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

29 March 2013

Changing Minds on Gay Marriage: Sunday on Philosophy in Action Radio

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on replying to intrusive inquiries, changing minds on gay marriage, dealing with overzealous ideologues, buying from chinese companies, and more.

I thought that the question on changing minds on gay marriage might be of particular interest That question is:

How might social conservatives be convinced to support gay marriage? Rob Portman, a Republican Senator from Ohio, recently decided to openly support gay marriage after his son came out to him and his wife. What can be done to help other conservatives see gay marriage in a new light – as a matter of liberty and individual identity?
This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 31 March 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later.

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: Protecting Privacy, Gay Marriage, Chinese Goods, and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:


I hope you join us on Sunday morning!

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

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26 March 2013

Right to Your Body

By Diana Hsieh


It is wrong -- morally wrong -- for the government to demand that any person sacrifice him or herself, particularly for the sake of the non-conscious clump of cells that is an embryo or early fetus.

Anyone opposed to abortion is, in effect, opposed to the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for pregnant women.

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11 March 2013

Valuing Life Versus Inflicting Suffering

By Diana Hsieh

Here's a fascinating and horrifying story: "A surrogate's unimaginable dilemma." I wish that I could share a relevant tidbit, but alas, it's the kind of story that you just have to read from beginning to end... and it's very well-told.

(The story raises all kinds of thorny questions about abortion rights in the context of surrogacy, and I hope that someone submits a question on the topic to Philosophy in Action's queue.)

As a matter of morality, I think that to inflict a life of pain, suffering, and incapacity on a helpless infant is very wrong. The pregnancy could have been terminated when the abnormalities were discovered, and doing so would not have harmed any person or violated the rights of any person. That's because the fetus is not an independent person with rights or interests until born, as Ari Armstrong and I argued in our policy paper, The "Personhood" Movement Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception.

I value human life, deeply. I'm nothing but delighted by and supportive of people who value their future children while still in the womb. When a culture denies the value of human life -- as Nazi Germany did -- the results are horrifying.

Yet I cannot relate to people seek to "value life" by prolonging any form of existence by any means possible. Such people seem to value life in some kind of abstract or formalistic way, without regard for the kind of life lived, including the suffering inflicted by the attempts to sustain that life. That's not the way that a rational and responsible adult values life, in my view. It's emotional self-indulgence... or religious dogmatism... or duty ethics. Mostly, I think, it's nothing good.

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05 March 2013

Being an Atheist in a Religious School: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on being an atheist in a religious school. The question was:

How can an atheist teenager maintain his integrity in a religious school? A few years ago, I read Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time. After a year of struggling between faith and reason, I chose reason. Unfortunately, I am a teenager, and I am forced to attend church and a religious school. For a time, I was fine coexisting with religious people. However, in the next academic year, I will have to take a class entitled "Christian Apologetics" in which I will have to pretend to be a Christian theologian. Now my integrity is at stake. How should I confront my religious family about my atheism? How can I persuade them to enroll me a different school?

My Answer, In Brief: The student should talk to his parents, and then to his teacher, about what's required in the class and whether he can write papers that reflect his actual beliefs.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:


Tags: Academics, Atheism, Children, Communication, Education, Ethics, Integrity, Parenting, Religion
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on the value of happiness, being an atheist in a religious school, privacy from government intrusion, the wrong of incest between consenting adults, and more – is available here: Episode of 3 March 2013.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

Read more...

01 March 2013

Being an Atheist in a Religious School: Sunday on Philosophy in Action Radio

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on the value of happiness, being an atheist in a religious school, the value of privacy, incest between adults, and more.

I thought that the question on being an atheist in a religious school might be of particular interest That question is:

How can an atheist teenager maintain his integrity in a religious school? A few years ago, I read Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time. After a year of struggling between faith and reason, I chose reason. Unfortunately, I am a teenager, and I am forced to attend church and a religious school. For a time, I was fine coexisting with religious people. However, in the next academic year, I will have to take a class entitled "Christian Apologetics" in which I will have to pretend to be a Christian theologian. Now my integrity is at stake. How should I confront my religious family about my atheism? How can I persuade them to enroll me a different school?
This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 3 March 2013, in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can always listen to the podcast later.

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: Q&A: The Value of Happiness, Atheist Student, Privacy and More. It will be posted on Monday morning, if not sooner. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:


I hope you join us on Sunday morning!

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

Read more...

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