Obligations to Future Generations
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This chapter examines the notion of obligations to future generations, a notion that finds increasing use in discussions of social policies and programs, particularly as concerns population distribution and control and environment control. A moral community may be constituted by an explicit contract between its members. In this case the particular obligations which the members have towards each other are fixed by the terms of their bargain. A moral community may be generated out of a social arrangement in which each member derives benefits from the efforts of other members. In general the obligations will be of more specialized kinds. It is also apparent that obligations acquired in the ways can easily come into conflict with other obligations that one may have. Clearly, a moral community comprised of present and future generations cannot arise from either of these sources.