If a parent believes in spanking, we don’t take the child away from the parents. If the parents are beating their children abusively, we do. There is a point at which the parent is a danger to the successful development of a child, and the child should not have to pay for the parent’s sins.
To a statist, there’s nothing inconsistent here. The state knows best, and when they believe you are over the line, they take your child. But to a libertarian, who doesn’t believe the state knows best, this is inconsistent.
Kids are pre-adults, and human beings with natural rights. It cannot be true that parents “own” their children, as slavery is incompatible with natural rights. But kids not being capable of fully exercising individual natural rights, it is parents who appoint themselves as “guardian” or “caretaker” of that child until he/she is old enough to take control of his/her own life. But where’s the line between stern and abusive parenting, and where’s the line between creative and unique upbringing and damaging your child by starting their lives under a fictional language only spoken on a TV show and amongst its most rabid fans:
Is this taking the whole Star Trek thing a teensie weensie bit too far? d’Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life.
Klingon? Not Spanish, French, Mandarin? Not some gutteral genuflecting concoction from the deepest recesses of Borneo? Klingon? You heard it right. (And if you don’t know about the Klingon Empire, look it up.)
“I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language,” Speers told the Minnesota Daily. “He was definitely starting to learn it.”
This case is made even more difficult in that this guy is not some guy living in his parents’ basement watching Star Trek all day, he has a doctorate in computational linguistics.
So two questions here:
1) At what point is it morally acceptable for a libertarian to interfere with a parent in the protection of a child?
2) Where does speaking to your kids in only Klingon until age 3 fall into that spectrum?
Hat Tip: Popehat