What is the moral difference between parenting and child marriage? The reason I ask is that parenting is considered one of the most admirable things you can do in life in most societies while child marriage, at least in the Western World, is seen as heinous. However, when you look at the phenomenon in detail they are very similar.

  • Adults are taking advantage of children to fulfil their own needs.
  • No consent.
  • The child is helpless.
  • The relationship can be annulled unilaterally by the adult (divorce or call some social service and explain that they are gonna severely injure the child).
  • In both cases the adult usually claim that they love the child.


"It is natural" is not a valid argument. Some female spiders eat their mate after mating, male lions kill the existing cubs when taking over a pride and so on. A lot of natural things aren't morally defensible.

  • Not this again. See 'Why do we condemn pedophilia morally?' philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/73455/…
    – CriglCragl
    Jul 18, 2021 at 18:05
  • Vote to close. This argument is so defective, in so many ways, that it's really not worth arguing against (the only reason one doesn't see the defects is because one can't see the defects). Jul 18, 2021 at 18:20
  • 1
    @TedWrigley Then present some of these arguments then. This is a site for philosophical reasoning and debate, not a snowflake-cancel-culture site. I find the similarities striking and interesting. Some other aspects on parenting is that people have children to get meaning and purpose in their life (or something like that) but don't give a flying f*** if the child will find meaning in her life. Besides, the parents also forcibly enroll the child to a state that might violate the child's basic human rights (e.g. ban homosexuality or recreational drug use).
    – d-b
    Jul 18, 2021 at 19:44
  • 1
    @hensti: as I said, anyone with a reasonably objective perspective doesn't need me to make these arguments. They can (for instance) look at point #1 and recognize immediately that parents do not normally "take advantage of their children to fulfill their own needs" (much less their own sexual needs). That is such an odd and argumentative claim to make on the face of it that it defies any actual discussion. Jul 18, 2021 at 20:35
  • Why are you reposting an old question deleted for lack of interest?
    – Conifold
    Jul 18, 2021 at 22:01


Browse other questions tagged .