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So we both agree that it's not that simple.
Do you think it's "decent" for children to look after their parents even if they were bad parents? What are you claiming, if anything? You never said that all children should help out, but do you think that some should?
It doesn't matter if it's due to religious beliefs, embarrassment or any other reason. It's still a choice the parents make, even if it's a bad one.
The difference between my exceptions and yours is that mine address your claim and prove it false- that not all parents are good. Examples of parents using poor judgment doesn't make your case any stronger. If parents make bad decisions why does that mean children should look after them when they're older? I still don't see why children should look after their parents even if they were the greatest parents in the world.
I was a Student of Objectivism for 2 years. Objectivism has some great stuff to offer. It's the most coherent philosophy I've yet to encounter.
However, I disagree that morality is objective. Reality is objective. A is A. But while I applaud the pursuit of rational self-interest, it's flawed when put forward as a universal rule because the basis for Objectivist morality relies on the acceptance of happiness as the chosen goal for one's life.
People can choose a different goal. And happiness isn't the same for everyone.
Therefore, it cannot be objective.
You assume that parents are always "there for [the child's] whole life". That's not always true and not to the same degree. Your idea of a good parent could be vastly different from mine.
I think you misunderstood why choice is important in the case of responsibility. Parents might not be able to choose what their children are like, but they can choose whether or not to have children at all (or raise children). That is where the claim to responsibility lies.
Other than your feelings that parents shouldn't be abandoned in a time of need, what reason should a child look after their parents if they don't want to? Some elderly people have no children at all, so wouldn't you be more concerned with them? What about children who are abandoned by their parents in a time of need? That would be infinitely worse, wouldn't you agree?
I never said anything like that. Did you miss the many times where I said that if a child has good parents, they might choose to take care of them. Not out of obligation, but because they want to?
I never mentioned my personal feelings about my own parents. That's irrelevant to this debate.
You shouldn't have children. Because they might be like me (whatever that means to you, seeing as how you don't know me at all), and as you said, you would hate that. Children aren't obedient slaves to love and take care of you unconditionally.
You do not simply believe people should pay. If that were the case, you would not advocate taxation. At least be honest about what you're supporting. Taxes aren't voluntary, by definition. It's not a "pressure to act the right way" because "the right way" is subjective.
It's so sad that it's normal for people to respond in this way. With coercion. There's this belief that unless we force people to act better, they won't.
The government is made up of people. People like anyone else. They're not special. And the only way the government can "help" is if the majority of people want them to (assuming we're talking about a democracy). Therefore logically, if most people already want others to eat healthier then they do not need to resort to force! And if most people don't want to eat healthier, it would go against the majority if the government tried to force them to. So do you see why that wouldn't work?
Do you understand where I'm coming from at all? As a society I think we are too quick to use violence as an answer. But it's not. Between obesity rates and freedom from coercion, which is the more important issue?
You're free to disagree with me. I would never advocate forcing you to pay for something you do not agree with. I would never advocate violence against you for disagreeing with me. I would hope you wouldn't advocate using violence against me for disagreeing with you.
If there are exceptions you cannot make it a universal rule. I don't think I'm missing the point, because the fact is that there are some bad parents out there. I thought this debate was about whether or not children should look after their elderly parents. If this debate is about whether or not some children should look after their elderly parents if they were really good parents (which is subjective), I would still disagree.
All parents do have a choice in having a child. Even if they accidentally get pregnant, they can choose to give up their child for adoption to parents who want them. They do make the choice to have and raise children, unless someone is holding a gun to their head.
I don't want to have children. However if I did, I would want to be the best parent possible because children can't choose who their parents are. If I had kids I would want to have a great relationship with them, so I would try my hardest to be a loving and positive influence in their lives. If they chose not to see me when I was old, I would not resent them for it. I would not expect them to take care of me just because I gave birth to them. I would wonder what it was I did wrong, that they didn't want to see me.
You're assuming that all parents do those things. What about parents who adopt? What about when one parent leaves? What about abusive/neglectful parents?
Having and raising children is still a choice on the part of the parent(s), not the child. So even if parents are really great there's no reason why their child would be obligated to do anything for them. Of course, I think really good parents would have children that want to take care of them if/when they need to, but not because it's their duty as their child.