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Grant

A baby's rights?

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Ok, I know what the objectivist stance on animal rights are. None.

But then why should a baby have rights?

The mind of a baby doesn't differ significantly from that of an animal. i.e. it hasn't developed reason or free-will.

Am interested to hear what Objectivism's stance on this is.

Thanks

Edited by Grant

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A baby has the capacity to reason. He has just not developed that capacity yet. This is different from an animal, who will never be able to reason because of his metaphysical nature. A baby does not have extended rights, like an adult does. For example, it obviously can't enter into a contract. Yet, it is recognized as having a right to its life because it will eventually develop the capacity to reason.

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The mind of a baby doesn't differ significantly from that of an animal. i.e. it hasn't developed reason or free-will.
You're denying the fundamental difference between man and beast. A beast will never develop reason, a baby will. Rights are not based on the actual, active proof of living by reason. You're falling into a common trap that confuses many people, regarding the nature of rights. I especially recommend reading The Virtue of Selfishness, to understand the Objectivist ethics. Rights are not an anarchic case-by-case concept, the notion of rights refers to a principle. Such principles have a specific function, namely identifying the "oughts" on the bases of the "is's". Most important is that these principles be very clear and objective -- meaning that any man with a faculty of reason can grasp the principle. The mind of a 5 year old also hasn't fully grasped the principles of reason, nor have the minds of quite a number of full-blown adults. As, I'm sure, you are well aware. Man has rights. That's a pretty simple identification that anyone can make.

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