Tag Archives | parents

The Ethics of Having Children: Deontological Arguments

parents and children

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

The having and begetting of children is central to human life. For many, it is a natural and unqualified good. The belief that your life is somehow incomplete or inferior if you do not have children persists in many cultures. Most people never question whether it is ethical to have children. But when you think about it this is pretty odd. A child is a sentient being who is highly dependent on the care of other human beings (typically its biological parents). So if you do have children, you are voluntarily taking on a significant moral responsibility and entrusting into your care a being capable of suffering great moral harms. This is not something to be taken lightly.

Consequently, it seems legitimate to ask the question: is it (morally) right to have children? In other words, is the having and begetting of children morally permissible, impermissible, obligatory or supererogatory?… Read the rest

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Homicide Conviction Upheld For Parents Who Only Prayed For Diabetic Daughter

leilani-and-dale-neumannTodd Richmond reporting via the Huffington Post:

A mother and father who prayed instead of seeking medical help as their daughter died were properly convicted of homicide, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision that dramatically limits legal immunity for parents who turn to God rather than science to heal their children.

The decision marks the first time a Wisconsin court has addressed criminal culpability in a prayer treatment case where a child died. The court ruled 6-1 that the state’s immunity provisions for prayer treatment parents protect them from child abuse charges but nothing else, opening the door to a host of other counts.

“No one reading the treatment-through-prayer provision should expect protection from criminal liability under any other statute,” Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote for the majority.

Most states, including Wisconsin, created exemptions from child abuse charges for prayer-healing parents in the 1970s to meet federal requirements.

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