Why Do We Have Parents?

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January 2002

Why do we have parents?  Why families?  Why?

Iexample of a typical family mean, kids could be raised in other ways.  Instead of families, we might have a system where kids are kidnapped from birth and raised in communes or boarding schools, never knowing who their biological parents are.

I believe we have families because this is a better alternative than the commune or universal boarding school.

We choose to have families because we gain comfort from them, comfort we would lose in an alternative system.

In the alternative system, you are just a number.  You are one of many.  And because there are so many kids to deal with, the people controlling the system cannot afford to offer too much freedom to the children.

On the other hand, the family is much smaller.  You can receive much more individual attention, and likewise much more freedom.  The familiarity of the family also provides additional comfort.

The family is basically a tiny socialist society.  In this “tiny socialist society,” those who are unable to care for themselves are cared for by those who can.  But despite being a “socialist society,” it works.  It works because it’s such a small society.  On a huge scale, the system would not work, but on a scale as small as the family, it works very well.

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