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Child Abuse

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When 2 people decide to have a child they are responsible for both their actions and the child's.

The purpose of the parent is to guide the child in his thought and action, to help develop his rational faculty so he eventually becomes an independent being relying on only his own thinking to guide his action.

If parents do this then they have succeeded in their guidance, their child is now a man, an independent individual that is fit for existence and has developed the rational tool required for his survival. This tool can help him discover the values he needs to guide his choices and actions, the choices and actions that determine the purpose and course of his life.

If however the parents have brought the child up in a religious way, they have taught him to be irrational, to negate is mind and rely on his emotions to guide his action. The child does not become fit for existence and has to rely not only his emotions, but he must be dependent upon others for his survival. Dependent either intellectually, or materially or both.

In the second instance the parents have abused the child and acted immorally, by man's nature he has to survive by his own reason, the parents therefore have abused him by telling him to negate his reason, to act not as man but as an animal.

In today’s society the parent would not be accused of child abuse, but in an objectivist society with objective laws and limited government, then the parent should be punished for child abuse.

Do you agree?

Would this be seen as an initiation of force? in the sense that the child was forced to negate his rational faculty, he was free in the sense that he could discover his rational faculty, but in the other sense he wasn't because he did not know that to use one's mind was right or how to use it.

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In todays society the parent would not be accused of child abuse, but in an objectivist society with objective laws and limited government, then the parent should be punished for child abuse.

Do you agree?

No. I think you should reconsider your understanding of the criminal aspects of child abuse, and what actions should be subject to governmental use of retaliatory force. Beating up on children is an offense that should be proscribed by law: being a bad parent isn't.

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My standard of what should be legally permissible is: Are the parents doing anything to the child that the child won't be able to UNDO when he becomes and adult?

Religious training can be bad but, as hundreds of Objectivists will attest, it definitely can be undone.

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Is there anything other than physical force that the child can't undo as an adult? I suppose that this is more in the realm of psychology, but it seems that even severe emotional/mental abuse could be overcome as an adult (I think that a strict religious upbringing could be classed as this).

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