John Dailey

The Rights of 'Fathers'

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~ This thread (in another sub-forum of O-L) --> Politics--Abortion, started by Jeff Kramer, almost tangented into a 'rights of the parents' territory, focusing on a 'father's rights. I start this thread here to focus the latter subject here before such 'hijacks' associatable-subject threads. Indeed, I think *my* views apply to the 'mother' as well.

~ To be clear, by 'rights' I'm clearly talking in the framework of 'morality' re who 'should' do what and not (else it'd be under the Politics sub-forum) what laws are proper to 'force' whoever to do. Ie, in this context: who is ethically 'wrong' in ascribing or denying the 'right' of decision-making to a given 'adult' male re a...'child.'

~ This maybe even has implications re how to view Anna Nicole's daughter's paternity situation. "Who has the 'right' (apart from 'legally') to raise her?"

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

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Part Deux:

~ Before considering biological relevencies, consider a set of parents attempting to adopt. When do they, as a pair, acquire the 'moral' right to raise the child (hopefully, it's still an infant; I quite understand Madonna's and Jolie's preference for 3rd world adoption [ahem])? Unfortunately, in this type of case, I don't see how such can be separated from the legal framework. When the legally-'authorized' organization decides 'ok', is when the pair has a legal 'ok', and thence they are seen as legally-authorized to 'parent' the child. One may say that here, since they've accepted legal-accountability, they've then publicly shown that they are now also, thereby, 'morally' responsible/accountable for how they treat the child re publicly/govt'lly-expected 'obligations' TO the child. Not a situation to argue the base of 'morality' rights...and obligations...but a place to consider the 'mother' in the same situation as the (in the controversied cases) 'father.'

LLAP

J:D

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Part Tres:

~ Instead, consider the pair as a 3rd-world pair who find an orphan from some ravaged war situation...and take him/her/(it?) in. When does which of either acquire a 'moral' obligation to the child? How determinable as to which has what 'right' regarding decisions about the child (after both accepting keeping it)? Such questions need answers before making decisions about a biological father's rights...and obligations: When does an 'obligation' to the child start?

~ If I may argue a special premise here: one has no 'right' to decide anything about another PERSON-who's-a-dependent, if one has no 'obligation' to them. Keep in mind that we're talking about a PERSON (which may, or may not, include some fetusi).

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey

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Part Quatre:

~ My premise about any 'rights', maternal or paternal, are based on the decision of the dependent's (or dependent-to-be) 'caretakers'/'raisers' being accepted by the 'caretaker'/'parent' as being-dependent-for-needs upon them. They have accepted the idea of care-taking any 'needs' of the dependent, hence have now the 'obligation' to do so. Ergo, then, and only then, do they (and no one else) have any 'right' to decide anything about the dependent. They both may have conflicts about what the needs are, and which to deal with 1st, but, this is a different (and irrelevent) territory to my point. How to resolve such conflict is a whole 'nother thread. Their 'acceptance' of providing for the needs of the dependent makes them obliged, and ergo, is what gives them rights about deciding such. THIS is the base of and for either's moral 'rights' regarding the dependent.

LLAP

J:D

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Part Cinque-Alpha: Finally-the-Biology factor:

~ A gestator who decides to 'birth' a child has no obligations TO the potential 'child'...until it is recognized as a PERSON. 'Rights' thus pertain only to the gestator and her body. During this time, the biological 'father' has no obligations to it either; ergo, he has no 'rights' pertaining to the blastula/whatever. However, he does have some obligation to the 'mother' re her medical condition; this is an overlooked aspect of 'rights' and 'obligations in this subject.

~ Should there be clear, arguable, indeed 'rational' reasons established for a fetus in late 3rd-trimester being regarded as a PERSON, then, as unarguably post-birth, the gestator who waited that long, has a moral obligation to care-take it's needs through birth; defaulting on this for convenience is morally murder. Ergo, she, and only she, has the 'right' to decide anything (short of killing it if 'threat'-to-her is below statistical arguments) about the fetus.

LLAP

J:D

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Part Cinque-Bravo: Finally-the-Biology factor:

~ The (biological) 'father', however, as yet having no inherent obligations to wait for the gestator's decisions, has none to the gestated. Ergo, also, he has no 'rights' about it either...unless and until he's shown committment (as 'adopters' do, official or de-facto) to the gestator of helping her raise her chosen-to-be-gestated (or, as in my case, already gestated) child.

~ Short of that, his only obligation (and 'right') is to the gestator's medical needs.

LLAP

J:D

PS: There's a reason for the separated posts (rather than 1 long one) which I shan't go into here. Sorry 'bout such, but, couldn't be avoided.

Edited by John Dailey

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Good coverage of the topic. Briefly, I'd say that moral rights do not extend beyond the reach of one man's purpose and ability. Every natural child/adoptee/child welfare advocate has equal standing, especialy if the parent/guardian is abusive, neglectful or idiotic. Most parents have no moral right to custody of their natural children. But until and unless those kids complain, there's almost nothing to be done on their behalf.

W.

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Wolf:

~ Granted...if and when there's a bona-fide worthy-of-considering 'complaint' by the 'child' (very tricky 'judgemental territory' for anyone to be positive about, fer sure.) Not all 'kids' are truth-tellers in all their 'complaints' about their authorized 'guardian/parents.'

~ Something to keep in mind, especially nowadays, methinks.

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey

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John

Interesting approach to the "father's rights" question.

I would like to know if you can argue it without recourse to legal principles or an appeal to an "outside" authority.

There are other points but I will raise them separately.

Steve

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Steve:

~ I believe that I showed in my 1st post that 'recourse to legal principles' is NOT the way to go in arguing the point about a father's rights! This post establishes the base for my next posts showing how (and why) else to argue the morality (and definitely NOT legal) 'rights'/obligations of that territory. The proper legal perspective depends 1st on the moral perspective...which my following posts delve into the justifications for.

~ One must 1st make a committment of some kind (and, in the mother's/gestator's case...to birth); without such, there's no obligations, hence also, no 'rights.' But, once it's made, the rest follow.

LLAP

J:D

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ADDENDUM:

~ To correct the very false old adage "Rights imply obligations/'responsibilities'", the truth is quite the converse (when and where applicable): "Obligations/'responsibilities' -> imply -> rights." --- Ie: it's a one-way implication. Too many drive the wrong way on this street.

LLAP

J:D

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Most parents have no moral right to custody of their natural children. But until and unless those kids complain, there's almost nothing to be done on their behalf.

W.

On what empirical evidence do you come to this conclusion? Short of demonstrated physical abuse or neglect, on what basis should the right of parents to nurture their children be abridged or denied? Do you think that disapproval of the way a parent brings up his/her child is sufficient reason for deny parental right?

Ba'al Chataf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Baal:

~ I often disagree with you on many things, but, I agree with your questions intimating that Wolf totally blew it on his phrasologies here:

Most parents [please define what you mean by 'parents'] have no moral right to custody [exactly what does THAT term {'custody'} mean? Ie: define 'custody'] of their natural [as opposed to 'adopted'?] children.

~ *My* question is thence: WHO has the 'moral right' to such, once the 'children' exist?

~ Ball's in your court, Wolfie.

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey

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Under Objectivism; the principle of rights appends to the individual person.

With that in mind, fathers have no more rights than mothers. Their child is equally the right of each to claim parenthood of. However; when nurturing is considered, the mother has obvious advantages. She has breast milk. And when protection is considered, the father has obvious advantages. He is stronger.

Proper child raising is a joint effort.

Edited by UncleJim

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Good discussion gentlemen. Are you not going to get into the claimed "right" of the states to protect the common welfare which is where they slither through to assign financial obligations to both parents?

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Good discussion gentlemen. Are you not going to get into the claimed "right" of the states to protect the common welfare which is where they slither through to assign financial obligations to both parents?

Sure! No such right exists. We gave part of our rights to them. Go figure. Now we're trying to figure out how to deal with that.

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Good discussion gentlemen. Are you not going to get into the claimed "right" of the states to protect the common welfare which is where they slither through to assign financial obligations to both parents?

Sure! No such right exists. We gave part of our rights to them. Go figure. Now we're trying to figure out how to deal with that.

"We gave part of our rights to them." << I don't remember signing anything! lol

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Good discussion gentlemen. Are you not going to get into the claimed "right" of the states to protect the common welfare which is where they slither through to assign financial obligations to both parents?

Sure! No such right exists. We gave part of our rights to them. Go figure. Now we're trying to figure out how to deal with that.

"We gave part of our rights to them." << I don't remember signing anything! lol

You weren't even born then. It's called the Constitution for the United States of America. That document provided for how "the people" hire others to run the Federal Government. We gave these others instructions to use whatever means necessary to protect us from harm by others.

Part of us is; of course, our children. When we become the instrument of harm to our own children our 'federal instructions' act against our-self and to the benefit of our children.

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Good discussion gentlemen. Are you not going to get into the claimed "right" of the states to protect the common welfare which is where they slither through to assign financial obligations to both parents?

States and governments do not have rights. They have powers.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Good discussion gentlemen. Are you not going to get into the claimed "right" of the states to protect the common welfare which is where they slither through to assign financial obligations to both parents?

States and governments do not have rights. They have powers.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I understand that, but state governments advance the argument that they have a constitutional "right" to enforce the protection of the general welfare - particularly children which was the point that I was attempting to advance.

Adam

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I understand that, but state governments advance the argument that they have a constitutional "right" to enforce the protection of the general welfare - particularly children which was the point that I was attempting to advance.

Adam

Its a "granted" right; not a natural right. That's why it has a different name - power.

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