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Answering Life’s Big Questions

Have you ever wondered whether there can be good without God? Does love require you to sacrifice for your partner? Should you follow your head or your emotions? Do you have free will? Life is full of such big questions, and we all need to grapple with them.

For Ayn Rand, finding answers to these important issues is the task of a field most people see as irrelevant to their lives: philosophy. Rand held that philosophy plays a crucial role in our lives — and called her own philosophy of Objectivism “a philosophy for living on earth.”

Philosophy for Living on Earth is the theme of the Ayn Rand Institute’s new free weekly webinar series. The series explores some of life’s big questions from Rand’s philosophical perspective. And it does so in an interactive way: during each webinar, the audience gets the invaluable chance to ask questions live, interact with ARI experts, and even propose topics for future webinars. Recent topics have included: “Should I go by reason or by faith?” “Can there be good without God?” “Does love require sacrifice?” “What is self-esteem, and how do I get it?” You can catch up on past webinars, below.

Upcoming topics include “What are rights and where do they come from?” by Harry Binswanger and “Isn’t everybody selfish?” by Gregory Salmieri.

Register today for the webinar series here. If you miss the live webcast, Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. Pacific, you can listen to recordings on the ARI Live! podcast or watch them here:

ARI’s Webinar Series: Philosophy for Living on Earth

Keith Lockitch puts the concept of “sacrifice” under the microscope and untangles common confusions about the intersection of self-interest and romantic love. Click here to view webinar.
Onkar Ghate challenges the idea that morality rests on an authority figure. He discusses how authoritarianism plagues both our religious and secular thinking about ethics. He also sketches an alternative approach to good and evil, one that treats morality as a this-worldly, ordinary, understandable form of knowledge. Click here to view webinar.
Is having self-esteem a good thing? Most people will say it’s part of living a good life. And we all know someone who lives with gnawing self-doubt, someone with little or no self-esteem at all. It really holds them back. But is self-esteem something anyone can attain, or is it just for the lucky few? And who can give it to you? Elan Journo explores these questions. Click here to view webinar.
What makes you who you are? Is it nature or nurture — or a bit of both? Or does that very way of framing the question leave out something very important, namely — you? Can you take credit for who you are? If so, how? We can’t and we don’t create ourselves out of nothing. Some people are born with advantages that other people don’t have. So, how can we take credit for our achievements? How can we be blamed for our crimes? Join Ben Bayer to explore one of life’s big questions: Can you take credit for who you are? Click here to view webinar.
If there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on today, it’s that selfishness is bad. From day one, we’ve been told, “Don’t be selfish” or “Selfishness is the root of all evil.” But what if the way we think about selfishness is completely wrong? Keith Lockitch explores Ayn Rand’s moral revolution and discusses her perspective on selfishness. Click here to view webinar.
All of us have experienced clashes between our thinking and our feelings — between our “head” and our “heart.” The question we seem to face, in any given clash, is: Which one to follow — “head” or “heart”? Aaron Smith discusses Ayn Rand’s perspective on this issue. Click here to view webinar.

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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LL.B. and LL.M., is a guest writer for the Ayn Rand Institute.

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