Category Archives: Law
Sorry I’ve been on a bit of a blogging dry spell as of recently. Things haven’t exactly been going all that well in my neck of the woods and I’ve been dealing with the loss of my youngest sister (please don’t bombard the comments section with condolences, I’ve had plenty of that from my close friends!), so I hope you please excuse my lack of recent blogging.
Anyway, thinking of loss and death and whatever due to recent events, the topic of will and inheritance comes up. As it is, I don’t have any immediate family or anybody who I deem worthy of inhering my assets upon my death, so what am I to do? You’d think it’d be asinine for me to actually write a will, but I have in fact done just that. I’ve willed that upon my passing, whatever assets I have I want to go to my the care and well being of any animals I might be in ownership of upon my death.
Me dying doesn’t mitigate or cancel their need to be taken care of, and caring for animals requires some expense, so whoever takes ownership of my animals after I pass will be given a monetary equivalent of my assets to put toward their care and for no other reason. They won’t be allowed to just spend whatever they get on themselves. It will be closely monitored and controlled so that the money doesn’t get abused.
So that’s what I’ve willed. How about my fellow CFers? Do you have a will? If so, who inherits?
This isn’t exactly a childfree topic, but I think it’s worthy of addressing here because it reiterates why antinatalism is the way, the truth, and the light.
A pair of Belgian twins born deaf recently started going blind. As they started to go blind, they requested euthanasia (euthanasia is legal in Belgium). After a legal battle, the courts ruled that they were suffering unbearably and granted their right to die, and they died via lethal injection, together. Here’s a link to the story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262630/Brother-deaf-Belgian-twins-killed-euthanasia-describes-final-words-reveals-live-learning-going-blind.html
First of all, on top of being an antinatalist, I’m a firm supporter of one’s right to die. I believe the right for (born) people to live also includes their right to die without any interference from the state. I support these brothers’ decision and would have definitely made the same decision myself if I were in their shoes. That said, I think euthanasia/assisted suicide should be legal whenever and for whatever reason a patient deems fit, and that includes just being tired of life. Voluntary euthanasia should be a protected right, for any reason. Period, end of story. There’s just no way to effectively argue against that.
That said, I said this story reinforces why I’m an antinatalist and I’ll tell you right now why. Had these brothers never been born, they’d have never had to suffer these devastating effects. They’d have been spared a lifetime of pain and suffering had they never been brought into existence. Their lives were not only not worth starting (nobody’s life is worth starting, though), they apparently also were not worth continuing. When there’s a risk of life that’s not worth continuing, why bring someone into existence whose life might possibly not be worth continuing? Once again, we see why procreation is immoral.
I’m just glad there are some forward-thinking countries in this world, and I hope the right to die will soon be advanced everywhere. Good job, Belgium.
You know, I’ve been thinking awhile about the discrimination childfree people face in the workplace: everything from having to take up the slack for the new mothers who have to go on maternity leave for (and getting no additional pay for it, I might add) to people who are lured into a job thinking it’s a permanent position only to be let go when the new mother goes back to work. I’ve also heard of cases where childfree people are denied jobs altogether because employers see being married with children as a sign of “integrity” or “good moral character” or whatever. Whatever the case, most of the time childfree people get shafted in the workplace, and it’s disgusting.
And that got me to thinking some, and I’ve come to the conclusion I would much rather hire only childfree people. Childfree people are more dependable. They won’t be taking maternity/paternity leave for any reason, they take fewer sick days, and they have no reason other than “I don’t want to” to complain about having to put in some additional hours.
I wonder how parents would react to a job ad that says “parents need not apply.” Quite frankly, there would be no law against it. Parenthood is not a “protected class” in any country that I know of. As long as you can prove that such a hiring policy affects men and women equally, it is acceptable in the eyes of the law to have such a stipulation. In my case, if I were an employer looking to hire people, it would affect men and women in the same way, so I could get away with it and I would do so and not think twice about it.
The goal of a business owner is to turn a profit. Hiring employees who will increase profit is thus the proper strategy, and childfree employees are the ones who are more profitable to a company. Thus I think childfree people should get preferential treatment. Hey, many businesses already give preferential treatment to parents, it’s time we evened the score a little bit. 😉
Concerning abortion, for ages the anti-choice community has (incorrectly, I might add) labeled pro-choicers as “pro-death,” I guess as a direct antonym to the term “pro-life” which they erroneously refer to themselves as. I personally don’t know any pro-choice individual who could be described as such, though as my understanding of the world and life itself has evolved, I suppose it is an accurate description of how my views on abortion have shifted over the years.
The pro-death view of abortion is merely a natural extension of the antinatalist view. Since coming into existence is the worst possible thing that could happen to an individual, it naturally follows that a pro-death view of abortion is the most logically consistent. Of course, the best possible thing is to prevent pregnancy at all costs so so that abortion doesn’t have to take place, but that’s the ideal world and we don’t live in the ideal world.
Now, some will argue that one has already come into existence at the moment of conception. Biologically speaking, I think, they are correct. I have never denied that biologically speaking a new life begins at conception. That said, I (and Benatar, I should add) reject the moral significance of a zygote and even an early-term fetus for the same reason I reject the moral significance of a plant’s life, namely that it is non-sentient. Sentience is a prerequisite to regard a life form as morally significant.
So now that we’ve established the moral insignificance of an embryo, we can hence build the case for a pro-death position on abortion. Since it is better never to have been brought into existence, and given that no life is worth starting, it naturally follows that aborting all pregnancies is the mode of least harm. The mother suffers some harm during the procedure in the case of pain and recovery, but these are much less than the harm she will suffer during labor and the nearly two decades following raising that child. Further, since coming into existence is the greatest harm of all, aborting an early-term pregnancy prevents the fetus from coming into existence in a morally significant way, thus sparing them the suffering that would await them in an earthly life.
Though Benatar doesn’t address late-term abortion in his excellent book, I will do so here briefly. Late in gestation a fetus attains sentience and thus a morally significant existence. At this point, I think for the most part abortion is indefensible even though I think abortion should be legal for the duration of pregnancy. I have multiple reasons for this line of thinking. In many cases, the family dynamic changes (loss of job, father walks out, etc.) that would put undue hardship on the raising of the child. There are also some deformities that don’t become apparent until the later stages of prenatal development, most of which would make life unbearably difficult. There is also the case where the mother’s life is in jeopardy, which I don’t think needs to be addressed. All that said, I still regard late-term abortion as a much lesser harm than a worldly existence, so that even though late-term abortion is reprehensible in my mind (in most cases, with the above notable exceptions) it is still a lesser evil than being born.
Thus is the case for the pro-death view of abortion, based on the antinatalist position of being brought into existence. Since being brought into existence in the morally significant way is the greatest harm of all, it can easily be concluded that the best possible thing would be to terminate all pregnancies in the early stages, but also that late-term abortion is a lesser harm than being born.
I’ve read a couple of news articles recently about parents suing for “wrongful birth” of severely disabled children. Parents of children born without appendages, limbs, or even having severe mental and/or other physical handicaps have sued medical staff for allowing their children to be born instead of advising them accordingly to terminate the pregnancy. Unfortunately, these cases have all been thrown out of court, even though I think they have legitimate complaints.
What I don’t think is happening in these cases is that the judges and/or juries are not putting themselves in the shoes of a severely disabled person. By law they must all be of sound mind, so they can’t understand mental handicaps. Some of them may be able to understand some degree of physical handicap, but not to the level many of these children are handicapped. When you think to yourself “would *I* want to live like that” I’d have to think that any reasonable person would say “no, I would not.” I know I sure as hell wouldn’t, and I don’t know anyone who would either.
That said, I think it goes even further than that. I think if anyone, for whatever reason, thinks their quality of life is so poor that it’s in general not worth living, they should be able to sue not only the attending medical staff, but also their parents. After all, life was forced upon them by their parents and had it not been for them doing the nasty and conceiving, they wouldn’t have had to endure the pain and suffering that awaited them in an earthly life. It kind of goes back to what David Benatar said about being born:
“Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad—and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.”
“We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child—pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, and death. For any given child we cannot predict what form these harms will take or how severe they will be, but we can be sure that at least some of them will occur. None of this befalls the nonexistent. Only existers suffer harm.”
When you think of it that way, it’s pretty easy to conclude that in everyone’s case, birth was wrongful. I understand that would open up a whole new can of worms, but at the same time, let’s face it, life’s rough. I think it’s very legitimate to sue your parents and/or the attending medical staff for the pain and suffering that befalls you due to being born (for had you never been born, you’d have never had to endure pain and suffering). So, yes, your pain and suffering is entirely their fault, and you should be entitled to compensation. I also think you should be entitled to the right to end your life without the state intervening and throwing you into a loony bin and shoving medicine down your throat if you try, but I’ll save that for another day.
So, yeah. Wrongful birth is, in my mind, a completely legitimate complaint for anyone, but especially for the severely disabled. That’s just no way to live, and anyone who is reasonable should be able to agree with that statement.
First of all, I’d like to say congratulations to United States president Barack Obama on winning re-election in a rather handy fashion. Talk about a relief for CF people in the US! Let me tell you what, ol’ Mittens would have been a devastating blow for women’s reproductive health not only in the US, but here and everywhere else in the world too (cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, which he said he’d do, as well as cutting funding for abortions and contraceptives/sterilization in developing countries, among other assaults on reproductive choice).
While we’re on the topic of reproductive choice, most notably abortion, I happened across a rather unusual circumstance yesterday. I did a post on my general blog about all the reasons I’m pro-choice and one of the commenters was adamantly anti-choice. Well, not to be surprising there, as there is still a certain percentage of people who live in prehistory and don’t want to live in the present. Said person pulled out the old tactics about god/gods (which I don’t believe exist, so that one doesn’t work with me) and of course went on a picture tirade of aborted fetuses (sorry, I don’t make decisions based on emotions, so that tactic doesn’t faze me either.
So I got to talking to someone who I knew was childfree about how crazy anti-choicers are, only for her to reveal to me that she was anti-choice herself. Needless to say I was completely bewildered when she said that.
I don’t understand how anyone can be childfree and yet anti-choice. The two terms are like contradictory to one another! On one hand, you want to have the freedom to choose not to reproduce, but on the other hand you’re denying people that same freedom? And you mean to tell me you’d rather be a parent against your will than go through with an abortion? Whatever the case, it made absolutely no sense in my mind whatsoever.
I am definitely not impressed, to say the least. I can only think of one thing and that this person is, deep down, a wannabreeder posing as a childfree person in the name of trying to make childfree people look stupid, or she’s a “shill” in other words. I wouldn’t be surprised if there exist people like that out there.
It’s simple really: to be childfree is to be pro-reproductive freedom, and to be pro-reproductive freedom is to be pro-choice. That’s all there is to it.
You know, if it’s one thing that pisses me off even more than unruly crotch droppings, it’s the fact that governments worldwide give monetary incentives for people to have children. Or, to put it another way, us childfree people wind up paying to raise other people’s little sprogs.
In the United States, Mexico, and most other countries, people are given tax credits for each child they have, the supposed reasoning being that children are expensive. Well, we already knew that, but I thought that was part of the sacrifice you made when you became a parent? Oh wait, I forgot, you’re a parent so every one should bow down to you because you were able to fuck and produce a little miniature human though a completely natural, unmiraculous bodily function! Yeah, I’m not worthy, Mr./Ms. super parent!
Of course, there are places it’s worse than that. Germany recently raised their income tax rate on childless/childfree people (and only on them) to try to promote breeding, and Singapore is offering huge financial incentives for people to have children (we’re talking cash bonuses from the Singaporean government in the amounts of tens of thousands of US equivalent dollars, and that’s per child). Yeah, what kind of fucked up shit is that?
That’s not what gets my goat the most, though. What makes me even madder than tax incentives are welfare benefits. Just no. If you can’t afford to raise a child you have 100% absolutely no business having children. Period, end of story; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you can’t afford to raise a kid, the only incentives you should be getting are reduced-cost abortion and contraception (including sterilization), quite frankly. It’s a lot cheaper for us taxpayers than paying for your welfare handouts for you to raise your welfare babies who will more than likely go on to produce more welfare babies and continue the cycle.
God that shit pisses me off. Your kids are YOUR responsibility, not mine. Raise them with your own goddamn money or don’t have kids at all, you fucking breeder assholes.
Brat bans are a hot topic as of late, with businesses banning little kids quickly popping up all over the place. Restaurants, airlines, movie theaters, among other types of businesses are restricting kids, and I say it’s about darn time.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, ruins a meal at my favorite restaurant quicker than an annoying, screaming, bratty kid going nuts. I’ll be in my seat eating in peace and then along comes an annoying little shit who does nothing but disrupt my fine dining experience. I have very, very sensitive hearing and I can hear a kid crying from a mile away, so it doesn’t even have to be anywhere near my table. Further, if a family with a kid comes down and sits near me, I avoid confrontation at all costs by quickly packing up, paying my ticket, and leaving. I don’t want to be anywhere near them.
Also, when I was working airline I had one incident where I was tasked with landing a fully loaded Boeing 737-800 with 152 people on board (including crew) in a thunderstorm. For those of you who have never taken the reigns to a jumbo jet, let me just tell you that landing one in a thunderstorm is no easy task with no other distractions present. Well, there was another distraction present: a screaming kid in the first row of First Class. In other words, right behind the cockpit. Yes, you can hear that shit from up there. That was miserable. I was trying to tune it out and focus on the task at hand (landing the plane safely) but that just made the task even harder. I got the plane down safely, obviously, but Jesus fucking Christ. It about drove me up the wall. I wanted to confront the parents of that stupid fucking kid as they got off the plane but I held my tongue despite having to be restrained by the Captain. I was livid.
Then the bowling alley: a place that is usually overrun with kids who get away with displaying poor bowling etiquette and throwing their wall-eyed hissy fits every time their little uncoordinated arms throw a gutterball. Yeah, not conducive for someone like me, a professional-caliber bowler who’s seriously trying to practice or put up high scores despite difficult lane conditions. In this case, children go from being simply an annoyance to affecting my pin count, my average, and everything. If those drop too fast, I could lose my PBA card, which is NOT an idea I particularly fancy.
Whatever the case, yeah. Kids are disruptive, they’re annoying, and in a lot of cases, a threat to safety (as in the case of me landing a fully loaded jumbo jet mid-thunderstorm). This is why I support brat bans. Banning kids from fine restaurants, first class cabins, and after certain hours at bowling alleys, movie theaters, etc. would be a smart business move. Whatever little business they lost would quickly be made up for by people of my ilk who want a peaceful, kid-free night. And actually, studies show that businesses who enact brat bans are booming and seeing more business than ever. Chew on that, breeder brigade!
Now, some people are questioning the ethics of such practices, and I’ve seen some go on the slippery slope argument about how it’ll lead to LGBT bans, etc. at businesses. You know what? I don’t care. I believe business owners have the right to ban whoever they want from entering their doors. If they want to ban LGBT people, straight people, atheists, Christians, blacks, whites, kids, men, women, senior citizens, or whoever, I think that is their right, and I think laws that say otherwise are a load of crap and an infringement upon a business owner’s rights. Businesses should be able to cater to whoever they want, and likewise, refuse to cater to whoever they want as well.
And yes, if I owned a business like a restaurant, bowling alley, etc. it would be adults only. Period, end of story. I wouldn’t want kids entering my place of business for the peace of mind of my patrons. I can guarantee you I’d make serious money too.
Now, before I get going, no, I’m not talking about abortion directly here. I fully support a woman’s right to choose to either carry to term or terminate a pregnancy, and I don’t believe anyone else on the face of the planet has any right to tell her what to do with her own body in that regard. That’s not what this is about. Rather, this is about giving men sort of a “separate but equal” option so to speak.
Women are (correctly, I might add) given sole authority in what happens to their body during pregnancy. They don’t need anyone else’s consent to have an abortion (not even that of the father of the child), as well they should not be required to (with the exception of under-18s in some places, which I’m also against requiring parental consent). That said, with such power should come responsibility. If the man wants nothing to do with the kid but she decides to keep it, it’s simply her burden and nobody else’s. As it is, the law doesn’t really work this way in most countries.
I don’t know much about child support laws in my home country, but the States where I’m originally from has child support laws that are stacked in favor of women and men are left hung out to dry. Men everywhere in the States and several other countries are stuck paying child support to children they want nothing to do with and completely waived any and all parental rights to. This doesn’t happen is 100% of cases (it seems to be up to the judge deciding the case whether or not to terminate child support payments) but it SHOULD happen in 100% of cases.
When a woman has an abortion she’s absolving herself of any and all financial and parental responsibility for that potential child. When a man signs over his rights, he’s just absolved of the latter. That doesn’t automatically absolve him from financial responsibility. This is wrong, and in this way, the law gives women way too much power.
For the record, I believe it goes the other way too. If the man wants the child, the woman doesn’t, but for whatever reason she chooses to carry to term and give sole custody over to the father and thus sign over her rights, I don’t think the father should be entitled to child support either, because now that child is HIS burden.
You might be saying “you’d believe differently if this happened to you.” Well, guess what? This exact thing did in fact happen to me, and I’m just going to go ahead and spill the beans about this, as I don’t tell many people this. My biological father never wanted anything to do with me. When he got my mother pregnant with me (this was her 2nd pregnancy with him, she aborted the first one) he walked out. His brother being the big-shot lawyer he was, drafted up a document that said he agreed to surrender parental rights in exchange for my mother not collecting child support. She agreed to the terms. I’ve not talked to my biological father but a few times, and I don’t even know if he’s still alive or what he’s up to these days. Do I hold anything against him? Absolutely not. I hold no grudges or hard feelings toward the man, and if he ever decides he wants a father-son relationship with me, the door is wide open. He doesn’t seem to want that, though.
Of course, in the meanwhile I was left to be raised by my evil step-father who I hated with every fiber of my being. I’d have rather had no father figure than him. He’s the one I’ll forever hold several grudges against. He didn’t come into the picture until several years later and I wish he had never.
So yeah, a man’s right to choose whether or not he wishes to pay child support. That’s what I’m in favor of. Of course, if he chooses not to he should be required to completely surrender all parental rights (including visitation, claiming the child as a dependent on taxes, and everything else), but I think that’s a fair trade-off. No man should be stuck paying child support to a child he surrenders all rights to, and it happens way too much.
So I read the other day where there is talk in the German congress of introducing a tax law that would increase the tax on people without children by 1%.
Now, as it is, in most countries with a national income tax the childfree get shafted anyway because they don’t get the same tax credits that those with children have. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Germany takes this bad up to a whole new level with the introduction of such legislation.
A lot of you might be thinking “what’s 1%?” Well, it depends on how much you make! Childfree people tend to have higher incomes overall than those with children. So let’s say you make $100,000 per year US equivalent (using US as a standardized currency). 1% of $100,000 is $1,000. For most people, that’s a sizable amount out of their tax refund every year, and for some people it would be their entire tax refund! When you think about it like that, that’s an awful lot of money.
The supposed reason behind this tax is to provide incentive to have children and increase the birth rate. Germany, like a lot of other European and otherwise developed countries, is currently experiencing a negative birth rate. There are more people dying than being born (in fact, if I’m not mistaken the US is the only developed country with a positive birth rate at this time). I guess I can kind of see their point, but once again why do they really care? It’s not really tragic for a population or a species to die out.
Well, even with that said, the childfree aren’t the only ones getting shafted by this. What about those who are unable to have children through no fault of their own? They’re going to get hit in the pocket books too. Talk about adding insult to injury!
No matter how you turn it, this new tax is neither fair nor ethical. But, what have I always said on this blog? There’s a stigma when it comes to being childfree that’s not going away anytime soon, and I don’t think it’ll ever really be accepted.