The Unfairness of a Well-Lived Life


We’re surely nearing the last stop of the progressive train when we get to statements like this:

‘I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,’ quips [Australian Philosopher Adam] Swift.

Swift manages to find a moral loophole for bedtime stories, because they actually contribute to a relationship bond between adults and children that outweighs the unfair advantage thereby bequeathed to the next generation in that family.  But advantages like “private schooling, inheritance and other predominantly economic ways of conferring advantage” simply can’t be justified, per the philosophy

It couldn’t be clearer that such philosophy is an indication of nothing so much as a mental illness.  Swift and his partner in dementia Harry Brighouse draw a line in their “theory of familial goods” that is arbitrary and designed to prevent them from having to declare outright that bedtime stories are immoral.  Providing for one’s children is a central source of meaning in people’s lives, and children’s knowledge that their parents are doing so contributes to a fundamental sense of security and lifelong respect and gratitude.  It’s also mortar for strong marital relationships and community building.  More basically, it’s a means of ensuring equality over generations, as families that stay motivated across generations can build on successes and overcome failures.

Following Swift’s progressive line of thought, our society could advance no more than a sclerotic state could ensure universally and the least motivated families could maintain.  Moreover, we can be sure, as history has repeatedly proven, that those with the most advantages will find justification to maintain and expand those advantages (even as the benefit to them erodes with the crumbling society).

Ultimately, what is there to say to such nonsense except:  I will provide every advantage to my children that I can, and I will work to destroy any government that attempts to prevent me from doing so.  I’m not personally inclined to accomplish that overthrow through violence, but I can’t say I’d be much inclined to restrain those who would be.

  • tcc3

    The only means of true equality is poverty for all.

  • ShannonEntropy

    That article was sixty giggles a minute, Justin !!

    Without the URL, it sounded like something you would read in The Onion =►

    For Swift and Brighouse, our society is curiously stuck in a time warp of proprietorial rights: if you biologically produce a child you own it. ”

    ‘Nothing in our theory assumes two parents: there might be two, there might be three, and there might be four,’ says Swift.

    ‘We do want to defend the family against complete fragmentation and dissolution,’ he says. ‘If you start to think about a child having 10 parents, then that’s looking like a committee rearing a child; there aren’t any parents there at all.’

    Swift’s Onion Horror·scope™ for this week =►

    A tragic boating accident claims the lives of the lead singer, guitarist, drummer, & harmonica player of your one-man band

  • Ahh yes, that well known Australian Philosopher Adam Smiith from the well known and popular ABC RN website as the basis for a Libertarian screed against thinking about someone other than yourself. Always a classic.