Sunday, November 12, 2006

More on Parents’ Rights.

The basic question my brother and I were attempting to address was the following: how do groups attain rights? We answered that one way for a group of individuals to attain rights is incorporation. It is, at that point, the legal fiction known as a corporation, which attains rights.

That was largely unhelpful, however, since the motive of our investigation was Carol Shea-Porter's statement on matters of “privacy” taken from her campaign website (link above):

I believe that we have a right to make our own medical decisions. Women have a right to make their own reproductive decisions, and families have a right to make end of life decisions.

Our starting point, then, was a consideration of groups called “families”. We reflected that a “family” as such has no rights it may exercise corporately, either in nature or under law.

It has generally been the case that certain individuals, who have entered into that union, which constitutes the basic familial unit, i.e. the marital union which creates the married couple, do have certain rights over and relating to the putatively legitimate issue of their union.

Individuals, then, standing in certain relations to one another, relations arising from accidents of nature such as marriage and parenthood in marriage (I am assuming, without argument, that marriage is a union enjoying logical, temporal and ontological priority over the state, which may legislate in behalf of the union and those entering or entered upon it, but cannot legislate to alter the fundamental structure of marriage) do acquire rights which necessarily attend the proper execution of those natural offices to which an individual has attained by accident (accident here means something which falls to a subject without altering the substance of it.).

More later…

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