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The Ethics of Parenthood$
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Norvin Richards

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731749.001.0001

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Loving One Another

Loving One Another

(p.201) 9 Loving One Another
The Ethics of Parenthood

Norvin Richards (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that parents have an obligation to love their children while the children are young and under their care, but no obligation to love them after they are grown. It bases the obligation to love our young children on what is required of us if we are to raise them as we should. It contends that raising them as we should requires enabling the child to be reasonably happy with the life she will have as an adult and to be not inclined to underestimate her possibilities, and that being loved by your parents is nearly essential to a child's accomplishing this goal. The chapter also argues that raising someone carries no commitment to loving this person once he or she is grown regardless of what later passes between you, that adults are free to choose whom to love, and that therefore at least some parents are free not to love their grown children.

Keywords:   children, parents, parental obligations, love, parental love, grown children, raising children

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