Wisconsin judge orders man to stop procreating.

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Wisconsin judge orders man to stop procreating.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/05/15700788-judges-unusual-order-to-man-with-nine-kids-stop-procreating

 

 

Finallly! Government is actually regulating the most important thing to be regulated. Now if is expanded, other regulations and programs to eliminate poverty can actually be effective.

 

 

 

 

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GodsUseForAMosquito
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 Interesting.Would it be

 Interesting.

Would it be ethical to have such a law though? (manageri would say yes!)I believe there are a few schools of thought - Libertarians would be shocked and appalled that a fundamental tenant of this man's human rights have been contravened - these children are not dying, though may have tough lives. Probably no tougher than our african hunter-gather ancestors though, so why should he cease producing progeny?Utilitarians would side with the judge - this individual is making it harder for the group, and therefore should be stopped from doing it.Rawls's theory of justice as fairness, which employs the veil of ignorance, is harder to come to a decision in this instance  - If the man were behind the veil of ignorance, where he has societal motivation but no knowledge of himself, what would his judgement be? The veil of ignorance is described as taking an individual out of society, and placing them behind a 'veil' so they can look at society objectively,  thus:

1. The people in the original position are self-interested in motivation.

2. But they do not know what their particular interests are--not their inclinations, nor their plan of life, abilities, social and economic position, or even gender. (This important condition is called the veil of ignorance.)

3. They do know the general conditions of human life--what people are like generally, what social life is like.

4. They know that they are to choose the fundamental principles by which, ever after, the basic institutions of their society are to be organized and evaluated.

5. They are to choose among the alternative principles by the rule of maximin (a decision-making rule that says you should choose the alternative whose worst possible outcome is at least as good as the worst possible outcome of any other alternative). The rule applies, in this case, as follows. The choice is among alternative fundamental principles of justice or alternative sets of such. The relevant outcomes of each such choice are the resulting positions of advantage and disadvantage of individuals in the societies that accord with the chosen principles of justice. Let us suppose that you are one of the people in the original position. Since in the original position you are behind "the veil of ignorance," you don't know at all whether you might be one of the least favored (least well-off) individuals or one of the most favored in the society, and you have to take seriously the possibility that you will find yourself among the least well-off when the "veil of ignorance" is lifted. This possibility, of course, is the worst possible outcome for you with regard to a choice of principle of justice. So by the maximin rule you should compare principles of justice by looking at the situation of the least well-off individuals under the various principles. For each principle of justice you should look at what things would be like for you if you were one of the least well-off individuals in any society that complied with that principle. Then you should choose the principle under which the least well-off individuals fare at least as well as the least well-off individuals under any alternative principle.

 

So, objectively, should a society based on Rawls's theory permit this man to continue breeding?

Answers on a postcard..

 


digitalbeachbum
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People like this are a

People like this are a burden on society. He most likely has an attitude of "I don't give a shit. I don't need to take care of them. Society will do it"

I say sterilization is in order.

 

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digitalbeachbum wrote:People

digitalbeachbum wrote:

People like this are a burden on society. He most likely has an attitude of "I don't give a shit. I don't need to take care of them. Society will do it"

I say sterilization is in order.

 

I actually would have to agree with that. I think it is ethically wrong for people to carelessly bring innocent children into the world that are going to be neglected, abused and shuffled along with no regard to their welfare. I think that is criminal.

Even the best of parents have obligations to those they bring into the world and may not always be able to fulfill them, which I think means everyone ought to be careful before even considering children.. But to just recklessly bring children into it, without regard, is terrible.

Especially in a world with so many contraceptives and ways of preventing pregnancy. Hell, get a magazine and beat off if someone's urges are that out of control .

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

 Interesting.

Would it be ethical to have such a law though? (manageri would say yes!)I believe there are a few schools of thought - Libertarians would be shocked and appalled that a fundamental tenant of this man's human rights have been contravened - these children are not dying, though may have tough lives. Probably no tougher than our african hunter-gather ancestors though, so why should he cease producing progeny?Utilitarians would side with the judge - this individual is making it harder for the group, and therefore should be stopped from doing it.Rawls's theory of justice as fairness, which employs the veil of ignorance, is harder to come to a decision in this instance  - If the man were behind the veil of ignorance, where he has societal motivation but no knowledge of himself, what would his judgement be? The veil of ignorance is described as taking an individual out of society, and placing them behind a 'veil' so they can look at society objectively,  thus:

1. The people in the original position are self-interested in motivation.

2. But they do not know what their particular interests are--not their inclinations, nor their plan of life, abilities, social and economic position, or even gender. (This important condition is called the veil of ignorance.)

3. They do know the general conditions of human life--what people are like generally, what social life is like.

4. They know that they are to choose the fundamental principles by which, ever after, the basic institutions of their society are to be organized and evaluated.

5. They are to choose among the alternative principles by the rule of maximin (a decision-making rule that says you should choose the alternative whose worst possible outcome is at least as good as the worst possible outcome of any other alternative). The rule applies, in this case, as follows. The choice is among alternative fundamental principles of justice or alternative sets of such. The relevant outcomes of each such choice are the resulting positions of advantage and disadvantage of individuals in the societies that accord with the chosen principles of justice. Let us suppose that you are one of the people in the original position. Since in the original position you are behind "the veil of ignorance," you don't know at all whether you might be one of the least favored (least well-off) individuals or one of the most favored in the society, and you have to take seriously the possibility that you will find yourself among the least well-off when the "veil of ignorance" is lifted. This possibility, of course, is the worst possible outcome for you with regard to a choice of principle of justice. So by the maximin rule you should compare principles of justice by looking at the situation of the least well-off individuals under the various principles. For each principle of justice you should look at what things would be like for you if you were one of the least well-off individuals in any society that complied with that principle. Then you should choose the principle under which the least well-off individuals fare at least as well as the least well-off individuals under any alternative principle.

 

So, objectively, should a society based on Rawls's theory permit this man to continue breeding?

Answers on a postcard..

 

Very interesting food for thought. I'll actually have to ponder that for a minute.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

 Interesting.

Would it be ethical to have such a law though? (manageri would say yes!)I believe there are a few schools of thought - Libertarians would be shocked and appalled that a fundamental tenant of this man's human rights have been contravened - these children are not dying, though may have tough lives.

They are not dying because of the welfare state. The big threats to my liberty are criminals that are often the product of parents like this guy and the welfare state made necessary buy guys like him.

If it takes a village to raise a child, why can't the village descide who and when one can procrate. Either we're comminuty where everyone has responsibilites or we're not. My view is if they are not going regulate procreation, we may as well be an every man for himself society with no social safety net.

 

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

Probably no tougher than our african hunter-gather ancestors though, so why should he cease producing progeny?Utilitarians would side with the judge - this individual is making it harder for the group, and therefore should be stopped from doing it.

 

Every activity in our society has an element of regulation for utilitarian purposes, excect up to this ruling, procreation. For everything else, there is always a restriction of individual liberty in the name of what is best for society. I can't understand why this is such a sacred cow for so many people on the policital left, right and liberarians.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

 Interesting.

Would it be ethical to have such a law though? (manageri would say yes!)I believe there are a few schools of thought - Libertarians would be shocked and appalled that a fundamental tenant of this man's human rights have been contravened - these children are not dying, though may have tough lives. Probably no tougher than our african hunter-gather ancestors though, so why should he cease producing progeny?Utilitarians would side with the judge - this individual is making it harder for the group, and therefore should be stopped from doing it.Rawls's theory of justice as fairness, which employs the veil of ignorance, is harder to come to a decision in this instance  - If the man were behind the veil of ignorance, where he has societal motivation but no knowledge of himself, what would his judgement be? The veil of ignorance is described as taking an individual out of society, and placing them behind a 'veil' so they can look at society objectively,  thus:

1. The people in the original position are self-interested in motivation.

2. But they do not know what their particular interests are--not their inclinations, nor their plan of life, abilities, social and economic position, or even gender. (This important condition is called the veil of ignorance.)

3. They do know the general conditions of human life--what people are like generally, what social life is like.

4. They know that they are to choose the fundamental principles by which, ever after, the basic institutions of their society are to be organized and evaluated.

5. They are to choose among the alternative principles by the rule of maximin (a decision-making rule that says you should choose the alternative whose worst possible outcome is at least as good as the worst possible outcome of any other alternative). The rule applies, in this case, as follows. The choice is among alternative fundamental principles of justice or alternative sets of such. The relevant outcomes of each such choice are the resulting positions of advantage and disadvantage of individuals in the societies that accord with the chosen principles of justice. Let us suppose that you are one of the people in the original position. Since in the original position you are behind "the veil of ignorance," you don't know at all whether you might be one of the least favored (least well-off) individuals or one of the most favored in the society, and you have to take seriously the possibility that you will find yourself among the least well-off when the "veil of ignorance" is lifted. This possibility, of course, is the worst possible outcome for you with regard to a choice of principle of justice. So by the maximin rule you should compare principles of justice by looking at the situation of the least well-off individuals under the various principles. For each principle of justice you should look at what things would be like for you if you were one of the least well-off individuals in any society that complied with that principle. Then you should choose the principle under which the least well-off individuals fare at least as well as the least well-off individuals under any alternative principle.

 

So, objectively, should a society based on Rawls's theory permit this man to continue breeding?

Answers on a postcard..

 

Speaking as a self proclaimed libertarian I have to disagree with your assessment of their view on this subject. I am neither shocked nor appalled. While the male is not physically stuck with the kid after the deed I strongly believe that by having a kid you have a responsibility to make sure that kid does not drain the resources of society at large. If you are unable or unwilling to provide for the child (thus leaving the burden to society) society has the right to force you to provide or in this particular case where it is apparently impossible to force you to provide, has the right to prevent you from creating further burdens on society.

Libertarianism does strongly support the right of people to sustain themselves outside of social constructs, but if a person fails to fulfill the obligations they create, I don't think there is anything inherent in libertarian thinking that prevents society from attempting to collect all of, part of or at least limit the size of that debt. 

Libertarianism would necessarily oppose a limit of the number of children on a person who has the means to support them. But I think an expectation that a person limits the burden they puts on society as a whole, and steps to reduce the burdens that society must pay for is a central tenant to libertarian political philosophy. 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


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Beyond Saving wrote:Speaking

Beyond Saving wrote:

Speaking as a self proclaimed libertarian I have to disagree with your assessment of their view on this subject. I am neither shocked nor appalled. While the male is not physically stuck with the kid after the deed I strongly believe that by having a kid you have a responsibility to make sure that kid does not drain the resources of society at large. If you are unable or unwilling to provide for the child (thus leaving the burden to society) society has the right to force you to provide or in this particular case where it is apparently impossible to force you to provide, has the right to prevent you from creating further burdens on society.

Then why not extend this to not just to people that have already abused and neglect children, but to everyone that is likely to in the future? 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Libertarianism does strongly support the right of people to sustain themselves outside of social constructs,

Impossible to do. If you own private land and grow your own food, you have a social contract with the rest of society to defend your private land. The right to sell the fruits of your labor are defended by the government. So no one lives on their own. Libertarians are just like socialist welfare state supporters, they both have special rights they demand at the expense of the rest of society. They only differ in the special rights they demand.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Libertarianism would necessarily oppose a limit of the number of children on a person who has the means to support them. But I think an expectation that a person limits the burden they puts on society as a whole, and steps to reduce the burdens that society must pay for is a central tenant to libertarian political philosophy. 

It is impossible to put all the burdens of a child onto just the parents. Even Bill Gate's children require food, shelter and other things that require natural resourses, they leave a carbon footprint, they create traffic on the streets. Since we live on a planet of finite resourse, every extra child is a burdern on the environment. And the rich use way more natural resourse per person. This is why we need to have procreation restrictions on the rich as well as the middle class and poor.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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The man gave his sperm, NOT

Beyond,

The man gave his sperm, NOT a child. Because the woman owns her own body, she can take this gift from him and do as she desires - namely have a child. It is not his responsibility. (Locke, on self ownership)

Perhaps it can be said that for stable couples that it is a shared choice by two individuals that they wish to make another individual, in which case I would agree that the father would share a responsibility for the child, but that is obviously not the case in this instance - The mother must take on the responsibility (in a libertarian context), knowing the proclivities of the father.

Locke expressly refutes any such ownership, however, and it's a strong and fundamental tenant of Libertarianism that humans are not owned (at least not without their expressed request to be). Nozick offers some ideas for a rebuttal of this 'ownership of children' by parents:

"(1) Something intrinsic to persons bars those who make them from owning them ...(2) some condition within the theory of how property rights arise in productive processes excludes the process whereby parents make their children as yielding owner- ship, or (3) something about parents bars them from standing in the, or a particular, ownership relation, or (4) parents do not, r d y , make their children. (Nozick, 289)"

However, as Nozick himself proposes that individuals have the right to sell themselves into slavery (see our other thread on this!), then people can be considered property in certain circumstances, thus refuting 1. (I won't go into this in greater detail for now - there's another thread where Beyond and I are discussing the validity of self-imposed slavery).

Now Locke's views are interesting because his viewpoint stems from a belief that all humans are owned by God, and therefore do not have the right to take ownership of something already owned by God. However, as atheists we must reject that premise, so something further is required to differentiate humans from property. Here, the view of libertarians in general come to the rescue - A libertarian does not need to justify the choices they make to anyone except themselves, and so are perfectly within their rights to claim as axiomatic that people are different from property, then create a moral compass based upon this.

The outcome this leads to is: Either children can be considered property, or they must be treated as autonomous individuals. If the former, then in this case they are the property of the mother. If the latter, then they are responsible for themselves; no-one else need bear that responsibility.

Therefore, my original paragraph on the libertarian viewpoint is, I believe, still valid, Though I take your point on societal debt.

EDITED for a few typos


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GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:A

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
A libertarian does not need to justify the choices they make to anyone except themselves, and so are perfectly within their rights to claim as axiomatic that people are different from property, then create a moral compass based upon this. The outcome this leads to is: Either children can be considered property, or they must be treated as autonomous individuals. If the former, then in this case they are the property of the mother. If the latter, then they are responsible for themselves; no-one else need bear that responsibility.

When a libertarian is claiming that something is there property, aren't they saying that there needs to be a social contract where their exclusive rights to some thing is defended by society. So how can it not be justified by the rest of society? They put the burden on others to defend their property.

If the concept of property is just a thought exercise that goes on inside some one's head, it's pretty meaningless. I could consider the Golden Gate bridge my property and justify it in my mind. But unless my property rights have been justified to society at large so that my ownership would be defended, it's just a meaningless thought exercise.

Pure libertarianism is a highly nonsensical concept.

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GodsUse, good points and I

GodsUse, good points and I think that two intelligent libertarian phillosophers could certainly disagree on the issue and argue among themselves using core libertarian principles. Libertarian philosophy is rather light when it comes to the issue of humans who are incapable of being autonomous such as children and the mentally ill.

Rothbard wrote an interesting essay, "Kid Lib" on the subject attempting to reconcile libertarian philosophy with what most people would see as the necessity of controlling children available here. (essay starts on page 145). Ultimately, I think he failed as he switches his view of children within the same essay. At one point he compares the child to a "house guest" that must follow the rules laid out by the owner of the property (the parent(s)), yet at other points he treats children as property. He attempts to solve the dichotomy by protecting the right of the child to run away. 

Quote:

During the early years of babyhood, when the child is

helpless and has few if any powers of self-ownership, he

indeed becomes a kind of property of his creators, his parents.

Some adult must be in charge of each baby, and there are only

two alternatives: his parent–creators or outside adults seizing

the kid from his parents by force. Surely, the latter is totally

illegitimate, whether done by the State or by other parties. We

may say that the act of creation gives the parent, and not outside

adults, jurisdiction over the baby. And yet, this ownership

cannot be absolute, cannot involve the right of the parent to

mutilate, maim, or murder the child, for this would be criminal

aggression against the body of the child, who, being an

independent human entity, cannot come under the absolute

jurisdiction of anyone. The role of the parent, then, is to be,

not an absolute owner, but a trustee-owner or guardian, with

the right to regulate the child but not to aggress against his

person (as by forcibly preventing him from running away). 

I think that viewing the relationship as a trustee is a useful analogy since it acknowledges the power to make decisions but also an obligation (moral and legal) to do what is in the best interest of the beneficiary (in this case the child). The problem with a child having a right to run away is the maturity of the child. If a six year old attempts to run away I think pretty much everyone would agree that a parent must use some level of coercion to bring the child back because a six year old is incapable of caring for themselves. If a 16 year old runs away, I would say that in most cases they are mentally mature enough to make that decision and society should protect their freedom to make that decision. The problem is that humans don't all mature at the same speed so each case has to be considered on an individual basis with no perfect test- meaning that injustices will occur. 

But back to your original point, let us consider that children are the beneficiaries and the parents are the trustee. Now are both parents automatically co-trustees? Or just the mother because of the biological reality that she is physically attached to the child until birth? I would argue that it is clearly both unless some formal agreement is made between the parents. The child, by definition, could not consent to its own creation. He or she will be born into this world naked, defenseless and unable to provide daily necessities of life. The fathers obligation is not to the mother, it is to the child and to the society that his creation will be set loose in until such point that the child is capable of acting as an autonomous member of society.

By creating the child without the child's consent, the father by default becomes a co-trustee in ensuring the child is provided for. Anything less is causing harm to the child through negligence. For example, suppose I became a trustee for my parents estate because they were for some horrible reason unable to manage their finances. As a practical matter my sister also becomes a co-trustee because she lives closer to them. Then I decide to shirk my responsibilities as a trustee and completely ignore everything. My sister, either through incompetence or malice drains my parents estate for her own pleasure and makes financial decisions that are directly contrary to their interests. Am I liable? I wasn't the one making decisions, but yes, I am legally and morally liable through my negligence.

If a father creates a child and fails to provide for and protect that child through negligence, he is definitely morally liable, and I believe should be legally as well. The idea that a father can simply walk away because the mother decided to accept his "gift" of sperm and that somehow nullifies the fathers obligation to the child doesn't hold up. I can't become a co-trustee and then simply decide to ignore my responsibilities and when you create a child you are essentially agreeing to become their trustee. To ignore that responsibility causes harm to the child.

But like I said, you are probably right that some libertarians might disagree with my comparison and make principled arguments against it. Issues of non-autonomous people is an area that I think the big names in libertarian philosophy have failed to flesh out thoroughly, probably because it is a lot more murky and a lot more prone to situations that seem to require exceptions. Philosophers, as idealists, never like exceptions. I consider myself a more practical libertarian and when philosophy clashes with reality I am prepared to make exceptions to have a preferable result.   

 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken