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A critique of Stefan Molyneux's Discussion with Stephan Kinsella


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112 replies to this topic

#71
Rose

Rose
  • 14 posts

"In the podcast, he evaded and turned the laser beam on others' errors but was very lax about his own errors."


 


No Greg, they were speaking from two very different contexts. Doesn't anyone realize that both parties were trying to get visibility on two completely seperate arguments in that podcast? Stefan was trying to get Aaron to see a point he was making, Aaron was trying to do the same, and when you have two people trying to get visibility from each other at the same time you end up with an emotional collision.


I remember reading a forum about that podcast some time ago where I read a comment that said "I can't believe he really didn't get it... he's a smart guy, how could he [Aaron] not see Stef's point??"


I could say the exact same thing about Stef not understanding Aaron's point if I assumed he should have seen it to begin with, but that couldn't have happened based on the circumstances of the conversation: both people wanted visibility and were arguing for two seperate points. I'm not even sure anyone can logically argue that it should have been Aaron to give Stefan visibility first, as opposed to the other way around. Aaron was upset that people were gossiping about him in the chat room (which is what inspired the conversation they had), and Stefan was upset that Aaron had made a video critiquing him without talking to him first about it. Both came into the conversation with concerns and disagreements, yet most of the responses on FDR I have seen towards that podcast have been under the assumption that it was Aaron's job to understand where Stef was coming from, before getting visibility for his own arguments and feelings. Why? Someone logically argue that it was his owness to do that and then maybe your criticisms will have some basis. Obviously if no one does that, then your only other options are to retreat into a little more of an objective understanding that both sides had feelings worthy of acknowledging, or to assume that anyone who disagrees with Stefan is an "evader". So far it seems like the stance at FDR is more focused on the latter explanation.


Don't you think that Stef seemed like just as much of an "evader" to people like Aaron (and others who understood where he was coming from) as Aaron appeared to FDR'rs? Obviously from Aaron's perspective, Stef was completely missing his point, even though he usually proves himself to be a pretty intelligent guy. And yes, that also affected Aaron's view of his "credibility" after that conversation, despite Stef's many great ideas and psychological help to people (including myself).


Furthermore, credibility doesn't have to be high to discuss points that were made in an intellectual article; the points are still valid. If someone wrote an article about libertarianism who looks at child pornography from time to time, you might question his psychology in terms of health, but the points in his article still remain and should still be addressed as long as people are responding to the article. That's not to say that people's psychology should be disregarded by any means, but if you don't even understand the context of the one piece of information you have to lean on as far as this guy's psychology (maybe someone caught him looking at porn with grown women with tiny boobs, assumed it was children, and went and told everybody), then you don't have a solid understanding of that person's 'credibility'.


Lastly, to Jimmy, there's nothing wrong what you said. All you were doing is giving your perceptions of Greg's comment, which there is nothing wrong with. It seemed to me like you were putting your perception cards on the table for Greg to read, and he didn't like what you had to say. He doesn't have to like it, but don't let someone shoot you down just because they don't like your perception. After all, our perception is our perception, and there's not much else we can do about that. Also, here's a great real-time example of what I was talking about earlier as far as seeing it from people's contexts: why should you (Jimmy) be the one to give empathy to Greg first? You didn't attack him or anything, you just gave your perception of his comment. He felt attacked by your perception and responded attacking you instead of having empathy, yet rags out on you for not having empathy for him. Which one's first? (I have an opinion, but it's irrelevant in terms of my point)


"but if you're going to accuse someone of being unjust on a philosophy forum, it might be a good idea to have a better argument than "it sounds to me like..".  "   Perceptions of external reality are really all we have when it comes to these arguments....  but, if you're saying there is a scientific equation that can show how someone was unjust, then point me in the right direction and I'll show you what I come up with.


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#72
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

I understand, am familiar with and sympathetic to the unschooling perspective. In fact, I am leaning heavily in that direction in regards to my own child.

What I don't understand, and would like some assistance with, is the presumption that all other forms (i.e. Montessori) are a priori coercive and/or violent in nature. Aaron and RobR, if I understand them correctly, seem to be suggesting that this is the case. Could someone expand on these arguments and make the case (if this is indeed what you are arguing) that coercive violence is implicit in these other methods? Perhaps I am misunderstanding your arguments, or am missing some obvious logical step, but I do not see it. 

First of all, let me state that I have no experience with Montessori in particular. I was about to investigate that option but then I learned about homeschooling and never looked back. Also, i have a bad taste in my mouth about Montessori due to what's happened here locally. There was a private montessori school, it was growing and flourishing as much as a private school can when having to compete with the government. Then our state passed a charter school law and this montessori school decided to go through the process to become a charter school. So where we started with one nice private option, we now have just another government funded school. I don't know how much that move has changed what they do, charters do supposedly have more freedom than 'regular' government-funded school, but I've been disappointed about their move and think about that every time I hear the word montessori now.

That said, I don't think it's montessori in particular that I would consider coercive in nature, it's the idea of sending a child to a school situation that they did not want to go to. If we make our children do things they do not want to do, that by definition is coercive right? Now, I don't know if it's really possible to not be coercive at some points when you are a parent. I will tell you that there is a 'branch' of unschoolers out there who call themselves 'radical unschoolers' because they take the coercive idea to its ultimate conclusion and work very very hard to not coerce their kids to do anything. I mean anything at all. There is an untold amount of forum discussions and debates out there on this topic and if you search it out you will see that the unschooling movement even within itself has it's own groupings just as the libertarian movement does.

But I think most of the disagreement does indeed revolve around the idea of coercion and how to take that basic philosophy into parenting which then leads into education.


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#73
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

I understand, am familiar with and sympathetic to the unschooling perspective. In fact, I am leaning heavily in that direction in regards to my own child.

What I don't understand, and would like some assistance with, is the presumption that all other forms (i.e. Montessori) are a priori coercive and/or violent in nature. Aaron and RobR, if I understand them correctly, seem to be suggesting that this is the case. Could someone expand on these arguments and make the case (if this is indeed what you are arguing) that coercive violence is implicit in these other methods? Perhaps I am misunderstanding your arguments, or am missing some obvious logical step, but I do not see it. 

First of all, let me state that I have no experience with Montessori in particular. I was about to investigate that option but then I learned about homeschooling and never looked back. Also, i have a bad taste in my mouth about Montessori due to what's happened here locally. There was a private montessori school, it was growing and flourishing as much as a private school can when having to compete with the government. Then our state passed a charter school law and this montessori school decided to go through the process to become a charter school. So where we started with one nice private option, we now have just another government funded school. I don't know how much that move has changed what they do, charters do supposedly have more freedom than 'regular' government-funded school, but I've been disappointed about their move and think about that every time I hear the word montessori now.

That said, I don't think it's montessori in particular that I would consider coercive in nature, it's the idea of sending a child to a school situation that they did not want to go to.

Libertarians oppose aggression, not "coercion." http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/07/the-problem-with-coercion/

How is taking a kid to a school they don't want to go to aggression? If you don't physically lift the child, manhandle him, or threaten him with physical violence, it's simply not aggression. This ends the inquiry from a libertarian perspective. You can have your own philosophy of education and why it's wrong, or unwise, or immoral, to send a kid to school, but so long as you do not commit violence it is simply not unlibertarian or aggression.

And as a practical matter, it's never violence. It's persuasion and explanation and guiding. Children take their parents' lead, guidance, and direction, of course. This is natural and normal.

 


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#74
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

I understand, am familiar with and sympathetic to the unschooling perspective. In fact, I am leaning heavily in that direction in regards to my own child.

What I don't understand, and would like some assistance with, is the presumption that all other forms (i.e. Montessori) are a priori coercive and/or violent in nature. Aaron and RobR, if I understand them correctly, seem to be suggesting that this is the case. Could someone expand on these arguments and make the case (if this is indeed what you are arguing) that coercive violence is implicit in these other methods? Perhaps I am misunderstanding your arguments, or am missing some obvious logical step, but I do not see it. 

First of all, let me state that I have no experience with Montessori in particular. I was about to investigate that option but then I learned about homeschooling and never looked back. Also, i have a bad taste in my mouth about Montessori due to what's happened here locally. There was a private montessori school, it was growing and flourishing as much as a private school can when having to compete with the government. Then our state passed a charter school law and this montessori school decided to go through the process to become a charter school. So where we started with one nice private option, we now have just another government funded school. I don't know how much that move has changed what they do, charters do supposedly have more freedom than 'regular' government-funded school, but I've been disappointed about their move and think about that every time I hear the word montessori now.

That said, I don't think it's montessori in particular that I would consider coercive in nature, it's the idea of sending a child to a school situation that they did not want to go to.

Libertarians oppose aggression, not "coercion." http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/07/the-problem-with-coercion/

How is taking a kid to a school they don't want to go to aggression? If you don't physically lift the child, manhandle him, or threaten him with physical violence, it's simply not aggression. This ends the inquiry from a libertarian perspective. You can have your own philosophy of education and why it's wrong, or unwise, or immoral, to send a kid to school, but so long as you do not commit violence it is simply not unlibertarian or aggression.

And as a practical matter, it's never violence. It's persuasion and explanation and guiding. Children take their parents' lead, guidance, and direction, of course. This is natural and normal.

 

I haven't really considered how I use the term coercion. I've read your link and shall give that more thought because I do us the word quite often in my newspaper columns and am always looking to be precise and clear in my communication.

So now, you'd rather discuss this in terms of agression then. Okay. The initiation of force. Okay.

It seems to me that taking a child to a school they don't want to go to still falls into the category of aggression. (Like I think I said already though, I'm not sure that aggression can be completely avoided in the parent-child relationship so I'm not making judgements as much as I'm trying to come to conclusions about exactly what is occuring in that relationship and defining it clearly which sounds like your goal as well.)

If I'm understanding you correctly, it seems as if you are saying that as long as no outright physical act has occurred, then there is no aggression. But what about the clear implication of force if one does not comply? Just because you do not have to physically act to get a child to do something, in this case, attend a school she does not want to attend, does not mean there is no initiation of force applied, does it? I mean, just the implied threat of the possibility of physical action from the most powerful person in the relationship means there is often no need to bring out the physical aspect, right?

Isn't this the essence of the idea behind Stef's thought of bringing the gun in the room? So people can see that there is indeed an initiation of force? Adults need guns to coerce other adults, but adults have many more 'weapons' to use which, if we're going to be honest would be considered initiation of force against a child.

 


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#75
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

I understand, am familiar with and sympathetic to the unschooling perspective. In fact, I am leaning heavily in that direction in regards to my own child.

What I don't understand, and would like some assistance with, is the presumption that all other forms (i.e. Montessori) are a priori coercive and/or violent in nature. Aaron and RobR, if I understand them correctly, seem to be suggesting that this is the case. Could someone expand on these arguments and make the case (if this is indeed what you are arguing) that coercive violence is implicit in these other methods? Perhaps I am misunderstanding your arguments, or am missing some obvious logical step, but I do not see it. 

First of all, let me state that I have no experience with Montessori in particular. I was about to investigate that option but then I learned about homeschooling and never looked back. Also, i have a bad taste in my mouth about Montessori due to what's happened here locally. There was a private montessori school, it was growing and flourishing as much as a private school can when having to compete with the government. Then our state passed a charter school law and this montessori school decided to go through the process to become a charter school. So where we started with one nice private option, we now have just another government funded school. I don't know how much that move has changed what they do, charters do supposedly have more freedom than 'regular' government-funded school, but I've been disappointed about their move and think about that every time I hear the word montessori now.

That said, I don't think it's montessori in particular that I would consider coercive in nature, it's the idea of sending a child to a school situation that they did not want to go to.

Libertarians oppose aggression, not "coercion." http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/07/the-problem-with-coercion/

How is taking a kid to a school they don't want to go to aggression? If you don't physically lift the child, manhandle him, or threaten him with physical violence, it's simply not aggression. This ends the inquiry from a libertarian perspective. You can have your own philosophy of education and why it's wrong, or unwise, or immoral, to send a kid to school, but so long as you do not commit violence it is simply not unlibertarian or aggression.

And as a practical matter, it's never violence. It's persuasion and explanation and guiding. Children take their parents' lead, guidance, and direction, of course. This is natural and normal.

 

I haven't really considered how I use the term coercion. I've read your link and shall give that more thought because I do us the word quite often in my newspaper columns and am always looking to be precise and clear in my communication.

So now, you'd rather discuss this in terms of agression then. Okay. The initiation of force. Okay.

It seems to me that taking a child to a school they don't want to go to still falls into the category of aggression. (Like I think I said already though, I'm not sure that aggression can be completely avoided in the parent-child relationship so I'm not making judgements as much as I'm trying to come to conclusions about exactly what is occuring in that relationship and defining it clearly which sounds like your goal as well.)

If I'm understanding you correctly, it seems as if you are saying that as long as no outright physical act has occurred, then there is no aggression.

Not sure what you mean by "outright" but yes, libertarians believe only an actual act of aggression, or the threat thereof, is a rights violation. (For more on this see my Causation and Aggression, http://www.stephankinsella.com/publications/#causation-aggression )

But what about the clear implication of force if one does not comply? Just because you do not have to physically act to get a child to do something, in this case, attend a school she does not want to attend, does not mean there is no initiation of force applied, does it? I mean, just the implied threat of the possibility of physical action from the most powerful person in the relationship means there is often no need to bring out the physical aspect, right?

 

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

Isn't this the essence of the idea behind Stef's thought of bringing the gun in the room? So people can see that there is indeed an initiation of force? Adults need guns to coerce other adults, but adults have many more 'weapons' to use which, if we're going to be honest would be considered initiation of force against a child.

 But the "weapons" are not necessarily aggressive or unlibertarian.


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#76
nick

nick
  • 58 posts

2


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#77
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

 

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

Don't take this so personally. This isn't about you, it's about the parent-child relationship and how that may cause children to do things they really don't want to do but won't necessarily tell the parent. I'm simply trying to point out the difficulty of hashing out whether a child is doing something because of the unbalanced power inherent in the relationship or because it's really what they want to do. We all want to please our parents and parental disapproval and disappointment can indeed be a way of using force on on a child in order to control her actions. Which is why it's so important to really be able to talk honestly back and forth with your children, something that I'd guess you really work hard to do.


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#78
Michael_J

Michael_J
  • 638 posts

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

What if your child did not respond and instead adamantly refused to comply?

 


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"False ideas never die; only their supporters eventually snuff it." - Hervé This


#79
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

 

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

Don't take this so personally.

 

I'm not. I'm asking you to identify, as a libertarian, where there is an actual act of aggresison. You guys cover this up with all the metaphors, I believe.

 

This isn't about you, it's about the parent-child relationship and how that may cause children to do things they really don't want to do but won't necessarily tell the parent.

Doing something you don't "want" doesn't mean there is aggression.

 

 


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#80
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

What if your child did not respond and instead adamantly refused to comply?

Then we would have to have a long talk. So far things like this have not really happened. Are you sure you guys have a realistic understanding of what parenting is like?


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#81
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

That said, I don't think it's montessori in particular that I would consider coercive in nature, it's the idea of sending a child to a school situation that they did not want to go to. If we make our children do things they do not want to do, that by definition is coercive right?

I am leaning toward the anarchy-unschooling connection, but I can't shake the idea that it is the parents choosing unschooling for the kids....perhaps doing so because it is a more effective way to learn or that it appeals to the principles held by the parent.  I am not sure where the line is drawn from coercion (which I would reject) vs. parental guidance that may be present in unschooling as well. Does that make sense? In talking to other unschooling folks or maybe from your own experience, is the desire to unschool coming from the child or the parent? Or is that question beside the point?

You bring up an interesting point. I'm not sure if it's beside the point. Let me explain my thoughts and then you let me know whether that's the case. First of all, I think it's important to understand that unschooling is just letting learning happen naturally, by letting the child follow his or her interests. As I think I said somewhere before, the best way to understand this is that it's what we all do without thinking much about it before a child becomes school age. Think about what a parent would do with a 9 month old. The child learns. Everyday. It just happens in the course of living life. It's just living life with your child and letting learning happen even past the time they might enter school. So understanding it that way maybe it is beside the point?

The desire to unschool has to come from the parent first though, at least if it's done from the start because the child wouldn't even know there was a decision to be made. How does that answer your question?

 


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#82
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

 

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

Don't take this so personally.

 

I'm not. I'm asking you to identify, as a libertarian, where there is an actual act of aggresison. You guys cover this up with all the metaphors, I believe.

 

This isn't about you, it's about the parent-child relationship and how that may cause children to do things they really don't want to do but won't necessarily tell the parent.

Doing something you don't "want" doesn't mean there is aggression.

 

 

I guess I need to understand if I'm using words according to your approval. Is aggression the proper word to use in your view when someone does what the government wants? Most of us never actually see the gun of government. But if we refuse to comply in enough steps, the gun will eventually come out. Is there an identifiable act of aggression (which sounds to me that you would require an actual physical threat) that most of us can point to if we just comply before that point? Because people are doing things they don't want, yet there is not really an actual identifiable act of aggression as I understand you to define it, is there? Help me to understand what I'm getting wrong here.

Also, I don't know what you mean by the "you guys" statement. I am an individual trying to discuss my thoughts with you so you don't need to try and lump me into some group you've identified in your head in order to classify me. Because at some point I'm probably going to not fit into that box. [;)]


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#83
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

 

But there is no threat of force. I don't say, "get your ass in the car or I'll put you in the car or spank you". Where is the threat of force? I am basically saying "I want you to do this, and you need ot to this, for certain reasons." They respond because they listen to their parents. Where is the force?

Don't take this so personally.

 

I'm not. I'm asking you to identify, as a libertarian, where there is an actual act of aggresison. You guys cover this up with all the metaphors, I believe.

 

This isn't about you, it's about the parent-child relationship and how that may cause children to do things they really don't want to do but won't necessarily tell the parent.

Doing something you don't "want" doesn't mean there is aggression.

 

 

I guess I need to understand if I'm using words according to your approval. Is aggression the proper word to use in your view when someone does what the government wants? Most of us never actually see the gun of government. But if we refuse to comply in enough steps, the gun will eventually come out. Is there an identifiable act of aggression (which sounds to me that you would require an actual physical threat) that most of us can point to if we just comply before that point? Because people are doing things they don't want, yet there is not really an actual identifiable act of aggression as I understand you to define it, is there? Help me to understand what I'm getting wrong here.

Also, I don't know what you mean by the "you guys" statement. I am an individual trying to discuss my thoughts with you so you don't need to try and lump me into some group you've identified in your head in order to classify me. Because at some point I'm probably going to not fit into that box. Wink

 

Unlike a lot of modern males and people from California, I'm not "against labels." I mean, I'm not an anti-labeler. :) We are conceptual beings. Labels are fine. As are words and concepts.

 

It is sloppy thinking IMO to say the problem with the state is it makes you do waht you don't "want" and to jump to a connection to kids doing what they don't "want." The problem with hte state is it forces you to do whaty ou don't want--it's the force part, the aggression, that's the problem. If I persuade my wife to see a movie she doesn't "want" this is not the same thing at all; and in fact by the Austrian notion of demosntrated preferences it's hard for her to say she didn't reall want to. But if the state has to use force to get me to do something it's a sure bet I dind't "want" to. Otherwise I"d not have to be forced to do it.

I don't know what kind of parents you are thinking of but the ones I know, certainly not me, don't threaten to hit the kids if they don't go to school. Cooperation is possible in society, and even in families.


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#84
Michael_J

Michael_J
  • 638 posts

Are you sure you guys have a realistic understanding of what parenting is like?

I am experiencing anger in response to this question. I do not know why. I have the thought, though I could easily be wrong, that this anger is actually yours. If you are willing, would you tell me what you experienced when you read my previous question?

 

 


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"False ideas never die; only their supporters eventually snuff it." - Hervé This


#85
Pluto

Pluto
  • 19 posts

Libertarians oppose aggression, not "coercion." http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/07/the-problem-with-coercion/

How is taking a kid to a school they don't want to go to aggression? If you don't physically lift the child, manhandle him, or threaten him with physical violence, it's simply not aggression. This ends the inquiry from a libertarian perspective. You can have your own philosophy of education and why it's wrong, or unwise, or immoral, to send a kid to school, but so long as you do not commit violence it is simply not unlibertarian or aggression.

And as a practical matter, it's never violence. It's persuasion and explanation and guiding. Children take their parents' lead, guidance, and direction, of course. This is natural and normal.

 

 

I think this is an important and well made point.  In other words, as long as you don't use agression against your child, you are not violating the NAP, and thus are in accord with libertarianism.  Therefore, most of the other critiques and issues in this thread come down to morality, and what is morally acceptable to persuade your child to do.

 

It is also important to point out the asymmetry in the parent-child relationship.  Such that it is much easier for a parent to persuade a child to do something versus an adult-adult persuasion.  Since children lack the information and experience a parent will have regarding certain situations, I think it is reasonable to use the same type of retroactive consent approach to addressing the morality of persuasion.  For instance, when the child is an adult, do you think they would consent to having been educated Montessori style vs. unschooling vs. state public school.  On the other hand, would they consent to having been persuaded to attend church every sunday?   And in the extreme, would they have consented that you persuaded them to not run across the road before looking both ways.  Of course the answer to all of these will depend on how well you have persuaded them.  For instance, many adults who are still religious probably will consent to having been taken to church every week as a child.  But is that because no other alternaive was presented or suggested.  Is this still moral?  I don't have any clear answers yet.  Just food for thought.


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#86
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

Are you sure you guys have a realistic understanding of what parenting is like?

I am experiencing anger in response to this question. I do not know why. I have the thought, though I could easily be wrong, that this anger is actually yours. If you are willing, would you tell me what you experienced when you read my previous question?

 

 

Sort of ennui ? :)

I'm just asking because after I became a dad I realized that I had been utterly clueless before about what is involved. I don't think it's easy to have theories about how to deal with children before you do it.


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#87
Michael_J

Michael_J
  • 638 posts

Sort of ennui ? :)

I see. So, why bother responding at all if you are bored of the conversation?

I'm just asking because after I became a dad I realized that I had been utterly clueless before about what is involved. I don't think it's easy to have theories about how to deal with children before you do it.

I may be wrong but I believe you are responding under the false
assumption that I am not already a father. Nevertheless, are you asserting that near impossible to work out the principles of parenting prior to undertaking it?


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"False ideas never die; only their supporters eventually snuff it." - Hervé This


#88
nick

nick
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1


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#89
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

 

Unlike a lot of modern males and people from California, I'm not "against labels." I mean, I'm not an anti-labeler. :) We are conceptual beings. Labels are fine. As are words and concepts.

It is sloppy thinking IMO to say the problem with the state is it makes you do waht you don't "want" and to jump to a connection to kids doing what they don't "want." The problem with hte state is it forces you to do whaty ou don't want--it's the force part, the aggression, that's the problem. If I persuade my wife to see a movie she doesn't "want" this is not the same thing at all; and in fact by the Austrian notion of demosntrated preferences it's hard for her to say she didn't reall want to. But if the state has to use force to get me to do something it's a sure bet I dind't "want" to. Otherwise I"d not have to be forced to do it.

I don't know what kind of parents you are thinking of but the ones I know, certainly not me, don't threaten to hit the kids if they don't go to school. Cooperation is possible in society, and even in families.

I'm not against labels either. I just have no idea how you are labeling me.

 

I agree that it is the force part, the aggression that's the problem and I believe that's what I have been trying to say. My point in answering the question about attending school had to do with the possible case where a child did not want to go. Also, your example of your wife is irrelevant to this situation because that example uses two adults who presumably have equal power in regards to the relationship.

The child-parent relationship is not the same. That's all I'm saying, I'm not talking and never have been talking about your specific situation at all, I was just trying to discuss whether or not it could be considered coercion, or I guess aggression, to send a child to school who does not want to go.

 


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#90
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

And so my question before (is the desire to unschool coming from the child or the parent?) is more like, if you ask a kid who has a limited capacity to reason if he wants to go to a Montessori school and he says yes, is that violence/force?

 

Doesn't sound like it to me. Is it violence/force if he decides after a period of time that he no longer wants to go and the parent makes him?


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#91
nick

nick
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1


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#92
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

Doesn't sound like it to me. Is it violence/force if he decides after a period of time that he no longer wants to go and the parent makes him?

Would it be accurate to say that to adhere to the NAP with your children, it isn't dependent on unschooling?

Of course.


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#93
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

 

Unlike a lot of modern males and people from California, I'm not "against labels." I mean, I'm not an anti-labeler. :) We are conceptual beings. Labels are fine. As are words and concepts.

It is sloppy thinking IMO to say the problem with the state is it makes you do waht you don't "want" and to jump to a connection to kids doing what they don't "want." The problem with hte state is it forces you to do whaty ou don't want--it's the force part, the aggression, that's the problem. If I persuade my wife to see a movie she doesn't "want" this is not the same thing at all; and in fact by the Austrian notion of demosntrated preferences it's hard for her to say she didn't reall want to. But if the state has to use force to get me to do something it's a sure bet I dind't "want" to. Otherwise I"d not have to be forced to do it.

I don't know what kind of parents you are thinking of but the ones I know, certainly not me, don't threaten to hit the kids if they don't go to school. Cooperation is possible in society, and even in families.

I'm not against labels either. I just have no idea how you are labeling me.

 

I agree that it is the force part, the aggression that's the problem and I believe that's what I have been trying to say. My point in answering the question about attending school had to do with the possible case where a child did not want to go. Also, your example of your wife is irrelevant to this situation because that example uses two adults who presumably have equal power in regards to the relationship.

The child-parent relationship is not the same. That's all I'm saying, I'm not talking and never have been talking about your specific situation at all, I was just trying to discuss whether or not it could be considered coercion, or I guess aggression, to send a child to school who does not want to go.

 

I don't think it's typical that the parent needs to threaten violence to take their kids to school. They tell them to get ready, tell them to get in the car, and drive them there. Where is the force? The child goes voluntarily because he respects parental authority, guidance, and direction.

 

Keep in mind also that the parents are responsible for their kids. You can't have responsibility without some authority.


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#94
Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella
  • 13 posts

Sort of ennui ? :)

I see. So, why bother responding at all if you are bored of the conversation?

Not sure, but prefer not to get into this meta issue.

I'm just asking because after I became a dad I realized that I had been utterly clueless before about what is involved. I don't think it's easy to have theories about how to deal with children before you do it.

I may be wrong but I believe you are responding under the false
assumption that I am not already a father. Nevertheless, are you asserting that near impossible to work out the principles of parenting prior to undertaking it?

It's my opinion, but who cares, really? I waited until I was a dad.


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#95
candice

candice
  • 682 posts

If I'm not mistaken, Kinsella, you are speaking with two parents, one is a mother with older grown up children now and a father who has a smaller child. So, I suppose you're speaking to two people with a lot of experience altogether who seem to also have a lot of experience in unschooling.


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#96
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19730 posts

I think I understand the challenges here - what if a poor single parent has to send her child to public school because she has to work, and her child does not want to go, is that force?


These kinds of issues show up a lot in parenting - parental necessity versus child's preferences...


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#97
hkw

hkw

    '; DROP DATABASE PRISM;--


  • 629 posts

I think I understand the challenges here - what if a poor single parent
has to send her child to public school because she has to work, and her
child does not want to go, is that force?

It seems to me that this is difficult to assess since the example is mid-stream and without context. The "force" part depends on the relationship between the parent and child. If the fact that the child does not want to attend implies that it's a "do this or else..." demand from the parent, then clearly that is a threat ultimately backed by force.

In the poor-single parent scenario, I think the goal of the parent pshould be to struggle to respect her child's preferences whenever possible and cultivate a relationship in which the child can feel sympathy toward the parent's situation. If the child understands that her mother is willing to respect the child's wishes within her financial means while keeping the child safe, then I could easily imagine that the child might find public school less palatable than some other imaginary option but accept the fact that other options aren't viable. This has everything to do with making the child feel like she is involved in the decision. Of course, I would generally say that, in this circumstance, the child "wants" to go to public school -- I may wish I could teleport to the ice cream shop, but I'll be content to drive there.

It's not obvious to me that even a single, poor parent could not work out some kind of educational arrangement alternative to public school, but I don't have much experience with this kind of family situation.


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#98
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19730 posts

If the child understands that her mother is willing to respect the child's wishes within her financial means while keeping the child safe, then I could easily imagine that the child might find public school less palatable than some other imaginary option but accept the fact that other options aren't viable. 

If the child can process and accept all this, he/she is no longer a child. That is the central challenge.


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#99
hkw

hkw

    '; DROP DATABASE PRISM;--


  • 629 posts

Good point, I'm sure there is a range of ages at which this would not be a reasonable expectation. I suppose, then, if we are determining whether the NAP is being applied to parenting, it comes down to whether the parent can expect retroactive consent in the future.


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#100
Russell Pellow

Russell Pellow
  • 1131 posts

This is just anecdotal, but i remember at a young age not wanting to go to private or Montessori school or home school. I was in a small town so we only had 1 public school 1 private Christians school, and 1 Montessori school. The kids that came from the Christian school were WACKED, the Christian school was normally a place that parents send there kids when they are doing poorly in public school, generally for behavior issues, so the school ended up with some bad kids in it. The home school kids were weird and standoffish, and didn't have many friends. .  The Montessori school i didn't know much about, but it seemed to "fancy" and it only taught a few grades of children (you'd have to eventually go to public HS or private Christian school.)


This is all the perspective of myself  at a young age, that being said i also remember not wanting to go to school at all some times. .


 


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#101
Nathan

Nathan

  • 13064 posts

I think I understand the challenges here - what if a poor single parent has to send her child to public school because she has to work, and her child does not want to go, is that force?

These kinds of issues show up a lot in parenting - parental necessity versus child's preferences...

This is certainly quite a challenge for sure.

I think I would have had a much better experience in public school despite its big problems had my parents treated me with respect and kindness when I was at home.


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#102
Blank

Blank


  • 14136 posts

I think I understand the challenges here - what if a poor single parent has to send her child to public school because she has to work, and her child does not want to go, is that force?

These kinds of issues show up a lot in parenting - parental necessity versus child's preferences...

This is certainly quite a challenge for sure.

I think I would have had a much better experience in public school despite its big problems had my parents treated me with respect and kindness when I was at home.

But it's really not parental necessity. It's a choice. Anyone with an IQ over 75 can look into the future and project their own income potential and living situations to at least some rough range of probability (random disasters notwithstanding, of course).

In otherwords, the force occurs long before the child does. Choosing to bring a child into an environment where you know you're going to have to turn them over to an evil because your life has already been diminished to the point that independence from it is probabilistically unlikely, may not be evil in and of itself, but it's pretty close, in my view.

Yeah, that sucks. Yeah, it's depressing. Yeah, it's harsh. And yeah, that condemns millions who would love to have children of their own into the dichotomy of barren living versus surrender to evil. But I'm not the one who created that situation. I'm just pointing it out.

 


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#103
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 315 posts

I don't think it's typical that the parent needs to threaten violence to take their kids to school. They tell them to get ready, tell them to get in the car, and drive them there. Where is the force? The child goes voluntarily because he respects parental authority, guidance, and direction.

 

Keep in mind also that the parents are responsible for their kids. You can't have responsibility without some authority.

Whether you think something is typical or not is not the issue. However, it happens more often than most people think. My experiences dealing with hundreds of homeschooling families as well as my experience working in a private reading clinic for kids who were struggling in school helped me see a whole section of society who were having big-time struggles with the school situation, and not just government schools either.

Parents can be stuck in difficult situations. There are kids who just don't fit in, yet their parents don't feel like they have any other choices but to send them to the school. They think this is what they are supposed to do, even if the kid is protesting. They think that in order to be a "responsible" parent, they have to force the child to go. Some parents have learned the lessons very well, in that school, with
its "expert" teachers is the only responsible way to educate a
child. And if their child doesn't want to go, but they want to be
responsible parents, what might some of them do?

Others would like to take their child out but due to a wide variety of circumstances don't think they can do that. And if the kid protests enough, even these parents may be caught up in a situation that could even lead to the threat of violence. By the way, one of my experiences was with a parent who was in this exact situation and the kid was going to a montessori school.

I wonder if your difficulty with this revolves around the exact thing you are accusing other of, which is that you don't really have much direct experience with families who are having lots of struggles with their children and school? School can be very damaging. Just because that may not be the case with all children does not mean it doesn't exist or is not a problem. And since it is a problem, some parents can be faced with a situation that could lead to aggression, even when they are well-meaning and would never want it to end that way.

Finally, it should be mentioned that some of the reason these situations go this far is because the parents also have to deal with government compulsory attendance laws.


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#104
Pluto

Pluto
  • 19 posts

If the child understands that her mother is willing to respect the child's wishes within her financial means while keeping the child safe, then I could easily imagine that the child might find public school less palatable than some other imaginary option but accept the fact that other options aren't viable. 

If the child can process and accept all this, he/she is no longer a child. That is the central challenge.

 

Then, is a child only a "pre-rational creature" ?


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#105
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19730 posts

Why would it be binary?


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