Re: the "not to be born" right

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Fri Nov 24 2000 - 09:41:28 MST

Hal Finney wrote:
> > > What about a parent who takes his child into space on some kind of
> > > irreversible journey (say, a traditional SF generation ship to the
> stars)?
> > > Should children conceived on such a trip be able to sue their parents?
> > > Should the children on the Mayflower have sued their parents for exposing
> > > them to the hardships of the New World? I don't think we can categorize
> > > such journeys into necessary vs unnecessary risks.
> >
> > Isn't this a very different problem?
>It is similar in that we have a parent who is imposing risks and costs on
>their unborn children. If there is a feedback or compensation system
>by which children can express their rights, wouldn't this arise in
>situations other than genetic modifications? Forcing a child to grow
>up in a harsh or limited environment should count, shouldn't it?

I'm not sure its a big enough difference to make a difference, but one
salient difference is that in one case the parents are putting themselves
at a similar risk to the one they impose on their children, and in the
other case it is only the children who are put at risk by the parents.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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