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Objectivism Q&A–December 2021

Mike Mazza, Aaron Smith, Sam Weaver

Presented at: New Ideal Live

Date: Dec 01, 2021

We asked for your questions about Objectivist philosophy and you submitted them. Join Aaron Smith, Mike Mazza, and Sam Weaver to discuss Objectivism's answers to questions about the value of physical health, the rationality of helping others, and moral relativism.

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Mike Mazza, Aaron Smith and Sam Weaver answer questions about Objectivism submitted by the podcast’s audience.

Among the topics covered:

  • How much should Objectivists value physical health, diet, and exercise?
  • The role of philosophical guidance vs. personal choice in valuing health;
  • Whether Ayn Rand's portrayal of the physique of her fictional characters has any philosophical significance;
  • Whether physical attractiveness is a valid goal to pursue;
  • Whether the potential of life-extension technology is relevant to the value of health;
  • Whether enjoyable activities that risk shortening one’s life span are rational.
  • Can values be objective if they depend on human evaluations?
  • Objectivism’s distinctive understanding of the concept “objective”;
  • The relevance of Ayn Rand’s “immortal robot” thought experiment.
  • When is aid to others rational?
  • Rational vs. emotionalistic reasons to help others;
  • The rationality of helping strangers out of good will;
  • How to introspect about one’s motivation helping others.

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essays “What Is Capitalism?” and “The Ethics of Emergencies” from her book The Virtue of Selfishness.

If you’d like to ask a question to be answered on a future episode, please send an email with “Podcast question” in the subject header to

0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:33 Objectivism on valuing physical health
0:02:00 Philosophy vs. personal choice
0:09:54 Physiques of Rand's fictional characters
0:14:03 Physical attractiveness as a goal
0:20:26 Life-extension technology
0:23:24 Enjoyable but risky activities
0:28:47 Objectivity of values
0:30:08 The concept "objective"
0:38:32 Rand's "immortal robot"
0:44:06 Rationally aiding other people
0:45:24 Rational vs. emotionalistic reasons
0:51:07 Helping strangers out of good will
0:54:59 Introspecting about helping others

Overview article available here


Parts: 1

Handout: none