Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Equality and dignity of a child ed




          Addressing same-sex partners’ demands for civil marriage licensing, Congress defended marriage between a man and a woman as Judeo-Christian tradition, an unconstitutional basis.[1] The arguments also ignore the rights of children, obfuscating their rights from the public view--behind the rights of partners to obligate themselves to each other. Publicly focusing exclusively on the spousal obligations and responsibilities in same-sex partnerships, and ignoring fair taxation of single adults, the US Supreme Court negated DOMA, responding to the same-sex plea for equality and dignity while subjugating children to the partnerships. Congress is oblivious to the obligation to address the rights of children, which is incorporated in the civil marriage license, perhaps because marriage licensing is a state function. The rights of children are thereby being totally neglected by the federal government, dominated by a willful administration and cooperative Supreme Court.

          Civil marriage licensing in Louisiana holds the conceiving couple responsible to and for their children. Congress has done nothing to amend DOMA’s neglect of children. States have not improved the civil marriage license respecting obligations to children. Setting religion aside, as it should be for civic debate, the ethics of human physics[2] is instructive: Accordingly, a child has the right to the equality and dignity of being loved and reared by his/her couple perhaps enhanced by higher psychological maturities among his/her grandparents and families. Civic morality supports children’s rights according to human physics.           There could be a different civic that ignores this heritage of monogamy, but its path would be hampered with surrogacy, artificial gender role playing or other education, and distraction from the statistically dominant heterosexual-monogamy option. Children who, as mature adults, would have opted for heterosexual-monogamy may find themselves, by becoming involved in the same-sex lifestyle, in obligations that prevent their opportunity for their preference. In other words, the perhaps 97% of children who would otherwise become heterosexual monogamists might find themselves obligated to same-sex lifestyle they would not have chosen.           The fact that many couples are not faithful to heterosexual monogamy says nothing about the physics of parents, children, grandchildren and beyond: personal posterity. I only states that they were not faithful to physics, their initial vows, their spouse, their children, their grandchildren, and beyond. The affect of personal infidelity on the overall progress of humankind is not known.          The chances for a human being to achieve and practice cooperative autonomy long enough to discover her/his person and develop psychological maturity--freedom from external constraints and internal contradictions--are narrow . . . if not slim . . . if not almost impossible. Chances are especially small if the person has, by age ten, been indoctrinated into an ideology or subjugation that represses the person’s autonomy. Personal autonomy might come at age thirty or so, collaborative autonomy at 45, and psychological maturity beyond 65 years of age. Self discovery takes a full lifetime, if achieved. Perhaps Mother Teresa had achieved psychological maturity.
          As cultures evolve, some persons perceive that governments should accommodate no-harm persons in their private quests, regardless of stage in life. Such people do not empower government --- want minimal government: To them, as long as a person observes civic morality, the person should be free to pursue the happiness the person perceives. The notion of no-harm personal liberty has been repressed in the United States by federal focus on national freedom and governance under belief in a god.
           Extant US governance vainly claims to be directed to the general welfare regardless of impact on a civic people. Some persons assert that government should provide for them--even protect them from want.[3]Freedom from want is an image, not a practice; each person’s life is in her/his hands, and every person struggles for meaningful life during every personal decade. A civic people need awakening to the  achievable combination no-harm personal liberty and domestic goodwill--PL&DG.
          Nevertheless, I ask: at what point in a human life does equality and dignity apply, and when does personal autonomy prevail? And what does “equality” mean; does it refer to concern and respect?[4] I think personal rights exist literally before conception: a civic people should provide governance that is inviting to the children to be born. Government is obligated to prepare the way for each person’s civic quest for personal autonomy leading to psychological maturity. Each person is free to negotiate personal accommodation and if injustice is discovered, change the civil order.           The constitution for the USA does not grant to the administration, the Congress, and the Supreme Court the power to exclude the individual from changing his/her governance, regardless of the claims of, for example, Greece v Galloway (2014), which states that legislative prayer is for legislators, not for the people.
          From physics, indisputably, a child is conceived when a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s ovum, either directly or technologically; the result is a unique single-cell with the genes and DNA to grow a human body and mind and a person. Recognizing the obligation to provide for a child’s cultivation of personal autonomy, a woman instinctively has cooperative autonomy with her ova. An ethical man protects the woman and her ova. A cooperatively autonomous couple who wish to procreate, long before love-making,[5] regard themselves as a potential family with progeny. Perhaps fortuitously, or without the reasoning concerning respective autonomies, civil marriage licensing incorporates obligations to progeny as the civil order. With a marriage license, the couple is obligated to love and nourish their children, and if they forfeit, society takes charge of the children.
          Unfortunately, the system is biased toward so-called “parent’s rights,” and the injustice of that tradition is argued by Marci Hamilton in her work and books.[6] Also, John Rosemond, in "Equality . . . not fair (to the kids)." See www.parentguru.com/articles/view/1625?return=%2F . Yet, because each child has inalienable rights, the state takes charge of their welfare even if defaulting parents do not have a civil marriage license. Every imaginable deviation from civically moral parenthood occurs, including child sex-abuse, but civically immoral practices are neither justified nor condoned by the state and if discovered may lead to civil retribution.
          When heterosexual monogamy is practiced, a child may be conceived, perhaps optimally, in a heritage of monogamy. Grandparents and beyond provide the child examples of cooperative autonomies more mature than that of their parents. Some senior couples may have reached psychological maturity. With this physical provision--hierarchical heterosexual monogamies--the child has the examples to positively influence his/her progress toward psychological maturity. Parental love and intent to nourish the child extends past parenthood to include grandchildren and beyond. Unfortunately, society does not teach these concepts, except through the many families that practice monogamy for generations. The same-sex debate has not challenged itself respecting this ethic determined by physics.
          The term “marriage” aside, American society has been evolving toward the hope that each child is conceived in monogamy for life, which commonly means one spouse for life but also for some thinkers intimacy with only one person for life. However, since the so-called “sex revolution,” in the 1960s, this cultural evolution has regressed and the consequences are not good.[7] Single parenthood is common. Many children are subjected to the conflicting practice of parental promiscuity, whether heterosexual or same-sex or "swinging." People engage in group sex, same-sex, and beyond. Some are exploring polyamory; practitioners intellectually constructed polyfidelity--obligation to the group. The importance of fidelity in human relations suffered; some persons are mere objects. Many parents consider their children possessions for parental satisfaction.
          Same-sex sex does not risk pregnancy, so it makes practical sense for those attracted to it for whatever reasons, but same-sex partners should emerge monogamous--faithful to each other. If partners want procreation, they must negotiate a civil contract regarding ova, sperm, and gestation: the same-sex society must be served by singles or couples who are willing to subjugate children to be born. The third party involvement negates the monogamy. Should an alternative society whose members master the art of same-sex partnering be endorsed? Is it civically moral to subjugate a child to serve a same-sex partnership or society? Is support of successively mature generations within families unimportant to a child? Since same-sex sex does not risk pregnancy, is an age of consent important? Since family members may not share blood lines, is consensual sex between the generations permissible? Is freedom from fidelity to persons and to physics the new psychological maturity? What are the consequences of legislating equality and dignity to adults who compromise the inalienable equality and dignity of children? To what extent should the alienation of children be explored and exploited? My only interest in this is that I do not want to support it.
          A child can be loved and reared by two fathers or two mothers, respecting motivation and inspiration, economic support, formal education, and such. However, the attendant denial of the child’s heritage of heterosexual monogamy as well as separation from its couple seems to make that child unequal and undignified. Can a child achieve psychological maturity without experiencing heterosexual, monogamous parenting and grand-parenting? I don’t think so. Can the noble work of heterosexual monogamy be learned by study and exhortation? Can a man and a man demonstrate monogamy between a woman and a man so that progeny understand the noble work of heterosexual monogamy? I don’t think so. Does anyone fail to understand that heterosexual monogamy is rewarding, noble, and difficult commitment leading to meaning?           Can a child whose preference when adult would be heterosexual monogamy discover that preference before compromising personal autonomy, when reared by homosexual partners? I don’t know. Is a child’s discovery that he/she prefers heterosexual monogamy, statistically a 97% preference, enhanced in a society of homosexual monogamy with surrogacy contract or adoption, which is an 0.3% preference within a 3% same-sex society? I don’t think so.
          To promote or invite personal autonomy, it seems equality and dignity must begin before conception. The child has the inalienable right to be loved and reared by her/his monogamous, heterosexual parents. Adult contracts that deny the child’s rights are civically immoral. If the child’s government would serve her/him, it would assure her/his dignity and equality both in conception and upon birth. Conceptions intended to fulfill adult contracts seem civically immoral.
          The Louisiana civil-marriage license, like some others, is flawed, because it confuses, by incorporation, 1) spousal obligations and responsibilities to each other with 2) rights of progeny. The flaw is evident in tax tables that grant privileges, intended to aid children, to childless married couples. That flaw needs to be corrected, so that couples remain in a tax bracket equivalent to the “single” tax bracket until the first child is born or adopted. Merely being in love does not civically qualify the couple for tax advantages that must be paid by single persons: it is an unfair redistribution of taxes from singles to couples-without-children. Tax reform is needed and should apply to both heterosexual couples and same-sex partners. Responsibility for this correction rests with the state, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides respecting same-sex unions.
          Protection of progeny suggests procreation licensing, so that society begins to shift from “parent’s rights” to children’s equality and dignity as well as protection from neglect, abuse and murder. Qualifications for procreation license might include: age at least 26, civil couple for at least 3 years, financial stability adequate for parenthood, no felony convictions, and no drugs in the body at the time of application. Debate by a civic people[8] would improve my list. Sex between consenting adults is a private practice, but civil supervision of procreation could not come too soon for a people and its posterity. Many children are suffering neglect, abuse, early death, and murder; and suffering begets suffering. In today’s society, children are rearing children, and many grandparents are barely thirty years of age. But the human body does not complete those parts of the brain needed to build wisdom until age twenty-five.[9]
          Same-sex sex does not risk pregnancy but detracts from heterosexual bonding, but same-sex life may be what the partners want. In some persons’ pursuits of personal autonomy, a fulfilling experience is to discover and nourish friendships. A friendship that flourishes into intimacy, whether platonic or not and/or same-sex or not, may be more fulfilling than friendship without intimacy,[10] provided the intimacy does not break prior commitments—fidelity to self, spouse, progeny, and physics. Fidelity begins with understanding physics-based ethics and commitments made to self and persists with mutual promises kept. When two people discover that they want to be together for life and civically commit to each other, there is monogamy, and it should be celebrated. Society should provide a civil, same-sex monogamy license.          However, same-sex monogamists cannot fulfill a child’s right to be reared by a couple and, therefore, cannot be parents according to civic morality. That may seem unfair to partners, but is not likely to seem unfair to the child if she/he reaches psychological maturity--self discovery. The child has the inalienable right to equality and dignity in her/his start on a quest for personal autonomy. And he/she has the right to his/her heritage of monogamies. Father-and-father partners and mother-and-mother partners might object to a child’s right to have a father and a mother, but the child, matured to old age, is unlikely to object. Similarly, increased civic protection of both children and children to be born, for example, through civil procreation licensing, might seem unfair to couples who are accustomed to traditional “parent’s rights,” and single mothers, who want a child despite depriving the child of its father. However, a civic people is obligated to its children to be born. Without a civic people, a child is defenseless against defaulting or evil parents.
          Each human life begins with learning--transfer of the information needed for communications: articulation, language, facts, cultures, and so on. Earliest information transfer may be intended either to religiously indoctrinate the child or to empower him/her to take charge of his/her education toward understanding. Any indoctrination should be in place by age seven or so. By age ten or later, the child may begin to discover personal autonomy and develop it independently. In adolescence, he/she discovers sexuality and is either coached/not to understand human reproduction processes distinctly from formation of human relations. As stated above, by age twenty-five the body has completed formation of those physical parts of the brain needed for building wisdom. After personal autonomy, most people develop collaborative autonomy and practice it for decades. Some adults, perhaps beginning in the mid-sixth decade discover their person and grow psychological maturity, defined as freedom from all external constraints and internal contradictions.[11]
          At any point in time, society mirrors this personal growth toward psychological maturity, so the wiser, older generations, cooperating with the braver, newer generations, may gradually refine human ethics. In this way, humankind slowly improves, infinitely approaching perfection, whereas radical change can be regressive. This theory is illustrated in fiction respecting four generations in one family effecting the end of human sacrifice in their culture. [12] In my fiction, a father who is considers regressing to human sacrifice is persuaded to refrain. Abraham's son convinced Abraham not be murder him. More importantly, collaboration across the four generations supports my preference for civil monogamy licensing.
          Above, I recommended civil monogamy licensing for same-sex partners; I also suggest civil monogamy licensing for couples, hoping that clarifying the commitment for life might help men and women achieve personal fidelity to children, grandchildren and beyond, instead of breaking promises--getting divorces. Religious institutions tacitly support the idea of monogamy yet do not take responsibility for children when parents default. Civil monogamy licensing would position the State to emphasize the obligations to progeny, not just for love and cultivation of personal autonomy, but for life. While it is regrettably true that some persons neglect or abuse children because the person is immoral, some just do not understand the role of parenthood, much less monogamy; many people are vaguely aware of the heritage of monogamy but would not articulate it. Also, some persons--because they like promiscuity, polygamy, and other relationships--self-justify conflict with the rights and interests of children. 
          But there is no excuse for civic endorsement of injustice. People who practice promiscuity during marriage-with-progeny adversely influence children and frequently divorce, increasing their progenies’ losses. Sometimes the promiscuity is incestuous. Also, when there is divorce and re-marriage, step-spouses often sexually abuse their step-children. Civic morality discourages both 1) divorce, especially to protect children and grand-children, and 2) remarriage, partially to discourage risk of sexual abuse by a step-spouse against his/her spouse’s child. Both divorce and remarriage are controversially[13] discouraged by the Church; church doctrine could be enhanced by a review of the ethics of human physics. A civic people does not condemn those who fail, but it does not promote failure.
          Same-sex families incorporate the potential for consensual sex between a partner and children in the family. Who would argue with a man who divorced his husband because the man fell in love with[14] his husband’s son or daughter? The jealous husband or a resentful sibling might complain, but why should they if the social unit adheres to free love? Whereas civic morality discourages incest, people encourage analogous risk by promoting same-sex families. Neglect and abuse are disturbing subjects, yet they happen with surprising frequency. Society should neither condone nor provide novel avenues for personal abuse and infidelity. There could be a social paradigm with free love among all, perhaps as a society which establishes ethics outside the physical limitation of monogamy. It would need to be demonstrated as both successful and viable in all aspects. Frankly, I do not want to imagine the methods, so I stop here.
          Physics-based ethics offers a means of determining civic morality, leaving supernatural morality for the religions. According to physics-based ethics, the human body and mind--the person--is equipped with the means and the drives for procreation. Trying to suppress those drives is nearly impossible; however, redirecting them seems possible. A people could sort out the options and criteria on which each adolescent can make a choice; it's not too complicated. Criteria for evaluation of potential conduct include personal autonomy, which each free person must maintain; appreciation of other persons' personal autonomy, which leads to collaborative autonomy; fidelity to promises made; fidelity to posterity; fidelity to physics; and civic morality. Personal options, in decreasing preference, seem to be heterosexual monogamy, homosexual monogamy (no child), homosexual partners with child, single parent, promiscuity, and abuse (which should be excluded as uncivil). Celibacy seems impractical, but a person is free to choose then be faithful to the commitment.
          In its deliberations regarding same-sex marriage, I hope Supreme Court Justices eventually consider the child’s inalienable right to the equality and dignity of being loved and reared by the couple who conceived her or him. Adult contracts that compromise a child’s rights seem civically immoral. The Supreme Court, by overlooking the child protections incorporated in the extant civil marriage license overlooks provisions that were left to the states. In my opinion, the Supreme Court made a mistake exceeding the severity of the 1857 Dred Scott decision. States should do all they can to bring this to the attention of the Supreme Court.
          In sharing these concerns, I mean no harm to anyone and wish every person a short path to personal autonomy, collaborative autonomy and perhaps to psychological maturity. Merely sharing these concerns may help some people confront the threats to personal liberty I perceive in a same-sex society.

Copyright©2015 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Revised January 26. Revised October 9, 2015.


[1] United States v Windsor: online at www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/12-307 .
[2] See, for example, Physics & Ethics Education Project, www.peep.ac.uk/content/618.0.html . It seems that they have not decided to cover softer issues in ethics from a human physics standpoint, as I do. For example, I argue for the dignity and equality of a fertilized ovum to be loved before conception, during gestation and delivery, during coaching toward cooperative autonomy, and throughout life, providing a succession of monogamies. In other words, I argue for the right of a child to be loved and reared by its couple and to enjoy her/his heritage.
[3] Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Four Freedoms Speech, online at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrthefourfreedoms.htm .
[4] Ronald Dworkin. Taking Rights Seriously. 1978. Page xii. The murderer is treated with equal concern and respect.
[5] Primary education should add two topics: human reproduction and formation of human relationships. The student should gain the understanding that having sex may be an impersonal animal instinct, whereas making love is a bond-building mutual commitment perhaps leading to monogamy for life: intimacy with one person for life, or absolute fidelity to personal commitments. An alternative is free love, whether platonic or sexual, which seems to require fidelity to the ideology and all people without distinction, not to individuals, and thus seems enslaving.
[6] Marci Hamilton books. See online at www.amazon.com/Marci-Hamilton/e/B001HCZUPA .
[7] There are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted disease per year at a cost of $16 billion. See online at www.livescience.com/48100-sexually-transmitted-infections-50-states-map.html .
[8] “A people” refers to that portion of the people who understand and use the preamble to the US Constitution to guide their civic conduct. It seems self-evident that persons who neglect or abuse a child are of the people but not of a people. People in 2015 would benefit if each person mentally revised the subject of the preamble to the US Constitution to “We a People of the United States” so as to understand that commitment to its principles divides the people. Perhaps with candid civic negotiations among a people governance of by and for a people would emerge.
[10] Friendships that do not yield to sexual appetites and promiscuity are among the richest rewards of living.
[11] I do not have the reference but understand this definition of a phrase by H. A. Overstreet was stated by Professor Orlando Patterson.
[12] Phil Beaver. “Abraham decided not to murder his son.” Online at understandtheknowledge.blogspot.com .
[13] The principles are poorly taught and unevenly and unfairly applied. Thus, there is opportunity for the Church to improve, but that does not constitute a reason to destroy the Church, which helps some believers.
[14] “In love with” is a mutual relationship between the persons, usually two persons.