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thegreenape
May 30th, 2008, 07:21 AM
I read a great article in the Economist that poses this question: Do countries have a resposibility to help those dying in a tragedy even if it violates the sovereignty of another country?

Myanmar is the most recent example. Countries did not want to invade Myanmar so everyone stood by knowing full well the citizens were not receiving the proper aid. This, knowingly, cost more people their lives but it would have violated the sovereignty of the Junta governemtn in Myanmar.

Do we have a responsibility to do what is right for the citizens or respect the sovereignty of another country despite the consequences?

So...

Snoop
May 30th, 2008, 07:24 AM
I wouldn't force help on another country but I would keep trying through peacefull means.

thegreenape
May 30th, 2008, 07:45 AM
I find this analogous to an abused child. There is a point at which you must do something to help out a child that has no means to stop being abused. We do not keep begging the parents to please stop abusing the child, we separate them and allow the child to grow up in a better household.

In the same sense, if we know tens of thousands of people dying can be easily prevented, why stand by idle for the sake of sovereignty? What does sovereignty protect? The citizens of a country or irresponsible goverments that knowingly deny their citizens basic survival? I would contend that if people are dying, such as the case in Sudan and Myanmar, and their governments are doing nothing to prevent it or cannot stop it, then the global community has the responsibility to do so.

I know it is a slippery slope but when it comes to needless death, how can countries stand by and do nothing?

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 08:26 AM
I find this analogous to an abused child. There is a point at which you must do something to help out a child that has no means to stop being abused. We do not keep begging the parents to please stop abusing the child, we separate them and allow the child to grow up in a better household.

This analogy is flawed though, Myanmar is at least trying to help their citizens, and they aren't deliberately inflicting harm by refusing international aid. If we were to assume that Myanmar's actions is analagous to child abuse, according to your logic, a parent who doesn't disinfect and bandage their child's cut as well as possible could be assumed to be abusing their child, and thus there would be "justification" for interfering in that family and confiscating the child. That's clearly quite silly.

Allowing and condoning invasions based on countries not doing what's best for their citizens sets a dangerous precendent for the future. Are acts of war against countries which restrict individual rights desirable as well? Also, if we are following your reasoning, why shouldn't the international community have the right and obligation to interfere in countries run by weak or corrupt governments?


In the same sense, if we know tens of thousands of people dying can be easily prevented, why stand by idle for the sake of sovereignty?

That's quite an assumption to make. How do you know it can easily be prevented? Myanmar has a very military-oriented society in which tactical and strategic decisions can be made quickly and decisively. Also, the Myanmar Army is large and skilled, for the U.S. to fight a second war halfway around the war would be very difficult, and would have to involve instituting the draft.

An invasion from an international military task force would also force the Myanmese government to shift their focus from helping those affected by the cyclone to combat operations, and as a result the problem of a lack of aid reaching the victims would be and countless more could die.

mican333
May 30th, 2008, 08:53 AM
I wouldn't force help on another country but I would keep trying through peacefull means.

But is it force if the people you are trying to help very much want your help and it's only their leaders (who aren't the ones who need your help) who are resistant to the help?
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This analogy is flawed though, Myanmar is at least trying to help their citizens, and they aren't deliberately inflicting harm by refusing international aid.

Whatever their reasoning, their citizens are being harmed by the refusal of international aid. I mean if aid will ensure more people survive and the government refuses that aid, then the government is contributing to the death of its citizens. Whether that's their intention or they just don't care enough is besides the point.




If we were to assume that Myanmar's actions is analagous to child abuse, according to your logic, a parent who doesn't disinfect and bandage their child's cut as well as possible could be assumed to be abusing their child, and thus there would be "justification" for interfering in that family and confiscating the child. That's clearly quite silly.

I would say it's more akin to refusing medical treatment for an injured child. And that would proper justification for removing the child.



Allowing and condoning invasions based on countries not doing what's best for their citizens sets a dangerous precendent for the future. Are acts of war against countries which restrict individual rights desirable as well? Also, if we are following your reasoning, why shouldn't the international community have the right and obligation to interfere in countries run by weak or corrupt governments?

The appropriate actions vary depending on the severity of the situation. And you don't need to invade Myamar to help its citizens without the leader's consent. What if we had planes drop much-needed supplies to the citizens regardless of whether the leaders wanted us to or not?

Even that might not be a good idea (maybe those planes would be attacked), but the overall question is a valid one. At what point do we allow the leadership to harm its own citizens without intervention and what is the appropriate amount of intervention?

Certainly "no intervention no matter what" is too extreme - there is a general recognition of human rights and thus we should not allow genocide and intervention to prevent such a thing should be allowed. But then there should be recognition and respect of a people's sovereignty and we can't intervene based on anything we might not like.

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 09:09 AM
Whatever their reasoning, their citizens are being harmed by the refusal of international aid. I mean if aid will ensure more people survive and the government refuses that aid, then the government is contributing to the death of its citizens. Whether that's their intention or they just don't care enough is besides the point.

No it's not.Whether it's their intention or not changes everything.


I would say it's more akin to refusing medical treatment for an injured child. And that would proper justification for removing the child.

It depends what the injury is. In the case of a country like Myanmar with a population of 50 million, the affect of the government refusing aid would amount to some minor injury. Also, how do you come to the conclusion that refusing medical aid for an injured child is justification for removing the child?


At what point do we allow the leadership to harm its own citizens without intervention and what is the appropriate amount of intervention?

I would say that there is no definite answer to that question, it's totally subjective and depends on the situation. Personally, I would say when the leadership actively and deliberately inflicts harm upon their own people on a large scale.

Trendem
May 30th, 2008, 09:20 AM
I don't think other countries are refraining from invading Myanmar because they respect its national sovereignty. I think they are doing so because they don't want to get themselves involved in a war that does not benefit them. All countries look out for their own interests, after all.

mican333
May 30th, 2008, 09:30 AM
No it's not.Whether it's their intention or not changes everything.

Well, if their actions are causing their citizens to die and they are aware of this and continue their actions, its hard to argue that their intentions are good.

I don't see a huge difference between letting one's citizens die because you want to them to die or you just don't care if they die.



It depends what the injury is. In the case of a country like Myanmar with a population of 50 million, the affect of the government refusing aid would amount to some minor injury.

Thousands of deaths are a "minor injury"?


Also, how do you come to the conclusion that refusing medical aid for an injured child is justification for removing the child?

Reality.

Are you going to argue that if a child is suffering from life-threatening injuries and the parents refuse to get medical treatment for that child, it would not be considered neglect in this society?



I would say that there is no definite answer to that question, it's totally subjective and depends on the situation. Personally, I would say when the leadership actively and deliberately inflicts harm upon their own people on a large scale.

I'm not saying we should stage a coupe in Myamar but contributing to the deaths on your citizens when you have the ability to prevent those deaths is negligence and is undoubtedly wrong.

And if wouldn't cause some huge international conflict, I would certainly have no problem making unauthorized supply drops to people who need those supplies without their leader's consent.

thegreenape
May 30th, 2008, 09:40 AM
I don't think other countries are refraining from invading Myanmar because they respect its national sovereignty. I think they are doing so because they don't want to get themselves involved in a war that does not benefit them. All countries look out for their own interests, after all.

In an increasingly global society and economy I would think that the stability and prosperity in any country is a benefit to all countries. It would provide new markets, new labor, more producers and consumers, more trade, and so on.

So I would image it would be in any country's long term interests.

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 09:42 AM
I don't see a huge difference between letting one's citizens die because you want to them to die or you just don't care if they die.

I think that's an oversimplification of the matter and a flase dilemma. It would appear that Myanmar does care about their citizens, but their suspicions and animosity towards Western countries is getting in the way of fully helping their people.


Thousands of deaths are a "minor injury"?

I said if we are comparing Myanmar and it's population to a child, as per the original poster's analogy, then thousands of deaths to a population like Myanmar's is the human equivalent of a minor injury.


Are you going to argue that if a child is suffering from life-threatening injuries and the parents refuse to get medical treatment for that child, it would not be considered neglect in this society?

So Myanmar's situation with regard to the country and population as a whole is threatening the "life" of the country? Bear in mind the analogy given earlier please. The national equivalent of a life-threatening disease to a child would be a massive epidemic which threatens to wipe out the entire population.


I'm not saying we should stage a coupe in Myamar but contributing to the deaths on your citizens when you have the ability to prevent those deaths is negligence and is undoubtedly wrong.

And if wouldn't cause some huge international conflict, I would certainly have no problem making unauthorized supply drops to people who need those supplies without their leader's consent.


I'm in agreement with you on those points.

thegreenape
May 30th, 2008, 09:47 AM
I think that's an oversimplification of the matter and a flase dilemma. It would appear that Myanmar does care about their citizens, but their suspicions and animosity towards Western countries is getting in the way of fully helping their people.

I think that the Junta does not care at all about its people because it chooses not to let aid help its people, therefore greatly increasing the chance of death. To me, this signals that the Junta thinks allowing foreign aid could undermind their authority over their people. In the end the preservation of the Junta is paramount, not the people's lives.

mican333
May 30th, 2008, 10:17 AM
I think that's an oversimplification of the matter and a flase dilemma. It would appear that Myanmar does care about their citizens, but their suspicions and animosity towards Western countries is getting in the way of fully helping their people.

But the point still stands that they are letting their people die. So regardless of the reason, what's wrong with helping people who's leaders will not help them adequately as long as the help does not lead to worse problems then the one you are helping?

To use an analogy, if a child needs medical treatment to survive but the Mom, who sincerely wants the child to live, refuses treatment for some reason or other, shouldn't the child get the treatment anyway?



I said if we are comparing Myanmar and it's population to a child, as per the original poster's analogy, then thousands of deaths to a population like Myanmar's is the human equivalent of a minor injury.

I get your analogy, but you can't skate around the fact that allowing thousands of people to die is a horrible thing and if something can be done to prevent it, it should be done (unless the solution is worse than the problem). And upsetting some guys who are too proud (or whatever) to make sure their citizens get as much help as is available is not a major concern.



So Myanmar's situation with regard to the country and population as a whole is threatening the "life" of the country? Bear in mind the analogy given earlier please. The national equivalent of a life-threatening disease to a child would be a massive epidemic which threatens to wipe out the entire population.

I'm not talking about the analogous "life" of the country, but the actual lives of thousands of human beings who reside in the country.

Again, I'm not advocating taking the country away from its rulers but at the same time we don't just blow off the fact that they are not adequately caring for its citizens and there's nothing wrong with taking some actions that the leaders might not consent to to help their citizens.

A scenario would be - if we could air-drop supplies to the areas where they are needed even though Myamar's leaders forbid it but have no actual power to prevent the air-drops from happening, then I'd recommend performing the air-drops. That would be a case of a justified minor violation of a country's sovereignty to save people's lives.

And like you, I agree that the situation does not rise to the level of majorly violating the county's sovereignty in the form of overthrowing their leadership.

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 11:07 AM
But the point still stands that they are letting their people die. So regardless of the reason, what's wrong with helping people who's leaders will not help them adequately as long as the help does not lead to worse problems then the one you are helping?

I never said there was anything wrong with that, the problem is that it's unlikely that such will be the case.


To use an analogy, if a child needs medical treatment to survive but the Mom, who sincerely wants the child to live, refuses treatment for some reason or other, shouldn't the child get the treatment anyway?

That analogy fails because the Myanmese situation and your situation are not similar in scope or size. For the analogy you presented to be applicable to the discussion, the lives of the entire Myanmese population must be threatened.


I get your analogy, but you can't skate around the fact that allowing thousands of people to die is a horrible thing and if something can be done to prevent it, it should be done (unless the solution is worse than the problem).

I never tried to skate around it. I fully agree that the response of Myanmar's government is terrible, and I was furious after hearing about it. However, I don't believe that the international intervention suggested would help to remedy the situation. On the contrary, I think there's a good chance the problem could be excaberated, which is why I object to such an action.


A scenario would be - if we could air-drop supplies to the areas where they are needed even though Myamar's leaders forbid it but have no actual power to prevent the air-drops from happening, then I'd recommend performing the air-drops. That would be a case of a justified minor violation of a country's sovereignty to save people's lives.

I would agree, although I find that scenario implausible.


Again, I'm not advocating taking the country away from its rulers but at the same time we don't just blow off the fact that they are not adequately caring for its citizens and there's nothing wrong with taking some actions that the leaders might not consent to to help their citizens.

And like you, I agree that the situation does not rise to the level of majorly violating the county's sovereignty in the form of overthrowing their leadership.

Then it seems that for the most part, we are in agreement.

thegreenape
May 30th, 2008, 11:15 AM
Would you stop a country that is actively killing off some parts of the population? Lets say instead of not supplying relief aid, they went to the area and killed the weakest people who will die without aid. Personally, I see little difference in the two. Active and Passive killing still results in death.

If this was the case, would you stay out of the country's business due to the respect of sovereignty?

mican333
May 30th, 2008, 11:42 AM
I never said there was anything wrong with that, the problem is that it's unlikely that such will be the case.

I would say Myamar is such a case. I mean people are dying because of apparent gross government inaction for unjustifiable reasons.

So this is that very situation where action should be considered to help those who's own government refuses to help adequately. I don't know if there's a way to help that won't cause worse problems (such as having unsantioned air-drops not be attacked by Myamar air defense), but I certainly don't agree to a blanket statement that whatever suffering happens outside of our borders cannot be our concern.

And of course if we weren't already involved in WWII, the nazi holocaust would have been a good enough reason to forcibly violate their sovereignty.



That analogy fails because the Myanmese situation and your situation are not similar in scope or size. For the analogy you presented to be applicable to the discussion, the lives of the entire Myanmese population must be threatened.

Says you. I think saving thousands of lives is a worthy concern.

We should only be concerned for human life if it's the whole country at risk?




I never tried to skate around it. I fully agree that the response of Myanmar's government is terrible, and I was furious after hearing about it. However, I don't believe that the international intervention suggested would help to remedy the situation. On the contrary, I think there's a good chance the problem could be excaberated, which is why I object to such an action.

It depends on the action. I agree that any action that will cause more problems than help is not an action worth taking.

But I wouldn't refrain from taking actions that could save lives just on the basis of some kind of violation of national sovereignty, especially if the leadership has shown that they are not willing to take the appropriate action to save those lives.

That is what this debate is about. I can't make an education statement on whether any particular action is a good one due to lack of information on the probable outcome, but I will say in general saving lives can certainly outweigh respecting a nation's national sovereignty (especially if the government is not very deserving of such respect).

So again, IF we could help the troubled people against the wishes of their government without causing worse problems than the one we are solving, then we should help.


Then it seems that for the most part, we are in agreement.

I would say so.

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Would you stop a country that is actively killing off some parts of the population? Lets say instead of not supplying relief aid, they went to the area and killed the weakest people who will die without aid. Personally, I see little difference in the two. Active and Passive killing still results in death.

If this was the case, would you stay out of the country's business due to the respect of sovereignty?


It depends on the situation. Invariably I would consider it evil, however, whether I would advocate a military response or not would depend on numerous factors, but ultimately it would come down to whether I thought the interference would help or not.
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I would say Myamar is such a case.

You think that international intervention which violates the sovereignity of Myanmar would not lead to worse problems than the current one? :huh:


Says you. I think saving thousands of lives is a worthy concern.

Of course saving thousands of life is a worthy concern, where did I ever say it wasn't?


We should only be concerned for human life if it's the whole country at risk?

No, that's not what I said at all. I said that your example wasn't analogous because the situations of the child and the Myanmese population were vastly different.

mican333
May 30th, 2008, 12:38 PM
You think that international intervention which violates the sovereignity of Myanmar would not lead to worse problems than the current one? :huh:

It depends on what the action is. But I would not refrain from trying to save thousands of innocent people just because it violates Myamar's sovereignty.

Obviously if the action will cause more problems then it will solve, it should not be taken based on that alone. If the only problem is that it will upset the junta, so what?


No, that's not what I said at all. I said that your example wasn't analogous because the situations of the child and the Myanmese population were vastly different.

I don't see how that is so. People are people so how is it faulty to compare saving one life to saving thousands?

Just like if a mother is not taking care of her daughter, if a government is not taking care of a significant number of its citizens, then something should be done about it (if possible).

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Obviously if the action will cause more problems then it will solve, it should not be taken based on that alone. If the only problem is that it will upset the junta, so what?

Well, considering that the Junta controls the government and military, I would say upsetting them is something that should be taken into consideration.


I don't see how that is so. People are people so how is it faulty to compare saving one life to saving thousands?

You compared a child with the Myanmese population, but the fact is that only a small portion of Myanmar's citizens are affected (compared to the total). I explained this before when I said that if we are comparing Myanmar and it's population to a child, as per the original poster's analogy, then thousands of deaths to a population like Myanmar's is the human equivalent of a minor injury, hence your analogy is not actually analogous.


Just like if a mother is not taking care of her daughter, if a government is not taking care of a significant number of its citizens, then something should be done about it (if possible).

In your analogy you brought into comparison the life and welfare of a child to the lives and welfare of Myanmar's citizens, but the fact is that only a relatively small portion of the citizen body is affected, so your analogy is distorted. For your analogy to work, either the number of citizens needs to increase largely or the scale of the child's injury needs to be reduced in size until both the child's body, the citizen body, and the affects of the government/parent are all proportional.

thegreenape
May 30th, 2008, 01:45 PM
I am not following why the child's injury or number of children needs to be increase? The analogy is in the relationship, not the seriousness of the injury. The analogy is that they are both in a situation where they need help and the primary caretaker in the situation is doing nothing when it is responsible to do so. The analogy would be that we don't wait until the child is in imminent danger (if possible) to do something because we respect he parents "sovereignty" over their household. So, why do we wait for inept and cruel governments?

Dela Cruz
May 30th, 2008, 02:33 PM
I am not following why the child's injury or number of children needs to be increase? The analogy is in the relationship, not the seriousness of the injury.

Both are part of the relationship. If the child's problem was a mere scratch and the mother declined her neighbor's offers of bandages and disinfectant for whatever reason, it would be absurd to suggest that the government intervene to clean the child's cut. Likewise, the severity of the situation on Myanmar's end is important in making decisions about the international response. In the analogy, the severity of the situation in Myanmar is grossly overstated.


The analogy would be that we don't wait until the child is in imminent danger (if possible) to do something because we respect he parents "sovereignty" over their household. So, why do we wait for inept and cruel governments?

The short answer to your question is because of the large negative repercussions which would likely occur should forced intervention occur. The long answer I gave with my first post in this thread.

mican333
June 1st, 2008, 09:12 AM
Well, considering that the Junta controls the government and military, I would say upsetting them is something that should be taken into consideration.

But if that's all it does - gets them upset, I don't care. If it causes a shooting war and so on then it falls under the category of causing more problems than it solves and shouldn't be done.



In your analogy you brought into comparison the life and welfare of a child to the lives and welfare of Myanmar's citizens, but the fact is that only a relatively small portion of the citizen body is affected, so your analogy is distorted. For your analogy to work, either the number of citizens needs to increase largely or the scale of the child's injury needs to be reduced in size until both the child's body, the citizen body, and the affects of the government/parent are all proportional.

Actually my analogy does work. Like you said, proportional action for the level of injury. And I'm not advocating disproportionate action due to the level of injury in either case.

For instance, if a child's entire existence is in harm from his parent's actions, then it is permissible to take the child away. And if the entire population of Myamar were going to die due to the government's actions, we would be justified in taking the population away from its leaders (in other words overthrow the government). So my analogy works there - in both cases the extreme reaction (taking away) is right for the injury (life-threatening).

And remember that I did not advocate overthrowing the Myamar government, but only suggested that we should consider taking some action to help the people even if it's without the government's consent, as long as the actions don't cause worse problems. And that is in line with treating a child's minor injury in the US.

Let's say a child gets a bad cut at school and it needs stitches and the parent, for some reason, refuses to let the child get stitches. In that situation, like in Myamar, I believe we are justified in going ahead and treating the injury regardless of the wishes of the "parent". So unless giving the child stitches is going to cause a worse problem than not giving him stitches, I'd treat the child and if it makes the parent unhappy but causes no problem that are worse than not treating the child, do it anyway. And my analogy works there as well - treating minor injuries without the "parent's" consent is alright.

Dela Cruz
June 1st, 2008, 09:46 AM
For instance, if a child's entire existence is in harm from his parent's actions, then it is permissible to take the child away. And if the entire population of Myamar were going to die due to the government's actions, we would be justified in taking the population away from its leaders (in other words overthrow the government). So my analogy works there - in both cases the extreme reaction (taking away) is right for the injury (life-threatening).

No it's not, because you go from comparing a child's body and the entire citizen body to the child's life and the lives of some citizens. It makes no sense to use one object in comparison with portions of another, your analogy fails because the two things are not analogous, they are vastly different.


Let's say a child gets a bad cut at school and it needs stitches and the parent, for some reason, refuses to let the child get stitches. In that situation, like in Myamar, I believe we are justified in going ahead and treating the injury regardless of the wishes of the "parent". So unless giving the child stitches is going to cause a worse problem than not giving him stitches, I'd treat the child and if it makes the parent unhappy but causes no problem that are worse than not treating the child, do it anyway. And my analogy works there as well - treating minor injuries without the "parent's" consent is alright.

In your opinion.

mican333
June 1st, 2008, 10:18 AM
No it's not, because you go from comparing a child's body and the entire citizen body to the child's life and the lives of some citizens. It makes no sense to use one object in comparison with portions of another, your analogy fails because the two things are not analogous, they are vastly different.

No, I compared portions to portions. Shall I repeat it? I guess so.

Population of a country = one child

Portion of the population = portion of the a child's body

Thousand's of people in danger of dying = minor injury on a child (like a cut)

To give aid to help the thousands of people = giving the child stitches.

The government not wanting the aid = The parent not wanting the child to have stitches.

Giving the people aid without the government's consent = giving the child stitches without the government's consent.

So just like we should consider giving an injured child medical treatment even if the parent does not want us to, we should consider giving the people of Myamar aid even if the government does not want us to.

Unless, of course, (in either situation) the solution will cause more problems than it solves.



In your opinion.

Yeah, in my opinion, it's a good analogy. If you want to hold a differing opinion on it, go ahead.

If you actually have an argument about why it's a bad analogy, let's hear it.

Dela Cruz
June 1st, 2008, 10:45 AM
No, I compared portions to portions. Shall I repeat it? I guess so.

Population of a country = one child

Portion of the population = portion of the a child's body

Thousand's of people in danger of dying = minor injury on a child (like a cut)

To give aid to help the thousands of people = giving the child stitches.

The government not wanting the aid = The parent not wanting the child to have stitches.

Giving the people aid without the government's consent = giving the child stitches without the government's consent.

So just like we should consider giving an injured child medical treatment even if the parent does not want us to, we should consider giving the people of Myamar aid even if the government does not want us to.

For starters, you did argue that it was analogous because the injury to the child and part of the Myanmese population were both life-threatening, you didn't compare portions to portions. Second, I would say the analogy you just gave above was perfect, however, your conclusion (that we should give Myanmar aid because we would do so for a child) is a matter of opinion.


Yeah, in my opinion, it's a good analogy.

No, that was not what I was saying. I was arguing that your statement:

And my analogy works there as well - treating minor injuries without the "parent's" consent is alright.

...is a matter of opinion

mican333
June 1st, 2008, 07:02 PM
I was arguing that your statement:

And my analogy works there as well - treating minor injuries without the "parent's" consent is alright.

...is a matter of opinion


True. But do you disagree with my opinion?

Dela Cruz
June 1st, 2008, 07:41 PM
True. But do you disagree with my opinion?

As a matter of fact I do. I'm generally a supporter of pragmatic, practical government intervention regardless of abstract concepts such as rights, but I still think that such an action (forcing a parent to give their child stitches) crosses the line.

thegreenape
June 2nd, 2008, 04:40 AM
As a matter of fact I do. I'm generally a supporter of pragmatic, practical government intervention regardless of abstract concepts such as rights, but I still think that such an action (forcing a parent to give their child stitches) crosses the line.

So, let us say this child gets a staph infection which enters the bloodstream, causes sepsis or other types of infection and the child dies...do you place no blame on the parents? I'm pretty sure that would be a clear cut case of neglect.

The child is unlikely not going to think, "Oh, this could be bad...I should ask my parents to get stitches", because he/she doesn't know any better and trusts the parents. But if a doctor came by the house, he/she would probably say "That needs stitches." A doctor, knowing full well the potential risk of leaving a cut untreated, would never say, "Well, that needs stitches but the parents do not want it so I guess the child will take the chance of getting an infection."

So, I think preventative care is quite pragmatic.

Muse
June 3rd, 2008, 04:28 AM
... a parent who doesn't disinfect and bandage their child's cut as well as possible could be assumed to be abusing their child, and thus there would be "justification" for interfering in that family and confiscating the child. That's clearly quite silly.
Your analogy is faulty because a scratched finger is less valued than the loss of thousands of lives. If most humans agreed that a scratched finger was egregiously horrible, or worth as much as a thousand lives, then most would claim that the finger justified interference with the parent's rights. But a scratched finger is normally considered trivial: that's why people don't interfere with the parent's rights. A correct analogy would need to account for at least 3 things: the intention of the parents, the scale of the child's injury, and it's value.

Dela Cruz
June 3rd, 2008, 06:40 AM
So, let us say this child gets a staph infection which enters the bloodstream, causes sepsis or other types of infection and the child dies...do you place no blame on the parents?

In the rare event of that happening, of course I would place the blame on the parents. But that doesn't mean that I advocate allowing the government to give medical aid to any child regardless of the parent's wishes.


Your analogy is faulty because a scratched finger is less valued than the loss of thousands of lives. If most humans agreed that a scratched finger was egregiously horrible, or worth as much as a thousand lives, then most would claim that the finger justified interference with the parent's rights. But a scratched finger is normally considered trivial: that's why people don't interfere with the parent's rights. A correct analogy would need to account for at least 3 things: the intention of the parents, the scale of the child's injury, and it's value.

I didn't make the analogy about the child, the original poster did, I was just running with it. From the very start I said it was faulty.

thegreenape
June 3rd, 2008, 07:47 AM
In the rare event of that happening, of course I would place the blame on the parents. But that doesn't mean that I advocate allowing the government to give medical aid to any child regardless of the parent's wishes.

You would blame the parent but let the child suffer the consequence even if you knew it was happening?

This post is about taking action when action is required. Obviously there would have to be a set of conditions when this is applicable and not just be allowed at any time for any reason.

Again, I believe my analogy is valid becaue we view (at least in the US) abuse of a child in a home as a situation in which the government can assist the child despite the wishes of the parents because the child unlikely will not help themselves. In the same exact way that another country could assist neglected (abused) citizens (children) in a country despite how their government (parent) thinks they should deal with it because the citizens lack the power to help themselves.

So, in the case of Myanmar, their citizens are being neglected (abused). Most importantly, we know that this neglect can lead to more deaths than necessary because the Junta is not allowing the proper aid to assist its citizens. It is not because they can't do it, it is because they do not want to do it. Other Countries do not help out the in need citizens because they respect the "sovereignty" of Myanmar. These citizens are not in a place to help themselves because they just been through a natural disaster and do not have the resources somewhat due to governing Junta. I'd say this is a recipe for future neglect and I can imagine we can find a pattern if we look hard enough.

Seems the same to me. "Parent" abuses "child". Abuses can lead to more serious consequnces. "Child" cannot help themselves. Outside "Authority" helps citizens despite the "Parents" right to raise the "Child". It is that simple.

Again, does the sovereignty of a country mean more than the citizens? I say in the current global environment, this is becoming a more important question. In the end, if outside countries can help those in need, this needs to be done. Start with the worst cases first...genocide/war, gross humanitarian violations, etc.

Dela Cruz
June 3rd, 2008, 08:19 AM
You would blame the parent but let the child suffer the consequence even if you knew it was happening?

If it was possible to know in which of the cases the child would die, I wouldn't be opposed to government intervention in those cases. But allowing government intrusion simply on the basis that a staph infection might occur I disagree with. For example, I suppose you are opposed to government surveillance in private bathrooms, but what if, for instance, a person slipped in the bathroom and would need medical assistance (that the people viewing the camera's could call) to live, would you support general government camera surveillance of bathrooms just to avoid the rare instance of this happening?


Again, I believe my analogy is valid becaue we view (at least in the US) abuse of a child in a home as a situation in which the government can assist the child despite the wishes of the parents because the child unlikely will not help themselves.

Well, as I already stated, I disagree. It's a mere matter of opinion whether the government should interfere.


Seems the same to me. "Parent" abuses "child". Abuses can lead to more serious consequnces. "Child" cannot help themselves. Outside "Authority" helps citizens despite the "Parents" right to raise the "Child". It is that simple.

No it's not simple at all. Where is the line drawn? Is the U.S. justified in invading countries with leaders who are corrupt and steal government funds that should go to the people? If the government of a country refuses to allow vaccines to enter a country, for whatever reason, is it allowable for the U.S. to invade?

Anyway, I've given my reasons for disagreeing of international intervention in my first post. I think it sets a dangerous precedent and involves a massive risk both to the U.S., American soldiers, Myanmese soldiers, and the victims of the disaster.


Again, does the sovereignty of a country mean more than the citizens?

That question isn't nearly as simple as you are making it out to be. When exactly is it justifiable to invade a country? How many lives must first be at risk? Are acts of war against countries which restrict individual rights justifiable as well? How can you possibly know when violating a country's sovereignity will help rather than hurt the situation?

mican333
June 3rd, 2008, 12:23 PM
Your analogy is faulty because a scratched finger is less valued than the loss of thousands of lives. If most humans agreed that a scratched finger was egregiously horrible, or worth as much as a thousand lives, then most would claim that the finger justified interference with the parent's rights. But a scratched finger is normally considered trivial: that's why people don't interfere with the parent's rights. A correct analogy would need to account for at least 3 things: the intention of the parents, the scale of the child's injury, and it's value.

Tens of thousands of people dead?

I would say that would be analogous to losing a finger. After all, a minor scratch will eventually disappear like it never happened in the first place. But you can't get back tens of thousands of dead people. Like a missing finger, they are gone forever.

So if a child had his finger cut off and the option was to reattach it or not, should the parent have the authority to decide to not have the child's finger attached (and it's understood that reattachment will likely succeed)?