Family Obligations: Crash Course Philosophy #43

Family Obligations: Crash Course Philosophy #43


For most of you, your parents brought you
into this world. They also fed you, and changed your diapers,
and wiped your tears. They raised you. Yet, according to contemporary American philosopher Jane English, once you’re grown, you don’t owe your parents anything. Not a single thing. Now, this might sound a little selfish.
A little ungrateful. A little mean. But let’s hear her out. Because, you’ve learned by now that many of your default attitudes – the attitudes that you think you have about other beings, and your relationships to them – have a hard time standing up to philosophical scrutiny. So let’s scrutinize one of the most important
relationships you have in your life – the one that you’ve had the longest, and
probably the most intimate one you’ll ever have. Let’s talk about your folks. [Theme Music] There are three basic views about the obligations
you have to your parents. One is the unconditional view. This is the view that, simply by virtue of being your parent, that person is entitled to certain things from you – at a bare minimum, your presence and attention in their lives – until one of you dies. By contrast, the conditional view says that
you owe your parents based on what they gave you. So, really terrible parents might not deserve anything from their grown children, but good parents deserve quite a lot. So your level of obligation is based on the
amount of benefit that you received growing up. And finally there’s English’s view, known
as the friendship view. This says that you don’t actually owe your parents anything once you’ve grown, regardless of how much you benefited from their parenting. Many of us take it as basic that we owe our parents a lot – what with all of the feeding and nurturing and driving to soccer games and acting like they enjoyed our macaroni art. But English makes a couple of observations
about this assumption. First, she says, if anything it’s the parents
who owe their kids. After all, if you choose to have a child, you incur a huge responsibility to raise that child, or to give it away to someone who will. So it’s basically a contractarian relationship. If you agree to do something, then you have a duty to see it through, or to extract yourself from the contract. And that is the line of reasoning that leads English to conclude that grown kids don’t owe their parents back. Because none of us chose to be born. And you can’t have an obligation if you
didn’t do something to incur that obligation. Now, you might be thinking, fine, if you want to think of family relationships in terms of contracts, then isn’t there still an implicit contract between child and parent? If you’ve reaped the benefits of being raised by good, loving parents, doesn’t it mean that you’ve implicitly accepted the contract, and have therefore incurred obligations? The problem with that is, children can’t
really enter into moral contracts. If, as an adult, you enter into an agreement with your parents – like, you can live at home for free as long as you maintain your grades in college – then you’ve got yourself a contract. But any benefits incurred while growing up don’t count, because, back when the relationship started, you were just a baby, and you didn’t have the rational capacity to be held to a moral contract. And what’s more, your parents didn’t provide
for you with the expectation of a payout. They had you – or they kept you or adopted you – because they wanted you, and they gave to you because they wanted to. Good parents give unconditionally. So no matter how much you receive from them, you simply don’t incur debt, because that’s not how family works. Now, to be clear, English isn’t giving us
a pass to freeload off our parents. She thinks that, if you have a good relationship with your parents, you’ll probably want to help them out when you can, but that’s not an obligation. Instead, she says, the appropriate model is
friendship. Friends don’t keep score – they help each
other out of love. And in loving relationships, no one’s keeping a hidden tally of who helped last and who’s due to help next. You don’t have to keep score; you give simply
because you want to, out of love. So English argues that, once you’re an adult, your relationship with your parents should model that of friendship. And the thing about friends is, if the love
isn’t there, the friendship dissolves. You have no underlying obligation to remain
friends with someone. And likewise, if you had bad parents, or if you simply don’t care about them once you’re an adult, you have no obligation to give them anything – including your time. You didn’t incur a debt by being raised, she says, so just like with friendship, you can choose not to maintain a relationship with your parents. It’s up to you. Now, this attitude might seem scandalous to
some people. I mean, isn’t blood thicker than water? Well, many philosophers challenge the idea that you have special obligations to someone just because you share some genetic material with them. By that logic, a person who was adopted at birth would have obligations to biological relatives that they’ve never met – and they wouldn’t have any obligations to the family that raised them. And I think most of us can agree that that
doesn’t make any sense. We tend to think of adopted families as being
no less familial than biological families. So if you think families are built through love and not blood, then it follows that families lacking in love can’t make moral demands on its members, because they simply don’t have the standing. While we’re talking about parents here, let’s stop
by the Thought Bubble for some Flash Philosophy. Before you’re trusted to do something that has the potential to cause harm, you have to demonstrate that you can handle it. In most societies, this is done through licensing. Driver’s licenses, hunting licenses, wedding licenses – heck, barbers even need to be certified before they can cut your hair! So, contemporary American philosopher Hugh LaFollette thinks that there’s another group of people who should be licensed – parents. That’s right, LaFollette thinks potential parents should be required to apply for and obtain a license before being permitted to reproduce. This sounds kind of ridiculous, right? But think about it. Most activities that require competence to do well, and that can cause harm if done badly, are regulated by society. There’s no question that parenting isn’t easy, and
you can really mess up a kid if you do it badly. But right now, we wait until a parent has abused
or neglected a child before the state intervenes. So, LaFollette asks, wouldn’t it be better
if we took preventative measures instead? After all, adoptive parents undergo heavy
scrutiny before they get to have kids. So, just like driving a car, in LaFollette’s plan, you’d have to pass a test before you could get a parenting license. There’d be classes for those who need it,
and you can always reapply. But if you can’t demonstrate a basic ability to
raise a child, then you just don’t get to have one. What do you think? Would society be better or worse if you needed
a license to raise children? Does everyone have the right to be a parent? Or should you have to demonstrate that you’re up to the task before you’re allowed to bring a new human being into the world? Thanks, Thought Bubble! Now, here’s yet another perspective on the
philosophy of family obligations. Contemporary American philosopher Claudia Mills argues that there’s something truly special about what you have with your family. Your family members are the only people in your life that are permanent and unchosen, she says, and because of that, there’s value in maintaining a connection with them. Mills points out that we live in a world where
we’re constantly changing. Most of us will have many different jobs, and live in lots of different places, and go through a great many friends, maybe even a couple of spouses. But there will come a time when there are very few people left in your life who have known you since the beginning. Mills thinks that your family allows you to stay connected to the person you once were, before all those changes happened. And, even if you aren’t really that person anymore, that connection can be grounding, and valuable. So go ahead, call your brother on his birthday! Remind him of the time he tried to dry his
socks in a frying pan! In addition to getting a good laugh out of it, your brother might appreciate re-connecting with his roots. Now, you might have noticed that this is the first time our discussion of ethics has focused on personal, individual connections – on feelings of love, rather than on impartiality. This is characteristic of a school of moral
thought known as the ethics of care. Contrary to most of the theories we’ve studied, this view says that morality demands that we pay attention to the special relationships we have in our lives. The ethics of care says that morality goes wrong when we emphasize impartiality, because it’s our most caring relationships that make our lives worthwhile. And we want our friends and family to care
more for us than they do for strangers, right? So ethicists of care often reason that, even though we might have a general love for humanity itself, you just can’t beat the unconditional, I-would-literally-die-for-you love that we only have for the people we know best, the ones with whom we share an intimacy that we simply can’t feel with strangers. What could the harm be in that? Well, many ethicists worry that showing preference for the people you happen to like opens up the door for prejudice. Because it’s easy to be kind to people you
like – you don’t need morality to tell you that. The hard part is being kind to people you don’t like, or who are different from you, or who you simply don’t know or understand very well. It would be great if everyone had a support network of people who love them, so we’d just all take care of our own loved ones, and life would be perfect. But the problem is, there are a lot of people who aren’t lucky enough to have support networks of care. And there are others who have people who care about them, but their loved ones lack the resources to actually provide for them. If we rely on ethics of care, it looks like
those people will get neglected. So we’re going to talk about this next time, when we discuss poverty, and the moral obligations we have to strangers in need. But today we talked about moral obligations
to family. We considered the possibility of licensing parents, and we talked about the ethics of care, and some potential problems that type of approach to morality carries with it. Crash Course Philosophy is produced in association
with PBS Digital Studios. You can head over to their channel and check out a playlist of the latest episodes from shows like: Coma Niddy, Deep Look, and Gross Science. This episode of Crash Course was filmed in
the Doctor Cheryl C. Kinney Crash Course Studio with the help of all of these awesome people
and our equally fantastic graphics team is Thought Cafe.

100 thoughts on “Family Obligations: Crash Course Philosophy #43

  • not how my parents saw it lol

    btw I think a parenting license is an amazing idea. that would solve so many problems on so many levels.

  • I believe that people must do courses of how to be a responsible parent, what important is to have a healthy family for the kids, and how important is family for society, but I do not consider necessary to have a license.

  • we will reach overpopulation limit soon, and the earth is really getting used up way too much last years reserves were done by august. we should have some kind of documents to prove child sustainability.

  • i like the idea of licensing parents, heres the thing: what wpuld be the guidelines to have children?, what would be the questions on the test, people would not like the government deciding on that, some could cheat in order to have a children i mean the answers of the test could be studied and cheated

  • Didn't have to wait till the end of the video. If at all possible AMEN to the parent liscense get scientist to figure out how to make it work and then go for it.

  • Society would be uniform if we required a license. I think it's better if we view it as people should just take an educational course before being a parent. And there's no "passing" for example. We should focus more on education than permission :/

  • Here a poem based on friend ship view!

    parents give us lovingly so
    its who you they owe
    they took the responsibility
    and a lot of it they owe

    it is a contrctarian relation
    they are responsible for your creation
    you don't owe them anything
    because there is no debt formation

    they brought you from the hospital when
    you were a blank slate with no marks of pen
    what would you have know then,
    so it's parents whose hands are lend.

    flying like a dove
    this is all love
    no score is kept, no hidden tally
    and helping is belove

    not because of DNA or any other thing
    your love should be like Monica's and Chandler Bing's!!!!

  • To legally drive a car, you have to pass a test wherein you are driving a car. To legally shoot a gun, you have to pass a test wherein you have used a gun. To become a barber, you have to cut lots of hair. A test therefore would not be able to replicate the intricacies of raising a child, or being a parent, because the variables and complexities involved in the act are impossible to predict and / or generalise. Becoming a parent is also recognised as ‘life-changing’ for some, and therefore a version of yourself in a hypothetical test scenario before being a parent may not at all correspond with the version of yourself after becoming a parent.

  • Isn't the problem with a parenting license the fact that individuals can make a baby without having to interact with the state? With adoption, you have to go through the registration mechanism to adopt – you cannot do it without that; they verify before you are able to do so (i.e. the process is man-made). With childbirth, it takes a man and a woman – biology doesn't care if they have a license.

    The rebuttal to that might be that those without parenting licenses could either be forced to abort or refused care/treatment. If so, would this be a moral society to live in (i.e. would it outweigh the chance of bad parents?), and what if people refused abortion – they'd still be able to have children anyway, albeit dangerously, so what was the point?

    The way the original suggestion might work was if we were all naturally infertile, but we could get a drug from the government to make us able to have children – the government could (and probably would) regulate the usage of this drug, and so a parenting license isn't unthinkable in this instance.

  • How would you enforce a parenting license? Forced sterilization? Forced abortions? Pumping children into the system? There's no way to do it that's not a gross violation of human rights.

  • In parents versus children, the human species pays it forward: Every generation invests in their children, and the purpose is a healthy future for procreation; hence, family is the most important role in society. It is God's command that a man shall leave his mother and father, find a woman, and cleave unto her, and take her as his wife. What God expects the children to do is honor mother and father, but once you became an adult, left home, and started your fornication or marriage, then you are on your own and held to your own contracts in life. Any contracts you have with family is a personal problem, because there is nothing in life beyond you that creates this.

  • Love is one of the most abused words in the English language, because people hide behind it for their wicked deeds and attitudes. Desire is the problem of all suffering. "Between birth and death lies desire, desire for life, for love, for everything good. And this is the source of all suffering." —— Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. Love cannot get you into heaven, only God can do that; therefore, what you need is a good relationship, or even friendship like Hank is discussing, to carry on an adult future with your parents and family. This is because what you do is your own responsibility as an adult.

  • Having parent licenses is a huge inconvenience. Having parents with different mindsets instead of testing people on how we think they should raise their child is absurd. Different backgrounds allows for variations and individualism between people. And although there is bad and abusive parents out there. We should instead teach people not to do that in the first place and give help and punishment to those who are abusers. And help for the abused.

  • I agree that children owe their parents nothing. A child doesnt choose to be born, and needs someone to support it. Parents owe their children duty of care, that I think should be absolute. Having children is a selfish act. They have the hubris to create a life, obviously without its permission. There is nothing inherrently good about being born, parents have children because of a selfish drive to reproduce, and only worry about the child's welfare as second to that. They care more about their 'right' to reproduce than they could ever be capable of caring for another person. People with severe poverty, genetic illness, or otherwise cannot provide a good quality of life for a child, still have children without considering the suffering the child must endure. And many children suffer greatly because of having bad parents. If you create a life, your duty to it is absolute. Parents owe their child everything and everything that is physically possible to provide. Having a policy of only allowing healthy, and responsible people to reproduce sounds great. Prevent the cycle of genetic illness, and abusive or negligent parenting. In practice, enforcing it may involve something unethical. There is some element of bodily autonomy that would be ethically questionable to restrict, but taking the child away as soon as it is born may be justifyable in extreme cases. Children owe their parents nothing. Parents owe their children everything. Why society feels parents deserve anything, I do not understand.

  • Liscensing parents would quickly devolve into Eugenics. A better choice would be more public resources to make parenting easier

  • You owe your parents nothing and in fact since most people have children before they're actually ready they cause quite a bit of psychological damage. If they no longer incur positive change within your life it makes no sense to have them around simply because "they're my parents".

  • I would post that you do not owe your parent's anything because they already got something out of the deal: A child is an end into itself. A biological imperative. Unless your parents are complete assholes, the best gift you could give them is flourishing yourself, since you are their legacy.
    Also, giving back ALL the care and resources your parents gave you is simply impractical. Kids take a humongous effort, and you will never be able to give that back. If you feel you owe your parents anything, then repay that to your own children, who in turn pass that on to their own children, and so on.
    And if you don't have children, well, then just spread that love around.

  • What would happen if you failed the parenting test though? Assuming you take one while an embryo has already developed of course (how could they regulate sex), if you fail to aquire those rights, would you be required to freeze it? Donate it? Abort it?

  • But that's the thing even if my parents did so much to raise me all I remember was when they caused my separation issues, phobia in the dark, low self-esteem and self-confidence. I'm old enough to know that they're toxic. The people who really know the real me is my sister and my best friends. But my traditional family has this unwritten rule where I should take care of them when they're old and grey because I'm the youngest. However I'm the last hospitable/responsible person among my siblings and all I want to do is move out and put some space between me and my suffocating family. I want to leave the nest so bad, the obligation feels more like indirect blackmail.

  • Confucians and Moists had a debate about this (one that the Confucians "won" historically, Confucianism dominated Chinese thought since it's conception and there have been very few Moist scholars after Mozi himself).
    Confucians argued for strong family ties, saying that because the family is the smallest social unit in a society, if families function well, society will function well. Confucianism is known for its five relationship: father-child, husband-wife, (older) brother- (younger) brother, (older) friend- (younger) friend, and ruler-subject. They thought that these made up all of the relationships in society, and that all of them require us to play a role, and that while they were not equal, they were mutual. Regardless, moral moral burden falls on the "lesser" side of the relationship, particularly between father and child. One of the main virtues in Confucianism is that of filial piety, and the idea that a child is bound to their parent for the duration of the parent's life simply because of the relationship, so long as the parent is able to maintain their responsibility as a parent. This is evident in modern Chinese society: parents raise kids, who grow up and in turn raise children, as well as their parents who raised them, who now take care of their grandchildren while their own children work to provide for the older and younger generation. It has been said (by Chinese people) that having a good can be selfish, and that many have children because they want someone to look after them when their old. While there are things like elder care facilities in China, they are few and far between and their residents are regarded with pity because they're being there is seen as having children who do not love them.
    Next, there are the Moists, who advocated "universal love", the idea that one's relationship to their family members is no more important than one's relationship to everyone else. He rejected Confucius's idea of "love with preference" in support that loving everyone equally was the best and most efficient way for everyone to fulfill their selfish desires. If everyone loves everyone equally, they're more likely to help you than if they felt partial love. Mozi used this thought experiment to describe this: if you were out of town for one reason or another, and back home there was a disaster, would you prefer your family to be in the care of someone who felt love for all, or was preferential to their own family. The former is obvious until you consider you were the one in the disaster and your choice was between taking care of your own family first or two families equally, and then it turns into a version of the prisoners dilemma. Mozi also knew that the universal love was unnatural, and thought that it could only be enacted through something like the utopian society that Plato talked about in the Republic, where children are separated from parents at birth ad raised by the society, so everyone had a love for everyone as if they were family.

  • Well I would argue that not all parents want children, some parents need children. For example, a farmer and his wife voyage to the new world in 1900, he has lots of land and crops but it takes so long to harvest all by himself, that winter destroys some of his crops, this makes him poor and he can’t hire men to help him out, his only option is to have children, the crops he does collect are enough to feed everyone but not enough for a very good profit, he doesn’t need profit for children, just food.

  • Human relationships, fundamentally, are based in reciprocity. I am not friends with someone because of a contract, I am their friend because we reciprocate, whether it is feelings, favors, gifts, or anything else. That reciprocation is often delayed, and that is part of the relationship. Adult-Child relationships, whether parent or teacher, do not assume reciprocity; we parent and teach because it is good for the child. That said, once the child is grown and actualized, it is a moral good for that now adult to reciprocate what they received in whatever ways they can.

  • I gave up a child for adoption 4 years ago to a picture perfect loving family because I was 19 and in an abusive relationship. I didn't tell my family that I wanted to keep the baby because I simply felt that they would have gotten him taken away from me because I wasn't stable enough to raise a child. My mom's best friend adopted the child and I pretended to be happy while I handed my hopes and dreams over to complete another family while destroying my own chance of having one. This crushed me. I spent all day crying about it. While this disappoints me, I still feel the parenting licenses are a great idea that should be mandatory. I was so afraid of my parents getting ahold of my baby boy that I completely gave him to another family. My parents and the adoptive family are very close but they have ostracized me for making what they view was a lazy and selfish decision. Their love is conditional and unfortunately I didn't recognize this until years into the adoption. I feel very alone.

  • Yes you should have to prove you aren’t going to kill your child before you can raise your child. Otherwise, the child should be given to adoptive parents.

  • "isn't blood thicker than water?"
    Technically, yes.
    But the axiom, "blood thicker than water", means the opposite of how everybody uses it.
    The original saying is: "the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb"
    Basically; the people you choose to have in your life are more important than familial obligations.

  • I love this video.
    When I was growing up, my father and stepmother kept a tally of things we owed them. They constantly berated me and reminded me of how weird I was. My father was then shocked (I'm not sure if this was genuine or another one of their favourite gas lighting techniques) when, as an adult, I didn't just run for the hills, I sprinted.

  • i think having a license to have babies would literally mean that the population would diminish. which isn't a bad thing. the test would be hard to make fair though and in reality would be very hard to impose. i think maybe better to put kids through a course in school based on research on things like child abuse and its implications would be a good way to reduce it from happening. most parents have no clue how to parent because they only knew what their parents taught them. a course on parenting would be really useful for all kids coming out of school. education is the only answer to the sorts of problems we have coming from bad parenting.

  • well I've got a few things to say on the whole licensing argument. One thing is that licensing itself is stupid and shouldn't be done through the federal government that's nonsense. If any kind of licensing exist at all it should be done through private organizations third parties in the light. All right now be on that I don't want the state deciding who can and who can't have kids. Besides that even if you say that that's how it should be how are you going to enforce that? What if they have kids gets pregnant. Also I'm in favor of cutting down regulation on adoptive parents that's not an argument you're just saying that's how it is.

  • I like Jordan Peterson's idea that you should go into the belly of the whale to save the Great Father or the Great Mother.

  • Definitely for a test, people who are not ready should not be allowed to go ahead with it just because they talk themselves into it because it's easier to do nothing than go get an abortion, for the short term.

  • I didn't ask to be born so I have no obligations to my parents…I didn't choose this society so no obligations towards any contribution for it… I didn't pick this planet so to hell with making it a better place for future generations…and yes didn't definitely pick the geographical location while taking birth so why be patriotic??
    Yes we all understand about LOVE . But sometimes love is a decision we take. I took that decision when my baby kept me awake at night changing his diaper and feeding him in the middle of the night…choose to give up my career so I can take better of my kids… I also took that decision when I decided not to send my old parents to old age home and take care of them myself.

  • I’ve been saying that parents should be licensed, for like decades now. And that there is absolutely no obligation to them whatsoever, it was their decision, not yours. Yet there is a great deal of self value in the acceptance and love for them. Whatever their parenting skills were or weren’t. Love for them is quite accurately love for your self. And this doesn’t mean you should follow their steps or their will…
    Had 9 siblings so well.. that’s that

  • That friendship model fits my mom and I perfectly. This was a brilliant episode. Jesus, the philosophy one is POWERFUL. Sad I'm coming to the end.

  • Parenting licences are a great idea. It's a great improvement on my belief that everyone should be sterilised until they can prove their offspring would benefit instead of hinder the planet and all its inhabitants. PS, don't put me in charge.

  • Yeah but if you get pregnant and fail? What would happen? Will they make the women get an abortion or just take the baby?

  • You don't owe your parents anything even when you're not grown either. Parenting should be based on a cultivated relationship of mutual respect, not an authoritarian paternalistic dictatorship.

  • Life's all about being a slave. You came into existence without your consent, you were born in a society you didn't choose and when you're old enough to understand something you were already brainwashed by that society and parents. Oh, and you are sentenced to die.
    People are scared to admit it cause it causes discomfort and cognitive dissonance but that doesn't change the fact that it's true. I won't ever submit an innocent being to that

  • Of course there is the famous line that most hormonal teenagers espouse: “ I didn’t ask to be born!”. Whereby the bemused parent retorts: “ You ungrateful kid…Wait until you have your own child!”. Setting the tense relationship for the next 15 years.

  • Parent license is a sure way to guarantee human extinction. 50% of the potential parents would not even apply for the license. And another huge propotion would fail the tests.

  • I would like to think I’m a decent person
    But I’m not sure about my parents. I wouldn’t be here if parent licenses were a thing.

  • Whether you had good parents or bad, you have the opportunity to live because of them and to make your mark on the world. What a gift to see a sunrise, or a blue sky. I Disagree with Ms. English that children have no obligation. At least an obligation to say thank you for life, and for some maybe that’s all it is. And some of us may truly have suffered due to our parents But we all have some level of obligation even if we don’t speak, it’s an acknowledgement that we have life and that we are going to make a better life than the one they gave us.

  • How would licensing parents work, particularly, how would you prevent people from having babies and allow them to have them only if passing the test? The idea is very unpractical.

  • While I doubt you have an obligation to your parents, you do have an interest in maintaining a good relationship with them if they were reasonably competent because you likely have an interest in maintaining the system. If children are expected to care for their parents, then your children can be expected to do the same for you (especially important as we grow old). The conflict is between this notion of maintaining the system and benefitting personally (as, after a point, your parents may not be very helpful in your life).

    But that's just my opinion.

  • Just because parents and the state were doing their duties doesn't mean that we should forget ours.

  • I born in mafia family i work for them by give my life in return i get be muti millionaire. But its hell for me being debt to family i get be free until i pay back 1.2 million and this drives me crazh

  • I feel everyone has the right to have and to raise their children any way they see fit unless that way is detrimental to society

  • A child raising licence would mean that you intend to raise a child- you do it wilfully because you fully intend to become a parent. But assuming these licences are voluntary, what happens in terms of unplanned pregnancy? The most effective birth control methods still result in pregnancy in 1 in 100 cases which is a lot, but those people never wanted or planned on being parents. If abortion isn't an option because or moral reason or because it's illegal in whatever place their in, would a licence be required in those cases before the kid is born, or could you be arrested for getting pregnant without the proper documentation?

  • The RIGHT to be a parent goes hand in hand with the RESPONSIBILITY.
    When you have one without the other you get chaos.
    A licence might be too much order which can cause just as many problems as it was intended to solve, as some people have already commented. I think education is the right way forward but it's very difficult to implement.

  • In jewdiesm there ie a law where although you must help/ give charity to all who need it, the people who are closest to you: family, extended family, people in your cott then people in your country etc. Get preference

  • This is not the same in most Asian countries. They treat your children like investments and property.

  • My mum is going to kick me out of my house in one year, this really helped me get some perspective… thanks

  • "Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them." ~Oscar Wilde

  • Licensing parents should be a compulsory thing in the world in my opinion. You can't just raise a kid without any knowledge about how to raise him, and it's totally unfair to decide to make a child and don't provide him with his necessary needs. (I mainly mean psychological needs rather than physical needs.)

  • 6:45 There were three people (plus myself) who "knew me since the beginning"; they're all dead now. Where is my moral obligation?

  • Isn't it possible that some parents had kids with the expectation that their kids would take care of them as they age? Not every parent "chooses" to have children out of love. Sometimes they don't want children, and sometimes they expect a "return" on their "investment."

    I think EVERY parent should be educated about the responsibilities, challenges, and various methods for raising children, and should also be provided with opportunities for self-improvement, including either self-help or therapy, before trying to raise children. Maybe we should provide expecting parents with supports so that they can meet the same expectations as adopting parents. 

    The real danger, though, is which culture's methods will be taught and "preferred?" Who gets to create and "grade" the "test," when there are MANY different family structures, and different ways for children to grow up successfully, and happily? Also, there isn't ONE type of "success," so maybe different parenting structures are needed to create a diverse society full of individuals with different strengths and talents. Perhaps we should solely focus on educating parents to prevent abuse, as opposed to imposing arbitrary standards that "must" be applied to every child and every family.

  • This entire presentation flies in the face of tort law – that recognizes the hundreds of thousands of dollars in money and labor, both manual and birth, that go into having and raising a child – and confers certain social and legally-recognized (depending on jurisdiction) responsibilities on children to do what they can, if needed, to repay that debt in their parent's old age. Society has an interest in motivating parents to raise strong children, and one mechanism available to society is legal. 30 states now recognize some sort of filial duty, and tort law, built on English Common Law, recognizes that children have a duty to do what they can for their parents when they age.

    Sure, as in all areas, there are socially irresponsible people who ignore this investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars and the duties that one has simply by being alive. Dealing with THAT is the job of psychologists and courts. Apparently, encouraging THAT has become the province of some would be "philosophers".

    Is teaching and respecting socially destructive beliefs, as this video does, really a part of legitimate philosophy?

  • I feel like philosophers are a bunch of judgmental thinkers who want us to think like them. (Yes, I recognize the hypocrisy in my statement).

  • I think it shouldn't be licensing but maybe mandated courses and state checkups once the child is born and more classes on parenting as the child ages and check-ups until the child is of legal age. i think a lot of neglect and abuse of parenting comes from lack of knowledge and lack of support!

  • My parents literally, yes literally keep score. Against myself. I've never ever been able to do enough to balance "all the bad." Sad thing is, I actually used to try. Then, I grew up. Ah, what wait..Toxic sociopaths. And I thought it was me. I don't know what I owe that. What they owe me? Leaving me alone. They should've been given a test for sure.

  • i dont think kids owe their parents much. Among other reasons, you are your parents in a genetic sense. You are the new version of them that will live on. What they do for you is really something they do for themselves in many ways. (doesnt apply as much in adoption cases, but at the same time does because you still make those connections in your brain)

  • Being required to have a permit to reproduce sounds a whole lot like Eugenics. I say this as a child who was abused.

  • Giving the state power over your ability to reproduce by way of licensing is a form of eugenics. Let's call it what it is and not beat around the bush. By attempting to control who gets to reproduce, you are attempting to control what kind of children are brought into the world.

  • I think some sort of standard for parenting imposed by the government would be ideal, but not realistic. Despite psychological studies on how parents affect their children, enforcing "parenting" could involve too many factors. Things such as determining whether the parents are alcoholics/addicts, are narcissistic/sociopathic/ mentally ill, likely to be emotionally/physically abusive etc. are good precautions that could be assessed but there will always be a limit to how much a " fit parent" could be defined without backlash. Religion and personal views can always conflict with these "standards" and eventually these standards may be considered classist/discriminatory.
    Another issue I could see is cheating the "standardization" process. Students in college and higher education can pass courses/regulations by getting the correct answers from others/cheating and there's not an official way of determining whether the soon-to-be parents are authentic and genuine in their evaluation.
    If such standards could be imposed, a lot of people would still protest and disagree because procreation is a biological imperative of the human species and many would think regulating parenthood to be blasphemous and convoluted.

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