Ethics of Child Labor
A. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century child labor was a rampant problem with the advancements in technology. Then during the mid twentieth century, the United States started implementing child labor laws such as setting an age limit for somebody to work for pay and also setting certain health and safety codes at the work place. Despite efforts to prevent child labor, it is still prevalent in some areas in the world today. Most of these children work on small farms. II. Is Child Labor right or wrong?
"Human Rights Watch says that child farm workers in the United States- the vast majority of whom are Latino- regularly work 12 to 14 hour days, often suffering pesticide poisonings, heat-related illness, machine and knife-related injuries, and life-long disabilities. Many are forced to work without access to toilet or hand-washing facilities or adequate drinking water." (Cray 4) i. Helps support a struggling family financially
ii. Child labor has a place in the world economy as long as it is neither hazardous or dead-end work, where the child laborers can still get an education and thereby help their families out of poverty since an education will ensure better paying jobs in the long run. iii. Work alongside their parents is both a financial necessity, and also part of the ethnic family work ethic. B. Cons:
i. Illnesses, injury, lifelong disabilities.
ii. The associative qualities of child labor is it produces a negative image of the associated company, country, family that enforces it. iii. Emotional distress is put on that child for life
III. Jeremy Bentham
A. Ethical System including the influence of Theology
1. Moral Aspects of Awareness:
Finitude-“capacity of transcendence which gives humans the ability to imagine their own end”(Schaffer 66). ii.
Incompleteness-“Comes from a sense of transcendence- we are able to imagine states which we can never quite achieve. This is about the individual”(Schaffer 66). 2. Beliefs about Right and Wrong
i. Hedonic calculas:“According to this doctrine, the way to judge between alternative courses of action is to consider the consequences of each, in terms of the pleasure and pain of all the people affected”(Mills 281)
3. Definition of Good
i. “Utilitarianism presupposes one overriding moral principle: that one ought to aim at the greatest happiness of the greatest number. “(Mills 280) ii. Bentham thought what was good was whatever gave the most amount of pleasure to the most amount of people iii. Subjective Theory of Value-“How I feel, not a matter of right or wrong, knowledge not needed. “(Schaffer 73) 4. Obligations
i. “If the central question of political philosophy is taken to be: “Why, if at all, should the citizen obey the state? The utilitarian answer is quite clear. The citizen should obey just so far as obedience ill contribute more to the general happiness than disobedience. If the central question is taken to be the nature and ontological status of the state, the answer is equally clear: the state is not a super-entity with purposes and a will of its own, but a human contrivance to enable men to realize as many of their desires as possible. “(Mills 281) ii. Explanation: Bentham believes it is the obligations of the state to provide the people basic pleasures and if the state is doing that then the people should comply with some of the states’ demands and if that is not the case then the people don’t have listen to the state. 5. Ideals and Virtues
i. “It is as the exponent of utilitarianism and as the acknowledged leader of the philosophical radicals, whose program of social reform was firmly based on utilitarian theory, that Bentham is chiefly remembered. He thought of the principle of utility as primarily a guide for legislators. Thought it he...
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