Is child labor ethical?

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Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#1  Postby Socrateaze » September 7th, 2017, 12:46 pm

Around the world millions of children are dying of hunger. When we are faced with circumstances such as this, should we not suspend the law on child labor? Could these children not have a better future under the guidance of the same law that prohibits them to generate an income? Which is better; to starve to death or to be given the opportunity to better your lot? Is it possible to place this opportunity in their hands and avoid exploitation at the same time, or should they face the worse extreme of slowly withering away?
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Is child labor ethical?



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Re: Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#2  Postby Togo1 » September 10th, 2017, 7:36 pm

Socrateaze wrote:Around the world millions of children are dying of hunger. When we are faced with circumstances such as this, should we not suspend the law on child labor? Could these children not have a better future under the guidance of the same law that prohibits them to generate an income? Which is better; to starve to death or to be given the opportunity to better your lot? Is it possible to place this opportunity in their hands and avoid exploitation at the same time, or should they face the worse extreme of slowly withering away?


Depends on what the alternatives are. If the alternative is starvation, then work may be more ethical than non-work. But perpuating and stabalising a system that regularises child labour is very unlikely to be ethical, because it's very unlikely that, in the medium or long-term, there is no other way of organising things.
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Re: Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#3  Postby Ranvier » September 10th, 2017, 9:23 pm

Socrateaze

This is similar to asking if removing a child's arm is ethical, since it renders a child more likely to acquire money begging on the street. There is no practical reason in the modern world for any child to starve or anyone for that matter.
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Re: Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#4  Postby Spectrum » September 11th, 2017, 2:45 am

Socrateaze wrote:Around the world millions of children are dying of hunger. When we are faced with circumstances such as this, should we not suspend the law on child labor? Could these children not have a better future under the guidance of the same law that prohibits them to generate an income? Which is better; to starve to death or to be given the opportunity to better your lot? Is it possible to place this opportunity in their hands and avoid exploitation at the same time, or should they face the worse extreme of slowly withering away?

I believe the question of 'child labor' involve a set of moral standards and the related ethical questions in practice.

In the case of a child working for money, the following maxims should be deliberated and the negative be avoided;

1. The basic human dignity of each human being must be respected.
If yes, then OK.

2. No humans should be exploited by another.
If no exploitation, then OK.

3. No humans should be put in a position of suffering by another.
If no sufferings, then OK

4. Each child must attend be educated [general] for minimum of X [to be determined] years.

The above are the ideal moral standards.
In practice there will definitely be child labor that contravene all the above.

Making statements, presenting and demanding oughts will not help. What is needed is how can we reconcile "IS" with "OUGHT."

What is critical for humanity to establish ethical mechanisms to close the gap [moral] as much as possible between (1)moral, (2) ethical and (3)what is practiced.
This is the system approach to morality and ethics.
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Re: Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#5  Postby Burning ghost » September 12th, 2017, 2:16 am

Ranvier wrote:Socrateaze

This is similar to asking if removing a child's arm is ethical, since it renders a child more likely to acquire money begging on the street. There is no practical reason in the modern world for any child to starve or anyone for that matter.


Not quite sure WHOSE quote this is?

Either way, the situation is what it is. It makes sense to amend it not apply a Band-Aid and let the wound on humanity fester. Slavery is what we are avoiding. I believe children should have a childhood. Some families are so poor that children have to take on responsibilities and earn wages.

Is slavery ethical? If you're asking that question then I think we're in quite a problematic situation. I understand what is being said, but the point of the law existing is to protect children from exploitation. How well this can be enforced is another matter, there will always be grey areas and we'll always be striving to eradicate them (I HOPE!)

It seems insane to say we should allow slavery to save lives. In an ideal world citizens would be sustained through childhood and be given the ability and freedom to live in the world as best they can. If we compare countries like DRC, Nigeria, China, Russia, Germany and the US, the number one factor we see for exploitation and crime is in the social economic distribution (Gini Coefficient). Lessen the scale of wealth distribution from richest to poorest and life gets better for society.

It is in nobodies long term interest to force people into low wage jobs. The aim should be to create a narrower band of wealth distribution so society can flourish rather than being divided in two, which will inevitably lead to political revolution/war.
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Re: Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#6  Postby Ranvier » September 12th, 2017, 11:12 am

Burning ghost

Burning ghost wrote:
Either way, the situation is what it is. It makes sense to amend it not apply a Band-Aid and let the wound on humanity fester. Slavery is what we are avoiding. I believe children should have a childhood. Some families are so poor that children have to take on responsibilities and earn wages.

Is slavery ethical? If you're asking that question then I think we're in quite a problematic situation. I understand what is being said, but the point of the law existing is to protect children from exploitation. How well this can be enforced is another matter, there will always be grey areas and we'll always be striving to eradicate them (I HOPE!)

It seems insane to say we should allow slavery to save lives. In an ideal world citizens would be sustained through childhood and be given the ability and freedom to live in the world as best they can. If we compare countries like DRC, Nigeria, China, Russia, Germany and the US, the number one factor we see for exploitation and crime is in the social economic distribution (Gini Coefficient). Lessen the scale of wealth distribution from richest to poorest and life gets better for society.

It is in nobodies long term interest to force people into low wage jobs. The aim should be to create a narrower band of wealth distribution so society can flourish rather than being divided in two, which will inevitably lead to political revolution/war.


It does seem insane but that's what we are born into. Society is slavery
It took humanity millennia to develop the concept of society, which is based on slavery of servitude and extortion. One can't just say: Hey I don't like this, I will start my own tribe..." Such days are long gone because the society will not allow for such foolish freedom and because majority of people are willing to exist as slaves. What's hilarious is that there are many people, including people on this forum, who are in pursuit of some universal morality of society based on slavery. It's like inventing a code of ethics in a prison :lol:
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Re: Is child labor ethical?

Post Number:#7  Postby Burning ghost » September 13th, 2017, 2:06 am

This comes down to the "meaning" of "slavery". So we're talking about the use of the word and the context.

In a colloquial sense we are all "slaves to society", but when we're talking about owning a human being and using them as a tool that is another kind of "slavery". So I can say by this specific definition of "owning humans" that it is not a good thing and that it is insane to use people as tools to save lives, to kill some to save others. It is not something I agree with.

Orwell's FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, SLAVERY IS FREEDOM does hold weight, I am not denying that. The whole point he was making in that novel was how language can be used to justify the worse crimes. Limitations on freedom is quite different from no freedom.

It is interesting to read Plato about this (or was it Aristotle?). Of course their culture of slavery was quite different. He did mention about a good master and good slave, the mutual benefit was his focus on any relationship, from husband to wife and teacher to student.

SOME people are born and forced into slavery. Not me. We are all born free, and once born we are vulnerable to being driven in this or that direction. Essentially though freedom is a state of mind as much as slavery. Of course I am not so naïve as to say such a thing to some poor child in Africa force to toil away in the mines day and night without pay, or be forced to wield guns and shoot their parents.

We should be careful to delineate between the context of the term "slavery" rather than use it with broad stroke of the brush which may well be used in the future to try and legitimize the evils I've mentioned above.

There are degrees of slavery. Some people are made to feel their choice doesn't matter. This is mental slavery. Mental slavery leads to slave labour, and in this sense "society" is our master to a large degree for most people, it is hardly a purely evil master though. If the "master" is good the "slave" is often happy to be relieved of the burden of responsibility.

Should a child be burdened with the same responsibility of an adult? I don't think so. Children need to play and develop not strive for survival and have their horizons reduced.

The use is words is a very serious concern today given the extent of communications and media sensationalism. We've seen this discussed elsewhere no doubt regarding a number of terms spewed out across the airwaves. Think back to the Russian Revolution and Nazi Germany to see how words helped propel people to do horrific things. We find again a state of lack of responsibility, a readiness to leave the decisions to others, to buy into the ease of "self-slavery". I think we all, at some point in our lives, march to the rhythm of the drum willingly giving up responsibility.

In regard to the OP, it is dangerous to start thinking of forms of "slavery" that are "okay" or "justified". It is a slippery slope. What is being talked about is not complete slavery though, and more about enforcing responsibility onto children. In some ways this is beneficial and in others it is not. After the industrial revolution the aim was to stop children working in poor conditions for low wages. I wouldn't like to see a return to those kinds of days in western countries. In poorer nations far worse is happening and I see no need to encourage it whatsoever, if anything we should pressure our governments to help those countries develop (there is lies a whoel can of worms!!)
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