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The perfect world theory
Every human right can be exercised only as long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others. Bringing a new human being into the world when one cannot provide a healthy and competitive living standard for it puts everyone else at risk. To provide for the new child you are forced to borrow from others and hence lower others' living standards since you cannot provide for it yourself. People can do whatever they like, as long as no one else is put at risk. But bringing a new human being into this world does put everyone else at risk if the person responsible for bringing that child into the world cannot provide for that child by himself. He would have no option but to take from others' means of survival to provide for the child.
Basic financial capability must be a legal requirement for parenthood (Parenthood Financial Capability law or PFC law). A child's future right to food, shelter and education is infinitely more important than its parents' immediate right to reproduce. This law may or may not be respected and obeyed at first, but if well enforced over time, it will prevent children from being born into poverty. It will secure the basic rights of every child to be born and hence the rights of every future adult in a reasonably short span of time. It promises humanity a clean break from poverty and all associated evils.
If defects remain in the treatment meted out to children, defects remain in human beings and hence in society. We need to realize that a fair and secure childhood is the right of every human child. That ensuring a fair and secure childhood for all is the secret to securing all basic human rights. Our societies try to secure the rights of the adults. We need to realize that we cannot hope to provide for every adult unless we can first provide for every child.
The PFC law truly is, the law that ought to have existed before any other. For, without requiring that birth be under respectable conditions, we cannot successfully require that life be under respectable conditions. If we do, then we would need a host of other laws to govern and safeguard that human dignity and respectability in every matter and detail; at every place and at every time, which obviously as history has shown, is not only impossible, but also ineffective.
A law that can make a thousand other laws redundant and unnecessary while making the absolutely indispensable ones more potent. A law that achieves many long-aspired goals and thwarts many imminent catastrophes at once. A law that causes global prosperity, population control and environmental sustainability at once. The law which ought to have existed before any other law. Such is the PFC law. However, like any other law, it will be no good, even with such wonderful potentialities, if it is not effectively enforced.
The logical corollary of the PFC law would be preventing 1 billion poor people who exist today from having children. This may seem unethical at first, but it is not. The poor are also prevented from having nutritious food, clean drinking water, a comfortable shelter and a competent education, which undoubtedly, are more important rights. Isn't allowing that to happen more unethical? When neither they nor we can secure for them their basic rights of food, shelter and education for their survival and personal growth, neither they nor we would be able to provide the same for their child to be born. We are unable to secure their basic rights of survival, of food, shelter and education because of an indiscriminate use of the right to reproduction. Once it is ensured that more important rights like the right to food and shelter will not be affected by the exercise of the right to reproduction, the latter can be exercised freely. Therefore, we ought to withhold the right to reproduction till the more basic rights concerning survival, of food and shelter are secured. The former is not only hindering the latter, but also far less important than the latter and therefore ought to be effectively put on hold till the latter is fulfilled. Indiscriminate use of the right to reproduction has proven to be and is disastrous for oneself and for society. The PFC law does not take away the right to reproduction, it merely postpones the exercise of it to a more favorable time in view of the well-being of oneself, one's child to be born, the sustainability of one's society and the sustainability of the human race, all of which will be threatened otherwise.
There's no way to be absolutely sure that no one drives without a license, but that doesn't stop us from enacting laws requiring people to have a license before they drive. There's no way to be absolutely sure that people do not practice medicine without a doctor's degree and there are many quacks who pass off for doctors, but that still does not stop the law from requiring a doctor's degree in order to practice medicine. There is no guarantee that people who do not have basic financial capability will not become parents, once we enact the PFC law, but that should not stop us from enacting the PFC law. We cannot completely ensure that people who cannot support a child practice birth control or contraception, but that is no reason for the law not to require them to do so until they have reached the basic financial capability standard required by the law.
Parents who do not have the financial capacity to support their existing children must therefore be periodically identified and given a timeframe in which to attain the required financial status. If they fail to attain the required status in the given timeframe, they should be prohibited by law from having any more children until the financial status required is attained. Imprisonment for either parent for a number of months or some other legal penalty should be implemented if they have any more children without attaining the basic financial capability required.
It is tough to implement any law, especially for the first time. But when a certain law has many times the potential than any other social mechanism, the resources at the disposal of other social mechanisms should be diverted instead towards its implementation. There is only one real reason why the PFC law ought to be enforced. The reason is that it is the fair thing to do. Fairness will then be truly maintained because it is applied to the very birth of humans. Fairness in life will automatically follow fairness in birth. It is the only way the infants born in this world can be required to be treated fairly. It is the only way we are going to put a bar on human value, a permanent bar that is not allowed to come down. A bar on human value that is immune to changing circumstances and times. A bar on human value that can only be increased with the passage of time but never decreased. We are ultimately setting the living standard for tomorrow when we set a certain financial capability requirement to become a parent. The higher the requirement, the tougher it will be to enforce it. So, instead of requiring a sky-high financial capability requirement, we probably ought to start off with a moderate but slightly above average level of financial capability requirement to become a parent.
To become a pilot you have to undergo training for years. To become an engineer, a doctor or a teacher, you cannot escape the same. But in the entire history of mankind, to become a parent has never required qualification. Just imagine if the pilots piloting the planes we travel in needed no qualifications - a pilot's license. Just imagine if the doctors we seek advice from, to treat our diseases and keep us healthy needed no qualification - a medical degree. Just imagine if the parent who conceives and raises a child needed no qualification - the ability to provide for that child. That is something we don't have to imagine. That is right before our eyes. The result of that is the world we live in and the consequences we've faced throughout the centuries. They are the consequences of not requiring basic financial capability to become a parent, leaving the child, the family, the society and hence the whole of humanity unbalanced and ill-secured.
If it is ensured that children are born into financially secure environments, the next generation will be a financially secure generation. The nation, state or race that ensures this, will have ensured that every one of its members is treated with basic human dignity and respect. This is not an aim or achievement; it's a responsibility to ensure fair treatment and mutual respect. It's a responsibility to ensure that people will not be driven to kill each other for money. It's a responsibility to ensure that people do not have to cheat and lie to earn their living. It's a hugely overlooked responsibility, the responsibility of ensuring birth into basic financial capability. Enough financial capability to make theft and dishonesty unnecessary. Enough financial capability to make overexploitation of natural resources and extinction of species unnecessary. Birth into basic financial capability, if ensured, would result in a fair, just and self-sustaining humanity.
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