I strongly believe in non-violence and I try to teach this to my 4-year-old son. Nevertheless the result is that I reprove my son whenever he uses violence and at the same time their classmates hit him, probably because he is an “easy target”. Do I have the right to impose a “moral law” to my son, even though this law is not followed by most of the children and causes unhappiness to my son?

The short answer to your question is that, strictly speaking, parents have a right to teach their children whatever they want. My guess is that you are really wondering whether or not you ought to be teaching your son non-violence, or whether or not you are justified in doing so. The answer to these questions, I think, will depend on the nature of your belief in non-violence. If you believe in non-violence because you think it leads to a happier world, then the fact that your belief in non-violence causes unhappiness to your son should carry some weight. But if you believe in non-violence independently of its connections to happiness, then you may very well be justified in teaching this belief even if it does cause unhappiness to your son. You may determine that the central values to be learned through teaching non-violence are so important that they outweigh the temporary unhappiness generated by this commitment.

A common moral argument made against sex or sexual relationships between adults and minors is that there will always an imbalance of power between the adult and the minor involved. Because of this, such relationships are said to be exploitative, even if there is informed consent and the minor is not harmed either physically or psychologically by the experience. Assuming that such a scenario is possible - a minor gives informed consent to a sex act or a sexual relationship with an adult, and is not physically or psychologically damaged by what follows - is the imbalance of power between the adult and the minor really enough to render the adult's behaviour morally wrong or exploitative?

The reason why we worry about an imbalance of power in these cases is because where one party has more power over the other, it is possible that the other is being coerced by the more powerful party. It is not necessarily the existence of an imbalance that is problematic, but the potential this imbalance has to prevent the weaker party from making free and informed choices. The problem is exacerbated when the weaker party is a minor, as the issue of informed consent is trickier when we deal with children. Many believe that children are not capable of giving informed consent in any situation; certainly we would have reason to be concerned in situations where there also exists an imbalance of power. If we could really establish that the minor has given informed consent, then the existence of an imbalance of power might not in itself be problematic. But it is an extremely difficult task to establish the existence of informed consent in such cases, which is why most people think sexual relationships...