Moral and Legal Commentary on Child-Raising, Use of Authority and the Supernatural
9 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 25, 2021
This article considers morality of child-raising which involves specifically appeals to supernatural authorities or deities. This is referred to in the article as the following: “appealing to supernatural power in raising children” (asp). The article is divided into two main sections: the first concerns the morality of asp, and the second concerns how the law should approach this concept.
In the first section, the author analyses whether asp differs from other appeals that parents make in raising their children, specifically comparing the situation when a parent uses their own parental authority and when a parent appeals to supernatural power for authority. The author argues that this comparison illuminates the issue of the morality asp. The author concludes that asp is problematic since it exploits the vulnerability of children and provides them with very little defence or ability to comprehend such commands. At the end of this section, the author concludes that asp is more immoral than appealing to parental authority and that it should therefore only be used as a last resort, if at all.
In the second section, the author considers how the law should approach asp in a liberal European democracy. The author argues that although asp is morally problematic, there are various reasons why the law should not prohibit it: 1) greyness of the morals involved and subtlety of difference; 2) difficulty of definition; 3) tensions with individual liberties and liberalism; 4) connection between religion and culture, and appearance of attack; 5) collective interests of pluralism and living in pluralistic society. The author further provides remarks on pluralism and the implications of child-raising in a pluralistic society.
Keywords: Child-raising, supernatural deity, morality, vulnerability of children, pluralism
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