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Easy Truth

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Easy Truth last won the day on April 15

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  1. Okay, a four-month-old has a right to his own life. The question is does that obligate you as a person who is NOT the father, the obligation to take care of the child? Why is that an issue? Because for the baby: freedom of action in a social context is limited to freedom to breathe and defecate at that point. There is no other action it can do to survive except be cute with its voice and smiles etc. So "to survive" for the child means, to make someone else "help" it survive. You may in fact take care of that child, but it is because you want to. I argue that it is not primarily because of some principle that is motivating you. It would be painful for you to see the child destroyed. Can you at least admit that your emotions will have a large influence on your decision in such a case? You use the phrase self-evident and I'm not sure why you say it as rights are not self-evident. So I must be misunderstanding something.
  2. And that is the hold-up. A four-month-old can't use his freedom to survive. The only argument I can see is the survival of species argument. Other than that you are invited to make the case. Also, you realize that a potential argument goes into abortion issues.
  3. Then how would you define the requirement to survive to mean? As far as the right to "not" be murdered, that is a requirement of a life worth living. I would rather emphasize that you and I have to figure that out, not objectivism. We have the tools based on objectivist thought, nevertheless, what is true, is what is true. The fundamental issue that I have a problem with is the fact that a right is a freedom of action to survive. Required freedom. But a 4-month-old given that freedom cannot survive. So the freedom to act rationally does not apply to a baby. Therefore a right to life for a baby ends up meaning surviving as long as its lungs and heart etc. work (meaning not interfering with its natural and bodily survival activity). But we want the child to be taken care of. In this case, rights apply to the caretakers or potential caretakers. Most humans will "make it work", pool their resources, or volunteer to help the child survive. Most humans want to protect that child. But that is deeply emotionally motivated. Now, is this an argument for an inherent value in helping the species survive? It sure looks like it. Is it also an argument that in some cases, emotions are in fact a tool of ethical determination i.e. cognition?
  4. It may or may not be. The only position that I have seen is that "In a general sense, Objectivists hold that children should be legally protected from abuse and from extremes of parental neglect. There is agreement also that by and large children should have more freedom to make choices as they grow up. " https://www.atlassociety.org/post/childrens-rights-ii#:~:text=Answer%3A In a general sense,choices as they grow up. But that does not go into the philosophical basis. That's your empathy basis. Suppose a parent were not empathetic with the child. Presumably the child still has a right not to be killed by the parent. So we ask: What are the bases of that right? Presumably, they should have that right. But then, any living thing may have that right. A rabbit for instance. But a child is a potential rational being. But more importantly, it will break one's heart for it to be some other way. .The murderer would have bad outcomes and being murdered is not what I want. My moral right stems from the fact that the "right" is beneficial to me and ALL like me. All who want to flourish. (not the suicidal ones). Having a right not to be murdered or stolen from or physically harmed stems from the fact that I need that "safety". And so do you, and so does everyone else.
  5. Proper governance, or morality, is actually of benefit. If we say murder is wrong, and then turn around and say "But in this case" it would benefit, something is not making sense. Why would murder be of benefit? Short term, it may remove an annoyance. But here we have to include a hierarchy of values that you brought up in another thread. Murder may not be a good example to support your argument. To kill without any defensive purpose is to lose opportunities with that person and to lose connection with trustable loving people. Who would want to be around a person that could kill without provocation? Any example brought of a "murder" that benefits is going to be contradictory. I would argue that morality is consequentialist in every case. In fact, it has to be. A morality that is not consequentialist is by definition ... purposeless.
  6. Descriptively speaking, a parent that loves their child will not kill their child. A parent that hates or fears their child might. If the child is evil to be of harm to everyone, like having a disease that will only go away if you kill the child, the parent or potentially vulnerable people should have the right to do so.
  7. I agree David but the issue of contract has to come up in order to illuminate the moral responsibilities that are NON-CONTRACTUAL. Like not murdering, or not committing fraud. These limitations to freedom of action are requirements to surviving without unnecessary conflict between individuals. They are not based on an agreement. But their acceptance is very likely if a formal agreement was necessary. As far as responsibility goes, morality is consequentialist. If you harm a child, the consequences are "bad for you in the long run", for it to be wrong. That has to be at the core of it. You bring up personal moral responsibility. Can you elaborate on that in this context?
  8. What I'm focusing on is the aspect of property where x belongs to y. Y is the owner. Y says this is mine, not yours. Maybe I should say "that which is owned" instead of property. after all, if you own it, it is yours. The phrase "you own it" also means, you are responsible for some aspect of "it". You are the manager, so you own the department. You own the problem means - deal with it. Your daughter is your daughter, not mine. When she behaves in a way that you think is improper, she is not free to do that ... even if I disagree. As it should be. She does not have all the rights that you do ... because she is not ready. But potentially, she is just like you, when it comes to your freedom of actions. At the core of your behaviors toward her is not that "she is an end in itself". It is "You love her". The fact that you want the best for her, or worry about her, etc. is not because you want to save the species or the country or do what your parents expect, it is because you love her. You want to do it. You are drawn to it. You are responsible for her and you benefit from her happiness. The consequence of you not doing things to her benefit is that you will be hurt. If someone hurts her, it will hurt you. It's simple as that. "You're rights" in regards to her being infringed on. She is being hurt as a potential entity that deserves the same rights as you. But right now, she does not deserve all the rights. So she should not have her hand slapped by a stranger for no reason. Why? Because I would not want to be in her place. It's decency in that sense that requires it. One can make lofty abstract reasons like society would not flourish if we allow harm to come to children, but in terms of immediate reaction, it's empathy, it's indignation, it is anger, and pity and love toward helpless children that is the motive. Rights are a requirement for an "individual", at this point, I think it means a potentially rational entity. (which includes us and children).
  9. Agreed, but is this the gist of the argument regarding abandoning your responsibility in a disorderly way ... that it will cause harm to your neighbor? Then I would say the question is around the nature of "individual" in this context. Is a child a potential individual or an individual? Is the child an entity that should have the rights of an adult because it is potentially an adult? If so, one should say, the purpose of government is the protect the rights of individuals and potential individuals. In libertarian though a child is chattel as far as I understand. In objectivism, I have missed it addressed in sufficient detail. But I will stick to my original argument ... that if children are not protected, it will make you sick, emotionally that is.
  10. Why is that the "proper" concern of the government? In other words, the population would agree to such an arrangement, but what is the principle behind it, David?
  11. I agree, but is it simply because children are an end in themselves that justifies the enforcement? What happens when this line of argument is used to justify forced taxation to enforce these protections? There is a value to such protections for children. The child would appreciate it, in hindsight when he or she understands. But the caretaker, the lover understands ... NOW! And that is my point. Their ability to ultimately enforce such a right exists right now. The child does not have that ability.
  12. The complication is around children, not adults. No. No. No. No.
  13. I hold that it should not be possible to torture an innocent child at any age. If you are on an island with multiple children and you see one wants to and will eventually kill another child, or maybe kill you when you are asleep, barring no other alternatives, you may have to kill the child. But if you ask me why should an innocent child "not be harmed", I would not say it is because of the trader principle, or even that if we did that the human species would not survive. I would say it because it is disgusting to me. But I would like to have a clear argument that encapsulates "why", that is devoid of emotional attachment. I would not want to be in the child's shoes, completely abandoned and defenseless. It is empathy, or perhaps the golden rule. It is to my benefit that I live in a world where people take into consideration how it affects others. They would take me into consideration too. That is the only argument I can think of right now. As far as a repudiation of responsibility, kind of like "falling out of love". If there is no agreement, the agreement rule (contracts) can't be used. So you fell in love, and now you feel differently. When you fell in love, you promised yourself you would treat the person a certain way. Now you feel differently. Well, it will hurt the other person. Again the responsibility should be based on the consequences. If you walk away, what is the return on investment, what will you lose or gain, and what is to your benefit? If so, then the child's rights become secondary. Descriptively, they have no say, no control, no leverage except for the pain you would feel if you did abandon them. I would say, they should not be abandoned because it would bother me. It feels bad. I don't like it.
  14. A form of property can be many things. You can own a house outright, or you can rent it. It is your property in both cases. One is temporary with more restrictions than the other. I am not speaking legally, simply the issue of ownership as in possession, belonging. Your life belongs to you. A consciousness that can create (a suitable life) and requires certain freedoms to do that. That goes for anyone that wants to live, amongst other humans. "Can you dispose of it (kill it) as you wish? ", descriptively (as in not morally), yes you can. You are bigger, stronger and you can abandon. But should you? If you love the child it is not to your benefit. The answer is easily "no". I can argue that the child's right to live is the right of any human to live. In this case, an eventual adult's right. But it is not an adult. So when does a potential adult gain rights? Indeed, a child should not have the right to drive a car at 4 years old. Why? Because it will likely hurt someone (or itself). But the desire to protect a child from hurting itself comes from the love and interest of adults around it. A child has some basic understanding of what rights are in the sense that it knows what belongs to it or not. It might be able to respect boundaries. The right to self-governance is given to it by adults ... slowly. But the fact is that children are cute. One feels empathy, compassion, etc. Some objectivists will bring up the "trader principle" as the reason for their value. I can see that as an attempt to ignore the emotional reasons. But the caretakers are the possessors, the lovers, the protectors... as if protecting their own property—that which is theirs.
  15. And 1. My child implies ownership. Not yours, not ours, but "mine", belonging to me. That is the property right I am talking about. It exists in every culture. When the communists went against that, that your children do not belong to you, they lost a lot of support. 2. As to deliberateness, I wanted the child, I created it, I love it, so I will do everything in my power to help it grow, etc. No duty, just love, and desire. I assume the case you are talking about is they wanted ... and then they changed their mind. This is certainly "bad" for the child. The implication is "You wanted it, you are responsible for it". But descriptively, we walk away from things. It is only in the case of breach of contract or fraud that it is when this action( walking away) is "not allowed". So I tend to think that proponents of this responsibility see a sort of contract in place. Now, I would be empathetically hurt since I would not want to be in the place of that child. That kind of pain should not exist in this world. I would be disgusted at parents who do that. But let us say, I see a couple that does not want the child, starve it, beat it, while I love the child, do I have the right to grab the child and run? I think in a certain way ... I do. I can't define it yet, but where there are no police, I would take the kid and run and explain myself when I absolutely have to. This is where I say it's emotional. And I am okay with the fact that my reasoning is emotional.
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