Suing Your Parents

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Task Force: Suing Your Parents

Oh no!

Your friend turned 18 last week, and has been questioning why their parents made the decision to give birth to them. After a long and serious existential reflection, they have made the decision to sue their parents because they truly believe that they were better off not being born. 

 Why Are We Doing This?

A man named Raphael Samuel tried to sue his parents for giving birth to him under the idea that doing so subjected him to lifelong suffering. Anti-natalism is the idea that we need to consider the moral impact of our actions that can impact unborn children. It is directly related to the non-identity problem which seeks to explore our moral obligations to bringing someone into this world who may be better off not being in it. Here, we ask you to consider scenarios similar to this and decide if and when a child should be able to sue their parents for bringing them into the world.

Steps:

  1. Before you begin, research information about Raphael Samuel, anti-natalism, and the non-identity problem. Find information about when people consider it acceptable to sue parents for giving birth to a child that feels they would have been better off without being born.
  2. Then, try to come up with a plan for when you believe children should be able to sue a parent for giving birth to them.
    1. Should age matter? At what age should children be able to sue their parents?
    2. Is it acceptable if the parents passed down hereditary diseases that diminished the child’s quality of life?
    3. Is it acceptable if the parents subjected the child to emotional or physical abuse?
    4. When is it not acceptable?
    5. How will you justify your decisions?
  3. Think through the possible objections about your decisions that someone might have.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your ideas contain the proper guidelines for when a child should be able to sue a parent for giving birth to them.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •  You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of guidelines for your plan. Choose a few that you are prepared to defend.
  • You may take the position that children should not be able to sue their parents for giving birth to them, but be prepared to defend this decision.  
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