|Hi Bill, |
I see you are determined to drag me into this thing. Oh well.
I am asking you this not because you are an Objectivist, but because you are an astute observer of them.
I don't know about that, but I do understand Rand's version of Objectivism. My answers will be based on that understanding.
You answered my question with: "No. They are free to put it out for adoption." To me that would suggest the parents are ensuring the care of their child.
That is your subjective evaluation of "what that means." I said it, and what it means to me is, the parents are unloading the burden of caring for the child. It has nothing to do with moral obligation. The parents may prefer to see the child is cared for, because most people would, but they are not obligated to want that.
(We've discussed elsewhere the fact that the question of abortion, except in extreme circumstances, only ever comes up because people have already made a host of bad decisions; an unwanted pregnancy is usually just one more unexpected unplanned emergency in a disintegrated life.)
A human being only has chosen obligations resulting from agreements between himself and other human beings. A human being owes no obligation to anyone or anything they have not made an agreement with. No living being has a claim on the life of another human being, no matter how extreme their circumstances.
(The exception would be that a victim of a crime does have a claim against the life and property of the perpetrator of that crime.)
Now, the Objectivist argument about abortion does not rest on the fact they do not regard the fetus a human being, but on the fact, whether it is a human being or not, it does not have a claim on another's life. I am sorry this seems hard, and I know it does, but the moment a single exception to a moral principle is allowed, the prinicple might as well be thrown out.
So I have a question for you. Where does the presumed "obligation," of a parent to care for a child come from? What is the principle that makes them obligated? Please do not say it is because their act caused the child to be. I have a friend who reminds her child, whenever that child tries to play the "you owe" me card, "You're right, I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
Most parents care for their children because they love them, enjoy them, and consider the cost of having and raising them worth the reward, as you and I do. It is almost impossible for us to imagine how any parent might feel differently, but some obviously do. Explain why those parents who despise their children and resent their very existence, as intruders and freeloaders in their lives, are obligated to care for those children, or to have them in the first place.
The real problem is, the "obligation" idea does not work anyway. For those parents who don't desire and choose to care for their children themselves, forcing some obligation on them is not going to make them decent parents. If anything, they will just resent their children more. And what is a child to think if it learns every moment of time and every dime spent on the child's welfare was given grudgingly and only out of a sense of unearned obligation.
I've tried to take the lighter side of this, because it is such an emotionally charged issue. Just the thought of a child suffering causes me anguish. But my anguish does not justify the abrogation of a moral principle. The argument against abortion is frequently couched in the language of rights. The "right to life," is usually mentioned.
Rights only pertain to action. The right to life means you have a right to do whatever you must to sustain your own life. You do not have a right to life at someone esle's expense. You do not have a right to be kept alive by someone else if you cannot keep yourself alive. It makes no difference if that condition is the way you end up, or the way you start out.
That, I think, is the Objectivist view.