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I like the recent turn this thread has taken.

Felipe, could you please enumerate how adults should act toward a child when they are not the parents of said child? This "brain exercise" will help me clarify everything you have posted recently. I think two or three sentences ought to do it (if my understanding is correct). Feel free to write paragraphs if that's what is required.

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Before I answer that, I think it necessary to essentialize in terms of principles the special nature of the parent-child contract.

When it comes to the rights of adults, we understand that the only obligation the rights of others impose on us is a negative one. That is, we are obliged to let men be men. Since men are fully capable of using their free-will, this means let men be free.

On the other hand, the right of a child to be a child imposes a positive obligation on a parent. That is, though, like with adult rights, parents are obliged to let children be children, the letting of a child be a child can't mean letting children be free. It can't possibly mean this because a child isn't fully capable of using his free-will. So the special responsibility of taking the positive actions in order to ensure that a child is a child falls on the parent, who chose to create this helpless being in the first place.

Now, to the question at hand. Adults who aren't parents of said child (in this imaginary example) did not choose to bring said child into this world, so they aren't at all obligated to take all the positive, proactive actions that are required in order for said child to be a child. What of the times when adults interact with the children of others?

I think this answer is highly contextual. For example, if we're talking about infants, there's no point in talking about what obligation the rights of an infant impose on non-parent adults: There aren't any applications. I mean, it's not like an infant is going to walk into your store and try to buy beer. On the other hand, suppose some nine-year-old comes to you wanting to enter into some contractual agreement with you, or tries to trade with you, what then? Well, here the notion of "let a child be a child" imposes an negative obligation on you that would not be present were this child an adult: You are obligated to not engage in contracts and trades with someone who necessarily--by their identity (not some lack of intelligence or sense of responsibility)--isn't fully capable of doing so on their own; doing so would be an attempt to violate the identity of the child.

So to answer your question, I say that the rights of a child impose special positive obligations on parents by the fact that they created the little creature in the first place, and impose context-dependent negative obligations on non-parent adults.

Edited by Felipe
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Ah, but clearly a stranger forcing a child to stay in HIS home and do homework WOULD constitute kidnapping. Obviously, your conclusions are that the parent has a special relationship with the child, from a rights-standpoint. Not-so-obviously is why.

What would be helpful would be to define this.

As I said in my last post, in the case of children, we clearly must derive different "conditions of existence vis-à-vis other men", especially different conditions vis-à-vis the parents.

The length of this thread certainly supports your statement that the why is not so obvious. That's the reason I resorted to those two rather outrageous examples. I don't think anyone here (I may be wrong) would accept the notion that when a parent keeps their child at home, this constitutes kidnapping, or that a 10 year old girl has a right to be a prostitute and that adults have the right to sex with consenting minors.

I hoped, as a first step, to make people realize that a child's rights are different, that a different set of rules must govern his relationship with his parents and with other adults. The why is that his identity as an infant rational being creates different survival requirements: without support, the infant will perish. As far as I can tell, no one disputes this.

The contentious point is whether or not this helplessness is relevant to the issue of rights. I've presented the case that it is relevant based on the fact that the nature of a rational being demands that one go through this period of helplessness -- and that it is arbitrary to assign rights based on man's nature as an adult, but ignore man's nature as a child. No one has offered a satisfactory explanation for that dichotomy. In fact, I cannot recall anyone addressing it at all.

I have also explained why a child's right to support does not mean that anyone "in need" can claim a right to material support.

What are the special "conditions of existence" that must exist between child and parent and child and other adults? I can list a few of them:

The child has a right to material support: food, clothing, shelter, etc. Defining how far a parent must go in providing material support is, admittedly, difficult. For the moment, I can only say that in general, the child should be given enough material support to remain healthy and continue the process of learning and growing to adulthood.

At the same time, the child surrenders a portion of his rights, both with respect to the parents and with respect to other people. For example (and this is not an exhaustive list): The child does not have an unrestricted right to freedom of action; the parents acquire the right to place reasonable restrictions on the child's behavior and activities. Another example: The child lacks the capacity for consent, so he cannot engage in certain activities with other adults.

Some will doubtless be tempted to say that a parent's right to control a child arises from the child's acceptance of material support provided by the parent. This is the old argument, "If you are going to live under my roof, you are going to follow my rules." That argument has some merit when applied to a teenager. It has no merit when applied to a toddler, who does not have the ability to reject your support and go elsewhere. Nor does it apply to the case of a child that does reject your support and seeks to live as, say, a prostitute; the fact that the child is not accepting your support does not endow it with the capacity for consent, and would not make it proper for the child to engage in adult activities with other adults.

Those who deny that children have rights, of the sort discussed above, now have the twin burden of explaining: 1) Why it is valid to ignore the nature of an infant rational being, but not ignore the nature of an adult rational being, and 2) Why parents have the right to control a child in a fashion they could never assert against another adult, and why children cannot legally engage in all of the same activities as adults.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Felipe, I have a question about your idea that a failure to provide support constitutes the initiation of force. To initiate something requires an act, does it not? For instance, take your fraud example:

By the same "this doesn't constitute force" argument, people who default on contracts aren't initiating force. Suppose you sign up for a credit card, and you charge a car on it, and then remain idle and choose not to pay your financer. "Where's the force there?," you could easily say.

In this case, the party in question committed the act of charging the car on the credit card. In any unilateral breach of contract, there is the act of accepting and keeping something of value from the other party, followed by a failure to provide the specified value in return. In the case of fraud, there is the act of giving out false information. In the case of extortion, there is the act of making a threat. (Miss Rand describes these as "indirect" uses of force.) What is the act, in a refusal to provide support , that constitutes an initiation of force?

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Yes, the act in the case of the parent is the act of keeping the requirements for the child's survival from him. That is, just as in the credit card example, the person agreed to keep the car in exchange for paying for it, but kept it and didn't pay, so the parent agreed to keep the child in exchange for proving it with the conditions for its survival. Therefore, the parent is acting for the child's destruction. It is initiation of force. Just as with adults, however, the child has no right to something, it has a right to be a child. I want to be precise with my terminology. Rights are moral principles that consist of sanctions of actions.

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Their nature as rational beings is precisely why children are "underdeveloped". Why is this aspect of their nature as rational beings irrelevant, while other aspects are not?

No, the fact that they are born tabula rasa and tiny is why they are underdeveloped. Their nature as rational beings means that they have the ability to reason.

Why is this aspect of their nature as rational beings irrelevant, while other aspects are not?

Because it is only the characteristic of rationality that makes us special. Most animals begin as infants, there is nothing special about that, so it cannot be used as a basis for any rights. Rationality is the essential characteristic which defines us as human beings, without it there can be no rights.

And if a child's rights are exactly the same as an adult's, then any interference in a child's actions is a violation of his rights.

As I said there are one set of rights, they don’t change from person to person. A child’s actions are not sufficient to sustain themselves, so parents are responsible to guard and exercise their children’s rights.

Parents cannot kill their children, but they can prevent any of the actions open to free choice which would be detrimental to the child. Children are unable to be responsible for themselves, so parents accept that responsibility and, on behalf of their children, determine which actions will best sustain their lives. In other words, they determine a code of ethics which guides their children’s development and prepares them for when they will be responsible for themselves.

Are you saying that a parent, by deciding to have a child, is agreeing "of their own free will" to provide care? If so, does the government intervene if the parent's default on that agreement? If so, why is government intervention justified if there is no violation of rights?

Yes.

Yes.

It is a violation of rights.

As I have always said, rights have two parts, rights are moral sanctions to positive action. Every adult is responsible to decide for themselves which actions to take in furtherance of their lives, we should not prosecute them for taking too little action on their own behalf. But when you are deciding for someone else, you are responsible to take action on their behalf. Not doing so violates the positive action part of their rights.

The problem I see with your argument is that you are trying to justify rights solely on metaphysical grounds. We have had this discussion before. It is my understanding that you cannot derive the concept of rights directly from metaphysics. As with all political principles in Objectivism -- you must first determine a proper code of ethics.

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At the same time, the child surrenders a portion of his rights,

[...]

The child lacks the capacity for consent

Hold on, slow down a minute. Do you see a contradiction here.

As I said before, the parent consents for themselves and their child -- effectively making an agreement with herself -- which could be the definition of responsibility.

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Just as with adults, however, the child has no right to something, it has a right to be a child. I want to be precise with my terminology. Rights are moral principles that consist of sanctions of actions.

I appreciate the fact that you have been very careful to point out that rights pertain only to action and so I agree with your position.

However, if you want to be precise with your terminology, I don't like the phraseology of: "it has a right to be a child." It sounds too much like: you have the right to be a doctor. It would be less ambiguous to say: you have the right to take all of the actions required to be a doctor.

I also want to be sure that you don't think that children's nature as being underdeveloped confers any additional rights on them. That you can't derive rights directly from metaphysics. That you must determine a code of ethics first. Just checking.

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Since everyone seems to be ignoring my position which only differs from the majority "opinion" in a very limited sense I would like to find the general stance of the following question and the reasoning behind it.

If and only if, as is the case here in Michigan, a government sanctioned drop-off point for abandoned children exists in which the child will have its needs provided for-- do you consider this a violation of the childs rights and identity, and why?

I will make my opinion explicit. There is no violation of the child's rights because there was no initiation of force in this limited case, the only one I support. There is NO initiation of force because the child's identity is NOT being violated. It's need's will be provided for. While I find a parent wanting to abandon his child revolting and expecting others to care for it presumtuous, if as in this case there are people willing to provide that support, and the parent doesn't want to go through the paperwork and trouble of adoption, say a fifteen year old hiding a pregnancy, then I think that this should be legal. Because it is much better than the alternative that often happens in cases like this where the infant is found in a garbage bag in a field or something which DOES constitute initiation of force, for the reasons listed in this thread and SHOULD be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But that's just my opinion and maybe I'm just being feeble-minded.

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If and only if, as is the case here in Michigan, a government sanctioned drop-off point for abandoned children exists in which the child will have its needs provided for-- do you consider this a violation of the childs rights and identity, and why?
Did someone say a Michigan-style legal "abandonment" should be illegal? I think -- given the entire context -- the Michigan law is fine. As I said earlier, this is just a super-anonymous form of giving up a child for adoption. We're talking legality only here. Morality is a different issue altogether.
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Agreed, and thanks for the reply. But like I also said earlier, I don't agree that it is some "super-anonymous" form of adoption. Because putting the kid up for adoption is NOT the parents intent in this case, but pure abandonment is. And for the record, I am not using this argument as some sort of set-up to expand the ability to abandon a child beyond my limited conditions. I think it should only be legal within the context of my example.

Edited by EC
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But like I also said earlier, I don't agree that it is some "super-anonymous" form of adoption. Because putting the kid up for adoption is NOT the parents intent in this case, but pure abandonment is.
The person's intent speaks to the morality of the case, not its legality. Drop the term "adoption". Basically the law will prosecute "reckless abandonment", but has set up a means of "safe abandonment". If a parent follows that mechanism simply out of fear of the law, rather than any moral sense of responsibility toward the child, one would condemn the parent morally, but not prosecute him.
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Great; don't tell me I'm alone :P

The majority here seems to say that 1)right-bearing beings have a right to their survival requirements

2)man is a right-bearing being

3)an infant is a man

4)therefore an infant has a right to his survival requirements.

My problem is with 1). I understand the justification for allowing the free action of right-bearing beings (which happens to be man's survival requirement.) But why should men restrict their free actions on the basis of any survival requirement a right-bearing being's nature requires?

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But why should men restrict their free actions on the basis of any survival requirement a right-bearing being's nature requires?
Because they created that (second) right-bearing being; they put the kid in the situation he is.

("Deja vu, all over again", but I thought I'd say it anyway. :P )

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Deja vu? Perhaps. If you mean the creation justification, it has been mentioned repeatedly, though I haven't challenged it so far.

More fundamental to this "infant identity/support right" argument though is (IMO) the argument that an infant has a right to support on the basis of being a survival requirement of his nature.

If it were agreed that an infant's (qua man) survival requirement is not a sufficient basis for this support right, but creation is also a necessary factor, then I might address the creation argument.

As it is, the premise that a right-bearing being has a right to any survival requirement (i.e. beyond non-initiation of force) has IMO been taken for granted, so I felt it was best to start there :worry:

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I appreciate the fact that you have been very careful to point out that rights pertain only to action and so I agree with your position.

However, if you want to be precise with your terminology, I don't like the phraseology of: "it has a right to be a child." It sounds too much like: you have the right to be a doctor. It would be less ambiguous to say: you have the right to take all of the actions required to be a doctor.

I also want to be sure that you don't think that children's nature as being underdeveloped confers any additional rights on them. That you can't derive rights directly from metaphysics. That you must determine a code of ethics first. Just checking.

OK, but when you say "a child has the right to take all the actions required to be a child" this leaves the door wide open for abandonment. After all, the act of abandonment isn't the stopping, per se, of a child's action from being a child, is it? That is, it's not like a child wills himself to be a child and that abandonment is the stopping of this will.

Notice that I never said "anyone has the right to be a child." Nor did I ever advocate "blank has the right to be blank" or "you have the right to be blank." I've said that "man, the rational animal, has the right to be man," which means, based on the metaphysics of his identity, the right to live free. I've also said "a child, an immature rational animal, has the right to be a child," which means, based on the metaphysics of his identity, the right to live as a being that can't fully empower himself to fend for himself.

I presume you mean that you want to make sure that in principle one can derive rights directly from metaphysics (it wasn't clear above). Yes, this is my view. But I don't know what "confers any additional rights on them" means. "Additional" based on what set of rights, man's? My view is that while the principle of rights applies both to man and child, the application itself is quite different. And, rather than object to someone's views on children's rights by comparing them to man's rights, I think one should ask: First, what are the requirements for rights to be applicable to a certain living entity? Does a child meet these requirements? Understanding how rights are derived from metaphysics, what are a child's rights? Nowhere here am I interested in whether or not a child's rights are the same or different from a man's. Though this is interesting from a comparative point of view, and it hones one's skills in understanding the concept "rights," I don't view it as solid grounds for objecting to anyone's views on the rights of a particular entity.

Edited by Felipe
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No, the fact that they are born tabula rasa and tiny is why they are underdeveloped. Their nature as rational beings means that they have the ability to reason.

Because it is only the characteristic of rationality that makes us special. Most animals begin as infants, there is nothing special about that, so it cannot be used as a basis for any rights. Rationality is the essential characteristic which defines us as human beings, without it there can be no rights.

Marc, I have addressed this repeatedly. Please read posts 163, 166, 172 and 174. Infancy is not an accidental, trivial fact of man's life. It is a function of man's identity as a rational being, as explained in those posts. A rational being, by virtue of the fact that he holds his knowledge in conceptual terms, must start with a blank consciousness; there is no possibility of conceptual knowledge prior to becoming conscious. Thus, a period of infancy is required to "fill in the blanks" and learn how to use his rational faculty. Infancy is as inherent in man's identity as a rational being as is the fact that man survives by reason and must, therefore, be free to think and act.

Yes, rationality is man’s defining characteristic. But rights do not spring magically or axiomatically or without a context out of the fact that man is a rational being. The concept of rights proceeds from a single fact: a rational being’s survival requirements demand certain “conditions of existence” 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.

For adults, the basic “condition of existence” demanded by man’s nature as a rational being is freedom from the initiation of force – man must be free to think and produce, otherwise he will perish. And if this condition is recognized and enforced, man may provide for all his other needs and remain alive.

A child is a special case, in the sense that he is, temporarily, a rational being that cannot survive merely by being left free. His nature as a rational being dictates that he come into existence with a blank consciousness and endure a period of helplessness while he learns and grows. He needs material support, otherwise he will perish. And this need, just like his need for freedom, is dictated by man's nature as a rational being. And if this need is recognized and enforced, infants can reach adulthood, then provide for all their other needs and remain alive.

So the question is, why are the survival requirements of adults, requirements dictated by man's nature as a rational being, a proper basis for determining rights, but the survival requirements of children, also dictated by man's nature as a rational being, are irelevant and may be ignored?

As I said there are one set of rights, they don’t change from person to person. A child’s actions are not sufficient to sustain themselves, so parents are responsible to guard and exercise their children’s rights.

Parents cannot kill their children, but they can prevent any of the actions open to free choice which would be detrimental to the child. Children are unable to be responsible for themselves, so parents accept that responsibility and, on behalf of their children, determine which actions will best sustain their lives. In other words, they determine a code of ethics which guides their children’s development and prepares them for when they will be responsible for themselves.

Are you saying that a parent, by deciding to have a child, is agreeing "of their own free will" to provide care? If so, does the government intervene if the parent's default on that agreement? If so, why is government intervention justified if there is no violation of rights?

Yes.

Yes.

It is a violation of rights.

As I have always said, rights have two parts, rights are moral sanctions to positive action. Every adult is responsible to decide for themselves which actions to take in furtherance of their lives, we should not prosecute them for taking too little action on their own behalf. But when you are deciding for someone else, you are responsible to take action on their behalf. Not doing so violates the positive action part of their rights.

The problem I have with this theory is that it seems to rest on an unsupported assertion: that creating a human being inherently means one has agreed to exercise that being's rights on its behalf. Doesn't that amount to saying that a child has a right to expect the adults to exercise his rights for him? If the child does not have that right, what mandates the agreement on the part of the parents?

The problem I see with your argument is that you are trying to justify rights solely on metaphysical grounds. We have had this discussion before. It is my understanding that you cannot derive the concept of rights directly from metaphysics. As with all political principles in Objectivism -- you must first determine a proper code of ethics.
I don't know why you say metaphysical grounds. I am saying a child's rights, like an adults, stem from his nature as a rational being. We have already established that the good is "all that which is proper to the life of a rational being". What we are now discussing is how to apply that principle to an infant rational being and his relationship with those who created him.
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Not to imply any "argument from authority", but for those who are interested, I have discovered the official Objectivist opinion on this issue (unless someone is aware of a later statement by Miss Rand or endorsed by Miss Rand that contradicts what follows). In the December 1962 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter, Nathanial Branden took up the issue, “What are the respective obligations of parents to children, and children to parents?”

Here are the key passages:

"The key to understanding the nature of parental obligation lies in the moral principle that human beings must assume responsibility for the consequences of their action.

A child is the responsibility of his parents, because (1) they brought him into existence, and (2) a child, by nature, cannot survive independently.

The essence of parental responsibility is: to equip the child for independent survival as an adult. This means, to provide for the child’s physical and mental development and well being: to feed, clothe and protect him; to raise him in a stable, intelligible, rational home environment, to equip him intellectually, training him to live as a rational being; to educate him to earn a livelihood.

In accepting the basic necessities of food, clothing, etc., from his parents, the child does not incur an obligation to repay that support at some future date. The support is his by right.

It is the child’s responsibility, as he grows older, to understand that his parents, too, have rights; that he may not make unlimited demands on them, as if their sole purpose were to live for and serve him; that he may not expect them to relinquish every other interest and value in order to work at satisfying any wish he may chance to conceive."

There is more in the article, but it is mostly an elaboration on the above. I certainly don't see anything else in the article that weakens or modifies the basic position: Since a child, by nature, cannot survive independenly, he has a right to material support from those who brought him into existence.

Since The Objectivist Newsletter was edited and published by Miss Rand, we may safely assume she agreed with the above.

Again, I do not quote this in an attempt to invoke any sort of argument from authority, only to let people know what, as far as I can tell, is the "official" Objectivist position on this issue.

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The essence of parental responsibility is: to equip the child for independent survival as an adult. This means, to provide for the child’s physical and mental development and well being: to feed, clothe and protect him; to raise him in a stable, intelligible, rational home environment, to equip him intellectually, training him to live as a rational being; to educate him to earn a livelihood.

In accepting the basic necessities of food, clothing, etc., from his parents, the child does not incur an obligation to repay that support at some future date. The support is his by right.

It is the child’s responsibility, as he grows older, to understand that his parents, too, have rights; that he may not make unlimited demands on them, as if their sole purpose were to live for and serve him; that he may not expect them to relinquish every other interest and value in order to work at satisfying any wish he may chance to conceive."

Notice the wording: "the [basic] support is his by right." That is, he has the right to the basic conditions for his survival. The paragraph where he describes the essence of parental responsibility goes above and beyond the notion of rights: it describes a parent's moral responsibility.
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I don't know why you say metaphysical grounds. I am saying a child's rights, like an adults, stem from his nature as a rational being. We have already established that the good is "all that which is proper to the life of a rational being". What we are now discussing is how to apply that principle to an infant rational being and his relationship with those who created him.

If I may,

He means that rights must spring from metaethical and ethical grounds. You can't just say "an infant has such-and-such requirements and therefore has a right to them"

After you have answered the meta-ethical question, "is your goal to live?" then you proceed to ethics.

You define the nature of yourself, an adult rational being. What is your means of survival? Reason. This requires that you practice it without contradiction. Thus, when you create a helpless rational being, you are responsible for not only his existence, but his helplessness. Since YOU created his helplessness, YOU are responsible for acting to remove that condition. It would work the same way if you hit a man with your car and rendered him helpless: you would be liable for rectifying or compensating for his condition.

So to say that a child has the right to exist qua child is not really the right way to go about this. It's not that it has a right to exist that is any different or a "special case" vs the rights of adults. Instead, the parents have created their condition and are therefore responsible for acting to counter it.

I'm glad to see that the "official" Objectivist stance matches this, because it's what I've been saying all along.

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In accepting the basic necessities of food, clothing, etc., from his parents, the child does not incur an obligation to repay that support at some future date. The support is his by right.
Those statement say that the child has a right to "food, clothing, etc.".

It would work the same way if you hit a man with your car and rendered him helpless: you would be liable for rectifying or compensating for his condition.
Under those conditions, does the man you injured have a right to the compensation or other rectifying?
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I'm sorry, but in my rush to post I inadvertantly accepted the argumentation method of "validation-by-checking-with-Objectivist-position" as viable.

I stand by my position that rights, which are moral principles in a social context derived by the nature of the entity in question, are not "rights to things." Perhaps it is acceptable to speak losely like that, but I prefer not to.

If my position can be shown to be eroneous by reason, not by "checking with the official position," I will gladly accept it. Nonetheless, at present I view nothing wrong with my approach.

Edited by Felipe
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OK, but when you say "a child has the right to take all the actions required to be a child" this leaves the door wide open for abandonment.

I don’t think you’ve read any of my other posts on this thread -- this mischaracterizes my position. Morally speaking, children have the same rights and concomitant responsibilities as adults. Metaphysically, they cannot exercise these rights. So someone has to agree to take the actions required by rights for them.

I've said that "man, the rational animal, has the right to be man," which means, based on the metaphysics of his identity, the right to live free.

This is where I think you are going wrong. It isn’t that man has the right to be man. It is that he must be man, he has no choice in the matter. Rights bear on ethical action, on choice, not metaphysics.

I presume you mean that you want to make sure that in principle one can derive rights directly from metaphysics (it wasn't clear above). Yes, this is my view.

This is incorrect in my view. You cannot derive rights directly from metaphysics. You must first determine a rational code of ethics and then, when it is applied to society, you form the concept of rights.

First, what are the requirements for rights to be applicable to a certain living entity? Does a child meet these requirements? Understanding how rights are derived from metaphysics, what are a child's rights? Nowhere here am I interested in whether or not a child's rights are the same or different from a man's. Though this is interesting from a comparative point of view, and it hones one's skills in understanding the concept "rights," I don't view it as solid grounds for objecting to anyone's views on the rights of a particular entity.

I don’t think this is a sound methodology. Instead of deriving rights that are applicable to all rational beings you are deriving them separately for each particular entity due to certain metaphysical requirements. You then run the risk of establishing conflicting rights for different entities.

Since rationality is the essential characteristic required for rights to exist, it is the one that should be used when deriving them.

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Under those conditions, does the man you injured have a right to the compensation or other rectifying?

I think so yes. But I am unsure of how you mean that so I hesitate to answer. What do you mean?

Marc,

If you're saying what I think you're saying, then you're right. You don't say "a being is metaphysically THIS and so it has these rights."

Instead, you say "I choose to exist. My metaphysical nature demands that I practice certain principles in order to exist. One of these is non-contradiction. If I created a child, a helpless rational being, and left it to die, would that contradict anything? Would I be in contradiction with any of the principles that I require to survive?"

(The answer, BTW, is yes)

Edited by Inspector
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So the question is, why are the survival requirements of adults a proper basis for determining rights, but the survival requirements of children are irelevant and may be ignored?

Simple. An adult's survival requirements aren't a proper basis for determining rights.

In the December 1962 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter, Nathanial Branden took up the issue
I stand corrected.

Instead of deriving rights that are applicable to all rational beings you are deriving them separately for each particular entity due to certain metaphysical requirements. You then run the risk of establishing conflicting rights for different entities.
Funny you should mention that, as all the variants of the "right to survival requirement" argument use that exact same methodology;

1) determine why should I recognize rights for other beings

2) determine based on 1) who has rights

3) determine based on 2) instead of 1) what those rights are

You can't derive rights contrary to the very reason rights were established in the first place.

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