Monday Open Thread — Hard Cases Editionby Brad Warbiany
Doug recently posted a “Libertarian Hard Cases” thread about how to deal with issues related to children. Libertarianism is one of the few political systems that treats adults like adults and holds them responsible for their actions; it assumes that people are rational actors who are capable of making decisions in their own life and deserve rights commensurate with that ability. But it has difficulty answering questions regarding people who are not capable of making those decisions and cannot be trusted with the rights to do so, such as children and the mentally disabled.
Undoubtedly, there are many other libertarian hard cases. So this thread is a call to the readers here to give us ideas. What libertarian “hard cases” would you like to see addressed?
For example, I’ll be writing a post soon regarding the rights of parents to choose to vaccinate or not vaccinate children. There are two clear questions that arise:
1) As a parent, do I have the right to not vaccinate, which is a choice that some would consider tantamount to abuse or neglect of a child, if I believe that the potential harm of a vaccine is worse than the disease it is preventing against (such as chicken pox)?
2) Does society as a whole have a legitimate claim to supersede my right to choose not to vaccinate, as it creates an externality that increases the likelihood that we see an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases?
These are difficult questions, and ones that I think may result in disagreements within the contributors here, so it could lead to some interesting fireworks. If you have any suggested topics, let us know.