Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 69369
The Current Crisis of Refugees and Contemporary Ethics

Authors: Leila Angélica de O. Castro, Thiago R. Pereira

Abstract:

The number of refugees currently is alarming, having overcome the numbers of World War II. The objective of this research will be to examine this refugee crisis the light of the main contemporary ethical theories, mainly by analyzing whether there is an ethical obligation to assist these refugees. Among the many existing theories like virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, utilitarian ethics, ethical egoism and psychological egoism, will be the ethical theories used to analyze the current refugee crisis. The ethics of virtue is the oldest of theories, an action can be considered correct if we are acting virtuously if we predisposition to act that virtuously, where the goal is always the eudaimonia, a good life, a happy life. The Kantian ethics of the works of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, where we apply the hypothetical and categorical imperatives to find universal truths, actions that we consider to be universally correct. Utilitarian ethics believes that action will be considered as correct to bring happiness to the greatest possible number of people, even if they somehow have to bring unhappiness to any number of people. Ethical egoism should be concerned first with our individual happiness, and then we can worry about the happiness of others, so long as it causes us some happiness. Thus, action is correct since it is causing us a greater degree of happiness than unhappiness. Finally, the psychological egoism does not seek to determine whether an action is right or not, but claims that all our actions, even if they seem altruistic, actually has another motivation, which will always be a selfish motivation, that is, concerned with the our well-being. From these initial concepts, the issue of refugees, especially the question of whether states and their citizens have or not any ethical obligation to help them and receive them in their territories will be analyzed .

Keywords: refugees, ethics, obligation to help, contemporary theories

Procedia PDF Downloads 271