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Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 7:45amSanction this postReply
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Steven, as I have said on this site in the past, I support your position.  Abortion champions like Sarah Weddington, who won the famous Roe v. Wade court decision back in 1973, like to chant, "Every child should be a wanted child and every mother a willing mother."  Now I would like to see her and her ilk make that a totally gender neutral bromide: " ... every parent a willing parent."

A more complete legal theory would need to address issues of married partners versus unmarried ones.  Marriage generally implies a much firmer commitment and so would beg additional questions such as:

1. If a wife decides to have an abortion, does her husband have any say in the matter?  Should the law even require the doctor to notify him?  My initial take says "no" to the former and "yes" to the latter but I can think of controverting arguments.

Issues of "father's rights" also come into play:

2. If a woman decides to bear the child and the father wants involvement in the child's life, does he get any say in the matter assuming he actually bears some of the costs?

3. Can a woman contract several men and women to engage themselves in "shared parenting" for those who want some but not all of the rights and responsibilities of parenthood?

These represent just some of the questions that pop into my mind.  The subject really demands a full book to address.

But I agree with your central tenet that if a woman has total authority over her body to abort or birth, then she needs to take total responsibility for that decision as well.  Such a legal distinction would put an end to the current travesty of dragging unwilling men into paying for a fatherhood to which they never agreed.

On a side note, anyone considering becoming a parent ought to read the book The Parenthood Decision by Beverly Engel.  The author examines all sides of the issue so the reader can make a fully informed decision.




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Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 10:39amSanction this postReply
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Sounds like some of the ideas Robert Rimmer proposed in a few of his books....



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Post 2

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 8:39amSanction this postReply
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This may not address the central point of your article, however, as far back as my time as a pro-lifer, I have always wondered how a woman could claim that it was her choice to abort yet give the father no choice to leave.



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Post 3

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 12:48pmSanction this postReply
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Once the child has been born, it has always been the legal principle that both the mother and the father are each separately100% responsible for the child's welfare, marriage or not. The reason for this is that children should not become wards of the state. Of course, traditionally, the man could assume that if the woman did conceive, she would likely give birth, and so the asymmetry introduced by the possibility of abortion was not an issue. But now it is.

Also, if a man is married, and his wife becomes pregnant by another man, that child is legally the child of the husband, not the biological father. This is partially a holdover from the view of women and children as property. The laws may vary, but in almost all cases, if your wife gives birth to someone else's child while you are still wed, that child is legally your child so far as both custody and support.

Some states require that a woman make a good-faith effort to notify the father before she gives up her child for [adoption], and the man has some period (often a month) during which to seek custody.

I am not arguing that these laws are fair under the current circumstances, especially where a woman can abort without the husband's consent. Just stating the facts.

What I see as most important is not the supposed freedom of the gamete donors to knock boots at random, damn the consequences, but how are the children to be supported once they exist. If a man does not wish to be a father, there is a pretty surefire way of preventing it. Don't have sex if you're fertile! Again, for the man to object that the woman could abort, so he should have no responsibility is to say that he should not have to face the consequences for his casual ejaculations. To me, this sounds more like the evasion of responsibility for one's actions than a call for freedom. If you don't want to serve the time, don't commit the crime.

Far too much of the debate is couched in terms of denying one's responsibility. Man: "I shouldn't have to face the consequences of my random squirting!" Woman: "I have no responsibility to this fetus inside me which I evaded thinking about until it became a viable person!" No person in this nation is legally required to submit to rape. A man cannot evade responsibility for his fatherhood by claiming he didn't know the potency of his sperm. A woman cannot claim that she should be able to vacuum out the brains of a premature baby because 25 weeks just wasn't long enough for her to come to terms with the fact that she was pregnant. To argue otherwise is to argue for ignorance, irresponsibility and moral evasion of the most despicable kind.

Ted Keer

(Thanks for the correction, Joseph)
(Edited by Ted Keer
on 4/19, 4:31pm)




Post 4

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 2:33pmSanction this postReply
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One correction Ted: "before she gives up her child for abortion"

I assume that's supposed to be adoption?

I tend to agree with you Steven, but there are a few points that I don't feel have been addressed. 

This happens all the time: a couple, wed or unwed, that decides to have a baby.  They work out a plan, in which they will be able to support the child.  While she is pregnant, he gets scared and leaves in the night.  What about his responsibility for holding up his end of the agreement?  Assuming she does not have the financial means, is adoption the only option for a abandoned pregnant women who want to keep their children? 

To use your analogy, it's like someone asking, "Can I throw these seeds on your lawn?"  You say, "Sure, as long as you help me care for the plants." 

If you say that he should be obligated in that case, you would be placing the court in the position of deciding what agreement the parents did or did not have.  I'd also like to see some of the questions mentioned in these other posts addressed.




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Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:16pmSanction this postReply
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Ted,

There was a raging debate over this a while ago, involving a news item I posted about a Michigan Man who was fighting the "system."

Joe Rowlands posted his arguments against your arguments here.

Basically, Joe pointed out that the "he knew the risks" argument is the exactly the same as those used against women's rights and abortion. "She knew the risks! Blah blah..."

Sacrifice is sacrifice, no matter if its forced on a man or a woman, by a man or a woman, or the state.

Men should not embrace sacrifice. Too many do.  Men have a right to some options, same as women do.




Post 6

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:25pmSanction this postReply
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Ted, I take that back.

This post is actually much much much better (again by Joe).




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Post 7

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 5:15pmSanction this postReply
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Laws are like the units that form the contents of concepts; they may have any of a range of dimensions but they must have some dimensions. The entire reason why we have legislatures is to decide whether to punish theft with imprisonment, fines, or cutting off a limb; whether to defend our ocean borders six miles out, or 200 miles out, or not at all; to set the age of consent at pubescence, or at 18, or once a child gets a job; whether to exile traitors, or to keep them in solitary confinement for life, or to draw and quarter them.

So long as there is some reason and proportionality in a law, and that law is designed to protect individual rights, and the law is objectively definable and practically defensible, there is room for quite a wide range of options in its actual form. One of the blessings of the American system is that each state with its own ways serves as a laboratory - fifty-plus individual experimental jurisdictions. Not only do we vote at the ballot box, we vote by "up and moving." Note that as the "blue" states are shrinking in relative, if not absolute population, the "red" states are booming.

As for a man's rights in marriage and his responsibilities in child support, whatever the actual law is, ignorance of it is not a wise thing, and a man who complains that "he didn't know what he was getting himself into" has by that very defense admitted his own moral and intellectual guilt, if not legal culpability in some eutopian ideal. I am not taking any specific stand on any specific law. I do acknowledge that the law as it stands is asymmetrical and needs to be addressed by statesmen who understand both principle and compromise, not politicians who pocket bribes as they advocate sacrifice. This is the case in immigration law, intellectual property law, telecommunications law, and many other fields. I don't know that we even have the necessary philosophical groundwork done in jurisprudence to begin to address concrete matters through political activism. But I know these matters need to be addressed.

Ted Keer

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 4/19, 6:29pm)




Post 8

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 5:43pmSanction this postReply
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http://www.ejfi.org/family/family-70.htm  This is supplemental to what Ted said about parental rights laws...but it takes a crazy turn.  Now this guy got screwed over!

(Edited by Audrey Leigh Diehl on 4/19, 6:47pm)




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Post 9

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 7:30pmSanction this postReply
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M. Keer-

First of all, these are not "casual ejaculations" or "random squirting[s]" (we'll leave aside your distasteful descriptions; I personally find them disturbing and indicative of a anti-male attitude), this is a sexual act in which a woman consented.  Again, please address the "seeds on the lawn" analogy and you'll see why holding someone who, for lack of a better term, "spread seeds" responsible is ridiculous.

Ted, a fetus at 25 week isn't really held to have rights in this country.  Additionally, partial-birth or late-term abortions are rarely used as a method of birth control, they are usually for the mother's health. 

For the rest of your post, you're really begging the question:
"To me, this sounds more like the evasion of responsibility for one's actions than a call for freedom. If you don't want to serve the time, don't commit the crime."

The whole point of my post was to challenge attitudes like yours that claim there is some form of responsibilty here for the "gamete donor" (you know,the more I look at it, the more anti-sex and generally Puritan your post is).  I don't believe that there really is a claim of responsibility on fathers here, additionally, M. Keer, you can say that there is, but that means a father should have a whole mess of rights and some say in the development of a fetus for which he is now completely responsible (remember, 100% separately, right?)  So now what?  With RESPONSIBILITIES comes RIGHTS, and of course, fathers in your system would have none, because "it's for the children".

"Note that as the "blue" states are shrinking in relative, if not absolute population, the "red" states are booming."

 Dear Galt, I hope not; more proto-fascist "Christianity", invasion of my personal life and a ramping up of the Drug War is the last thing this country needs.  And please, M. Keer, tell me you didn't mention this because it's some kind of "positive".  I don't have any more truck for "red staters" than I do for any other color tribe.

(Edited by Steven Druckenmiller on 4/19, 7:45pm)




Post 10

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 8:28pmSanction this postReply
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Ultimately, the question is one that can be solved by individual responsibility. One of my best friends is a female in her 40's who has had lots of sex. She has never been pregnant and has never had any diseases. She was also insisting that men wear condoms before AIDS was in the papers. She has told me flat out that she never wants to have kids.

I also know quite a few men who have had sex with lots of women. None of them have resulted in pregnancies.

Do you jump out of a plane without a parachute? Do you ride a motorcycle without a helmet?




Post 11

Friday, April 20, 2007 - 3:36amSanction this postReply
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Ted said:

As for a man's rights in marriage and his responsibilities in child support, whatever the actual law is, ignorance of it is not a wise thing, and a man who complains that "he didn't know what he was getting himself into" has by that very defense admitted his own moral and intellectual guilt, if not legal culpability in some eutopian ideal.
The law can not, and should not, dictate moral acts. The law cannot force a man to love anyone. What the law can do is inhibit values and place a social engineering structure under and above natural human behavior. 

Loving a woman (whether its for years, months, or even for a few hours, or minutes) does not translate into supporting her choices for 18 to 21 years. Because the law now dictates this outcome, that is what needs to be examined. Does the punishment fit the crime?  Should a man face jail for loving a woman? It really does boil down to that.

Without civil disobedience, I'd hate to think where the law would lead us.




Post 12

Friday, April 20, 2007 - 7:19amSanction this postReply
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Although I can not comprehend any women who would use a child to force an unwilling man to support her, I also don't have much sympathy for the man who gets himself into this situation. He choose to love or just to have sex with this kind of women and as a consequence lost control of his life. What can one say?

I actually know such a woman quite well. She is unmarried. She first has one girl and then wants to have another one. Now she has two children by two different men and is still unmarried. I never met her men. Very strange psychology.




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Friday, April 20, 2007 - 8:23amSanction this postReply
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She is unmarried. She first has one girl and then wants to have another one. Now she has two children by two different men and is still unmarried. I never met her men. Very strange psychology.



There are many like that in my neighborhood..... and with more than two.....  and many barely out of their teens.....

And yes, most are blacks.......

(Edited by robert malcom on 4/20, 8:25am)




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Friday, April 20, 2007 - 9:12amSanction this postReply
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Yes, she is black. But she is supposed to be mature, in her 30s now. What she did are not accidents. She deliberately planed it because this is obviously what she want with her life. I have to say that she is very devoted to her children. She is also a devoted Christian, like most blacks. Go figure.



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Post 15

Friday, April 20, 2007 - 2:04pmSanction this postReply
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I'm not sure how bigotry got into the discussion, but I see that some people here are ignoring the point.  We can all agree on the method of prevention.  Using protection is the obvious way to avoid such situations... you get a gold star.  Still, it doesn't really answer anything for people who have gotten into such situations.  It doesn't even relate to rights.

The point was (correct me if I missed it Steven) that rights and responsibilites are tied together, and that you cannot force responsibility onto fathers with no rights, nor can you claim rights for mothers who claim no responsibility.  You should not be able to hold a man responsible for a child when he has no say (ie about whether to abort).

Now, I appreciate your comments Teresa.  Let me ask you or others: would I be correct in saying that if the man did choose to bring the baby into the world, he should have responsibilites?




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Friday, April 20, 2007 - 2:22pmSanction this postReply
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I'm not sure how bigotry got into the discussion
What bigotry?  Where?




Post 17

Friday, April 20, 2007 - 4:56pmSanction this postReply
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Now, I appreciate your comments Teresa.  Let me ask you or others: would I be correct in saying that if the man did choose to bring the baby into the world, he should have responsibilites?
Well, duh, Joseph.

Should the government have a say in the matter? 




Post 18

Friday, April 20, 2007 - 6:05pmSanction this postReply
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You are cute when you're angry, Steven D., or at least when you're disgusted by the mere words squirting and ejaculation. (I reserve my own disgust for wanton sluts and lone-wolf scoundrels - not for merely evocative verbal imagery.) But I think you may have let my rhetorical choice of words get under your skin. Nowhere did I suggest that the circumstances such as the horror story posted by Audrey or the like were necessarily fair. Did you not understand my usage of the term "asymmetrical" and my other qualifications? I nowhere presented my own suggested solutions to problems which I openly acknowledged. Reread my posts. Every single word was chosen with care, not scattered like unwanted seed on barren ground.

Given that I did not advocate any specific law, or at all express support for the current injustices, but merely described the facts as they are, and expressed the sentiment that there is indeed something called personal responsibility, (I know, an uncomfortable notion for any orthodox Objectivist like yourself) I am not sure just what it is you are objecting to when you fret about what would happen "under [my] system."

And as for my so-called anti-male bias? Neither my current boyfriend or any of my prior boy- or girlfriends would support that accusation. I have remained friends with all my exes, have mostly all straight (and non-Objectivist) friends, and have been out to friends and family as bi and atheist since the tenth grade.

And as for the fact that the population of Red States is increasing, versus that of Blue States? Again, I said that people were voting by "up and moving" - not to 'Christian theocracies' (shudder) but to states less burdened by liberal infra-systems. I think maybe your bias is showing.

Ted Keer

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 4/20, 6:16pm)




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Post 19

Saturday, April 21, 2007 - 12:51pmSanction this postReply
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Ted, let's look at some of what you wrote and I'll let these rational folks decide what your sense of life about sex is:

 "What I see as most important is not the supposed freedom of the gamete donors to knock boots at random"
"I shouldn't have to face the consequences of my random squirting"
"wanton sluts and lone-wolf scoundrels"
Goodness me! How could I ever have thought you had an anti-male or anti-sex bias?  Such emotion-laden and argumentative never should suggest such...my bad./sarcasm

Also, I thought you were arguing with my ideas when you wrote this:

 Again, for the man to object that the woman could abort, so he should have no responsibility is to say that he should not have to face the consequences for his casual ejaculations. To me, this sounds more like the evasion of responsibility for one's actions than a call for freedom. If you don't want to serve the time, don't commit the crime. (emphasis added to show argumentation)

Look, M. Keer, my argument is that the man has no responsibility for what a woman does with her body.  If she chooses to engage in conduct that's going to get her pregnant, that's her responsibility.  Again, it's her body, her choice, her responsibility.  I am not arguing for evasion of responsibility!  I am arguing that the "responsibility" doesn't exist!  Or, the short version M. Funk put forth:

 [R]ights and responsibilities are tied together, and that you cannot force responsibility onto fathers with no rights, nor can you claim rights for mothers who claim no responsibility.  You should not be able to hold a man responsible for a child when he has no say
Sanctioned for not missing the point and putting a counterintuitive point so simply.

A few things that made me chortle, though:

 I have remained friends with all my exes, have mostly all straight (and non-Objectivist) friends, and have been out to friends and family as bi and atheist since the tenth grade.

Uh, and?  This shows your anti-male bias doesn't exist how again? Great, you're bisexual, that's phenomenal.  You're friends with your exes:  again, wonderful for you.  That really doesn't prove anything in my mind...just because you're sexually attracted to men doesn't mean you're not anti-male; you're frothing about "random squiritings" proves that you have some kind of problem with casual sex.  Nobody rational argues against your lifestyle, and frankly, I'd think someone with a minority lifestyle such as yours might not be so quick to declare those who have casual sex such horrible people.

As for claiming that orthodox Objectivists have no sense of responsibility...I'll let others hopefully take you to task for that crack. It was pretty unwarranted and lacking in evidence. It's just really, well, ridiculous.

Yeah, I do tend to have a bias; Peikoff endorsed the Democrat, you know.  I don't truck with either party, but I call a spade a spade, and I call Christian theocrats and nanny-staters what they are, and that's what so-called Red States have a tendency to be.




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