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Why does choosing to create, without the created's consent, a being that needs material support (but not choosing any obligation) obligate the creator?

All of the "answers" so far appear to only be additions to the question. I've yet to see a reason why any of those factors should obligate a mother.

I have answered this question, in the very same post in which I answered the first one. Remember this:

If a woman knows that a child will not be taken care of, and gives birth anyway, then it is tantamount to murder. Because of this, if she has a child and does not make arrangements for someone else to be the caretaker, she is doing one of two things: intending to commit murder by abandonment, or implicitly agreeing to be the child's caretaker.

The reason it obligates the creator is because denial of that obligation is tantamount to murder. If there is a third alternative to intending to care for the child, intending to find another caretaker, or intending to kill by abandonment, I certainly don't see it.

Basically, creating another human being, in a sense, is an initiation of force. It forces another person out into a world they did not (and could not) choose to be in. It puts that other person in a position of helplessness through no actions of their own, but through the actions of the parents. It is the parents' responsibility to make good on it, just like it's my responsibility to make good on anything I force on another person (intentionally or unintentionally).

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Can anyone here point me to a writing by Miss Rand that says or implies that child abandonment is should be illegal or is in anyway equivalent to murder? Don't try and flip it around on me either because I'm am not one of the people here implying this absurd claim and I can of course can not prove a negative.

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Can anyone here point me to a writing by Miss Rand that says or implies that child abandonment is should be illegal or is in anyway equivalent to murder? Don't try and flip it around on me either because I'm am not one of the people here implying this absurd claim and I can of course can not prove a negative.

I can't. I honestly don't know what her view on this was, but it is my view on the matter.

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The idea that infants differ from adult dependents because their dependence is "natural" seems questionable. Why does it matter that every human was born an infant?
Why does it matter that man is a rational being whose proper survival requires the use of the mind to produce what he needs? Why does that fact matter? What difference does it make?
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Creating a child does not mean creating a living human being. It means, creating a living human being that has no chance of surviving without your help. So, you are creating a living human being knowing fully that that human will die. Are you saying this is an extremely moral action? Should every parent then simply be leaving their kid to die? If not are you saying that there are some contexts where it is moral and in other contexts immoral? When and why?

I say it's immoral excepting emergencies. I think the part I disagreed with you was on the responsibility issue. IMO conceiving the child creates no responsibilities, and if conceiving the child created no responsibilities, then why does bearing the child create responsibilities? If abortion is not "irresponsible," then I find it hard to say birthing with no intention of guardianship is irresponsible.

I have answered this question, in the very same post in which I answered the first one. Remember this:

The reason it obligates the creator is because denial of that obligation is tantamount to murder. If there is a third alternative to intending to care for the child, intending to find another caretaker, or intending to kill by abandonment, I certainly don't see it.

Basically, creating another human being, in a sense, is an initiation of force. It forces another person out into a world they did not (and could not) choose to be in. It puts that other person in a position of helplessness through no actions of their own, but through the actions of the parents. It is the parents' responsibility to make good on it, just like it's my responsibility to make good on anything I force on another person (intentionally or unintentionally).

If by "tantamount to" you mean "almost" then I should say that I don't find "almost murders" to be crimes. Either it's murder, or it isn't.

As far as this case goes, abandonment would be an example of not doing something that could have prevented a death - which is a good deal different from murder. And if "it's murder or it isn't," then one's intentions don't matter much it terms of (ideal) legality.

I did forget about initiation of force as a justification for this guardianship obligation. But the problem I have with that is that abandonment doesn't seem to be an initiation of force. Abandonment is not an act of physical force against the child - it's literally leaving the child alone. Fraud could only be perpetrated by a guardian, not by someone who's merely brought the infant into the world.

I could see a possible argument of conceiving/carrying/bearing the child is an initiation of force... but not abandonment.

Why does it matter that man is a rational being whose proper survival requires the use of the mind to produce what he needs? Why does that fact matter? What difference does it make?

Answering questions with questions, blarg :pirate::lol:

It matters because if man's proper survival didn't require the use of the mind, then rationality wouldn't be a proper basis for determining rights.

You'll have to make the connection between your question and mine, as I don't see it.

It might help if we clearly differentiated "proper survival" from "survival."

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I say it's immoral excepting emergencies. I think the part I disagreed with you was on the responsibility issue.
Then you and I are using the term "responsible" in different senses.

Anyhow, my personal intent is to take a pause on this thread. I intend to respond to the "Eating Animals" thread first, because that's also a "what are rights" thread. In a few days, I hope to return to this one.

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If by "tantamount to" you mean "almost" then I should say that I don't find "almost murders" to be crimes.

Tantamount means: equivalent in effect or value, or for all practical purposes, the same. Either definition suits my meaning.

I could see a possible argument of conceiving/carrying/bearing the child is an initiation of force... but not abandonment.

That's what I said. Abandonment is a refusal to make good on that initiation; it carries the forceful action even further.

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QUOTE(hunterrose @ Nov 8 2005, 10:06 PM)

The idea that infants differ from adult dependents because their dependence is "natural" seems questionable. Why does it matter that every human was born an infant?

Why does it matter that man is a rational being whose proper survival requires the use of the mind to produce what he needs? Why does that fact matter? What difference does it make?

You'll have to make the connection between your question and mine, as I don't see it.

Both of these facts -- the fact that every man goes through a helpless infancy and the fact that every man is a rational being (with everything that entails) -- both of these facts matter because both are inherent in his identity as a human being and both have implications for the nature of his relationships with other men.

However, I don't see much point on elaborating on that line of argument, because I cannot think of a better way of saying it than I did in post 127 of this thread.

It might help if we clearly differentiated "proper survival" from "survival."

In post 127, I concluded: "A child’s proper survival demands an additional “condition of existence vis-à-vis other men”. It demands material support by his parents."

If this is not true, if, as you contend, a child has only the right to be free of the initiation of force, then it means that the "proper survival" of a child requires that he be an object of charity, who must count on the generosity of parents that are under no moral obligation to support him. It means that "proper survival" for a child includes the alternative of being abandoned to starve -- and if this happens, we must conclude that this is still consistent with the "proper survival" of a rational being -- even though it results in that being's death.

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If this is not true, if, as you contend, a child has only the right to be free of the initiation of force, then it means that the "proper survival" of a child requires that he be an object of charity, who must count on the generosity of parents that are under no moral obligation to support him. It means that "proper survival" for a child includes the alternative of being abandoned to starve -- and if this happens, we must conclude that this is still consistent with the "proper survival" of a rational being -- even though it results in that being's death.

Morally, this would be a contradiction as you point out, i.e., once again a parent should morally provide for his child. However, in no way does this imply that he should be legally compelled to do so, because this would be a violation of the parent's fundamental right to life, and the whole of Objectivist Ethics would collapse if this were rightfully law.

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However, in no way does this imply that he should be legally compelled to do so, because this would be a violation of the parent's fundamental right to life, and the whole of Objectivist Ethics would collapse if this were rightfully law.

This just isn't true. It would be true if the parent did not choose to become a parent, and every action leading up to becoming a parent is chosen, except in the case of rape. Because it is a chosen obligation, it is entirely proper that a parent should be legally compelled to support their child.

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If this is not true, if, as you contend, a child has only the right to be free of the initiation of force, then it means that the "proper survival" of a child requires that he be an object of charity, who must count on the generosity of parents that are under no moral obligation to support him. It means that "proper survival" for a child includes the alternative of being abandoned to starve -- and if this happens, we must conclude that this is still consistent with the "proper survival" of a rational being -- even though it results in that being's death.

I disagree with that interpretation. I'd put it:

It means that the proper survival of an infant is the same as that of an adult, and the fact that an infant can't survive "properly" doesn't mean we can or should grant infants additional right beyond those possessed by every other man.

The inability of an infant to survive properly means that he is an "object of charity;" he must rely on someone choosing to be his guardian (but choosing to be guardian does place the guardian under moral and legal obligation to support the infant.)

I reread your posts. I'm not sure this is your argument, but it's how I see it:

1) originating as an infant is an inherent part of the nature of man

2) infants can't survive properly qua man

therefore 3) an infant's proper survival is different from adults.

The problems which I don't think have been resolved are that 2) doesn't seem significant. Infants already have a "proper survival," qua man. Does the fact that they can't survive properly change what their proper survival is??

I take it that your answer is yes, if the given man subgroup's (infants) inability to survive properly is due to some inherent quality in all men.

But beginning life as a child is not an inherent quality of man. If "perfect" cloning were ever achieved, some men might not begin life as infants. Supposing some woman clone gets pregnant and bears her child. She's never been an infant; having been an infant is not an essential/inherent part of her nature. It would seem that she is exempted from this birth-obligation.

Regardless of your thoughts on cloning, having been an infant is not essential to the nature of man. A man without the capacity of rationality is not a man. A man who's never been an infant would be an oddity... but still a man. I could see saying having been an infant is "natural." Yet natural sans essential does not change the nature of rights, or specifically, the rights of children.

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Reader Discretion reminder: Many of the views presented in this thread should not be taken as representative of Objectivism.

HunterRose, To summarize your position, you think that morally, one should support a helpless child that one created -- either directly or by ensuring that you give someone else guardianship (bizzare emergency situations excepted). What you're disagreeing with then is the legal issue. You're saying that the government should not force people to act morally in this regard. Also, I think you're saying that while the government should not prevent immoral abandonment (the type where a parent shows disregard for the survival of the child), the government should prevent killing a child in other ways. In other words, what you're saying is that if I were to kill my child with a gun, I should be prosecuted; but, if I were to take him to Africa and put him before a lion, then the law should allow that?

Is that an accurate summary of your position?

Edited by softwareNerd
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I think the part I disagreed with you was on the responsibility issue.

Yes, the responsibility issue is your problem and was the impetus for my first post. To paraphrase Leonard Peikoff and Ayn Rand in OPAR: “rights pertain only to action.” The concept of Rights has two equally important parts, you only recognize one -- the principle of the non-initiation of force. It requires nothing of anyone else except that they leave you alone. But in order for you to realize your rights you must take action, this is where responsibility comes in.

It is your responsibility to take the action required to realize your rights. Your right to life requires you to actively seek food, to work to sustain your life. You have the right to be free but if you are not it is your responsibility to take action to secure your liberty. No one is required to give you property, you must take action to acquire it. And of course the pursuit of happiness is already stated as an action.

IMO conceiving the child creates no responsibilities, and if conceiving the child created no responsibilities, then why does bearing the child create responsibilities?

Responsibilities are freely chosen moral actions. Of course conceiving a child creates responsibilities. If you didn’t want to become pregnant, it was your responsibility to use birth control. Once that failed you still had a choice, abort the fetus or carry it to term. Once you choose to carry it to term you are choosing to bring a human being into the world. All human beings have the same rights, children lack the ability to take the action required to realize their rights. By choosing to bring a helpless, rights bearing being into the world, you have freely chosen to be responsible for it, which entails feeding it, since it can’t do it for itself.

But unless one shows abandonment at birth to be immoral on the grounds of initiating of force, I don't see the reason to confer illegality on the basis of any other (not initiation of force) immorality.

By abandoning an infant in the jungle, knowing that it cannot feed or fend for itself, you are initiating force just as surely as if you break a man’s arms and legs and leave him in the jungle. Your freely chosen actions are the cause of the infant’s condition just as they are the cause of the man’s condition.

Children have rights. If you decide that you can no longer fulfill the responsibilities that you freely chose to accept, then you must rely on the charity of others who are willing to freely accept those responsibilities. What you cannot do is neglect the responsibilities you have freely chosen and by action or inaction cause the death of the child you chose to be responsible for.

[...] the laws of a country are based on not initiating force against another.

[...] My stance on the moral situation is a bit murkier than the legal question.

This is the Libertarian approach, the wrong approach. You start with a legal principle and try to derive rights and morality from it.

Laws are based on Rights which are based on an objective moral code. Politics is derived from an objective moral code, not the other way around.

You must know what is moral before you can know what is right or legal.

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Is that an accurate summary of your position?

I would accept that summary with some exceptions on

Also, I think you're saying that while the government should not prevent immoral abandonment... the government should prevent killing a child in other ways. In other words, what you're saying is that if I were to kill my child with a gun, I should be prosecuted; but, if I were to take him to Africa and put him before a lion, then the law should allow that?

I'm not 100% confident of my ideas when it comes to this, but there are some positions I'm willing to take.

If a parent never accepted guardianship, then that parent would be initiating force in taking the child. It might be in order to find guardianship, or simply a weaker attempt to aid the child. Personally, I'd protect these initiations of force under some Good Samaritan law, since the action is initiated in an attempt to save the child.

OTOH, I have no problem with argument that going joy-riding with the newly born infant, with no intention of guardianship, should be prosecuted. Or that taking the child a rather significant distance (e.g. cross-continental) or to a place of significantly greater danger should be illegal, because I'd agree that a parent cannot initiate these actions against the child if the parent doesn't intend/agree to be guardian.

I'd also recognize that the presence of persons/organizations that make it publicly known that they will provide guardianship for unwanted infants might significantly alter my thoughts on these questions.

All in all, I'd say that taking the child sans guardianship in the presense of someone willing to be guardian should be illegal, but I don't necessarily think that the mother should have a legal obligation to seek out this guardian or arrange for this would-be guardian to be present at birth.

And just to reiterate for anyone new to the topic, I think the government should prevent immoral abandonment by guardians.

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I reread your posts. I'm not sure this is your argument, but it's how I see it:

1) originating as an infant is an inherent part of the nature of man

2) infants can't survive properly qua man

therefore 3) an infant's proper survival is different from adults.

The problems which I don't think have been resolved are that 2) doesn't seem significant. Infants already have a "proper survival," qua man. Does the fact that they can't survive properly change what their proper survival is??

I take it that your answer is yes, if the given man subgroup's (infants) inability to survive properly is due to some inherent quality in all men.

But beginning life as a child is not an inherent quality of man. If "perfect" cloning were ever achieved, some men might not begin life as infants.

I don't know what sort of cloning you have in mind, but I am not aware of any possibility of bringing into existence a fully formed human being, i.e. one with all of the physical skills and all of the knowledge needed to exercise its right to life. Such a being would have to be born (or created) with a fully developed conceptual faculty, i.e. it would know how to speak and how to think, and it would possess the requisite concepts -- from the very first moment it is conscious.

Such a thing is not possible. Since man must be conscious to gain knowledge, every consciousness that comes into existence will necessarily start out blank; there is no possibility of possessing knowledge prior to being conscious. Thus, every rational being must go through the process of acquiring knowledge and learning how to think before it can ever exercise its right to life.

Regardless of your thoughts on cloning, having been an infant is not essential to the nature of man. A man without the capacity of rationality is not a man. A man who's never been an infant would be an oddity... but still a man. I could see saying having been an infant is "natural." Yet natural sans essential does not change the nature of rights, or specifically, the rights of children.

As I have shown above, infancy is an essential step in man's life. Furthermore, it is the very fact of rationality that makes the fact of childhood inescapable. Rationality presupposes consciousness -- only a conscious being can be rational. And every consciousness starts out blank. Rationality, therefore, demands and requires a period of infancy. The two are inextricably linked.

Thus, we have two facts:

1) The fact of rationality demands that certain conditions prevail between men, if man is to survive by means of his mind.

2) The fact of rationality also demands a period (infancy) when man cannot survive by means of his mind, and must have material support.

In both cases, the fact that man is rational means that certain conditions must exist, vis-à-vis other men, for man to survive. On what basis is one set of requirements a legitimate source for defining rights, but not the other? Why do the survival requirements, dictated by rationality, justify legal protection in one case, but not the other?

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Hunterrose, Your recent post tells me that I have lost track of where we are in this discussion. That's part of the problem with multiple voices. Though I do try to go back and re-read, I might be mixing up positions taken by JRS, EC and HunterRose.

The thing that tells me this is your reference to people "taking" a child without intent to be guardians. That's a huge jump for me. For starters, I'm still unsure whether everyone is on board about it being immoral to abandon a child (where "abandon" means to leave a child somewhere with complete disregard to whether such leaving gives the child a reasonable chance to survive). Is everyone here agreed that this is immoral?

In one post you mentioned that the politics was clear but that the morality was murky. Unless the immorality of abandonment is now agreed upon, I (personally) do not know how to proceed.

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You must know what is moral before you can know what is right or legal.

Within the contexts in which we are discussing, I do not have to know whether at-birth abandonment is immoral; I only need to know whether it is an initiation of force to come to a legal stance.

Thank you for the lesson, though.

On what basis is one set of requirements a legitimate source for defining rights, but not the other? Why do the survival requirements, dictated by rationality, justify legal protection in one case, but not the other?

A dependency on other men has never been a valid basis for rights.

For starters, I'm still unsure whether everyone is on board about it being immoral to abandon a child (where "abandon" means to leave a child somewhere with complete disregard to whether such leaving gives the child a reasonable chance to survive). Is everyone here agreed that this is immoral?

No. At best, it has the same moral status as charity IMO.

If this is to proceed, there should be some type of organization to this convoluted topic :) I don't know who's willing, but breaking down the arguments to what's fundamental, which points lead to the next points, would be helpful.

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On what basis is one set of requirements a legitimate source for defining rights, but not the other? Why do the survival requirements, dictated by rationality, justify legal protection in one case, but not the other?

A dependency on other men has never been a valid basis for rights.

No one has asserted mere "dependence on other men" as a basis for rights. So you have not answered the question.

Previously, you rejected the idea that a child's survival requirements are a proper source of rights, on the grounds that being an infant is not essential to the nature of man:

Regardless of your thoughts on cloning, having been an infant is not essential to the nature of man.
But I have shown that infancy is essential to the nature of man. And having shown that, I want to know on what basis a child's survival requirements -- which are a function of his nature as a rational being just like an adult's requirements -- are to be ignored while an adult's are to be protected by law.

It is not an answer to simply assert that survival requirements do not count if "dependence" is one of those requirements. You have to provide some reasons why this must be true. Until you do, your refusal to consider a child's survival requirements is arbitrary.

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Yes, this is the essential issue, Michael. Why are attempts at violating an adult man's identity to be outlawed while attempts at violating that of an infant's to be ingored? Rights are moral principles rooted in an understanding of man's nature.

So, while it is completely stupid and moronic to try and violate the identity of a rock (by, say, repeatedly banging your head with it and wishing it were soft), it isn't and shouldn't be illegal (though it can be immoral). Remember that rights are the mechanism by which we subordinate society to moral law, and the concept "morality" is based on a specific trait of the animal "man." So, are infants not a form of man? Are they like the rock in my example? Think about it.

Edited by Felipe
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I want to know on what basis a child's survival requirements -- which are a function of his nature as a rational being just like an adult's requirements -- are to be ignored while an adult's are to be protected by law.

Until you do, your refusal to consider a child's survival requirements is arbitrary.

Okey doke.

Man's rights are based on rationality, not the needs of man, or "requirements of survival," as you say.

Thus, it doesn't particularly matter what an infant's needs are; his rights don't change within a society of rational men.

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Man's rights are based on rationality, not the needs of man, or "requirements of survival," as you say.

To recognize individual rights means to recognize and accept the conditions required by man's nature for his proper survival.
VOS - Chapter 14 - The Nature of Government - p. 127

the source of man's rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival.

AS - Galt's Speech - p. 977

There were numerous other quotes as well. Rights are based on man's requirement to use rationality for his survival. I'm no longer supporting the idea that children have any additional rights, but I just wanted to point out that you appear to misunderstand the Objectivist position of how rights are derived. They are not simply derived from "rationality".

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I'm no longer supporting the idea that children have any additional rights

You coulda told me that before I went off the deep end :P:lol:

I just wanted to point out that you appear to misunderstand the Objectivist position of how rights are derived. They are not simply derived from "rationality".

I am skipping over a lot of things in saying that, but I don't precisely agree that requirements of survival are the basis for rights.

AisA has essentially said that the requirements of an infant's survival determine its rights, with the implicit premise that any (presumably rational and independent) being's requirements of survival determine its rights.

But take a hypothetical...

A vampire is rational, and at least as independent as an infant. By this reasoning, a vampire in our society would have the right to the blood of others, simply because he's rational, independent, and it's a requirement of his survival. Saying that support rights only apply to creators isn't an effective reply because 1) the presence of a creator would only determine who has to acknowledge that vampire's right, no whether the vampire had the right itself, as that'd be dependent on the vampire's requirements of survival 2) I don't think anyone's said why a creator should be obligated for the sake of creating another being into a benevolent world.

At the very least you have a conflict of rights that develops from basing rights on the requirements of survival of beings with different requirements. Of course, the infant's support rights themselves also create a conflict of rights, but since no one else has deemed it worthy of discussing :D

OTOH, while "simply rationality" glosses over a lot of important things, IMO the right to not have force initiated against oneself is based on one's rationality in a society of rational beings. While rationality is obviously a requirement for our survival, that's not to say that any requirement of a rational being should necessarily be protected by rights, or that rights and requirements of survival are linked in the specific cause-effect relation used.

But to get back on track, depending on the definition of "requirements of survival," if one's requirements of survival are the basis for his rights, then AisA is at least partly justified in saying infants have the right to support, and myself in joking that vampires would have the right to drink blood. :(

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You coulda told me that before I went off the deep end :D:(

I am skipping over a lot of things in saying that, but I don't precisely agree that requirements of survival are the basis for rights.

Rights are indeed derived from man's survival requirements vis-à-vis other men. If man had no such requirements, i.e. if man could function and survive regardless of the actions of other men, we would have no need for rights. Or, if man lived alone, he would also have no need of rights. But because he does not live alone, and because other men can interfere with the human method of survival, certain conditions must exist between men.

AisA has essentially said that the requirements of an infant's survival determine its rights, with the implicit premise that any (presumably rational and independent) being's requirements of survival determine its rights.
No, that is not correct. The purpose of defining rights is to determine man's survival requirements vis-à-vis other men, not "any rational and independent being", including arbitrarily dreamed up hypothetical beings. Man, and man only.

But take a hypothetical...

A vampire is rational, and at least as independent as an infant. By this reasoning, a vampire in our society would have the right to the blood of others, simply because he's rational, independent, and it's a requirement of his survival.

My first response to this is to ask why you continue to resort to the arbitrary. There is no evidence that "rational vampires" have ever existed or ever will or ever can -- just as there was no evidence that a human being can ever come into existence without having gone through a period of infancy. Why should we care what the concept of rights, which apply only to man, would mean with respect to things that are not real? Why are you willing to let the unreal be a basis for denying the rights of the real.

But even if such a vampire could exist, it would not be a man. Rights would not apply to such a creature.

A child's need for material support is not the equivalent of a vampire's need for blood. The child's need stems from the very existence of his rational faculty. As I showed earlier, every rational faculty has to be conscious, and every human consciousness has to start as a blank. Thus, a period of helplessness is inherent in the identity of man the rational being. He cannot exist without going through this period.

Your hypothetical vampire's "survival requirement" for blood stems not from his rational faculty, but from his physiology, just as with any other non-human animal.

Saying that support rights only apply to creators isn't an effective reply because 1) the presence of a creator would only determine who has to acknowledge that vampire's right, no whether the vampire had the right itself, as that'd be dependent on the vampire's requirements of survival 2) I don't think anyone's said why a creator should be obligated for the sake of creating another being into a benevolent world.
The "survival requirements" of non-humans are irrelevant to the issue of rights.

A child's right to material support is, like any other right, a "condition of existence vis-a-vis other men", demanded by his nature as a rational being. The parents are the only relevent "other men" involved in the decision to create the child. They, and they alone, created the infant. It makes no sense to hold anyone other than them responsible for the child's care.

At the very least you have a conflict of rights that develops from basing rights on the requirements of survival of beings with different requirements. Of course, the infant's support rights themselves also create a conflict of rights, but since no one else has deemed it worthy of discussing :lol:
There is no conflict of rights. The right to be free of the initiation of force does not include the right to ignore the material needs of one's child. Why would it?

OTOH, while "simply rationality" glosses over a lot of important things, IMO the right to not have force initiated against oneself is based on one's rationality in a society of rational beings.
But why? Why does the mere fact that one is rational -- without resorting to any other facts -- give one the right to be free of the initiation of force? That notion is not a self-evident, axiomatic primary. It is a derivative concept, and that derivation necessarily involves an understanding of how man survives and what that implies for his relationships with other men.

While rationality is obviously a requirement for our survival, that's not to say that any requirement of a rational being should necessarily be protected by rights, or that rights and requirements of survival are linked in the specific cause-effect relation used.
I am still waiting to hear on what basis a child's survival requirements -- which are a function of his nature as a rational being, just like an adult's requirements -- are to be ignored while an adult's are to be protected by law.

You still have not provided any basis for this distinction. The vampire example doesn't do it (and no arbitrarily dreamed-up, what-if creature ever will) because rights apply only to man. Asserting that rationality is the source of rights independent of man's survival needs doesn't do it, because that notion is false.

The fact that man is a rational being means that he must be free of other men to survive. The fact that man is a rational being means he must have material support from his parents during childhood to survive. Both facts stem directly from, and are a direct consequence of, the fact that man possesses a rational faculty. You must justify why one set of requirements is to be protected by law and the other ignored. Until you do, your exclusion of children's rights is arbitrary.

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The parents are the only relevent "other men" involved in the decision to create the child. They, and they alone, created the infant. It makes no sense to hold anyone other than them responsible for the child's care.

Could one say that it would be criminally negligent to bring a child into the world and not take care of it? This is the only way I am aware of to legislate responsibility for one's actions.

There is no conflict of rights. The right to be free of the initiation of force does not include the right to ignore the material needs of one's child. Why would it?

I might be wrong, but wouldn't being required, by law, to provide value for another individual, against your will, constitute a violation of your rights?

I am still waiting to hear on what basis a child's survival requirements -- which are a function of his nature as a rational being, just like an adult's requirements -- are to be ignored while an adult's are to be protected by law.

I think the difficulty arises from the idea that one can take non-rights-bearing inputs and create a rights-bearing product. What right do the creators have to do as they please with their creation, which by all means should be their private property? Once a piece of private property begins to have rights, it screws everything up, because rights-bearing entities can not be owned, because that's slavery. Also, the new rights-bearing product is not quite finished becoming the final form of its being, and requires further input from its creators. Is it fair to force someone to continue a project they began privately?

I think this conversation would be best continued in terms of negligence. If my irresponsibility causes harm to another, in some cases they can claim that I've initiated a force upon them. But isn't applying this to children doing the same thing to people's rights that prohibiting abortion does? It forces someone to provide for someone else just because they need it.

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