood in its proper context. Each individual properly acts to sustain and advance his own life, neither sacrificing himself to others nor others to himself. As concerns pregnancy, the key question is whether an embryo or fetus is a person with the same moral and legal rights as a born infant (in which case abortion is murder) or not (in which case abortion is a woman's right).
Now... go read the whole exchange: An Objective Case Against Abortion?

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21 March 2012

Islam Makes Women Invisible

By Diana Hsieh

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15 March 2012

Video: How an Atheist Should Respond to Offers of Prayers

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed offers of prayers for atheists. The question was:

What should I do when other people offer to pray for me? Sometimes my friends and family members offer to pray for me – whether because I've got some problem in my life or because they know that I'm an atheist. How should I respond?
My answer, in brief:
You should tailor your response to the context, but in most cases, you should be clear, firm, and kind in refusing the prayers of others.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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05 March 2012

Video: Responding to Requests for Prayers

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed requests for prayers. The question was:

What is the proper response of an atheist to requests for prayers? A relative of mine recently had surgery to have his appendix removed. I was asked by another relative to pray for the first relative, even though everyone in my family knows that I don't believe in God or the power of prayer. I tried to let it slide during the conversation, but she was insistent. How should I respond to such requests for prayers, particularly when I don't want to offend anyone or seem unconcerned?
My answer, in brief:
You should tailer your response to the context, but in most cases, you should be clear, firm, and kind in saying that you do not pray.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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02 March 2012

Sunday Webcast: Requests for Prayers

By Diana Hsieh

In my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll be answering a question on requests for prayers that might be of interest. The question is:

What is the proper response to requests for prayers? A relative of mine recently had surgery to have his appendix removed. I was asked by another relative to pray for the first relative, even though everyone in my family knows that I don't believe in God or the power of prayer. I tried to let it slide during the conversation, but she was insistent. How should I respond to such requests for prayers, particularly when I don't want to offend anyone or seem unconcerned?
Go to www.PhilosophyInAction.com on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET to watch me answer this question live and join in the text chat. If you're not able to join the live webcast, an audio recording of my answer will be posted in the webcast archives on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Be sure to check out the other questions on tap for this week's webcast too.

I'd love to hear your own answer to this question! Please feel free to post it in the comments.

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Webcast Video: Consent in Sex

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed consent in sex. The question was:

What constitutes consent in sex? Can a person give tacit consent by his or her actions? Is explicit consent required for some sex acts? Once consent has been given, when and how can a person withdraw that consent? Does the legal perspective on these questions differ from the moral perspective?
My answer, in brief:
To consent to sex requires communicating a willingness engaging in the act, whether by word or deed. Consent can be withdrawn at any point, and for the other person to ignore that constitutes sexual assault.
Here's the video of my full answer:
Warning: This video is loooong at 42 minutes. (It's a new record for me!)

If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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