Licensing Parents - FamilyEducation
Licensing Parents
11/26/2013 at 23:46 PM

Please help me out with my philosophy project!
Licenses are required before one can legally drive, practice medicine, or become a lawyer. Philosopher Hugh LaFollette takes licensing one step further and believes that the State morally ought to require people to obtain a license before becoming parents.

If an activity meets the following criteria, then it ought to be licensed:
1) the activity is potentially harmful to others (not the person being licensed)
2) safe performance of the activity requires certain competence
3) we have moderately reliable procedures for determining the competence
Parenting meets the three criteria therefore, we ought to license parenting.

He supports premise one by comparing licensing parents with activities such as driving, practicing medicine, pharmacy, or psychiatry, etc. We all know that activities such as driving and practicing medicine require licensing because they meet the three criteria. Premise two is supported rather straight forward and demonstrates how parenting meets the three criteria. Parenting can potentially be very harmful to children as we have seen abuse and murder cases in the past such as Genie. It requires a certain competence to be a parent as you have to take care of another human being and we can or have potentially develop moderately reliable procedures for assessing that competence. He emphasizes the word “moderately” because tests are not perfect but good enough to prevent harm to others.

So I have a few questions,

1) Do you think a license should be required to become a parent?

2)DO you have any children?

3)Please provide a question that you believe should be required to answer in order to obtain a license to parent.


Thank you so much everyone!