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"Rights" of disabled individuals

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Ishinho
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After I read this thread I started to really think whether I would actually voluntarily help the disabled. The conclusion was that personally I would probably be much more inclined to help someone that is physically handicapped than someone that is mentally handicapped. I value the human mind more than any other human attribute, and I just don't see the point of paying to keep someone who is incapable reasoning for himself alive. Autism -- maybe. Sever mental retardation -- probably not.

Either way though I would prefer to help someone that I know personally than giving money to random stranger who happens to be disabled.

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I agree with you there Moebius. In fact I was once asked to donate to IHC, a charity here that looks after mentally disabled people - and they couldnt provide me with any reason why I should donate, which is apparently pretty typical.

Now, I am not saying that there could not be any - if the disability was more minor and they were still capable of producing something of value I might donate money to help that person. However in general I would not donate.

The same goes for physical disability, I would be more inclined to help certain individuals or maybe specific groups if a good argument was made. But in general I dont donate as I dont know who the hell my money goes towards helping, it might help someone I dont have any particular care for. Its not that I am cruel, but if I am going to help the disabled I prefer that it helps those that I have reasonable expectation of something that might be of some interest (even perhaps to a small extent) to me in the future.

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Anyway, my mother is quite the reverse of the sort you might respect DragonMaci. She seems to feel that she has some duty to look after him, even though Im pretty sure he annoys the hell out of her (he is really emotional and extremely violent at times), and when he is over, he is just in his room all the time. Its crazy when parents feel such an obligiation for such kids, when really they have no genuine wish to have anything to do with them.

While I support parents looking after their physically/mentally disabled kids if they value them (and there are many good reasons why this might be the case, depending on the nature/severity of the case) I hate it when its conducted due to obligation.

So if parents do not look after their disabled kids, then who will? The government? You? Me? The notion of adulthood and the point at which parents stop looking after their kids is a subjective benchmark set at 18. Granted, collectivism aside there has to be some point at which a person has the legal right to be free of their parents if necessary (though that option exists earlier via emancipation or court intervention when parents are abusive). We all know there are some 16 year olds who are more capable of taking care of themselves than some 20 year olds. Thankfully, in custody disputes, for instance, judges recognize this to some extent by basing decisions on minors' input, depending on their individual level of maturity and understanding of the case.

That said, at age 37 I turn to my parents for advice all the time (and they turn to me too). They still look after me in that they are very much a part of my life and do not wish to see the person they chose to bring into the world fall flat on his face. This is back to personal responsibility and the nature of origin - even in adulthood, I am a person they chose to impose upon the world.

I am certain that we will still be caring for my daughter in some form even into her adulthood, depending on a lot of things such as how much independence she can achieve, technology in the next decade or two and whatever personal relationships she develops that would relieve us of some of that responsibility.

What it comes down to is origin, as well as cause and effect. We chose to bring our daughter into the world, and created a human being with her own mind and all the things that come with it, like emotions, pain, etc. And this decision involves significant risks that are ours to bear. Therefore we are responsible for ensuring, as much as is reasonably within our power, that she be well cared for even into adulthood. She did not choose to be disabled, where we, on the other hand, chose to create her.

It's sad that your mother feels the way she does. But without sounding cold hopefully, I can conclude only that it's her responsibility, whether she likes it or not, until such time she finds someone else who chooses to assume it.

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DM has a good point in that without government intervention there would be less disabilities. Not just for the reasons he gives ,but because the system as it is now in NZ at least trivilizes disability. People feel that if it happens, well they are ensured of care without any effort on their half, so so what if it happens ? Take more risks, do stupid things that might result in disability!

This is not necessarily true. Many disabilities are caused because of genetics, environmental factors or just plain accidents. Government has no role, for instance, when someone accidentally backs up their car and runs a pedestrian over, causing spinal injuries that can be everything from painful to immobilizing.

Strong tort liability for accidents (including jail) such as balcony collapses or running a red light can be strong deterrents to neglect. You want people to walk on it? Then you better not hurt them! Get behind the wheel? Don't drive like a jackass! Screw up and you pay the price. It's personal responsibility and accountability. This is possible if government gets out of the way and stops protecting corporations by absolving them of responsibilities.

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So if parents do not look after their disabled kids, then who will? The government? You? Me? The notion of adulthood and the point at which parents stop looking after their kids is a subjective benchmark set at 18. Granted, collectivism aside there has to be some point at which a person has the legal right to be free of their parents if necessary (though that option exists earlier via emancipation or court intervention when parents are abusive). We all know there are some 16 year olds who are more capable of taking care of themselves than some 20 year olds. Thankfully, in custody disputes, for instance, judges recognize this to some extent by basing decisions on minors' input, depending on their individual level of maturity and understanding of the case.

That said, at age 37 I turn to my parents for advice all the time (and they turn to me too). They still look after me in that they are very much a part of my life and do not wish to see the person they chose to bring into the world fall flat on his face. This is back to personal responsibility and the nature of origin - even in adulthood, I am a person they chose to impose upon the world.

I am certain that we will still be caring for my daughter in some form even into her adulthood, depending on a lot of things such as how much independence she can achieve, technology in the next decade or two and whatever personal relationships she develops that would relieve us of some of that responsibility.

What it comes down to is origin, as well as cause and effect. We chose to bring our daughter into the world, and created a human being with her own mind and all the things that come with it, like emotions, pain, etc. And this decision involves significant risks that are ours to bear. Therefore we are responsible for ensuring, as much as is reasonably within our power, that she be well cared for even into adulthood. She did not choose to be disabled, where we, on the other hand, chose to create her.

It's sad that your mother feels the way she does. But without sounding cold hopefully, I can conclude only that it's her responsibility, whether she likes it or not, until such time she finds someone else who chooses to assume it.

I dont mean to imply that if parents dont do it that the government should, or that anyone should be forced to do it. I agree that what you seem to be saying that it is often sad when parents dont choose to do choose to help out their disabled children. However my point was that if they don't want to I dont see why they should feel obliged to do it.

There are charitable organizations here that can help them out in at least some cases, especially mentally retarded people. Though it can be difficult to find them, and the standard of care can be bad. It would be a lot better if the government wasnt involved in any way.

Its not like my mother doesnt have options..she could choose not to see him every second weekend I am quite sure. I am not aware of anything that mandates her having him that often. I think it would be unfair on him if she NEVER saw him, but since he is such a hassle, I question whether every second weekend is a good idea.

I do know that there is no way she could handle him on a more permanent basis, t hat is why he lives in a home for mentally retarded people.

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This is not necessarily true. Many disabilities are caused because of genetics, environmental factors or just plain accidents. Government has no role, for instance, when someone accidentally backs up their car and runs a pedestrian over, causing spinal injuries that can be everything from painful to immobilizing.

Strong tort liability for accidents (including jail) such as balcony collapses or running a red light can be strong deterrents to neglect. You want people to walk on it? Then you better not hurt them! Get behind the wheel? Don't drive like a jackass! Screw up and you pay the price. It's personal responsibility and accountability. This is possible if government gets out of the way and stops protecting corporations by absolving them of responsibilities.

I know, not all disabilities are caused that way, Im just saying that SOME, and I think far too many have that as a major factor. Clearly the government has no control over the majority of disabilities, including the genetically caused ones. And accidents are always going to happen in the best of worlds.

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What it comes down to is origin, as well as cause and effect. We chose to bring our daughter into the world, and created a human being with her own mind and all the things that come with it, like emotions, pain, etc. And this decision involves significant risks that are ours to bear. Therefore we are responsible for ensuring, as much as is reasonably within our power, that she be well cared for even into adulthood. She did not choose to be disabled, where we, on the other hand, chose to create her.

What about unplanned pregnancies? Do you think the parents have the same obligation towards a unplanned child? What about adoptions?

It's sad that your mother feels the way she does. But without sounding cold hopefully, I can conclude only that it's her responsibility, whether she likes it or not, until such time she finds someone else who chooses to assume it.

That sounds to me like a form of slavery. Her life is her life, not her son's.

This is not necessarily true. Many disabilities are caused because of genetics, environmental factors or just plain accidents. Government has no role, for instance, when someone accidentally backs up their car and runs a pedestrian over, causing spinal injuries that can be everything from painful to immobilizing.

No, what I say is true. With safer equipment and venues less accidents happen and history proves that companies and people with more money can afford safer equipment and venues. And history proves government interference means less money in people's hands. Therefore my statement that less government interference equals less disabilities is true because less government interference equals more money in people's hands, which in turn equals safer equipment. Safer equipment equals less accidents, which in turn equals fewer disabilities. Your point that the government has no role in those things is true, but irrelevant to my point.

Strong tort liability for accidents (including jail) such as balcony collapses or running a red light can be strong deterrents to neglect.

I am not talking about less negligence, though that would happen too. I am talking improvement of already non-neglectful standards. Even with the best of standards and equipment accidents happen.

You want people to walk on it? Then you better not hurt them! Get behind the wheel? Don't drive like a jackass! Screw up and you pay the price. It's personal responsibility and accountability.

Yes, but even with ressponsible people accidents can happen and better equipment and venues will reduce those accidents.

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For example, my daughter is the youngest person, and the first child, to pass the drive test and clinical evaluation for the iBot wheelchair. Invented by Segway creator and engineer Dean Kamen, it is powered by three computers and six gyroscopes. It can climb stairs, go up and down curbs and traverse uneven surfaces such as dirt, grass, sand and gravel. It can also go into a vertical position so that it user can be at eye level with people who stand or can reach items on higher store shelves. We're awaiting to find out how much our private insurance will pay and then we'll borrow or raise the rest.

I saw Dean Kamen demonstrating the iBot 6 ot 7 years ago. It is really an incredible piece of machinery. Seeing the iBot made the Segway a big let down because it isn't nearly as cool or impressive.

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What about unplanned pregnancies? Do you think the parents have the same obligation towards a unplanned child? What about adoptions?

That sounds to me like a form of slavery. Her life is her life, not her son's.

It's not slavery because slavery is involuntary servitude. It is voluntary because having a child is a choice. You don't have to have a child. You don't have to have sex, which, when doing so, you know there is always the risk of pregnancy - or worse. An unplanned pregnancy is really an unwanted pregnancy. Except in cases of insurance fraud or suicide, car accidents aren't planned either. But they are unwanted. Nonetheless, the owner of the vehicle at fault or the driver is responsible. Why? Because it is the consequence of an action, regardless of whether it is planned or not. Those consequences could include losing a lawsuit and having to pay a judgment or settlement, even if it means attaching wages - or in the case of a woman that hit my wife, restitution that the probation department required she pay us for costs not covered by insurance. She was held accountable for an action no doubt she did not plan, but was nonetheless responsible for. But when she got behind the wheel, she assumed the risk. The same goes with having sex.

Adoption is fine. Actually, it's great. If you can't take good care of a child or can't provide what you feel a child deserves, it is very noble to allow one of the many willing couples who either can't have children and want one, or who want to find happiness in taking care of a disabled child, to adopt. I know there are some people who think that's ducking the responsibility, but it's not. Giving your child to a good home fulfills the parents' responsibility to ensure it is cared for.

It is about owning up to the consequences of one's actions and being accountable for personal responsibility. It is irresponsible to choose to create another human being and then throw it out with the trash to fend for itself. Parents are obligated to be accountable for their actions, and take responsibility by caring for their children or seeing to it that someone else does voluntarily.

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I saw Dean Kamen demonstrating the iBot 6 ot 7 years ago. It is really an incredible piece of machinery. Seeing the iBot made the Segway a big let down because it isn't nearly as cool or impressive.

It is even more incredible now because they are on their second consumer model and fourth model after the prototype. It's not as bulky anymore, it responds faster and in the four-wheel-drive mode it can turn on a time. You can literally spin around in place without occupying anymore footprint or having to move because it is also more precise. The bugs or quirks in the older models are being worked out.

It's so curious how some people with disabilities react when they find out they can raise themselves up so they can sit at a bar (and you can't tip it over when it's standing). Their response is that the bar should be lowered so you can access it sitting down. Ok, but why not let my daughter stand?

I think they're just pissed that iBots cost $23,000 to $26,000. They don't get that freedom isn't free.

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It's not slavery because slavery is involuntary servitude. It is voluntary because having a child is a choice. You don't have to have a child. You don't have to have sex, which, when doing so, you know there is always the risk of pregnancy - or worse. An unplanned pregnancy is really an unwanted pregnancy. Except in cases of insurance fraud or suicide, car accidents aren't planned either. But they are unwanted. Nonetheless, the owner of the vehicle at fault or the driver is responsible. Why? Because it is the consequence of an action, regardless of whether it is planned or not. Those consequences could include losing a lawsuit and having to pay a judgment or settlement, even if it means attaching wages - or in the case of a woman that hit my wife, restitution that the probation department required she pay us for costs not covered by insurance. She was held accountable for an action no doubt she did not plan, but was nonetheless responsible for. But when she got behind the wheel, she assumed the risk. The same goes with having sex.

Adoption is fine. Actually, it's great. If you can't take good care of a child or can't provide what you feel a child deserves, it is very noble to allow one of the many willing couples who either can't have children and want one, or who want to find happiness in taking care of a disabled child, to adopt. I know there are some people who think that's ducking the responsibility, but it's not. Giving your child to a good home fulfills the parents' responsibility to ensure it is cared for.

It is about owning up to the consequences of one's actions and being accountable for personal responsibility. It is irresponsible to choose to create another human being and then throw it out with the trash to fend for itself. Parents are obligated to be accountable for their actions, and take responsibility by caring for their children or seeing to it that someone else does voluntarily.

I agree with you. Unplanned pregnancies are simply accidents, but hopefully with more joy in the initial process than an auto wreck. But in both cases equally, the people involved must live up to their responsibilities. In my opinion, the fact that two people created another by accident, as opposed to planning, does not alter their responsibility to care for the child. This is one area where I agree with the way the law is written (in my state - Illinois). Regardless of the marital status of mom and dad, both parents are legally responsible for the child's welfare, which often means financial responsibility. The right to assistance belongs to the child, not the custodial parent.

Adoption is no different than a planned pregnancy because I have never heard of someone accidentally adopting a child. It is a thoroughly planned process. The reponsibility for the child's welfare is the same.

I think these principles are in accord with what I understand Objectivism to be; i.e., you are responsible for the consequences of your actions, whether it is by accident or on purpose. Some actions simply involve greater consequences and responsibility than others.

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It's not slavery because slavery is involuntary servitude. It is voluntary because having a child is a choice. You don't have to have a child. You don't have to have sex, which, when doing so, you know there is always the risk of pregnancy - or worse. An unplanned pregnancy is really an unwanted pregnancy. Except in cases of insurance fraud or suicide, car accidents aren't planned either. But they are unwanted. Nonetheless, the owner of the vehicle at fault or the driver is responsible. Why? Because it is the consequence of an action, regardless of whether it is planned or not. Those consequences could include losing a lawsuit and having to pay a judgment or settlement, even if it means attaching wages - or in the case of a woman that hit my wife, restitution that the probation department required she pay us for costs not covered by insurance. She was held accountable for an action no doubt she did not plan, but was nonetheless responsible for. But when she got behind the wheel, she assumed the risk. The same goes with having sex.

What about a car crash that is due to a mechanical fault in the car not an error of the driver? Should the driver then have to pay for the damage to your car? And what if a couple take preventative measure, such as condoms, and she still gets pregnant?

Adoption is fine. Actually, it's great. If you can't take good care of a child or can't provide what you feel a child deserves, it is very noble to allow one of the many willing couples who either can't have children and want one, or who want to find happiness in taking care of a disabled child, to adopt. I know there are some people who think that's ducking the responsibility, but it's not. Giving your child to a good home fulfills the parents' responsibility to ensure it is cared for.

What if they can afford the child but don't want it so give it to an adoption agency? Is that okay?

It is about owning up to the consequences of one's actions and being accountable for personal responsibility. It is irresponsible to choose to create another human being and then throw it out with the trash to fend for itself.

No one is talking about doing that. I was saying Dwayne's mum shouldn't feel an obligation to see him when she can't stand him and he is cared for by a home for mentally disabled people. He doesn't need her to care for him; the home does it. So Dwayne's mum should feel no obligation to see his brother every two weeks, especially when he just makes her miserable with his behaviour and she gets nothing from it in return.

Parents are obligated to be accountable for their actions, and take responsibility by caring for their children or seeing to it that someone else does voluntarily.

That last part is why I say she has no obligation to see him; she has seen to it that someone else voluntarily cares for him.

I agree with you. Unplanned pregnancies are simply accidents, but hopefully with more joy in the initial process than an auto wreck. But in both cases equally, the people involved must live up to their responsibilities. In my opinion, the fact that two people created another by accident, as opposed to planning, does not alter their responsibility to care for the child.

So, in other words, the failure of contraceptives gives them a responsibility to the child? I disagree with that if that is what you were saying? In such a situation they have no more responsibility to the child than a driver does to pay for the damage caused to your car by their car having a technical fault.

This is one area where I agree with the way the law is written (in my state - Illinois). Regardless of the marital status of mom and dad, both parents are legally responsible for the child's welfare, which often means financial responsibility. The right to assistance belongs to the child, not the custodial parent.

My father was never really there for me or my sister when we were kids, neither finacially nor any other way. But I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is that he has come back now and is trying to buy his way out of his feeling of guilt by giving us money. I just told him not to bother with me.

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Unplanned pregnancies are simply accidents, ...
It isn't clear to me why unplanned pregnancies are relevant, unless the term is being used to mean "unplanned live births".

So, in other words, the failure of contraceptives gives them a responsibility to the child? I disagree with that if that is what you were saying?
The failure of contraceptives does not result in children. So, I think this particular sub-topic should either be discontinued or pursued in one of the "abortion" topics.
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Absolutely, it IS the driver's fault because they failed to properly maintain their car.

I think he might be referring to a manufacturer's defect that was unknown to the owner/driver. That's certainly possible and would have nothing to do with the owner failing to maintain the vehicle.

Exploding Pintos for example.

Edited by RationalBiker
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What about a car crash that is due to a mechanical fault in the car not an error of the driver? Should the driver then have to pay for the damage to your car? And what if a couple take preventative measure, such as condoms, and she still gets pregnant?

Parties that are involved in car accidents are entitled to damages from whoever caused the wreck. If a driver's error caused it, then he is at fault. If a mechanical fault that was known by a manufacturer, and should have been corrected, caused it, then the manufacturer can be found at fault and held liable by the courts. If it was a mechanical fault caused by vehicle wear or by a vehicle owner's failure to properly maintain his vehicle, then it is his fault. Generally, the owners and operators of vehicles assume responsibility for the consequences of operating the vehicles because their choosing to make them available or to operate them increases the risk that an adverse consequence can occur. Risks are assumed by everyone at every level and in accordance to their roles in every activity.

If a couple takes a preventive measure they are still responsible because preventive measures have a known risk of failure. The risk is still the same - pregnancy or disease can result. The risk changes when preventive measures are taken, but nonetheless some risks remain. Therefore, the responsibilities remain.

What if they can afford the child but don't want it so give it to an adoption agency? Is that okay?

Absolutely! Anyone who doesn't want to have children shouldn't have them because that can affect the quality of the child's life, and it is not necessary to keep the child in order to fulfill the responsibility of its care because it can be put up for adoption. And there are many willing takers.

No one is talking about doing that. I was saying Dwayne's mum shouldn't feel an obligation to see him when she can't stand him and he is cared for by a home for mentally disabled people. He doesn't need her to care for him; the home does it. So Dwayne's mum should feel no obligation to see his brother every two weeks, especially when he just makes her miserable with his behaviour and she gets nothing from it in return.

That last part is why I say she has no obligation to see him; she has seen to it that someone else voluntarily cares for him.

I misunderstood the situation a bit here. If he is in an institution that cares well for him, and cares for him better than if she would, that's OK. But she still needs to see to it that the care is up to par. It's sad that she cannot find a way to work things out so she isn't bothered by her child so much that she seldom sees him. But that's a different issue from obligations to care and the rights of children or disabled people.

So, in other words, the failure of contraceptives gives them a responsibility to the child? I disagree with that if that is what you were saying? In such a situation they have no more responsibility to the child than a driver does to pay for the damage caused to your car by their car having a technical fault.

As I stated above, yes. Contraceptives have a statistical margin of failure and it is well known that they are not foolproof. Negligence on the part of a contraceptive manufacturer or dispensing pharmacist, or defects caused by a manufacturer create another level of liability where the users of contraceptives have certain entitlements to damages, which could include the substantial cost of caring for a resulting child or an abortion, depending on the mother's choice.

My father was never really there for me or my sister when we were kids, neither finacially nor any other way. But I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is that he has come back now and is trying to buy his way out of his feeling of guilt by giving us money. I just told him not to bother with me.

You are within your rights to absolve him of his responsibilities, and frankly will more likely find peace with yourself by doing so. Indeed, trying to buy one's way out of guilt does not change the fact that he was not there when he was supposed to be. It's your choice whether you feel that his more recent actions make up for the past, and it's understandable that they don't.

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Absolutely, it IS the driver's fault because they failed to properly maintain their car.

Not necessarily. There might be a manufactoruer's fault. That is not the driver's fault and as such they have no liability. If anyone does it is the manufacturer's.

I think he might be referring to a manufacturer's defect that was unknown to the owner/driver. That's certainly possible and would have nothing to do with the owner failing to maintain the vehicle.

Exploding Pintos for example.

Yes, exactly. Such things happen from time to time and always will.

Absolutely! Anyone who doesn't want to have children shouldn't have them because that can affect the quality of the child's life, and it is not necessary to keep the child in order to fulfill the responsibility of its care because it can be put up for adoption. And there are many willing takers.

That is why his mother is in the wrong. She feels an obligation to see a son every two weeks when she doesn't want him and there are others willing to look after him.

I misunderstood the situation a bit here. If he is in an institution that cares well for him, and cares for him better than if she would, that's OK. But she still needs to see to it that the care is up to par. It's sad that she cannot find a way to work things out so she isn't bothered by her child so much that she seldom sees him. But that's a different issue from obligations to care and the rights of children or disabled people.

I don't think it is sad. His behaviour causes those around him to suffer, he is violent and makes very loud noises, among another annoying things. There is no value to be gained from being around him. i know because I have spent time around him (me and Dwayne are cousins).

You are within your rights to absolve him of his responsibilities, and frankly will more likely find peace with yourself by doing so. Indeed, trying to buy one's way out of guilt does not change the fact that he was not there when he was supposed to be. It's your choice whether you feel that his more recent actions make up for the past, and it's understandable that they don't.

What obligations? I am nearly 25 and my sister nearly 23, so he has no obligations towards us anymore. the main thing about what he is doing is that it shows he still doesn't really care. I might accept the money if it seemed like he cares, just as I am willing to accept financial help from my mum when she offers it. I know she cares and that in her case it is genuine. But no matter how hard things are on me, I will not accept his fake signs of care.

On a side note: I made a vow to myself long ago that if i ever become a father, which I would like to, I will never remain out of my children's life the way my father did ours. I know first hand how hard it is for a child to know your father just doesn't really care. It hurts a lot. I don't want my children, if i have any, to go through that.

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Did you read what RationalBiker said properly DragonMaci? He said if if it ISNT a manufacturers fault, it is the drivers fault for not maintaining their car.

Yes, exactly. Such things happen from time to time and always will.

Yeap, thats why you have insurance for that sort of thing :-).

That is why his mother is in the wrong. She feels an obligation to see a son every two weeks when she doesn't want him and there are others willing to look after him.

That is indeed why my mother is wrong. While I do think it is her responsibility to make sure he is cared for somehow, she has no obligation to do it herself. He is in a place where he gets adequate care. And as far as I can tell, she gains nothing by choosing to see him as often as she does, except to assuage her misplaced guilt. He is a real pain, it takes a group of specially trained people to handle him, as I said he is very retarded, pushy and often violent.

Personally I think my mother would be best to see him still, to some extent, have him over once and again. I don't advocate her cutting him out of her life, I am sure she definitely would not like that and would feel guilty, with some justification.

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Parties that are involved in car accidents are entitled to damages from whoever caused the wreck.
I think a more accurate statement would be who carelessly caused the wreck. For example, a manufacturer could install seriously lousy brake pads made of cork, which disintegrate catastrophically in a week. They could install good pads which don't disintegrate in less that 100,000 miles. Or they could install non-existent pads which don't disintegrate in the life of the universe. If you we have pads A and the accident is dues to brake pad failure, the driver should not be held liable for whacking a car after 200 miles, and the manufacturer should. If pads B, and he has worn the pads out and drives negligently with a car in this shape for 300,000 miles then he is rightly held liable. In other words, responsibility is relative to what is reasonable precaution. Demanding indestructible pads is an unreasonable requirement for a product, so you cannot demand that goods be manufactured foolproof and indestructible. Drivers similarly cannot be held to the impossible standard of "never causing damage" which implies infinitely fast reflexes, perfect perception (above the level of what can be physically sensed) and so on. So I think that it's important to insert the concept caution in the discussion, and not just for cars.
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So, in other words, the failure of contraceptives gives them a responsibility to the child? I disagree with that if that is what you were saying? In such a situation they have no more responsibility to the child than a driver does to pay for the damage caused to your car by their car having a technical fault.

My father was never really there for me or my sister when we were kids, neither finacially nor any other way. But I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is that he has come back now and is trying to buy his way out of his feeling of guilt by giving us money. I just told him not to bother with me.

DM - It seems like your saying that, unless you intend the result, you cannot be held responsible for your actions. "I didn't mean to get her pregnant - I used a condom - therefore, I have no responsibility whatsoever." "It was my car's fault due to mechanical failure. I didn't intend to rear-end the other car - therefore, I have no responsibility." In both cases, the law would hold you responsible and I agree that you should be held responsible.

If you were the driver of the car that was rear-ended, and the driver of the other car (that did the rear-ending) explained to you that the accident resulted from mechanical failure, would you say to the other driver: "Oh, I see, it's not your fault, you have no responsibility - please be on your way. I will pay for the damage myself." How would you handle that situation (and I don't want to hear about "no fault" insurance because that is avoiding the point; besides, making a claim would probably increase your rates, and you probably have a deductible to meet, so the accident could cost you plenty)?

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DM - It seems like your saying that, unless you intend the result, you cannot be held responsible for your actions.

Not at all. I am saying if it is a result of the negligence of others you are not responsible, they are. If you car has a manufacturer's fault the fault is with the manufacturer not you. You are only responsible if the accident is a result of your driving, then you are to blame. But you cannot rightly be held responsible for an accident caused by a car crashing due to a manufacturer's fault. That would be an injustice.

"I didn't mean to get her pregnant - I used a condom - therefore, I have no responsibility whatsoever." "It was my car's fault due to mechanical failure. I didn't intend to rear-end the other car - therefore, I have no responsibility." In both cases, the law would hold you responsible and I agree that you should be held responsible.

How can you be rightly geld responsible for a car having faulty brake pads when you drove it out of the new car sale yard? The people who are to blame should be held responsible. In this case the manufacturer is to blame. If you are held responsible then they will get away scott free for causing an accident and you will be punished for something that is not your fault. That is an injustice. Justice would be those that caused the accident, the manufacturer, being held accountable, not you.

If you were the driver of the car that was rear-ended, and the driver of the other car (that did the rear-ending) explained to you that the accident resulted from mechanical failure, would you say to the other driver: "Oh, I see, it's not your fault, you have no responsibility - please be on your way. I will pay for the damage myself." How would you handle that situation (and I don't want to hear about "no fault" insurance because that is avoiding the point; besides, making a claim would probably increase your rates, and you probably have a deductible to meet, so the accident could cost you plenty)?

I wouldn't blame him, I wouldn't expect him to pay for it. It wasn't his fault. But nor would I pay for it myself. I would expect the manufacturer to pay for it. it was their fault. And if they refused I would take them to court and apply for damages.

In short, I am not arguing for a lack of culpability, just arguing that the culprits are the manufacturers not the drivers when the accident is caused by a manufacturer's fault. To hold the driver responsible is to hold him responsible for the actions of another man. That is an injustice. Each man should be accountable for his own actions, not the actions of others.

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Not at all. I am saying if it is a result of the negligence of others you are not responsible, they are. If you car has a manufacturer's fault the fault is with the manufacturer not you. You are only responsible if the accident is a result of your driving, then you are to blame. But you cannot rightly be held responsible for an accident caused by a car crashing due to a manufacturer's fault. That would be an injustice.

How can you be rightly geld responsible for a car having faulty brake pads when you drove it out of the new car sale yard? The people who are to blame should be held responsible. In this case the manufacturer is to blame. If you are held responsible then they will get away scott free for causing an accident and you will be punished for something that is not your fault. That is an injustice. Justice would be those that caused the accident, the manufacturer, being held accountable, not you.

I wouldn't blame him, I wouldn't expect him to pay for it. It wasn't his fault. But nor would I pay for it myself. I would expect the manufacturer to pay for it. it was their fault. And if they refused I would take them to court and apply for damages.

In short, I am not arguing for a lack of culpability, just arguing that the culprits are the manufacturers not the drivers when the accident is caused by a manufacturer's fault. To hold the driver responsible is to hold him responsible for the actions of another man. That is an injustice. Each man should be accountable for his own actions, not the actions of others.

DM - As between the driver of the rear-ending car and the driver of the rear-ended car, the former has greater culpability because it is his vehicle that caused the accident. I agree that the company should be held responsible for defective products.

What about an unplanned pregnancy (that results in live birth) due to a defective condom? Will you disclaim responsibility for the child and tell the child to seek support from the Trojan company?

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So it's not your fault that you drove a dangerous car on the road? The fact that you didn't bother to find out whether the car was in functional condition has nothing to do with you? You are responsible for the car being there. The manufacturer may share some responsibility, in which case you can later sue them to *recover* your expenses, but you hold primary responsibility and so you must pay.

Mature, rational people prefer to *accept* responsibility rather than palm it off on "manufacturer defect" or "New-Zealand vernacular" or whatever. If you are responsible, that means you can fix the situation: it is under your control. Much preferable to being adrift in a world in which you have no control over anything.

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  • 1 month later...
After I read this thread I started to really think whether I would actually voluntarily help the disabled. The conclusion was that personally I would probably be much more inclined to help someone that is physically handicapped than someone that is mentally handicapped. I value the human mind more than any other human attribute, and I just don't see the point of paying to keep someone who is incapable reasoning for himself alive. Autism -- maybe. Sever mental retardation -- probably not.

Either way though I would prefer to help someone that I know personally than giving money to random stranger who happens to be disabled.

This thread as a whole was quite shocking to read, but I think this particular post stood out. The idea that human beings who don't or can't contribute to society at all ( or any more, as the case may be) are worthy of being left to die. The logical extension of this is that that certian elderly people or people with crippling diseases such as alzheimers would also fall in to this category. No one said a word in objection so I am assuming this must be the general concensus here.

A serious weakness in the Objectivist point of view is that there seems to be a general assumption here that private charities or individuals willing to help, purely for personal satisfaction, are waiting in droves out there to pitch in to help. I can say unequivally that this is not the case. In so many cases the lack of assistance means someone must die or suffer. I just don't see how people can say taxing individuals is immoral, and then turn away from the cold hard truth that without government intervention, needless death and suffering is inevitable. How immoral is that?

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A serious weakness in the Objectivist point of view is that there seems to be a general assumption here that private charities or individuals willing to help, purely for personal satisfaction, are waiting in droves out there to pitch in to help. I can say unequivally that this is not the case. In so many cases the lack of assistance means someone must die or suffer. I just don't see how people can say taxing individuals is immoral, and then turn away from the cold hard truth that without government intervention, needless death and suffering is inevitable. How immoral is that?

I wouldn't say Moebius' comments are the consensus here. Those are his comments/opinions and it could very well be that no one bothered to post any response to it. Who knows? Maybe some of us were busy elsewhere that day??

I cannot speak for everyone else here, but for me, personally, if I weren't losing 1/3 of my paycheck to taxes (not to mention all of the other taxes I pay...sales tax, gas tax, etc, etc) I would be contributing far more to charity than the measly $10 per month I send to The Shriner's Hospital. Frankly, I cannot afford to help anyone but myself at this point, but if I had the opportunity to help those I deem truly in need of assistance, I surely would. Americans are the most charitable people in the world. Unfortunately, most of that charity is with our tax dollars and much of it wasted, I'm sure.

So basically, I think you're wrong. I think many people would volunteer their time and money if they could. (And since we work for a third of the year just to pay our taxes, in theory, I would have more time to volunteer if I weren't so over burdened with taxes.)

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