The debate on infanticide has been ongoing for a long time. People from different background in terms of religion, economy, wealth and beliefs tend to argue a lot on the issue. Killing of an infant for whatever the case is utterly absurd (Shafer-Landau, 2012). Infanticide is a situation characterized by killing of an infant at a tender age. For whatever the reason one decides to take the life of an innocent child, the act is unjustifiable and should not be legalized. Those who propose the motion argue that there are those children that are born in poverty and their parents cannot be able to raise them. Others argue that for some reason, the gender of the child that was delivered is not the one the parents wanted so they get rid of the baby. These reasons do not justify this inhumane act.
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Infanticide is universally morally wrong as it is associated with murder and therefore, both are crimes. Once a child has been brought into this world, they are human and no one should have the right or the ability to take away their right to live.
However, just as the society creates different styles of clothing and food; it’s in the same way they create moral values and codes. Morality depends mainly on the cultural contrast but the case of infanticide has become one thing that almost the whole society at large agrees to. Out rightly, even the thought of it sends cold shiver down the spine of many with the thought of killing an innocent infant (Spinelli, 2003).
While most societies disapprove this immoral act, some societies approve of this shameless deed. Some societies say that this is done to punish those who have been immoral in the society. Some say that by infanticide, individuals or kin may be rewarded with access to resources belonging to the infant. There are some societies who compete with the family that would have more male children as they are considered to be the source of wealth. In such a setting, male infants get killed so that one can gain reproductive advantage over their competitors. They compete on who is the better man by looking at the number of male children that one has and this is something that seems rather primitive and outdated in the society we live in today (Bhavnagar & Dube, 2005).
When one follows his/her duties, then one can be said to have Deontological morals, but if one fails to do so, then they do not have it. A person with morals asks the reason behind what they want to do and if it is justifiably correct.
By simply following what is morally upright is not enough and one has to weigh if the action they take is right. There are rules that one may break though the rules are moral, but the person might not be seen as immoral. The same thing happens when parents who cannot be able to raise their children prefer to kill the infant rather than raise them in poverty. There are those children that have been born with incurable illness and are bound to die at one time; the parent may decide to kill the infant out of love rather than prolonging the suffering.
The consequences of one’s action may lead to other people judging them, whether what they did was something right or evil. This morality act is known as teleological ethic. It is mainly the decision of whether the deed was right or wrong, and is based on the action instead of the outcome. Basing on this, then the societies that supports infantilism can be seen to have wrong moral values. The reason behind the statement is because even if the end results of their decision are justifiable, basing on teleological ethic they are immoral. Killing either for self defense or just as a sport has never been accepted in the society as an act that can be accepted (Hausfater & Hrdy, 2008).
In a matter of taking of someone’s life, we might agree that the action is morally wrong. However, where do we limit ourselves as a society and who has the right over another person’s life? There are those who claim that parents have the right over their children’s lives. To what extend do they carry that, right? Some people claim that since they delivered the child, they can control the infant’s life (Sigelman & Rider, 2011).
Others permit the parents to use the right that they have over the infant, and even if they want to kill it, they might go ahead and do so. This should not be the case that is why there are institutions like the child protection organizations that are there to ensure that the life of an infant or a child is protected.
In conclusion, killing or murder is wrong. Therefore, one cannot hold the power of one’s life even if it’s an infant. Once one has delivered, then the child has the right to live. The power that some States give to parents over the life of their children is unwarranted and should cease to be effected.
Bhavnagar, R. D., & Dube, R. (2005). Female infanticide in India: A feminist cultural history. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.
Hausfater, G., & Hrdy, S. B. (2008). Infanticide: Comparative and evolutionary perspectives. New Brunswick: Aldine Transaction.
Shafer-Landau, R. (2012). Ethical theory: An anthology. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sigelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2011). Life-span human development. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
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Spinelli, M. G. (2003). Infanticide: Psychosocial and legal perspectives on mothers who kill. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub.