In this paper, I will address crass egoism (CE) and its effects on child treatment. In religious terminology, CE is idolatry of self over the worship of God. In a secular context, this view relinquishes one’s moral duties towards others, primarily one’s own immediate family, by sanctioning uninhibited pursuit and gratification of egoistic desires. It takes on the form of a predatory or mercenary way of life, which, if normalized, holds grave implications for children.
I will examine several contemporary trends in child treatment that seem to indicate a correlation between CE and a rise in child neglect. First, I will argue that CE lacks explanatory power for parental duty or the responsibility for the holistic welfare of one’s biological or adopted child. Unlike Christian theism, which confirms the inestimable intrinsic value of every child, CE elevates the interests of adults at the expense of children.
Second, I will discuss the following CE trends that affect the family and, subsequently, child treatment: (1) Rise in absent fathers, and its corollary, emotionally neglected children; (2) Applause of abortion; (3) Institutional promotion of transgenderism among children; 4) Inclusion of pedophilia within the amoral category of mental and physical disabilities. These trends lead away from values that best enable the flourishing of children. Furthermore, CE has an acidic effect on parental duty, which in turn spawns a host of complications that impact social and mental health services, public policy, and law enforcement. I wish to emphasize the high social cost of CE because, to the extent that there’s a departure from Christian principles, children will suffer.
Finally, I will suggest that Christian theism can help confront these challenges and also provide needed remedies. It offers a message of grace, hope, and redemption. Reconciliation is possible for fractured families and individuals suffering from past or present abandonment and mistreatment.