Friday, July 22, 2016

Are We Obligated to Take of Our Parents?

From guest blogger, Ming.

In class today, we talked about whether we are obligated to take care of our parents. I think, we do have moral obligation.

 I thing taking care of the old is a traditional virtue, and not to mention that they are our parents who gave our birth, nurture us, and make us now we are. Our parents spend their time and energy to educate us and pay our tuition to college, and when they get older and lose ability to work, how can we leave them alone?
Our parents may sacrifice promotion opportunity in order to take care of us, and may sacrifice lots of money and time for us, and I think it would be unfilial if we do not take care of them.

Some people may object that it is voluntary for our parents to look after us and no one forces them to do so. That is right. However, our parents do things for us with all their hearts and may expect some extent of return, and if we do not take care of them when they are not capable of doing things, what are differences between humans and non-human animals?

Some people may object that some parents are bad to their kids, and torture them. Under this circumstance, I think it is okay to break off this parents-children relationship first, and then you have nothing to do with them and not obligated to take care of them because they barely doing anything good to you.

Some people may argue that we should take care of our parents, but we are not obligated, we have right to do so or not. I can’t agree with that. Because I think if everyone agrees to look after our parents, we are morally obligated to do that. Someone may say “ we should save the children in the pond, but we are not obligated to do it”. I agree, but I think it is different from looking after our parents, because it does not risk anything of us and our parents are not anyone else, it is our parents.


Michael Eppink said...

Children bear no more responsibility to take of their parents than they do anyone else in the community. Parents taking care of their children when the children are in a helpless stage of development does not put any kind of moral debt onto the child. The child did not ask to be in the situation where it must rely on others for its well-being. The parents put the child into the circumstances of needing their aid, and are thus morally obligated to provide that aid. To say that there's a moral expectation that children take care of their parents as they age is to imply that children and parents broker some kind of deal before the child can possibly consent to it.

Allan said...

I have given the matter a lot of thought. My parents brought me into this world and knew what lay ahead. Having children imposes a moral obligation to safeguard them until they are of age. There are legalities that enforce this as well. However, there are no laws that require children to do the same for their aged parents.

I, personally, feel financially indebted to my parents and will provide for them financially until I feel like my debt has been payed off. This debt will probably be my college tuition which is a high amount as an international student. After I have payed this amount off I probably would not feel obligated to do much else.