In a primitive state of affairs, the father was necessary, as he is among birds and anthropoid apes, for economic reasons, and also to protect the young and their mother from violence. The latter function was long ago taken over by the State. A child whose father is dead is no more likely to be murdered than one whose father is living. The economic function of the father can be performed, in the well-to-do classes, more efficiently if he is dead than if he is living, since he can leave his money to his children, without having to use up part of it on his own maintenance.
Source: Bertrand Russell :Marriage and Morals, 1929
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