Foot in Mouth Part III or IV - Was Robert Making a Fool of Terry

Terry Donaghe (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 06:19:02 -0700 (PDT)

"Are you being *responsible*, if you demand "liberty" for
ill-informed parents to teach a poorly justified perspective to children *without* a balanced offsetting presentation?"

Did I say that? What I meant was that parents should be free to teach what they want OR to be allowed to send their children to schools that teach what they want. Competition of schools should provide this offsetting presentation, shouldn't it? I don't think I implied that there should be no alternative.


I agree, and I didn't think I was. Responsibility is an individual thing. It doesn't flow down from an all-knowing government - it's something that people must accept for themselves or suffer the consequences.

"So, that being said, I don't find Joao's perspective too
disconcerting. Certainly we need to develop societies in which
"informed consent" gives you the ability to assume the risks of
entering such societies. [Such as societies where everyone is free to carry a handgun and shoot you if you "accidentally" insult them. But to let people (such as children) enter such societies having no comprehension of the risks, contract obligations, handicaps, etc. seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility."

What is the alternative? Joao mentioned that children should be forced to learn evolution. This implies governmental coercion, doesn't it? Government coercion is possible because it is backed up with big men with guns. Wasn't this tried in the Soviet Union when atheism was the state "religion?" Is this responsibility? I know you have thought this through better than I have, Robert, so help me out here. Are you saying that there is some Extropian way or some way compatible with Extropian beliefs to insure parental responsibility? Is there some way to force people to be responsible and still allow for self-determination and an open society?

I guess I must be missing something, so please help me understand.

Terry Donaghe:
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." --Samuel Adams

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