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Dialogues with The Elder
On Obligations and Morality -

Dialogue 2: Raising Children, Marriage



By Feng Xin-Ming, 2014

跟長者的對話 - 倫理、道德



對話二:養育兒女、婚姻



馮欣明著,2014年

(To "Dialogue 1: Having Children")
(To "Dialogue 3: The Multigenerational Extended Family")
(To "Dialogue 4: Homosexuality")

到“對話一:生兒女”
到“對話三:多代大家庭”
到“對話四:同性戀”
The Elder said:

Having and raising children is the natural morality of the universe; we are all obligated to have and to raise children. And both biological parents should marry to raise their biological children together. The multigeneration extended family is a great achievement in human morality. Persons with homosexual sexual orientations, just like persons with heterosexual sexual orientations, should also fulfill these same obligations - having different sexual orientations doesn’t mean one has different obligations...
長者說:

生兒育女,天經地義,我們都有義務和責任生孩子和養育孩子。同時,兩個生理上的父母都應該結婚,一起來養育他們生理上的孩子。多代大家庭是人類道德的一個重大成就。具有同性戀性傾向的人跟具有異性戀性傾向的人一樣,都應該踐行這些義務和責任;具有不同的性傾向並不意味具有不同的義務和責任。。。
(Cont'd from previous: "Dialogues-1"...)

I:   Fine, fine, so one is obligated to have children. But is one obligated to raise those children? Can't one just give them up for adoption? What's more, does one not meet one's obligations to pass on one's genes and preserve human biodiversity merely by donating one's sperm or one's eggs?

Elder:   No, no, no, one is obligated to raise one's own children.

(續上篇:“對話一”...

:好吧,好吧,有責任和義務生孩子。但是,有責任和義務養育孩子嗎?不能把孩子送給人家收養嗎?還有,捐精或捐卵不是已經踐行了傳遞基因、保持人類生物多樣性的義務和責任了嗎?

長者:不不不,有責任和義務養育自己的孩子。

I:   Why? Why must one pick up a life-long burden of debt to one's children?

Elder:   One must pick up a life-long burden of debt to one's children, because children have a right to being raised by their biological parents.

Not only does one owe to the human race the passing of one's genetic material to one's children, but also one owes to the human race the nurture of one's own children. That's because for humans, in "nurture" vs "nature", that is, in the culture that one imparts to one's children through their upbringing vs. the genetic material one imparts to one's children, "nurture" or "culture" is just as important as "nature", if not more so. Humans are the sum total expression of not just their genetic natures but also their "nurtures" or their individualized "cultures". In turn, this "nurture" is passed on by one's children to their children, and so on - one's nurture of one's children exerts effects for generations down the line. Therefore, the "nurture" or that unique, individualized culture that one imparts to one's children is just as important a part of the children's inheritence as the "nature" or genetic material one imparts. Thus, just as one owes to the human race the obligation of having children, one also owes the obligation of nurturing or the raising of one's children.

Culture is an extremely important part of a human being, and determines to a great extent whether a human survives and how well he flourishes. How a person behaves, perceives the world, and thinks is greatly dependent on the culture he is imbued with as he grows up. Therefore the culture that each set biological parents can impart to their biological children through their upbringing is very precious. Human culure is extremely complex and each person's culture is the product of long evolution, just like his genes. While each individual's culture can be broadly described as "Chinese", "American", "Russian", "Indian" or so forth, in broad national terms, within those broad language and national categories each person has his own individual culture, unique to him. Each person has a unique variation of culture, and the individual variation of culture that father and mother each brings combine to impart a yet more unique hybrid culture to the offspring. That in turn combines in the individual offspring with his genetic dispositions and abilities and various incidental random events to form still another unique individual culture in that individual offspring.

Over many generations, dad has learned from granddad and grandma, and so forth, about how to best work with the dispositions of his genes, which result in certain outlooks on life, ways of behavior, ways of interacting with the world, what marriage partner he ends up with, etc. This culture, this knowledge of how to work with one's genes should go with the genes so that the children get the best match and flourish best with them. Moreover, the individual culture unique to that set of parents also includes the physical child raising practices as well as the socio-economic status of the family, and thus determines many physical things like what food the offspring eats, what kind of breastfeeding he gets, what kind of physical care he gets as an infant and a child, etc. There’s a unique match of this culture to the unique set of genetic materials, resulting in a unique individual.

Along with the genetic material, the children have a right to the appropriate matching unique upbringing and culture. It’s from the same persons as the genes and it’s part of their inheritance. They inherit your genes, so they should inherit your culture. You owe them that because it’s just as unique as your genetic material.

If you give your children up for adoption, or, what amounts to the same, if you begat them by merely donating sperm or egg, you are depriving them of their inheritance and you’re lessening their potential. The children may not may not flourish to their full potential, and you have messed with the destiny that evolution has been taking. There may be a trajectory of magnificent culmination of genes and culture in your children, which may result in one of them becoming the most recent commona ancestor, but by giving them up for adoption you’ve thrown them into another couple's arms, and you’ve mismatched the genes and the culture. This mismatch may mean a complete reversal of the progress that the evolution of human individuals has made, who are the sum of not just genes but also individual cultures. This mismatch can be very, very serious; it could mean, just as the genetic material could, the survival or the flourishing of the human race.

Since we don't know what the future may bring and what kind of humans the future will select for, therefore we must ensure not only the biodiversity of the human race, but also its individual cultural diversity. Again, just as anyone can be that most recent common ancestor of the human race genetically hundreds of thousands of years from now, anyone can also be that ost recent common ancestor of the human race culturally hundreds of thousands of years from now. Therefore, one owes to the human race the obligation of raising one's biological children.

:為甚麼?為甚麼要負擔起一生的兒女債?

長者:必須負擔起一生的兒女債,因為孩子有權利享有自己生理父母的養育。

我們不但有義務和責任把基因傳遞給兒女,而且也對人類負有義務和責任養育兒女。這是因為人的“養育”跟“天然”的對比中,亦即通過養育而送給子女的文化跟送給子女的基因的對比中,“養育”或“文化”跟“天然”一樣重要,也許更為重要。一個人不僅是基因的天然表達,而且是個別“養育”或個別“文化”的表達。這個“養育”也反過來被子女們傳遞給他們自己的子女,一路這樣傳下去:一個人對子女的養育會一路影響下去,影響很多代人。所以,一個人傳遞給子女的那份獨特的、具個別性的文化,作為子女所繼承的財富,跟傳遞的“天然”基因一樣重要。因此,正如我們對人類負有生子女的義務和責任一樣,我們也對人類負有養育子女的義務和責任。

文化是一個人極端重要的一部分,在很大程度決定一個人生存與否和生存得多麼旺盛。一個人行為怎樣,怎樣看待世界,怎樣思維,都很大程度上取決於他長大時被灌注的文化。所以每一對父母通過養育而賦予生理子女的文化是非常寶貴的。人類文化非常複雜,每一個人的文化都好像他的基因一樣,是長期進化的產品。雖然一個人的文化可以以廣闊地描述為某民族的,例如“中國”、“美國”、“俄羅斯”、“印度”等,但是在這些民族言語範圍之內,每個人都有自己個別的文化,是獨特的,而每個父親和母親所帶來的個別文化品種,又聯合起來,賦予子女一個更為獨特的混合文化。這又跟個別子女的基因傾向和能力及各個偶然事情聯合起來,在那個子女中產生一個更獨特的個別文化。

經過多代,父親從祖父和祖母那裡,等等,學到怎樣跟自己的基因配合,構成某種對生活的看待方式,行為方式,跟世界互動的方式,等等。這個文化,這個怎樣發揮自己天賦基因的方法,應該跟基因一起傳遞給子女,讓他們能夠得到最好的組合,最旺盛地生活。此外,那對夫婦獨特的個別文化也包括他們養育子女的方法和他們的經濟社會地位,便決定了很多物質東西,例如孩子吃甚麼、怎樣餵人奶、作為嬰兒和小童時得到甚麼肉體上的照顧、等等。獨特的基因,有與其配合的獨特的文化,構成獨特的個人。

除了基因之外,孩子們還有權利享有與其配合的、適當的獨特養育和文化。他們承受了你的基因,所以也應該承受你的文化。這是你欠下他們的,因為文化跟基因一樣獨特。

如果你把子女送出來給別人收養,或結果相同地只通過捐精或捐卵來生下他們,那麼你就剝奪了他們的遺產,減少了他們的潛力。子女們可能不會達到他們的潛力,你就攪亂了人類進化的進程。可能人類進化在你的子女身上本來應該達到了輝煌的基因和文化組合,使到他們變為人類的最近共同祖先,但是因為你把他們送出來給別人收養,你把他們拋入了另一對夫婦的懷抱裡,把基因配合了錯誤的文化。這個錯誤的配合可能意味完全廢掉了人類基因配合文化而進化所取得的成果。這個錯誤的配合可能非常非常嚴重,可能跟基因本身一樣,意味人類的生存與否或人類的旺盛與否。

因為我們不能知道將來世界會怎樣,所以我們必須不但保護人類的生物多樣性,也要保護人類的個人文化多樣性。正如任何人都可以在基因上成為人類最近共同祖先,任何人也可以在文化上成為人類最近共同祖先。所以,我們對人類負有養育自己生理子女的義務和責任。

I:   So both the biological mother and the biological father owe the same obligation to the human race to raise their biological children?

Elder:   Yes, most assuredly so.

:那麼,生理上的母親和生理上的父親都一樣對人類負有養育生理上的子女的義務和責任嗎?

長者:對,當然是這樣。

I:   Then doesn't that mean the biological mother and father have to get together to raise their biological children together? Doesn't that mean they have to get married?

Elder:   Yes, absolutely.

Marriage is the relationship of permanent mutual help between a male and a female to discharge their obligations to mankind to have and to raise children. Marriage provides a defined environment for sex between the male and the female to begat children. Then marriage provides for permanent mutual help between the male and the female to raise the children.

:那麼,生理上的父親和母親不就是需要結合起來共同養育生理上的子女嗎?那不就是意味要結婚嗎?

長者:對,絕對是這樣。

婚姻就是一種男女之間永久性互助的關係,讓他們能夠踐行對人類負有的生子女和養育子女的義務和責任。婚姻提供一個固定的環境,讓男女之間交配生子女,然後又提供男女之間養育子女的永久性互助。

I:   How do you mean by saying that marriage provides a defined environment for sex between the male and the female to begat children?

Elder:   It's mainly about exclusive sex - having sex exclusively within the marriage, also known as chastity. This is important because if the woman is chaste, then the husband can be sure he's raising his own children. If the woman is not chaste and come to have another male's children but doesn't marry that male, then she is depriving that male of the opportunity of raising his children. To remain moral the woman must marry multiple husbands. If the woman is chaste but not the man, then for the man to remain moral he must marry multiple wives. Historically multiple wives is the norm rather than multiple husbands because males have much more earning power than females and one male often can support multiple wives.

Speaking of the term "historically" in the same breath as the term "chastity", I must point out that in the course of human development, it was female chastity that brought about marriage, and it was marriage that brought about civilization. Before marriage, in primitive matrilineal societies, women raised the young by themselves, hoeing the cassava with baby on their backs and another child at their side, while men lived together, frittering away their days with their war songs and war dances, their hunting for decorative feathers and their instigating of feuds with neighboring clans. When men felt the need for sex they would bring a rabbit to the female of the moment, and may stay for some days, but then leave. One woman would have a number of "boyfriends", and the men knew not who their children are, nor did they care. It was only when some very smart woman declared to some man that she "belonged to him forever", and would not have sex with any other man, that she could present her children to him as his, and demand that he too toil to raise the children. Thus women yoked men to productive tasks of producing material goods. As marriage deepened and men put their bodies and minds more and more into productive tasks, goods grew more abundant and exchange and trade appeared, along with a great increase in the population as far more children survived to adulthood, then tribes and states came into being, along with human civilization. Chastity and marriage are indeed the historical basis of human civilization.

:“婚姻提供一個固定的環境,讓男女之間交配生子女”,這是甚麼意思?

長者:這主要是說及排他的、專一的性交:性交只在於配偶之間進行,亦稱貞操。貞操重要,因為如果女人守貞操的話,丈夫可以肯定他養育的是他自己的孩子。如果女人不守貞操的話,生下另一個男人的孩子但不跟那個男人結婚,那麼她就剝奪了那個男人,不讓他養育自己孩子。要守道德的話,這個女人就要有多個丈夫。如果女人守貞操但丈夫不守貞操的話,那麼丈夫要守道德就要娶多個妻子。歷史慣例是多妻制而不是多夫制,因為男人的收入能力超過女人,男人能夠供養多個妻子。

同時說起歷史和貞操,就一定要指出,在人類發展史上,是女人的貞操帶來了婚姻,然後是婚姻帶來了文明。有婚姻之前,是原始母系社會,女人靠自己養育幼小,背著嬰兒鋤木薯,另一個小孩在旁邊。男人呢,就成群共同居住,終日只顧著他們的戰舞、戰歌、獵取裝飾羽毛、挑釁鄰近部落搞世仇武鬥。當男人感覺需要性交時,就捉隻小兔給當天的女友,逗留幾天後就走了。一個女人有多個“男朋友”,男人不知道誰是自己的孩子,也不理會。只是當某個非常聰明的女人對某個男人聲明,她永遠“屬於”他,不跟其他男人性交,才可以指著她的孩子對他說,這是你的孩子,而要求他也作出勞動來養育孩子。正是這樣,女人把男人綁上生產物質產品的勞動。隨著婚姻的深化男人把身體和精神越來越投入生產,產品就越來越多,導致了交換和貿易,越來越多孩子們活到成人階段,人口增加,部族和國家、人類文明都隨著形成。歷史上,貞操和婚姻的確是人類文明的基礎。

I:   That was historically though; why be chaste now since there won't be any no children from the extra-marital liasons? We've got birth control now.

Elder:   Very good point. Still, sex is a very intense, emotional, mutually interacting experience so it should be used to strengthen bonds between the husband and wife. If done with outsiders it weakens the emotional marital bond and leads to mutual resentment, and we need the emotional marital bond to be as strong as possible so as to have better cooperation and to be permanent. Therefore we still need sex to be exclusive to the marriage and we still need chastity.

By the way, it's the same argument for abstaining from pre-marital sex and maintaining one's virginity: to make the emotional marital bond even stronger, so that the emotional bond from sexual intercourse is focused on only the spouse and no one else, there's no distraction, no comparison, no thought of another. Of course, this is for both men and women.

:但那是歷史啊,現在有了避孕藥,婚外性交不會產生孩子,為甚麼還要貞操?

長者:很好的問題。性交仍然是一個感情上很強烈的共同互動身受經歷,應該用來增強丈夫和妻子之間的連結。如果跟外人進行,會弱化婚姻的感情連結,會引致互相怨恨,而婚姻的感情連結需要越強越好,才能有更好的合作和有永久性。所以,性交仍然必須是排他的、專一的,仍然需要有貞操。

順便說,婚前不性交,保持處女狀態,是同樣的理由:使到婚姻的感情連結更強,使到性交的感情連結只集中於配偶,沒有別人,沒有分散力,沒有比較,沒有想念別人。當然,男女都應該這樣。

I:   Now isn't marriage a form of male domination? In traditional marriage the woman and the children have to respect the man of the house, why?

Elder:   No, quite the contrary. As I have pointed out in my recounting of the prehistoric origin of marriage, marriage is actually a form of female domination - the female yokes the male to the raising of children. True, the woman and the children have to pay that man of the house respect, and indeed in Xiao Jing, where xiao or being good to parents and ancestors, is equated with the greatest virtue, it is said: "Of all forms of xiao, none is the greater than dignifying the father." Yes, that is to give men the satisfaction of respect at home from wife and children. Why? Because men need that sense of respect to satisfy their testosterone drive for glory, so as to keep them yoked to family and work, to keep their testosterone-driven lust for excitement, achievement and glory in check and focused on family and work. This is the basis of marriage; and marriage is the basis of human civilization itself.

When we look at the downtrodden minorities of various countries, the above argument becomes very clear: in downtrodden minorities the male is often given no respect by the women and the children in the home. Of course, this is a reflection of that fact that they are not given respect in mainstream society as a whole. That the male is given no respect by the women and the children in the home is a clear sign of the downtrodden condition of that minority. As we well know, what accompanies this lack of respect is breakdown of the family unit in those minorities, crime, juvenile delinquincy, academic under-achievement, alcoholism and drug abuse, and so forth. In turn, mainstream society then uses this to further justify discrimination against that minority, resulting in a vicious cycle that keeps the downtrodden minority down.

In contrast, during the 20th century in many Asian immigrant families where the father figure remains strong and the wife and children all continue to respect the man of the family, even though the new arrivals are poor and occupy low socioeconomic strata, the children often grow up to be upwardly mobile and doing very well.

Also, lack of respect for men in general and men as husbands by their wives and as fathers by their children is a pernicious side effect of the "women's liberation movement" that has swept so many lands. One look at the TV shows and movies and one can tell: the heroines suddenly and often mistakenly lash out at and even physically assault the hapless men who do nothing, and the shows arrange for no censure or consequences at all for these heroines, and this is considered normal and OK. Also, the women dress in a seductive way, exposing their thighs and breasts, but the men are not allowed to act on their aroused sexual desires. Female seduction is an exercise of female power over men, especially younger men, who physically get aroused by sight, even against their will - this is the power of women over men, analogous to men's power by physical strength over women - and the men are to meekly subject themselves to it and neither act to satisfy their physical arousal nor to demand that the seductive way of dressing stop. To be sure, there are many injustices against women, but correcting those injustices should not result in disrespect for the man, for husband and father. Unfortunately that has happened. We now see in those lands amazingly high divorce rates and younger males being uninterested in marriage. Of course, there are other factors at play, but lack of respect for husband and father, lack of satisfaction of the male need for respect, is a key factor.

Indeed, it is most important that males be given due respect by wives and offspring to maintain the strength and vitality of marriage and hence the strength and vitality of society itself.

:但是,婚姻不是男人操縱控制女人的制度嗎?為甚麼傳統的婚姻裡,女人和孩子要尊敬那個家庭裡的男人呢?

長者:不,正好相反,正如我談史前婚姻起源時所說,婚姻其實是女人操縱控制男人的制度,女人把男人綁起來,養育子女。的確,女人和孩子都要對那個家庭裡的男人尊敬,把“孝”即對父母和祖先好,看作為最高德行的《孝經》說,“孝莫大於嚴父(‘嚴父’即尊敬父親,‘嚴’這裡是動詞)”,也正是說,要給男人以家裡妻兒尊敬的滿足感。為甚麼呢?因為男人需要那種尊敬的感受來滿足男性激素所引致的、他們要爭取光榮的動力。這樣才能把他們綁於家庭和工作上,把他們被男性激素所驅動的對興奮激動事情、成就、和光榮的強烈慾望有所收斂,集中在家庭和工作上。這就是婚姻的基礎,而婚姻就是人類文明本身的基礎。

當我們看看多個國家裡的被踩踏少數民族,上面的道理就很清楚了:被踩踏的少數民族裡,很多時男人在家裡得不到女人和孩子的尊敬。當然,這只不過反映他們在整個主流社會裡得不到尊敬的狀況。少數民族男人在家裡得不到女人和孩子的尊敬,就明顯地證實了該少數民族是被踩踏的。眾所知曉,伴隨著不尊敬就是這些少數民族裡家庭的破裂、犯罪、少年犯法、學業成績低下、酗酒、吸毒等等。主流社會轉過來就使用這些狀況為由,繼續對這少數民族歧視,導致一個惡性循環,把該少數民族繼續踩踏。

與此相反的是,二十世紀很多亞洲移民家庭,父親形象很強,妻子和孩子們都尊敬,所以雖然新來的移民很窮,處低下的社會經濟階層,但孩子們長大後都向上層移動,表現得很好。

此外,對男人的普遍不尊敬和妻子對丈夫、子女對父親的不尊敬,是風行多地的“婦女解放運動”的惡毒副作用。看一下電視片和電影便知道:女主角很多時突然地和錯誤地痛罵或甚至打踢男人,男人就不知所措,逆來順受,而影片對女主角則一些譴責或後果都不設置,而這都被當作正常。另外,女人穿著妖媚富於引誘性,把大腿和胸部暴露,但男人們不許因為性慾被激起而作出任何行為。女人作出妖媚引誘是行使她們對男人的控制操縱能力,尤其是對年輕男人,因為他們肉體上被視覺激發性慾,儘管是違反他們意願的,這就是女人對男人的肉體控制操縱能力,相對於男人以氣力大而對女人所能夠作出的肉體操縱能力;而男人們就要順服地讓女人行使控制操縱,不能做出行動來滿足被激發的性慾,亦不能要求女人停止引誘性的穿著。的確,有很多對女人的不公平,但糾正這些不公平不應該造成對男人、對丈夫、對父親的不尊敬。不幸地,這發生了。在這些地方現在出現了極高的離婚率和年輕男子對婚姻的不感興趣。當然,也有其他因素,但對丈夫和父親的不尊敬,男人得到尊敬的需要得不到滿足,是一個關鍵性的因素。

是的,男人得到妻子和子女的尊敬非常重要,這樣才能保持婚姻的堅固和活力,從而保持社會本身的堅固和活力。

I:   Alright, fine, get married in order to have mutual help to raise the chidren. But once the children are raised, can't the two then divorce and separate? Why still permanancy? Why remain bonded together then?

Elder:   Goodness, after all these years of struggling together for a common goal, building a life together to raise the children, wouldn't there be a comradely emotional bond? Wouldn't there be a deep love? Wouldn't there be a desire to spend the last years together?

:好吧,結婚,互相幫助,養育子女。但是,一旦子女養育成人之後,夫妻不就可以離婚分手嗎?為甚麼還要永久性呢?那時為甚麼還要粘在一起呢?

長者:呵呵,經過這麼多年的共同奮鬥,共同建設生活,養育子女,沒有一種同志般的親切感情嗎?沒有深厚的愛嗎?不會想一起共渡晚年嗎?

I:   Sure, for those who are emotionally bonded, go ahead and remain in a permanent union and until death do you part, but why not separate for those who are not so emotionally bonded?

Elder:   One has the responsibility to financially support one's wife, and one spouse has the responsibility to emotionally support the other spouse.

:感情上親切的人當然應該繼續永久性的聯合,至死不分,但沒有這種感情的人為甚麼不能分離啊?

長者:有責任經濟上供養妻子,亦有責任感情上支持配偶對方。

I:   But what if both sides mutually despise each other, then mutual emotional support becomes a non-issue, and what if economically the wife doesn't have any problems with independence - even if she has all she needs is for the court to award alimony - then why can't they divorce once they've finished raising the children?

Elder:   Well, you are increasing the total cost of living having the two of you live separately as compared to having the two of you live together, so that your financial resources will run out sooner. This places a heavier financial burden on the children to support the two of you when you are old and infirm. Moreover, having the two of you apart will place a heavier burden on the children to look after the two of you medically and physically when you live apart as opposed to living together, looking in on you, taking the two of you to the Dr., etc., will take twice as much time. Besides, with the two of you togehter you can to some extent look after each other in your infirmity, and that lessens the burden on the children; living apart their burden increases.

:但是,如果雙方都討厭對方了,那麼感情上相互支持的命題就根本不存在,而且如果妻子經濟上獨立也沒有問題的話,或就算有問題法庭判決贍養費就行了,那麼為甚麼不可以養育完子女就離婚?

長者:那麼,分開居住就會使到兩個人的總生活費比同居時更高,經濟資源會更早耗盡,這就會加重你們老弱時子女們供養你們的負擔。另外,兩個人分居會使到子女們需要醫療上和生理上照顧你們時,例如看望你們、帶你們去看醫生等,將會花更多時間,因為需要兩邊跑。而且,你們一起時可以在某程度上互相照顧,減輕他們的負擔,分居則會使他們的負擔加重。

I:   Oh goodness, but surely the children should shoulder some cost for the sake of our happiness? After all, we've given them so much! What is there left, to morally bind a couple together after the children are raised?

Elder:   Very good question. I am so glad you persist in your questioning. There is a big, very big, moral reason to remain married, even if the two spouses are so flawed that they have not been able to form a deep emotional bond of love after all those years working to build a life together.

That big moral reason is: continuing to cooperate, in order to create a multi-generational extended family of much more total overall mutual help and therefore greater morality, since mutual help is morality, instead of splitting the family up into merely two-generational nuclear families with much less total overall mutual help nad therefore lesser morality.

This includes cooperating to continue to help and nurture the children, especially helping them raise the grandchildren. A couple more pairs of hands is much better than none, especially when these hands are commited due to the emotional bonds of being family. Also, the grandparents are more relaxed and under less work pressure, and will have much more patience with the children. Having other adults than one's parents to provide nurture and culture will only enrich the grandchildren.

Building an extended family also includes providing a focus for the offspring to wholeheartedly, with full commitment, support and care for you in your old age and infirmity, since you wholeheartedly, with full commitment, support and care for each other and for them and their offspring.

On the contrary, if you are separated and then remarried, the offspring will feel less or even no urge to support and care for you.

Your remaining together provides a moral example of full commitment to mutual help, mutual caring and mutual support.

The multigenerational extended family is a great achievement for human morality.

(...continued)

:哎喲,但孩子們不是應該為我們的快樂作出一點負擔嗎?畢竟我們為他們做了這麼多事!孩子們養育後,還剩下甚麼可以在道德上把夫婦綁在一起的呢?

長者:很好的問題啊!你堅持問下去真好!道德上有一個非常非常重大的理由要繼續婚姻,儘管他們倆品格有這麼大的缺陷,經過這麼多年建設共同生活的工作都仍然不能形成深厚感情的愛。

重大的道德理由就是:繼續合作,建設一個幾代人的、互助多得更多因而更道德的(因為互助就是道德)大家庭,而不是把家庭分裂為幾個只有兩代人的、互助少得更多因而沒有這麼多道德的核子家庭。

這包括合作來繼續幫助和養育子女,尤其是幫助他們養育孫兒女。多兩對手總比沒有好得多,尤其是兩對堅持的、具有家人感情的手。而且,祖父母比父母更為輕鬆,沒有這麼大的工作壓力,對孫子們更有耐心。除了父母之外,得到其他富於感情的成人提供養育和文化,只會使到孫子們的栽培更為豐富。

建設大家庭亦包括為子女提供一個全心全意供養照顧老弱父母的凝聚核心,因為你們全心全意地互相照顧和照顧他們及他們的子女。

相反如果你們分居重婚的話,子女們會覺得沒有那麼大的動機或甚至沒有動機,去供養和照顧你們。

你們繼續在一起,將會提供一個全心全意互相幫助、互相照顧、互相支持的典範。

多代大家庭,這是人類道德上的一個重大成就。

... 繼續



Back to Essays Page 回到論文頁 To "Dialogues-1" 到“對話一” To "dialogues-3" 到“對話三”→

 
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