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Children's rights

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Individualist Posted: Sat, Aug 1 2009 1:02 PM

How different do you think the rights of children are from those of adults? Should parents be able to legally abort their new-born infants? Should they be able to legally sell them to others? What about torture?

Rothbard: "We must therefore state that, even from birth, the parental ownership is not absolute but of a “trustee” or guardianship kind. In short, every baby as soon as it is born and is therefore no longer contained within his mother’s body possesses the right of self-ownership by virtue of being a separate entity and a potential adult. It must therefore be illegal and a violation of the child’s rights for a parent to aggress against his person by mutilating, torturing, murdering him, etc."

How does a right to self-ownership follow from a child's being a separate entity?

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my personal perspective would be that babies and young children are not selfowners , they do not take moral responsibility. they are not moral agents. (they only have a potential to be agents in the future )

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

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Juan replied on Sat, Aug 1 2009 1:15 PM
Should they be able to legally sell them to others? What about torture?
What about teenagers ? 'Should' their parents be able to enslave them ? Torture them ? Maybe turn them into cat food ?

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Juan:
Should they be able to legally sell them to others? What about torture?
What about teenagers ? 'Should' their parents be able to enslave them ? Torture them ? Maybe turn them into cat food ?
Is this a rhetorical question? Wouldn't teenagers have many more rights anyway, by virtue of their capability, etc.?

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[posted in wrong thread]

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."  - H. L. Mencken

 

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Juan replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 8:52 PM
Are you saying that the younger human beings are, the less rights they have ? Is there a threshold for torture for instance ?

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Angurse replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 8:58 PM

Individualist:
How does a right to self-ownership follow from a child's being a separate entity?

Individual sovereignty, perhaps.

 

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Spideynw replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:11 PM

Juan:
Are you saying that the younger human beings are, the less rights they have ? Is there a threshold for torture for instance ?

The younger the human being, the less capable of granting or withholding consent.  So they actually start out with no rights.  No wrong has been committed unless a being has the ability to grant or withhold consent, and then withholds consent.

Parents should be able to legally torture their children.  However, there are quite a few things to stop them from torturing their children.  First of all, is nature.  People generally do not have children just to torture them.  Second of all, is the fact that children have two parents.  If one parent does not consent to torturing the child, then that parent's rights will have been violated.  Lastly, is the fact that we all die, and someone who is known to torture his or her children may soon end up finding his or her self dead.

And in conclusion, the law does not magically stop people from doing anything.  There are plenty of stories of people killing their own children.  Usually he or she will kill his or her self as well in the process.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Spideynw replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:16 PM

Individualist:
How different do you think the rights of children are from those of adults? Should parents be able to legally abort their new-born infants?

Yes.  Unborn children do not have the ability to grant or withhold consent.  Not only that, it makes abortions much more dangerous.  Lastly, it is of great risk for a doctor to perform abortions anyways, even if it is legal.  A doctor in the U.S. was recently murdered that performed abortions, even though it is legal.  Lastly, there probably are not many doctors that would perform abortions.  They usually want to save lives, not destroy them.

Individualist:
Should they be able to legally sell them to others?

Of course!!!!  They would probably end up in much better homes.  The really tough question is when do children acquire the ability to grant or withhold consent.  My guess is younger than the current age of 18.

Individualist:
How does a right to self-ownership follow from a child's being a separate entity?

It doesn't.  It follows from the ability to grant or withhold consent.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Juan replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:16 PM
OK Spideynw, I'm afraid you are highly confused. To put it mildly.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
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Spideynw replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:17 PM

Juan:
OK Spideynw, I'm afraid you are highly confused. To put it mildly.

Being a little snarky, arent' ya? 

Regardless Juan, I know you and I agree on most everything, so I know you have a better argument than this.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Juan replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:20 PM
Spideynw:
Parents should be able to legally torture their children.
Why ?

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Spideynw replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:20 PM

Juan:
Spideynw:
Parents should be able to legally torture their children.
Why ?

Because children do not have rights.  They gain rights at some point when they can grant or withhold consent.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Juan replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:22 PM
That's a bit circular.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Spideynw replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:23 PM

Juan:
That's a bit circular.

Sorry.  I realized as soon as I posted it that it was poorly written.  It has been fixed.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Juan replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:27 PM
I don't think your argument is sound. Rights are not based only on the ability to grant or withhold consent.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
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Spideynw replied on Sun, Aug 2 2009 10:31 PM

Juan:
I don't think your argument is sound. Rights are not based only on the ability to grant or withhold consent.

That is the only way we know if a wrong has been committed.  When has a baby ever consented to being killed by another human, having sex with another human, or being tortured by another human?

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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AJ replied on Mon, Aug 3 2009 2:09 AM

Spideynw:

Juan:
I don't think your argument is sound. Rights are not based only on the ability to grant or withhold consent.

That is the only way we know if a wrong has been committed.  When has a baby ever consented to being killed by another human, having sex with another human, or being tortured by another human?

You kept saying this in the animal rights thread, but it never made sense to me. Would you consider it OK to kill an orphan vagrant toddler? Such a toddler cannot grant or withhold consent, and has no parents or guardians, so apparently according to your reasoning we cannot know if a wrong has been committed.

Or if someone punched you in your sleep, would you think that was fine, since at the time you were unable to grant or withhold consent? Say they tried waking you for several minutes, but you were fast asleep. If your answer is that they should wait until you wake up and are able to give consent, why shouldn't the torturing parents likewise be required to wait until the child is old enough to grant or withhold consent to being tortured?

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AJ:

Spideynw:

Juan:
I don't think your argument is sound. Rights are not based only on the ability to grant or withhold consent.

That is the only way we know if a wrong has been committed.  When has a baby ever consented to being killed by another human, having sex with another human, or being tortured by another human?

You kept saying this in the animal rights thread, but it never made sense to me. Would you consider it OK to kill an orphan vagrant toddler?

I would say no wrong has been committed.

AJ:
Or if someone punched you in your sleep, would you think that was fine, since at the time you were unable to grant or withhold consent?

When I say "has the capability of granting or withholding consent", I mean the mental capacity.  Someone who is asleep still has the mental capacity.

AJ:
Say they tried waking you for several minutes, but you were fast asleep. If your answer is that they should wait until you wake up and are able to give consent, why shouldn't the torturing parents likewise be required to wait until the child is old enough to grant or withhold consent to being tortured?

The problem with the word "torture", is that lack of consent is implied.  Let's use "beat the child", instead.  So, I think you make a good point.  My question to you though, is who has been wronged, if the child cannot tell us whether or not he or she did not want to be beaten?  I have heard grown men say they were glad their father beat them, because it made them into better men....

Again, the only way we know a wrong has been committed, is if someone has the mental capacity to grant or withhold consent, and withholds consent.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Juan:
I don't think your argument is sound. Rights are not based only on the ability to grant or withhold consent.

Rights have nothing to do with being able to grant consent or to make moral judgments.  Rights are innate in human beings by their virtue of being human.

In a libertarian society it is possible that a parent could torture or murder their child and not receive punishment, but the lack of punishment doesn't make the behavior moral.  Even though a child, baby or fetus cannot defend itself or make moral judgments it is still a human and has rights.

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i agree that moral agency is key, so too that rationality is fundamental, and clearly there is a boundary problem, where a featus has not the mental capacity to reason or comprehend that there are right acts and wrong acts. and yet very very small children might sufficiently be self aware and cognizant of moral issues as to set a very low age for self-sovereignty. its a question of human psychology and development....

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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nirgrahamUK:

i agree that moral agency is key, so too that rationality is fundamental, and clearly there is a boundary problem, where a featus has not the mental capacity to reason or comprehend that there are right acts and wrong acts. and yet very very small children might sufficiently be self aware and cognizant of moral issues as to set a very low age for self-sovereignty. its a question of human psychology and development....

That statement, as well as most in this thread, is arbitrary and lacks objective meaning or truth.  A human has rights by their virtue of being human.  Applying any other qualifier is ridiculous.  If you disagree, please explain why a human needs to be rational or able to comprehend morality to have basic rights.

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you are wrong.

a human has rights by virtue of their being a moral agent. Applying any other qualifier is ridiculous. now try explaining how moral agency can be possible without rationality ? i'd be impressed.

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Humans have rights because God made them in his image and gave them rights.  You may not believe in God, but if there is no God there is no such thing as objective morality.  You may say that rational beings have rights, but that is subjective and arbitrary.  Objective morality and rights only exist if God exists.

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so you think moral agency with zero rationality is possible.

i think you lost the argument.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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nirgrahamUK:

you are wrong.

a human has rights by virtue of their being a moral agent. Applying any other qualifier is ridiculous. now try explaining how moral agency can be possible without rationality ? i'd be impressed.

if what you are saying is true then there is no definitive defintion of what a human being is. The only logical defintion of a human has to be biological.

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of course i dont dispute that humans are identifiable biologically , how on earth did you get otherwise from what i wrote ???

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Natalie replied on Mon, Aug 3 2009 2:14 PM

What about parents' rights?

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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nirgrahamUK:

so you think moral agency with zero rationality is possible.

i think you lost the argument.

I'm not following you.

A human whose brain has been damage beyond repair and is a permanent coma cannot think critically or rationally, yet that person still has moral value and rights.  I don't see the the problem with that.  By virtue of being human, this bed-ridden person still has rights given by God.  They may not be able to ACT morally, because they cannot act at all, but they still have moral value.

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Natalie:

What about parents' rights?

I don't understand your question.  Could you please elaborate?

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nirgrahamUK:

of course i dont dispute that humans are identifiable biologically , how on earth did you get otherwise from what i wrote ???

Then there should be no dispute about what rights one human has over another. Since rights are inherent to being human  a toddler human is just as wronged when he is killed as an adult human would be wronged.

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Maxliberty:
Then there should be no dispute about what rights one human has over another. Since rights are inherent to being human  a toddler human is just as wronged when he is killed as an adult human would be wronged.
moral agency dude. think about what it means. think about if rationality has anything to do with it. if a toddler has sufficient rational capacity to be a moral agent, then i completely agree, he is a moral agent. if he hasnt then he hasnt. its a question of biology. if you like. in the sense of discovering by science whether they are moral agents or not. moral agents inhabit a subset of human bodies, and a subset of non-human rational agent bodies. not all human bodies are moral agents. dead bodies etc.

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Natalie replied on Mon, Aug 3 2009 2:20 PM

Do parents have a right to force their children to do things children don't like? Can you exercise parental authority without infringing on children's freedom? Can outsiders interfere with our parenting methods? Make us send kids to school and do other things against our will?

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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jdcoffey:
A human whose brain has been damage beyond repair and is a permanent coma cannot think critically or rationally, yet that person still has moral value and rights.  I don't see the the problem with that.  By virtue of being human, this bed-ridden person still has rights given by God.  They may not be able to ACT morally, because they cannot act at all, but they still have moral value.
this person with no capacity for reason can not think of himself as your victim if you hurt him. you can do him no wrong. he is a human looking shell. the slang term is 'vegatable' for a reason, crude as it may seem.

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nirgrahamUK:

Maxliberty:
Then there should be no dispute about what rights one human has over another. Since rights are inherent to being human  a toddler human is just as wronged when he is killed as an adult human would be wronged.
moral agency dude. think about what it means. think about if rationality has anything to do with it. if a toddler has sufficient rational capacity to be a moral agent, then i completely agree, he is a moral agent. if he hasnt then he hasnt. its a question of biology. if you like. in the sense of discovering by science whether they are moral agents or not. moral agents inhabit a subset of human bodies, and a subset of non-human rational agent bodies. not all human bodies are moral agents. dead bodies etc.

Morality exists independently of the existence of humans.  It must be so, otherwise morality is purely subjective.  A toddler may be able to act rationally or not, but that doesn't matter.  By virtue of being human that toddler has moral rights.

Dead bodies are not moral agents because they have no soul.

Science cannot determine what is moral and what isn't.  The idea that it can is absurd.

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nirgrahamUK:

jdcoffey:
A human whose brain has been damage beyond repair and is a permanent coma cannot think critically or rationally, yet that person still has moral value and rights.  I don't see the the problem with that.  By virtue of being human, this bed-ridden person still has rights given by God.  They may not be able to ACT morally, because they cannot act at all, but they still have moral value.
this person with no capacity for reason can not think of himself as your victim if you hurt him. you can do him no wrong. he is a human looking shell. the slang term is 'vegatable' for a reason, crude as it may seem.

Even if the person will never again be able to act rationally, if they are still alive they have innate human rights.

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morality holds for all time for any and all moral agents. this is independant and universal. it so happens that some living human bodies are rational and hence moral agents and so are 'caught by morality' .  your theory is that human beings have human souls that god loves and so they have rights. what about rational alien species out there in space? will their alien souls do?

i never said science can determine what act is moral and what isnt. it can certainly determine rationality, and hence the fact over whether such and such a thing is a moral agent or not.

 

you are a thing. get over it.

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jdcoffey:
Even if the person will never again be able to act rationally, if they are still alive they have innate human rights.
they have all the rights of a lampost, even if their relatives fawn over the empty shell of what their loved one used to inhabit.

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Natalie:

Do parents have a right to force their children to do things children don't like? Can you exercise parental authority without infringing on children's freedom? Can outsiders interfere with our parenting methods? Make us send kids to school and do other things against our will?

Yes, a parent can force a child to do morally acceptable things like chores, exercising manners, etc.  Of course, the child can exercise his freedom to leave his parents as well.  If the child is too young to make such a decision then the burden is on the parent to make moral decisions for their children.  Outsiders should not interfere with parenting methods.  Forcing a parent to send kids to school is disgusting coercion.

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nirgrahamUK:

morality holds for all time for any and all moral agents. this is independant and universal. it so happens that some living human bodies are rational and hence moral agents and so are 'caught by morality' .  your theory is that human beings have human souls that god loves and so they have rights. what about rational alien species out there in space? will their alien souls do?

i never said science can determine what act is moral and what isnt. it can certainly determine rationality, and hence the fact over whether such and such a thing is a moral agent or not.

 

you are a thing. get over it.

You're attempting to be snarky and I don't know why.  I'm not attacking you.

My argument boils down to this:  If there is no God, there is no such thing as OBJECTIVE morality or rights.  For you to speak of objective morality in the absence of God, you need to prove that such a concept can exist.

If God exists, then he created everything, including aliens if they exist.  I won't venture to guess what rights he would have bestowed upon them

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