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Is there any validity in the following argument?

Is there any validity in the following argument? By medical science we keep people with severe chronical diseases alive and these people are free to reproduce. Already there has been an increase in people with chronical diseases, maybe because of our progression in medical science. So, in the future, it is possibly that we will all struggle with many chronical diseases, unless we accelerate in stem-cell research or genetic manipultaion. With this I see only two opportunities: either deny the chronically diseased to reproduce (Which I think is quite unethical) or "play God" and rid our selves with these plagues with either genetic manipulation or stem-cell research (which is also unethical, for some). But not matter what ethical principles one leans on, these two options are the only sensible ones, of course to the exception of not doing anything (which is also unethical). So we have here, three unethical options, depending on one´s ethical affiliation: 1. Everyone will be chronically diseased. 2....

We have been grappling with these ethical issues since the mid-nineteenth century and the beginning of the Eugenics movement. You have obviously done some deep thinking yourself, and perhaps it is time for you to engage with some texts in history and ethics in order to see how to take the questions further. I suggest Diane Paul's "Controlling Human Heredity" and "The Politics of Heredity" (both cheap paperback books) and an essay by Erik Parens "The Goodness of Fragility" widely reprinted in bioethics texts (there are many other bioethics resources, such as bioethics.net and http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/publications/scopenotes/

We have been grappling with these ethical issues since the mid-nineteenth century and the beginning of the Eugenics movement. You have obviously done some deep thinking yourself, and perhaps it is time for you to engage with some texts in history and ethics in order to see how to take the questions further. I suggest Diane Paul's "Controlling Human Heredity" and "The Politics of Heredity" (both cheap paperback books) and an essay by Erik Parens "The Goodness of Fragility" widely reprinted in bioethics texts (there are many other bioethics resources, such as bioethics.net and http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/publications/scopenotes/

We often deride others by referring to them as childish. Why is this an insult?

We often deride others by referring to them as childish. Why is this an insult? What's so bad about being a child? The only major disadvantages of being a child I can think of are physiological and intellectual, and yet when we say someone is acting childish, we usually don't mean they can't perform complex reasoning or that they haven't reached the peak of their physical prowess. So how are we to understand accusations of childishness as insults?

Children have poor impulse control. They often think the world revolves around them. In general they have difficulty managing their feelings and often end up in meltdown or, worse, in violence. These emotional aspects of childishness are much of what we have in mind when we say that adults are acting childishly. And our main goal is not to insult people but to remind them that in the process of growing up they (should) have learned skills that they should be using now.

Children have poor impulse control. They often think the world revolves around them. In general they have difficulty managing their feelings and often end up in meltdown or, worse, in violence. These emotional aspects of childishness are much of what we have in mind when we say that adults are acting childishly. And our main goal is not to insult people but to remind them that in the process of growing up they (should) have learned skills that they should be using now.

At what point does the parent become more "observer" than "manager" with regard

At what point does the parent become more "observer" than "manager" with regard to parenting issues? I've always tried to maintain a "value-driven" approach; no helicopter parenting. I've stressed "doing your best" rather than "making a grade," with regard to schoolwork. I've given books as gifts, encouraged them to find something they love as a guide to helping to find a vocation, etc. What I'm struggling with is seeing my 19-year old college freshman show some major blind spots with regards to how he conducts his relationships with family. He's arrogant and disrespectful at times, and will never apologize when confronted about his behavior. His first impulse is to make excuses to justify his behavior and, if failing that, will immediately go to blaming the other person for his perceived contribution to the situation. He's extremely smart scholastically, healthy, nice-looking, and is likely to be successful at anything he decides to do. How does a parent deal with an adult child who's not ready...

You sound as though you are thinking of two choices (1) tell your son to shape up or you'll cut the financial cord OR (2) bite your tongue and keep your promise to help him through grad school. But there are many more choices than this. In fact, there need be no association between your efforts to improve your son's behavior and your financial support of his education. You can make it clear to him that keeping a relationship with you is contingent on mutual respectfulness, and simply walk out of the room when he is disrespectful. If you would not tolerate the behavior from a friend or a partner, then don't tolerate it from him.

Do you think that money is your only "leverage" when trying to influence your son? I hope not: let's hope he has respect for you as a person.

Obviously you are proud of your son's achievements and promise. But I have seen smart, healthy good looking people fail to achieve their potential because of moral/interpersonal flaws such as the ones you mention. You want him to succeed in life, so it makes sense to try to help him change (if he seems willing).

Likewise, I don't think the only options you have is to "observe" or to "manage." Your son is an adult whom you love deeply. There are many possible relationships that are appropriate at this stage of parenting. You can tell your son what you wish for him without trying to directly manage his behavior.

You sound as though you are thinking of two choices (1) tell your son to shape up or you'll cut the financial cord OR (2) bite your tongue and keep your promise to help him through grad school. But there are many more choices than this. In fact, there need be no association between your efforts to improve your son's behavior and your financial support of his education. You can make it clear to him that keeping a relationship with you is contingent on mutual respectfulness, and simply walk out of the room when he is disrespectful. If you would not tolerate the behavior from a friend or a partner, then don't tolerate it from him. Do you think that money is your only "leverage" when trying to influence your son? I hope not: let's hope he has respect for you as a person. Obviously you are proud of your son's achievements and promise. But I have seen smart, healthy good looking people fail to achieve their potential because of moral/interpersonal flaws such as the ones you mention. You...

Why do parents have the right to decide anything about a child's upbringing, or

Why do parents have the right to decide anything about a child's upbringing, or their moral, social, political and spiritual education? Young children are trusting when it comes to their parents, and may even believe falsehoods if their parents are the ones who are repeating these falsehoods. So why do we recognize a unilateral right for parents to teach their children whatever they want, and to withhold whatever information from their children that they deem appropriate? Why do we let parents pull their children out of sex ed class, or teach them a religion as a unilateral source of truth? Shouldn't parents have responsabilities, instead of rights? Surely shaping a child's mind, personality and outlook is not the "reward" parents get for feeding and clothing them! Is this just a practical issue ("There's nobody in a better position to take care of the kids, and there's no way we can stop people from teaching them whatever they want")? Or is there some fundamental moral reason parents have the...

I think you are right to claim that parents have responsibilities towards their children, and do not have the right to raise them "any way they want." Children are not property. The larger moral concern, however, is that the state will decide what children are to learn, and in American society, we are most fearful of that (because of our history with totalitarianism and communism). The law protects the rights of individuals. So parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from state-sponsered education. They also have a legal right to teach them rubbish. However, I would argue that they do not have a moral right to teach them rubbish, particularly if it is rubbish that is harmful (Santa Claus probably does not fall into that category; but Abstinence is harmful rubbish).

I think you are right to claim that parents have responsibilities towards their children, and do not have the right to raise them "any way they want." Children are not property. The larger moral concern, however, is that the state will decide what children are to learn, and in American society, we are most fearful of that (because of our history with totalitarianism and communism). The law protects the rights of individuals. So parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from state-sponsered education. They also have a legal right to teach them rubbish. However, I would argue that they do not have a moral right to teach them rubbish, particularly if it is rubbish that is harmful (Santa Claus probably does not fall into that category; but Abstinence is harmful rubbish).

Mary Warnock says we have a right to have children. It's a question I asked

Mary Warnock says we have a right to have children. It's a question I asked myself in the waiting room of a fertility clinic as I was registering for IVF treatment - it's a question I continuing asking myself as I see more and more gay fathers flying off to exotic lands for their offspring through surrogacy. How can we conciliate the right to have children with the exploitation of women? Best regards Pensiero Rome, Italy

The right to pursue certain goods (such as having children, or making money) does not justify using immoral means (such as exploiting women, or stealing) and does not entitle one to success (being a parent, or being rich). There are many ways to try to become a parent (or a wealthy person), some legal and some illegal, some moral and some immoral.

Perhaps you think that the right to have children is more of a right than the right to make money? (Like, for example, basic rights for food, shelter, education or health care.) Even if it was a universal human right to become a parent (which I doubt), it would not follow that there are universal human rights to be a parent by any particular means (such as IVF, surrogacy, adoption etc.)

There are many ways to become a parent, and as those in the adoption community often say, "second choice does not equal second best." I wish you the best.

The right to pursue certain goods (such as having children, or making money) does not justify using immoral means (such as exploiting women, or stealing) and does not entitle one to success (being a parent, or being rich). There are many ways to try to become a parent (or a wealthy person), some legal and some illegal, some moral and some immoral. Perhaps you think that the right to have children is more of a right than the right to make money? (Like, for example, basic rights for food, shelter, education or health care.) Even if it was a universal human right to become a parent (which I doubt), it would not follow that there are universal human rights to be a parent by any particular means (such as IVF, surrogacy, adoption etc.) There are many ways to become a parent, and as those in the adoption community often say, "second choice does not equal second best." I wish you the best.

What is the best age to become a parent? I am 27 years old, married, and have no

What is the best age to become a parent? I am 27 years old, married, and have no desire to have kids anytime soon. I am aware that age is a factor though, so am I just being selfish?

Your question about "best age to become a parent" seems to be asking about what is in the best interests of the child. A comprehensive ethical assessment of this question may and should include the interests of the parents (as persons, their interests are worthy of moral considerations). As for the best interests of the child, age of the parents is not instrinsically morally relevant. Age may be relevant in some situations if it is a proxy for such things as likelihood of living to raise the child or giving the child a good quality environment (older adults may have greater financial resources, or contrariwise less energy). There are so many things to consider in timing the birth of a child--if, indeed, one has such a choice, which is a recent luxury--that it is often difficult to tell what is in the best interests of a child. It seems ethically reasonable to postpone parenthood in situations such as personal financial crisis, personal illness, temporary physical and political dangers, lack of a co-parent (if one thinks that having at least two parents is in the best interests of the child). Additionally, in this overpopulated world, there is no moral obligation to have children.

Perhaps you are asking the more general question, whether it is OK to live a selfish life e.g. spending one's money on luxuries for oneself rather than giving to others and/or making the world a better place? That's a great question. (In my opinion, some parent in a selfish way, viewing their children as extensions of themselves. There are many ways to be a parent.)

A personal addendum: I became a parent at age 41 (both parents and child, now age 8, are thriving!). "Being selfish" would be an inaccurate and overly negative way of describing my early adulthood, in which I was preocuppied with "finding myself" and did not have the emotional space to be a good parent.

Your question about "best age to become a parent" seems to be asking about what is in the best interests of the child. A comprehensive ethical assessment of this question may and should include the interests of the parents (as persons, their interests are worthy of moral considerations). As for the best interests of the child, age of the parents is not instrinsically morally relevant. Age may be relevant in some situations if it is a proxy for such things as likelihood of living to raise the child or giving the child a good quality environment (older adults may have greater financial resources, or contrariwise less energy). There are so many things to consider in timing the birth of a child--if, indeed, one has such a choice, which is a recent luxury--that it is often difficult to tell what is in the best interests of a child. It seems ethically reasonable to postpone parenthood in situations such as personal financial crisis, personal illness, temporary physical and political dangers, lack of a co...