Should having a child be a right.?

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CorruptUser
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:35 am UTC

Also, have to be married to the person, and only available in state prisons in 6 states.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Роберт » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:09 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Also, have to be married to the person, and only available in state prisons in 6 states.

They also allow same-sex partners.
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Jessie » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

kazvorpal wrote:
Роберт wrote:As much as people who name their kids [Godwin] and similar edge cases make you think "they shouldn't be allowed to have kids"


In some of the more socialist European countries, governments actually have violated the right to name your own child. You must go to them to get approval...and not just to ensure that you don't name them "Dweezel" and "Moon Unit", but for a whole list of categories, even to ensure that you chose an ethnically appropriate name. No naming a Flemish child Pierre.

Is Godwin bad?


Off topic:

Als a Flemish (but also Belgian and European) woman living in Flanders, i know for a fact that that is not true. I personally know some Flemish people who have a French name. Also, there are a lot of Flemish people in the public eye with French names. Some examples: Jean-Pierre Bauwens jr. (a young boxer from Ghent), Jean-Pierre Van Rossem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Pierre_Van_Rossem), Jean-Luc Dehaene (a former Belgian prime minister), Jean-Marie Pfaff,... Heck, even one of the most extreme right-wing, flemish-nationalist and racist politicians is officially named Philip Dewinter. Because this doesn't suite his political goals, he spells his name "Filip", which is more "Flemish".

I have to admit that the name "Pierre" is not very popular: out of all the babies born in Flanders the last five years, only 58 were named Pierre (http://www.kindengezin.be/zoekvoornaam/zoeknaam.do in Dutch).

I think you are implying that babies born in Flanders can only be given a "Flemish" name, but i have no idea why. In fact, there is a law (a Belgian law!) that states that people are free to choose the name of their child, but there are some restrictions, e.g. no absurd, offensive or ridiculous names, no names that do not correspond with the gender of the child,... (http://www.leuven.be/leven/aanvragen-en-documenten/voornamen/ also in Dutch) This law applies to all children born in Belgium.

We are on the verge of having our first Walloon prime minister in history. He's from Italian working-class descent. And he's gay. Just shut up about things you know nothing about.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby mosc » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:43 am UTC

thc wrote:Well once your child is born, it's no longer your body. Having a child is different than having a child.

I don't really have a strong opinion, but I agree it's whack that adopting a child is (ostensibly) so much more restricted than being able to keep a child that you've given birth to. I think it puts undue emphasis on blood ties.

I found this amusing. On one hand, it makes some sense. Yes, a child can be raised by anyone and the birth parents could be only one on a list of candidates for custody. But I'd wager money here that thc doesn't have kids because he's completely forgetting another affected group: the mothers and fathers. Their emotional investment in the child is extremely high. It's not just after birth either, the parents alter their lifestyles during pregnancy (no drinking, for example) and women in particular have massive biological changes (breastfeeding, for example). So yes, you can say that anyone could raise the child and there are plenty of successful adoptions / failed biological parents to prove your point. However, I must completely disagree. Wanting birth parents have a need for the child as much as the child has a need for parents. It goes both ways and that is totally missed in your argument.
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby aldonius » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:26 am UTC

By my internal, fuzzy definition, the ability for people to have children is a right - one which is occasionally denied for edge cases with proven antisocial behaviour, as noted previously.
I don't think it should be possible to limit this entirely for the general population. However, in an age of 7 billion people, I think it is perfectly legitimate to remove any sort of economic incentive/impose sanctions on those who procreate above replacement level. (For instance, in countries which have paid parental leave, that might rapidly reduce for child #3+.)
Yes, it's scarily China-ish, but the problems are in implementation rather than principle.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby mosc » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

I'll steal something from NPR: If all of humanity, all 7 billion of us, gathered for a family photo, we would cover an area about the size of LA. That's all at ground level too. The planet is a very big place and we have the technology to grow vertically as well as horizontally. There's no reason to believe our population is out of control. Fear mongering and world politics often villainize China and India due to their large populations, but we are not running out of room or resources and even if we were, very little of our efforts are going towards feeding and caring for a lot of us anyway.
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Soralin » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:26 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I'll steal something from NPR: If all of humanity, all 7 billion of us, gathered for a family photo, we would cover an area about the size of LA. That's all at ground level too. The planet is a very big place and we have the technology to grow vertically as well as horizontally. There's no reason to believe our population is out of control. Fear mongering and world politics often villainize China and India due to their large populations, but we are not running out of room or resources and even if we were, very little of our efforts are going towards feeding and caring for a lot of us anyway.

Short term, that can provide some breathing room, but in the long term the only thing that can work is reducing population growth. Exponential growth will eventually overcome anything you can throw at it. Here, from a post I made a while back:
Even with infinite resources, expansion cannot overcome a continuous growth rate, in the long term. With infinite resources, and being able to move anywhere at the speed of light, the volume of space that would could occupy in x years, would be limited to a sphere x light years in radius, growing geometrically with time. Meanwhile, our population grows at a rate of n^x, exponential with time, which for any constant n > 1, will eventually overcome the geometric term.

Say for example all you need for a human is 1m^3 of space, then if we had infinite energy, and could move at will at the speed of light, and live anywhere, even deep space, and maintained our current growth rate of 1.1%/year, then we would run out of space when:

volume of sphere x light years radius = total volume of humans after x years of growth
4/3*pi*(3*10^8 x)^3 = 7*10^9 * 1.011^x

I don't this this has a closed form solution in algebra, so just approximating it: After somewhere between 5750 and 5800 years at our current growth rate, even with infinite resources, infinite energy, and the ability to travel at the speed of light at will, and nothing needed other than space to put our own bodies, we'd run out of space. It would be a 5800 light year radius ball of solid humans. Nothing beats exponential growth in the long term.

And excepting ftl travel, that's as overoptimistic as things can possibly be. We'd have has to use up all of the mass of the Earth, or the Sun, or all of the matter in the volume of space available to us long before that, just to turn into more humans, to maintain that growth rate. And if we had the ability to make more mass (we're assuming infinite available energy after all), we'd collapse into a black hole from our own mass long before we reached the above point. And more realistic scenarios can only be more limited than that.

Long term, the only solution is zero population growth, or at least a continuously decreasing growth rate, any constant exponential growth rate will eventually overcome anything you can throw at it.

That was more a response to things like expanding to other planets as a solution for population growth, so the number is a bit high, and the assumptions are a bit absurd, but it does provide an ultimate upper bound of upper bounds for our current growth rate.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

At least until we discover ways to live in more than our current 4 dimensions. (Yes, we are at least 4-dimensional creatures; time is not a separate dimension). At that point, it'd be like figuring out how many leaves of infinitely thin paper can be stacked on top of each other.

Or learn to transfer our consciouses into computers or something, for immortality. Or merge consciouses into hiveminds.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Soralin » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:At least until we discover ways to live in more than our current 4 dimensions. (Yes, we are at least 4-dimensional creatures; time is not a separate dimension). At that point, it'd be like figuring out how many leaves of infinitely thin paper can be stacked on top of each other.

Or learn to transfer our consciouses into computers or something, for immortality. Or merge consciouses into hiveminds.

Yeah, but if there aren't any extra dimensions for us to occupy, and if FTL travel isn't possible, we're limited by the above limits. If those things simply aren't possible in our universe, then there's nothing we can do about it.

If we upload ourselves, that could get us some extra space, but there are still fundamental physical limits to how much information you can have in a given volume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limits_to_computation. Say for example that this effectively reduced the space for a human to 1 nm3, volume decreased by a factor of a billion billion billion, 10-27. Run the above calculation again with the same growth rate, and you've managed to extend the limit to between 11650 and 11700 years. Note that information is actually limited by surface area rather than volume, due to things collapsing into black holes if you put too much stuff in one place, so the actual limit would end up much less than either of these.

FTL travel could extend things, but things would get rather unusual fairly quickly. I mean, look at the above amounts. If each human weighs 50kg, then in about 6440 years, humanity will mass more than the milky way galaxy, in about 9040 years, we would mass more than the visible universe, more than a trillion times more than the mass of our galaxy. In about 9000 years, we'd have to disassemble every star, every planet, everything, to get mass for more humans. There wouldn't be anything left but humans floating around in the dark. :) At 9000 years from now, we'd have to be disassembling about 350 trillion stars the size of our sun, every single second, just to provide the mass needed for new humans, in order to maintain the same growth rate.

Any way you look at it, exponential growth gets crazy in a relatively short span of time. :)

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:49 pm UTC

Assuming that information is stored on the atomic level, and not subatomic. We really don't know what the 'base unit' of matter is; we (as a species) may one day see computers the size of atoms, using strings or whatever we discover as datapoints. Anyway, at the time of human to computer transfer, reproduction would stop. Biological anyway. So this would be a non-issue.

As for non speculative science, if you want population control, don't have child benefits, at least beyond the first/second child. Your 'right' to children amounts to 'as many children as you are capable of raising'. You, and not someone else. Food aid to disaster sticken areas is good, but only temporary aid; permanent aid destroys the local economy and supports a population boom. Which is why Africa is currently a nightmare. Honestly, the only argument for supporting 'DR' Congo is to provide enough nightmare fodder to scare away any potential invaders including Cthulhu. I mean, they eat dwarves and albinos for their 'magical' properties, rape as a means of 'curing AIDS', force pre-teens to shoot their own families, and just, just, <sobs>.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Soralin » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:19 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Assuming that information is stored on the atomic level, and not subatomic. We really don't know what the 'base unit' of matter is; we (as a species) may one day see computers the size of atoms, using strings or whatever we discover as datapoints. Anyway, at the time of human to computer transfer, reproduction would stop. Biological anyway. So this would be a non-issue.

No, it's not making that assumption, the limits described on that limits of computation page are more fundamental than atoms, they apply no matter what you use. (And I used 1 nm3 for the size required for an uploaded human, so I definitely wasn't making that assumption. A silicon atom is about 1/2 nm diameter, so 1 nm3 would be all of about 8 silicon atoms, not much to go on there if you're only storing things on the level of atoms.) And going smaller doesn't change much. I mean, it took decreasing the size by a factor of 1027 in order to double the amount of time.

And if reproduction would stop, then that breaks the assumption that the growth rate would be constant, I mean, you could just do that without uploading anyway, that's the point, the only long term solution is by decreasing the growth rate. Zero population growth, or at least non-exponential growth, growth that isn't dependent on the current population size.

And growth rate wouldn't necessarily have to stop just because of uploading. I mean, if you have a simulated reality that allows for reproduction, then you're going to get more humans, and you're going to need more physical space and mass for the components required to store the information and processing power for them.
As for non speculative science, if you want population control, don't have child benefits, at least beyond the first/second child. Your 'right' to children amounts to 'as many children as you are capable of raising'. You, and not someone else. Food aid to disaster sticken areas is good, but only temporary aid; permanent aid destroys the local economy and supports a population boom. Which is why Africa is currently a nightmare. Honestly, the only argument for supporting 'DR' Congo is to provide enough nightmare fodder to scare away any potential invaders including Cthulhu. I mean, they eat dwarves and albinos for their 'magical' properties, rape as a means of 'curing AIDS', force pre-teens to shoot their own families, and just, just, <sobs>.

Ugh, yeah, there are some really ugly situations there. The "as many as you are capable of raising" thing doesn't tend to work in practice. Often, people who are worse off, and less capable of raising children, end up with a lot more than those who are in better situations, who are more capable of taking care of them. Generally, if you increase people's standard of living, the number of children they tend to have goes down, not up. Modern developed countries are already sitting at around replacement rate, so if you can uplift the rest of the world to that level, you should basically be able to solve most of overpopulation just like that, and provide a much better standard of living. It's just figuring out how to get there from here that's the hard part, and a lot of attempts to do so can end up backfiring.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby mosc » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:04 am UTC

Exponential growth forever is impossible. It's like forecasting till the end of time a math equation based on today's numbers they can never come true. If you wait long enough with any growth and forecasted out far enough you will exceed the number of people's as atoms in the universe. I really think this is more to do with China and India. We villainize their large populations independent of the areas they cover or the resources they have. It's fear mongering and not much else. there's no reason to believe the population several orders of magnitude larger could not be sustained given enough time to improve resources on this planet let alone beyond.

PS: this post was attempted using the voice recognition on my iPhone 4S and I must say I had mixed results. Just an amusing thought for myself thank you for indulging me.
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Monika » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:32 pm UTC

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Mousepup » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:00 am UTC

mosc wrote:I'll steal something from NPR: If all of humanity, all 7 billion of us, gathered for a family photo, we would cover an area about the size of LA. That's all at ground level too. The planet is a very big place and we have the technology to grow vertically as well as horizontally. There's no reason to believe our population is out of control. Fear mongering and world politics often villainize China and India due to their large populations, but we are not running out of room or resources and even if we were, very little of our efforts are going towards feeding and caring for a lot of us anyway.
The first thing I wanted to say is that the support of human life requires an awful lot more than just enough space to stand for that photo. Where does our food come from? If we eat animal stuff, how about their food? Where do our waste products go? That's a lot more than just bodily waste and household garbage; it's also everything that every factory has to dispose of, from exhaust gases to landfill stuff. I'm guessing one of the biggest ones is wastewater; it's used to rinse all sorts of process chemistry out of vessels and machinery.

The second is for what Soralin is trying to explain. There's a presentation by a Prof. Al Bartlett which I strongly recommend, in part because it's only about an hour or so, which can be found here. Reading the transcript might be even less of your precious time. This point on exponential growth leads to what drew me to this topic in the first place, which I'm surprised has failed to come up on the first page, this being the XKC flooding D forum...

We're talking as if it's been rationally established that there's such a thing as an inalienable right in the first place.

I don't remember who gave me this excellent illustration, so if any of youse can tell me, I'd be grateful. I'm paraphrasing, of course, else I'd not need ask for help identifying where I heard this: "Consider the bathroom. If your household has at least as many bathrooms as people, you can use the bathroom any time you want, for any reason you want, and spend as long as you want. To suggest otherwise would be obscerd, oppressive, draconian- but, OTOH, if there were more than one person per bathroom, this would not be the case. By hogging the bathroom, you're violating the rights of others; to suggest that any one can behave as if there were a bathroom for every one would be obscerd."

Our world has finite resources for the support of human life. The number of lives that can be sustainably supported is referred to as our world's carrying capacity, and the best estimates available are already lower than the current human population. I'm sure you've heard long before this thread that we do not have enough bathrooms to treat arbitrary breeding as a right, but we're fast approaching a need to limit lifespans and euthanise ourselves so as to conserve the physical resources needed to support human life. Our actions have consequences, which can include "rights" no longer being physically sustainable.

I recognise that my right to even exist cannot be taken for granted; that the end of my life may likely be brought about by need for some one else to use this bathroom. How, in your opinion, ought I feel about this being the case because of the way our ancestors chose to exercise their rights to mould this world we've inherited, and bring us into it?

Do we now, and did we ever, have a right to willful ignorance?

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby sardia » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:06 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Exponential growth forever is impossible. It's like forecasting till the end of time a math equation based on today's numbers they can never come true. If you wait long enough with any growth and forecasted out far enough you will exceed the number of people's as atoms in the universe. I really think this is more to do with China and India. We villainize their large populations independent of the areas they cover or the resources they have. It's fear mongering and not much else. there's no reason to believe the population several orders of magnitude larger could not be sustained given enough time to improve resources on this planet let alone beyond.

PS: this post was attempted using the voice recognition on my iPhone 4S and I must say I had mixed results. Just an amusing thought for myself thank you for indulging me.

Mosc, we're not going to run out of food. Switching everyone over to a vegetarian diet by pricing meat out of the poor's reach will solve that alone. The real problem is running out of fresh clean water. Aquifers are running dry, and changing climate means areas that support civilization because of the water content can't support as many people. The answer is to use less water, move to areas with more potable water, and to develop new technologies. All those things takes time, and in that time, conflict and competition for resources will occur.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:26 am UTC

Or the price of water will rise to the point where people stop insisting on lush green lawns in Arizona?

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Zcorp » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:27 am UTC

Assuming this infographic is accurate:
http://persquaremile.com/2011/01/18/if- ... -one-city/

space certainly isn't our problem, but that as other have mentioned certainly isn't the problem with overpopulation, nor food really. Creating resources isn't a linear and more people doesn't not mean more resources per person after a point.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby morriswalters » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:40 am UTC

mosc or his grandchildren will get a chance to see if what he believes is true. 10 billion by 2050. And he should note that the US is third in total population, so if we are holding our nose about China or India, we probably shouldn't. And immigration pressure is unlikely to decline. If his guess is wrong they will have a problem. A rather massive one, considering global warming. Net losers in the rainfall department may feel that they have nothing to lose. We may get cheap energy or resources from space. Fusion power may finally get done. Arizonans may quit using so much water. But, I wouldn't hold my breath. Nothing is certain until it happens. And believing any different is magical thinking of the worst kind.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:15 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:And he should note that the US is third in total population, so if we are holding our nose about China or India, we probably shouldn't.


And Singapore has far fewer people than the US, but that doesn't mean the US should be as population-dense as Singapore. Carrying capacity and all that...

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby morriswalters » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:27 am UTC

The Chinese don't seem to be overly optimistic about their population.
China's one-child policy to change in the new year
"China still has a large population. This has not changed. Many of our economic and social problems are rooted in this reality," warned Jiang Fan, an NPC deputy and member of its agriculture and rural affairs committee, as the policy was discussed last week. "We cannot risk the population growing out of control."

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby johnie104 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:26 pm UTC

Most people here seem to agree that not allowing people to have children is either intrinsically morally wrong, or either completely impractical to reliably do.
What do you say towards an optional 'parenthood test' though. When you get pregnant you get the opportunity to fill in a written test or too have a social worker visit you (to clarify: Not a choice for the persons involved. These are supposed to be 2 different scenario's). If you do this test then you get certain benefits (not sure what exactly) or alternatively, you don't get access to certain benefits, like parental leave, so that people are motivated to do the test, but are not necessarily required.

The test would involve checking the mental and physical health of the parents, the environment that the child will grow up in and other factors that are relevant to having a healthy childhood. If the test results say that this child may be a risky case then further visits by a social worker may be mandatory or in extreme cases the child could be taken away as soon as it is born.

If this was implemented, the benefits of having done the test should be big enough to let people that think they are in the risky group still do the test. To promote this you could do the test as an opt-out rather then opt-in.
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:07 pm UTC

johnie104 wrote: If you do this test then you get certain benefits (not sure what exactly) or alternatively, you don't get access to certain benefits, like parental leave, so that people are motivated to do the test, but are not necessarily required.
What stops this list of "benefits" from eventually including things that are pretty necessary for life in the modern world? That would turn it into a requirement without saying so.

And what assurance does society have that this social worker is in any better position to judge one's fitness as a parent? Especially when many social workers are not parents themselves?

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:08 pm UTC

Or if the social workers happen to be abusive, bigoted, and/or incompetent?

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:37 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Or if the social workers happen to be abusive, bigoted, and/or incompetent?


The same can be said of cops. Or animal control people. Or basically anyone else.

Sure, it happens. Power corrupts, and worse, even well meaning people err. Still, parents can be abusive, bigoted or incompetent too. We have no assurance that the status quo prevents these problems from arising.

I don't think you have a moral right to have children...I would hope that people would only embark on child-rearing if they are capable of adequately doing so, but those not capable of raising children right are likely to also not be able to evaluate this ability accurately. Still, there are many practical challenges. We can check on educational progress in a reasonably rational manner. We can check on medical health in a similar way. These are not a complete measurement of child-rearing competencies, but they are a bare minimum that could be implemented. Sure, this would mostly be a strengthening of removal of children from homes, not a pre-emptive "you can't have kids", but it's something.

One could also use a standard that a potential parent demonstrate an ability to take care of themselves before having children. Again, ability to take care of yourself does not mean ability to take care of yourself and children, but it's a lower bar that includes necessary skills. It also dodges many of the practical issues involved with more comprehensive tests.

And yeah, getting rid of benefits for children would be a solid idea. What you subsidize, you get more of. Children are not in such scarce supply that we need to subsidize poor families having more of them.

For those interested, any apparent conflict with my libertarian ideology can be resolved by noting that I consider that the government exists to protect the rights of individuals, and children should be no less subject to protection. The existing system appears to presume the parents are correct in all cases, barring evidence to the contrary, and has essentially no checking to verify that this is valid. The children generally have less power than parents in the parent-child relationship, so this would seem to be a somewhat unequal arrangement made further unequal by government.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:52 pm UTC

Never happen in a Democracy. It would be suicide. Politicians would need bullet proof shorts. While people might accept limits on numbers for everyone(I doubt that in this Society, but I'll grant it.) I don't think they would ever accept excluding a class from having children. Different groups already don't trust each other, this would acerbate that. Pick your ist, racist, elitist, whatever. You could never make it balance in terms of peoples perception of fairness.

I would also suggest that you give some thought to the fact that those best able to rear children aren't holding up their end. They aren't producing enough babies. Our current birthrate with all those poor babies is only holding at about 2.1, close to replacement level. Here is an article from Slate. It seems like smart parents aren't having babies. Too much trouble. Here a link to the Pew article cited by Slate(the Slake link doesn't work for me)

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The same can be said of cops. Or animal control people. Or basically anyone else.
Yes but those people do not have such wide-reaching sanctioned power over an individual's body. In fact, the mere fact that "anybody can be bad" is a good reason to restrict the universality of power that individuals have over others. A parent that does badly does so for maybe five people. A government that does badly does so for five million.

Tyndmyr wrote:For those interested, any apparent conflict with my libertarian ideology can be resolved...
Uh... no. Your statement
Tyndmyr wrote:The children generally have less power than parents in the parent-child relationship, so this would seem to be a somewhat unequal arrangement made further unequal by government.
implies you think that government has the right, indeed the obligation, to ensure and enforce equal arrangements. This is the opposite of what I take libertarianism to be.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The same can be said of cops. Or animal control people. Or basically anyone else.
Yes but those people do not have such wide-reaching sanctioned power over an individual's body. In fact, the mere fact that "anybody can be bad" is a good reason to restrict the universality of power that individuals have over others. A parent that does badly does so for maybe five people. A government that does badly does so for five million.


A danger, to be sure. It's why we try to have laws that rely as little as possible on the arbitrary judgement of an individual. Sure, laws can be bad, but there is some accountability there, and a certain degree of checks and balances. Some laws are necessary, even if they present some risk. It's a risk/reward tradeoff, and only anarchists think that no laws can be worth the risk.

Tyndmyr wrote:For those interested, any apparent conflict with my libertarian ideology can be resolved...
Uh... no. Your statement
Tyndmyr wrote:The children generally have less power than parents in the parent-child relationship, so this would seem to be a somewhat unequal arrangement made further unequal by government.
implies you think that government has the right, indeed the obligation, to ensure and enforce equal arrangements. This is the opposite of what I take libertarianism to be.

Jose


They need not enforce equality, per se. However, the role of the government is to protect certain rights, and rights should be pretty equal. While laws should apply to all, in a practical sense, it is usually the powerless who are victimized. Therefore, in the parent/child relationship, it seems more likely that the parent will abuse the child than other way around. With that in mind, the current system seems much less to be about protecting rights equally than it is about preserving the status quo. Children are sometimes treated as more akin to property than as individuals with their own set of rights.

morriswalters wrote:I would also suggest that you give some thought to the fact that those best able to rear children aren't holding up their end. They aren't producing enough babies. Our current birthrate with all those poor babies is only holding at about 2.1, close to replacement level. Here is an article from Slate. It seems like smart parents aren't having babies. Too much trouble. Here a link to the Pew article cited by Slate(the Slake link doesn't work for me)


Depends what you mean by "enough" babies. Sure, educated, wealthy people have lower birth rates. They're able to. Outcomes are better, so there is less risk. Sure, it isn't as explicit now as when people outright aimed for "an heir and a spare", but among the lower class, it's sort of understood that not all their kids are going to do well. Expectations for children are higher the higher up the ladder you go.

As for practicality...well, yeah, people would flip out if you removed the child credit on taxes or what not. It *might* be doable as some kind of broad deal axing a whole bunch of deductions and lowering tax rate overall, but any such deal would have many foes.

The attitude that anyone has a right to produce as many kids as wished, even if they cannot take care of them, seems off. If not legally, at least morally, something is askew if you are opting to have children you cannot care for.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:17 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Depends what you mean by "enough" babies. Sure, educated, wealthy people have lower birth rates.
It means that the birthrates in those demographics are declining. Fewer children mean fewer descendents. So if that demographic is getting larger those babies are coming from somewhere else. Maybe those poor families. I gather that this might have been why the Chinese relaxed the one child rule.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:49 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:A danger, to be sure. It's why we try to have laws that rely as little as possible on the arbitrary judgement of an individual. Sure, laws can be bad, but there is some accountability there, and a certain degree of checks and balances. Some laws are necessary, even if they present some risk. It's a risk/reward tradeoff, and only anarchists think that no laws can be worth the risk.
I don't see how "some laws are needed" leads to "government must have control over your reproduction".
Tyndmyr wrote:They need not enforce equality, per se. However, the role of the government is to protect certain rights, and rights should be pretty equal. While laws should apply to all, in a practical sense, it is usually the powerless who are victimized. Therefore, in the parent/child relationship, it seems more likely that the parent will abuse the child than other way around. With that in mind, the current system seems much less to be about protecting rights equally than it is about preserving the status quo. Children are sometimes treated as more akin to property than as individuals with their own set of rights.
Replace "parent/child" with "rich/poor", or "powerful/powerless" or "smart/dumb" and the statement begins to resemble the opposite of libertarianism. What is it about the parent/child relationship that makes it more likely that the government knows what's best than the parent - so much so that this faceless government has the primary right to determine whether one can be permitted to reproduce?

Jose
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:55 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:A danger, to be sure. It's why we try to have laws that rely as little as possible on the arbitrary judgement of an individual. Sure, laws can be bad, but there is some accountability there, and a certain degree of checks and balances. Some laws are necessary, even if they present some risk. It's a risk/reward tradeoff, and only anarchists think that no laws can be worth the risk.
I don't see how "some laws are needed" leads to "government must have control over your reproduction".


Your reproduction was never about just you. It's also about the kid that results from that reproduction. This view is exactly the problem.

Tyndmyr wrote:They need not enforce equality, per se. However, the role of the government is to protect certain rights, and rights should be pretty equal. While laws should apply to all, in a practical sense, it is usually the powerless who are victimized. Therefore, in the parent/child relationship, it seems more likely that the parent will abuse the child than other way around. With that in mind, the current system seems much less to be about protecting rights equally than it is about preserving the status quo. Children are sometimes treated as more akin to property than as individuals with their own set of rights.
Replace "parent/child" with "rich/poor", or "powerful/powerless" or "smart/dumb" and the statement begins to resemble the opposite of libertarianism. What is it about the parent/child relationship that makes it more likely that the government knows what's best than the parent - so much so that this faceless government has the primary right to determine whether one can be permitted to reproduce?

Jose


It would be equally ludicrous for the government to presume the rich is correct in any conflict between rich or poor, yes.

It is not about "government knows best". It's about laws applying equally to all. Currently, the rights of the individual are...mostly ignored for children. Not entirely so, but pretty much.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Your reproduction was never about just you. It's also about the kid that results from that reproduction. This view is exactly the problem.
... and given that it will be me that takes care of that kid, it should also be me that decides to have (or not have) it. And given that the one who will be closest to that kid, and will likely know more specifically about that kid, is me, the decisions as to how to raise him or her should default to me.

They should certainly not default to bureaucracy.

The more rights you give to bureaucracy, the more obligations you give to it too. The corollary is that it is government's obligation to raise children, and not the parents'. This is a dangerous direction in which to go, and is not consistent with libertarianism at all.

Tyndmyr wrote:Currently, the rights of the individual are...mostly ignored for children.
...which is as it should be. Children gain (individual) rights as they mature and can take on the concomitant obligations. In the meantime, their parents act as proxy for them. That is what they are for.

Jose
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:51 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Currently, the rights of the individual are...mostly ignored for children. Not entirely so, but pretty much.
This generation overall are some of the most protected and pampered in history. In the US and I expect in Western Europe. They are much better protected than the average adult. I actually feel a little sorry for them. I had more freedom.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:16 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Currently, the rights of the individual are...mostly ignored for children. Not entirely so, but pretty much.
This generation overall are some of the most protected and pampered in history. In the US and I expect in Western Europe. They are much better protected than the average adult. I actually feel a little sorry for them. I had more freedom.


Pampered is something of a different matter. Protecting rights does not extend to requiring pampering. Kids should be kept secure*, be educated, be fed properly, and be kept healthy. This isn't a high bar to ask for.

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Your reproduction was never about just you. It's also about the kid that results from that reproduction. This view is exactly the problem.
... and given that it will be me that takes care of that kid, it should also be me that decides to have (or not have) it. And given that the one who will be closest to that kid, and will likely know more specifically about that kid, is me, the decisions as to how to raise him or her should default to me.

They should certainly not default to bureaucracy.

The more rights you give to bureaucracy, the more obligations you give to it too. The corollary is that it is government's obligation to raise children, and not the parents'. This is a dangerous direction in which to go, and is not consistent with libertarianism at all.


Protection of rights** is acknowledged to be the proper domain of government, even by libertarians. The fact that someone shares a familial bond to you does not inherently mean that they are(or should be), in charge of your rights. Imagine a situation in which an adult child is expected to defer to the eldest of the family line, and in which the eldest maintains law and order within the entire extended family as he chooses. It's not that farfetched of a situation, something akin to it has existed in oriental culture. However, it's not something that libertarianism really demands. Parental care for children is something born of practical necessity, not moral virtue.

It is not the obligation of the government to raise children, but people are obligated to care for their children, and what recourse other than government do you propose for when they fail to do so?

*for a reasonable definition of secure that would apply to any human.
**Standard negative liberty stuff, for the most part, though some roles, like defense, are affirmative duties the government performs.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby morriswalters » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:24 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Pampered is something of a different matter. Protecting rights does not extend to requiring pampering. Kids should be kept secure*, be educated, be fed properly, and be kept healthy. This isn't a high bar to ask for.
Protected and pampered, not just pampered. And if you are going to keep them locked up I suppose you should pamper them. Golden cage and all that.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:35 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It is not the obligation of the government to raise children, but people are obligated to care for their children, and what recourse other than government do you propose for when they fail to do so?
None, except that they actually fail to do so before being subject to governmental control. And people can legitimately differ on just what constitutes "care". Do I abuse my child by allowing him or her to take risks, and suffer the consequences? Even if the consequences require hospitalization?

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:57 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It is not the obligation of the government to raise children, but people are obligated to care for their children, and what recourse other than government do you propose for when they fail to do so?
None, except that they actually fail to do so before being subject to governmental control. And people can legitimately differ on just what constitutes "care". Do I abuse my child by allowing him or her to take risks, and suffer the consequences? Even if the consequences require hospitalization?

Jose


If your method of child-rearing has a good chance of putting your kid in the hospital, you *might* want to consider a different method.

Risk/reward is an important lesson to be taught, but you probably want to start out with lower stakes.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:04 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If your method of child-rearing has a good chance of putting your kid in the hospital, you *might* want to consider a different method.
So... no bike riding, no tree climbing, no baseball... I understand that all things are a matter of degree, and that giving a kid a ten speed racer when he's five and telling him to play in the traffic is probably not the best idea, but that's my point. It's a matter of degree, and every parent should get to choose the degree based (in part) on their intimate knowledge of their child, staying within ordinary law. Government neither knows nor cares about my child.

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:56 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If your method of child-rearing has a good chance of putting your kid in the hospital, you *might* want to consider a different method.
So... no bike riding, no tree climbing, no baseball... I understand that all things are a matter of degree, and that giving a kid a ten speed racer when he's five and telling him to play in the traffic is probably not the best idea, but that's my point. It's a matter of degree, and every parent should get to choose the degree based (in part) on their intimate knowledge of their child, staying within ordinary law. Government neither knows nor cares about my child.

Jose


Nobody is saying you need to lock your kid in a cage and never let him out.

The actual suggestions were requiring nutrition, education, and health care. Do you have a problem with requiring parents to provide these? As a concrete example, let us look at the anti-vaxxers. How do you feel about them denying their children this aspect of medical care without a legitimate medical reason?

Now, we need not jump to taking children away as the first/only remedy for such mistreatment, but when kids are sick or dying because their parents refused medical care, who is to blame, and what is to be done?

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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby ucim » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:13 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Nobody is saying you need to lock your kid in a cage and never let him out.
Yet. These things tend to grow.

Tyndmyr wrote:The actual suggestions were requiring nutrition, education, and health care. Do you have a problem with requiring parents to provide these?
In the abstract, no. But I do have a problem with some bureaucrat deciding whether or not my idea of education matches his, and taking me to court over it.

As for the anti-vaxers, my objection to anti-vax is not one of child protection, but one of societal protection. If you don't vaccinate your child, then my child is more at risk. It's the same as my stance on smoking. I don't care if you smoke yourself to death. I object when I have to suffer for it, either by actually having to breathe the noxious fumes you exhale, or by paying for your increased cost to society (which is more than just the expenses of your medical care).

Tyndmyr wrote:Now, we need not jump to taking children away...
No, but that will be the result for the segment of society least able to fight it.

Jose
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Re: Should having a child be a right.?

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Nobody is saying you need to lock your kid in a cage and never let him out.
Yet. These things tend to grow.


Possibly. But it would take a very large degree of growth to get from requiring nutrition, education and health care(a bar that is only a little bit higher than the current one) to get to "lock them in a cage".

Tyndmyr wrote:The actual suggestions were requiring nutrition, education, and health care. Do you have a problem with requiring parents to provide these?
In the abstract, no. But I do have a problem with some bureaucrat deciding whether or not my idea of education matches his, and taking me to court over it.

As for the anti-vaxers, my objection to anti-vax is not one of child protection, but one of societal protection. If you don't vaccinate your child, then my child is more at risk. It's the same as my stance on smoking. I don't care if you smoke yourself to death. I object when I have to suffer for it, either by actually having to breathe the noxious fumes you exhale, or by paying for your increased cost to society (which is more than just the expenses of your medical care).


Educational standards can be done fairly objectively in most subjects. Your idea of education need not match theirs exactly, but it should include basic competencies. If your view of education does not include reading, it really is askew, and yes, for the sake of that kid, it needs to be corrected.

Sure, but a person smoking constantly with a baby in the car doesn't make you even slightly concerned for that kid? If the person hurts only themselves, well, fine. But in the case of a kid, they are definitely going beyond that.

Tyndmyr wrote:Now, we need not jump to taking children away...
No, but that will be the result for the segment of society least able to fight it.

Jose


Many logical steps exist before that point. If a person utterly refuses to care for their child, at some point, yes, you need to take the kids away. We do that currently, and it is not an epidemic. Therefore, there is no reason to assume it will become one under a marginally different system without explicit reason.


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