How do you motivate morally that children should support themselves when they reach adulthood?

Here are few similar questions where people ask for a moral or ethical evaluation of different situations

Is promiscuity wrong?

Are moral obligations real?

Are children moral agents?

that are not closed. There are of course many more since ethics and moral philosophy are very basic cornerstones of philosophy.

1 Answer 1


Sorry, bout that. I misread the question entirely when I skimmed through it way too early this morning literally after finishing working on paper on psychological motivation and learning and it's relationship to machine learning. My apologies for the obvious framing bias given my lack of interest in ethics. I almost edited the title bc of the cognitive dissonance the 'that' created; I probably would have realized my mistake had I.

I think at this point, any objections might be about the opinion-based nature of the ask.

So how do you morally and ethically motivate that a child must take responsibility for her parents' decision just because she turns 18 (or something like that)? Why aren't parents obliged to support and provide for their child's basic needs for the child's whole life?

That is a rather sweeping inquiry that calls for original contribution, rather than a Q&A-style response which might rely on pre-existing frameworks, theories, references, etc. There's a policy bias against open-ended speculation because it tends to breed a particular quality of response that apparently doesn't fit the model of the site. From What to avoid in questions.:

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:

inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
tend to have long, not short, answers
have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
invite sharing experiences over opinions
insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
are more than just mindless social fun

I think your question at this point reflects a constructive subjective question, and maybe by tweaking voice to third-person informal and with the addition of a request to phrase a response based on ethical references would serve as a model. I've cast a vote to reopen.

  • JD: This is a most helpful comment on the original question. The three examples of further questions are philosophical, and I don't see how anyone could doubt it. What's out of place about the original question is not that it is subjective but that in my view a philosopher, as distinct (say) from a developmental psychologist, has no expertise in answering it. But your answer is an education in what's appropriate on site. It's worth while to leave the question open if only to make your answer available. Yes, and +1 for the service you have done. All the best - Geoff
    – Geoffrey Thomas Mod
    Dec 6, 2019 at 3:28
  • I've set myself at the task of trying to understand the philosophical mind better, so your kind words are an affirmation of sorts, thank you.
    – J D
    Dec 7, 2019 at 16:25
  • @GeoffreyThomas So, is it fair to say, then, that as a guiding principle you assess whether the philosophical response to a question is afforded some special status in the determination of the nature of the question's viability on this site?
    – J D
    Dec 7, 2019 at 16:27
  • No, I've resolved that... so I guess the question is how does one determine whether if a philosopher has special expertise in answering a question?
    – J D
    Dec 7, 2019 at 16:42

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