Personal responsibility [was Re: Genderless societies]

Edgar W Swank (
Sun Sep 19 05:26:08 1999 PST

"Robert J. Bradbury" <> wrote on Thu, 16 Sep 1999 11:13:16 -0700 (PDT)

>On Thu, 16 Sep 1999, J. R. Molloy wrote:
>> From: Edgar W Swank <>
>> >Women can have sex, get pregnant, and have three months to change
>> >their minds and get an abortion. Men, even those raped or tricked
>> >into fatherhood, do not have a choice about responsibility for
>> >any resulting children. See
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >Men, not women are told, "you play you pay." And persecution of
>> >"deadbeat dads" a national mania. "Neutrality," my ass!
>I will simply note, that the term "responsibility" is used a dozen
>or more times in the Extropian Principles, in particular:
>| Extropians seek neither to rule nor to be ruled. We hold that
>| should be in charge of their own lives. Healthy societies require a
>| combination of liberty and responsibility. For open societies to
> -----------------------------------------
>| individuals must be free to pursue their own interests in their own
>| But for individuals and societies to flourish, liberty must come with
> ----------------------
>| personal responsibility. The demand for freedom without responsibility
> -----------------------
>| is an adolescent's demand for license.

Yes, of course, when responsibility is voluntarily assumed, as in a contract. Or when negligence causes an injury or financial loss to another member of society.

But what responsibility does a father owe to a child he never wanted? Is the "gift" of life a tort, requiring payment of damages? If so, then the best legal remedy, when possible, is to restore the "status quo ante", the situation before the tort occurred. But in this case, that is the non-existence of the infant!

Also, we can argue that an infant is not really a member of society. A "social compact" is possible only between persons of relatively equal power. I agree not to agress against you in return for like treatment from you. But an infant has no power, doesn't pay taxes, and must depend on protection supplied by its parents or some other non-infant. What is the legitimate interest, I challenge you to assert, of "society" or any individual 3rd parties to force parents to support a child these same 3rd parties don't want to support themselves?

>I doubt very much that any court would ever hold a man responsible for
>the support of a child produced in a situation where he was raped.

Happens all the time! Especially, statutory rape of a male minor.
You obviously didn't bother to scan the website I pointed you to.
I see several other posters have documented this in great detail.

>If he was "tricked", then as Forrest Gump observed -- Stupid is as

Wonderful! Can we also apply that to women?

>There are any number of options a man can chose that would prevent
>him from being entrapped by these "wiley women" from condoms to
>vasectomies to forthcoming male pills. If they chose not to exercise
>them and society chooses to balance the books, then good for society!

Women have similar options, (hell, their pills are not "forthcoming") but they get a 3-month option to change their minds. How about some equal treatment?? Rather than campaign for less freedom for women, I prefer to work for more freedom for men.

>Now, this of course raises an interesting issue. Since extropians
>would like to operate in a highly free society, exactly *when*
>is it permissible for a society to force/coerce/punish an individual
>who violates the generally accepted norms for "personal responsibility".

Norms of personal responsibility have to make some sense. To be either voluntarily assumed or result in real damage to the person or property of another legal adult.

Children and animals are not legal adults.

>Take something as simple as how annoyed I get at neighbors pets
>depositing their business on my property. Given the current
>legal situation in Seattle, there is little or nothing I can
>do about this (other than put a very high fence around my property).
>[Let's not have this decay into suggestions about how to solve this
>believe me I've thought long and hard and know most of the
>I think anyone looking at this would argue that these pet owners
>are not being "personally responsible" for their property. In an
>extropian world, would we pass a law demanding that people keep
>their pets on their own property (or always under direct management)?

Or be responsible for the consequences if they didn't. Most places already have "leash laws" at least for dogs, often for cats also. You can file a complaint with animal control.

Edgar W. Swank <>

Edgar W. Swank   <>
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