LaFollette starts his argument by presenting the fact that “our society normally regulates a certain range of activities” like driving, practicing medicine, law, pharmacy, etc. (182). In addition, the decision to restrict such activities derives from a plausible but inexplicitly formulated rationale that the restricted activities could be “potentially harmful to others”, “safe performance of the activities require a certain competence”, and “we have a moderately reliable procedure for determining that competence” (183). As a result, it is theoretically desirable th...
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...g parents, let alone a reliable competence test. In particular, I have shown that, without a clear definition of harm, parental abuse could essentially be beneficial to children, and licensing parents could be a prior restraint in which the potential for harm is minor, compared to the restraint to parents. Plus, since LaFollette mentions some ways to deny his conclusion such as finding special reasons why licensing parents is not theoretically desirable, I have demonstrated that it is actually possible to find evidences to deny his conclusion. Consequently, licensing parents is merely LaFollette’s creative approach to look at our society in a non-intuitional perspective, but is both theoretically and evolutionarily undesirable. Thus, parents should not be licensed.
LaFollette, Hugh. 1980. “Licensing Parents.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 9:182-97.
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