mvir9 Posted August 29, 2007 Share Posted August 29, 2007 Sorry to break up the digression to the foundations of science . . . Sticking to my promise not to torture the members of OL with my lack of scientific knowledge, I must turn back to the original discussion.I have spent the last hour reading through this thread. First, I am struck by an interesting deontological bent. It is important to distinguish between responsibility and duty (which I will attempt to do in this post). Secondly, I couldn't agree more with Ms. Branden's point that the parents of a child have chosen to bring said child into existence. The import of this statement is much more complex than the conciseness of the point may imply.As with every choice, personal responsibility for the consequences (whether good or bad) of one's actions is a part of the package. Parents have foreknowledge that the impending child will be incapable of caring for itself (mentally and physically). Therefore, by bringing a helpless, living child into this world, they know that they will have to provide for that child. Of course, this doesn't mean that the parents are capable of caring for the child, but this fact doesn't negate their knowledge nor their responsibility for their decision. If they make a bad choice (bringing a child into this world when they have no means to care for that child), they are responsible for the suffering that the child will inevitably endure from not being provided for. "Duty" implies self-sacrifice (as in the trading of a greater value for a lesser value). The parents have a responsibility toward (not a duty to) their child. The responsibility comes from the adults' rights to choose their actions (having a child). Since a positive action was taken in order to create the child, there is an implicit value placed on the creation of that child. Therefore, the care of this child by its parents is a responsibility rather than a duty.On the other hand, if I am forced to care for a child that I have not chosen to bring into this world, thereby I have no responsibility toward, then this "care" becomes a duty. Not only am I duty-bound to a child that I have no responsibility toward, but I am, by default, required to clean up the bad decisions of other adults. I would be required to give of myself for a value that is not mine. This makes my "care" of this child a duty, not a responsibility. Since when are we, as individuals, required to subsume the responsibilities of our fellow individuals? Yes, the fact that we are discussing poor, uncared for children living in totalitarian societies is heart-breaking, to say the least. However, the parents should not have brought a child into this world knowing what kind of suffering that their child would endure. As individuals, if we find that helping another person's child is not a sacrifice, but a value, then we have every right to help that child. I have no qualms with people who volunteer their time and/or money to children in need. The problem arises when this individual's decision becomes a moral imperative. The deontological bent to this thread comes suspiciously close to a moral imperative. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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