Parenthood and responsibility

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JBeukema, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. JBeukema
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    JBeukema BANNED

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    Our society has long held that an individual who brings a child into being is responsible for caring for that child. Men and women who engage even in casual sex and take measures to prevent pregnancy are held responsible, as well, so it seems that the intent to create a child is not the issue so much as the decision to engage in actions that bring a child into existence.

    However, this is not applied in all instances. For instance, a man who donates his sperm to a sperm bank or a woman who gives her eggs to a fertility clinic expect their germ cells to be used to bring into existence new children. however, they are not help responsible for their children, despite their actions. therefore it seems incorrect to say that making decisions leading to the creation of a child is thee test society seems to be administering. Rather, it seems to be that someone who decides to create a specific baby (couples trying to conceive, a woman at a fertility clinic) is held liable, as are individuals who take actions that result in a child unexpectedly (eg: failed bc). Those who plan ahead to have children they will be distanced from, however (sperm banks and fertility clinics) are not held responsible for the child(ren) their actions may bring into this world.

    So, it seems that society actually places the burden of parenthood on those whoa re perceived as having failed. They failed to adequately prevent pregnancy, even if they used birth control, a condom, and spermicidal foam all., and they failed to plan ahead to distance themselves from their offspring. Now, pragmatically, it seems that perhaps they are simply seeking to find the parties most directly responsible (the woman at the fertility clinic who chose the man's sperm, for instance) for ringing the child into existence.

    My question to you is whether you think that is also ethically and/or morally the best course of action. Why or why not?
     
  2. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    I'm bored, so I'm going to answer this. Don't get used to being acknowledged.

    Society puts the burden of responsibility for the consequences of actions on the people who perform the actions, which is as it should be. Whether or not you INTENDED the consequences is irrelevant. How many people go out of the house INTENDING to have a car accident? No one. That's why it's called an "accident". But if you wipe out a family of four because you were talking on your cellphone or changing the radio or were just distracted for a moment, your ass is going to jail.

    Likewise, if you have sex, then you get to be responsible for the consequences of that action, aka the baby. Who else should be responsible for him? Me? I didn't do anything to create him.

    In the case of donors to sperm banks, they are legally released from responsibility for - and rights to - the children produced by their donation by the contracts they sign when they make the donations, and by the contracts signed by the prospective mothers when they become clients. This is because they are viewed as doing the clients a favor, and because in general, the clients don't WANT the donors to be part of the child's life.

    It seems perfectly ethical and logical and moral to put the responsibility for the consequences of an action on the person who took the action. I can't actually imagine what other course could be MORE ethical and logical and moral.
     
  3. JBeukema
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    Society puts the burden of responsibility for the consequences of actions on the people who perform the actions, which is as it should be.[/quote]

    Interesting, I assume that you oppose abortion as birth control, then?

    You agree, then, that those who fail to plan ahead or fail to successfully prevent pregnancy are to be liable, while those who adequately plan to distance themselves from their children are not? Surely, then, you also support the right of a parent to sign away his or her rights and be free of any financial burden in exchange, yes?
     
  4. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Interesting, I assume that you oppose abortion as birth control, then?

    You agree, then, that those who fail to plan ahead or fail to successfully prevent pregnancy are to be liable, while those who adequately plan to distance themselves from their children are not? Surely, then, you also support the right of a parent to sign away his or her rights and be free of any financial burden in exchange, yes?[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I oppose abortion. As birth control, or pretty much anything else, short of an either/or life scenario. Killing innocent human beings is not a viable solution.

    First of all, let me stipulate that I do not always approve of sprem bank pregnancies. In the case of married couples who cannot conceive the normal way and msut resort to them, I suppose I can understand it, although I would personally go with adoption of an already-existing child myself. I don't really get the obsession with personal genetic progeny.

    In the case of single women who decide to forego providing their children with fathers prior to making the children, I am adamantly opposed. I consider it selfish and destructive behavior, and I am not particularly approving of men who scatter their biological offspring far and wide for money, either.

    That being said, from a legal standpoint, I definitely think the law should honor and enforce the contracts signed by both parties agreeing that the mother - or mother and her spouse - are taking on all legal and financial responsibility for the child. In the same fashion, the law should honor and enforce the contracts signed by a mother giving up her child for adoption. All parties involved are adults, and are making rational, equitable arrangements for the care and well-being of the child involved. They are, in short, discharging their responsibilities for the consequences of their actions adequately.

    On the other hand, if someone makes a child and makes no effort to fulfill their responsibilities for that child, preferring instead to simply fob the child off on the taxpayer, then while I certainly think that their parental rights to that child should be severed, I also think they should still carry the legal responsibility to contribute financially to that child's care and upkeep until such time as someone else - aka an adoptive parent - steps forward and offers to be the responsible adult that the biological parent was not.
     

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