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What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?

995 words - 4 pages

The thesis statement of the article is that usage of the word "owe" undermines the mutual friendship and love that makes a person fulfill his/her responsibility towards his/her parents . I disagree with the statement and believe that the author has presented a poor argument. The basis of my standing is that the author has misinterpreted the meaning of the term "owe" to support her argument. I believe the word "owe" only represents the gravity of a responsibility.

The author defined "owe" as a form of obligation that is to be fulfilled unwillingly. In support of her argument she presented the case of friendship. When two people are friends they help each other, but they are not obliged to make their share of sacrifices. She stated that the term "owe" undermines the role of mutuality. "Owe" represents obligations that must be fulfilled irrespective of the person's emotions. Thus, the term "owe" should not be used to refer to a child's duties towards his/her parents.

Before analyzing her argument, it is necessary to look into the term "owe." There are two types of "owe"; one is backed by the legal system. For example, if a person borrows money from someone, it is required by law to pay that money back. Another "owe" is responsibility that is backed by morality. For example, if a person sees that someone had an accident; it is a moral responsibility to call an ambulance.

The author fails to distinguish between the two types of "owe" that have been mentioned above. "Owe" simply represents responsibility. For example, if a person loves another person, a responsibility to look after the loved person comes into existence by itself. There is no legal system that will force a person to protect his/her loved ones. In a case, emotions take the policing role of the legal system. The emotional attachment forces the person to look after his/her loved one.

The author used examples where it shows that if X helps Y without Y asking for the favor, then it is not Y's responsibility to help X. However, I find this argument faulty. If Y does not help that is only because of Y's unique moral values. If Y's moral values insists on returning X the favor, then Y will help X. But if Y's moral values do not support it, only then Y will not help X.

Thus, we can see that in any case either of the two policing bodies is in action and it depends on how the policing force acts. One policing body is the legal system and other is the moral values.

Hence, usage of the term "owe" has nothing to do with how a person responds to his/her surrounding environment. Moreover, I suggest that the usage of the term "owe" clarifies what it is expected of a person in a social surrounding. When a child is...

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