Matthew Clayton argues that uses of parental power must be justified on grounds that all reasonable people can accept, and that therefore parents should not enrol their children into comprehensive belief
owever, Clayton’s claims are not restricted to religious traditions; he places the same restrictions on the inculcation of humanist comprehensive doctrines.
O]ur exercise of political power is proper and hence justifiable only when it is exercised in accordance with a constitution the essentials of which all citizens may
reasonably be expected to endorse in the light of principles and ideals acceptable to them as reasonable and rational.1
I will argue that there is a gap in Clayton’s analogy, but that the argument can be made using children’s interests in becoming autonomous. However, I will conclude that on the most plausible understanding of autonomy, this argument also fails, and so that we can respect the interest children have in achieving autonomy without condemning parents who enrol their children into at least some comprehensive doctrines.
However, I fail to see how whether or not another person chooses for you at a time when you cannot choose yourself can be relevant to the autonomy of your life as a whole.
Some comprehensive doctrines are less costly to give up, regardless of how one has come to hold them.
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