Introduction: Immigration (02:11)
Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. This series will explore national borders, if discrimination is just, and dealing with inequalities. Young people engage in lively debates at the Sanctuary of Amphiaraus to work out difficult moral questions.
Fleeing War, Persecution, and Poverty (04:41)
Individuals debate the moral and ethical obligations of affluent nations if immigrants are leaving for socio-economic purposes. Many rich countries destabilize other regions. Foreign aid can destroy the economy that it intends to help.
People should be able to move to other countries to seek their livelihood. Individuals debate cultural preservation and limited resources in the host country. Nations have the sovereignty to create the societies they want.
Moving into a Neighborhood (04:31)
Refugees should complete visas and be allowed admittance to other countries. There is no moral significance to national borders; it is a matter of luck. Individuals debate wealth and privilege.
Moral Significance to National Borders (04:41)
Parents pass on items and goods to their children. Immigrants pay taxes and improve the economy. Individuals debate excluding those who do not agree with the dominant values of the country. There are more moral and practical objections to those who are not fleeing war or persecution
Letting Immigrants Leave (03:13)
Only three of those polled believe that countries should be able to restrict conditions on departing. Hungary requires those leaving to pay a fine if educated within the country. Freedom is an argument for opening national borders.
Preserving Standard of Living (05:30)
Individuals debate ownership, inheritance, and colonization. Afflluent countries became rich by exploiting poorer nations.
Shared Identity (04:30)
Individuals debate whether patriotism is ethically good. Humans inherently value empathy. Countries cannot ask immigrants to leave their cultural identity behind when they relocate.
Conflicting Values (04:56)
Immigrants need to respect the laws of their new country. It is problematic when a nation wants to establish a neutral identity without allowing its citizens to enrich others using their cultural backgrounds.
Conclusion: Immigration (04:54)
Many cultures work together in harmony in Singapore. The impractical economic questions about immigration lead to deeper philosophical issues concerning membership and ethics. Those who participated discuss what they learned from the debate. (Credits)
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