Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ethical Question

If you had three necessary items that can't be split and can't be shared, to give to your five children, would you give it to three of them and risk the mental damage it would cause the other two or would you not give any of them anything to treat them fairly?

11 comments:

Insomniac said...

what if not all five need those items, and only three of them could use them? anyways, in case it's important to all five, i think i would give them nothing

Will E. said...

Isn't that a bit cruel? to have something and not give it?

Insomniac said...

i think it's more cruel to favor one child to another and live with it!

Will E. said...

Exactly, that's exactly what was going through my head when i thought of this question, that it's very difficult to be fair when you don't have much and even more difficult not to come off as cruel no matter what you choose to do. Fairness is a luxury for those who have..

Insomniac said...

what came through my mind was that saying "el mosawah fel zolm 3adl", i kinda think it applies here

Alluring said...

I've aways looked at the children in these big families as really unlucky, no way, NO WAY, they felt special or especially loved by their parents, dividing your love between 2 or 3 is totaly different than when you divide it betwen 5 or 6, no matter what the parents do they will still favor one over the other, i know so many examples that i based my opinion upon.

But just to play along, i really honestly have no idea what ill do, coz if i have five kids i will probably be in a mental institution somewhere!

Daysleeper said...

that's sad alluring! i guess i have too much faith in the human capacity to love-- i just figure the human capacity to give attention is what limits us

and as for the items-- they can't be that necessary if the other two can continue living to develop psychological scarring...

i guess this entry is just a nice way of saying, could you pick one child to live and the other to die if you risked losing both...and i know the nice answer is "never"

but i suppose a person could if he had to, like cutting off limbs--if it's absolutely necessary it'd be done, but you try not to think about the 'absolutely necesary' type of situations, it's paralyzing and i doubt it'd help if that situation ever really did arise

LouLou said...

Well, I grew up in a family of 5. We all felt loved by my parents but I think the the youngest at any time would get extra attention - both from my parents & from the older siblings. Since each of us had our chance to be the youngest - and the center of attention - for a few years, it was fair somehow.

In the normal course of events, we'd all be more likely to help my parents spoil the baby than to be jealous or feel neglected. At least that was the way it was until my sister was born. For me, the problem wasn't that she was younger. I had a younger bro before her & I was crazy about him. No, the problem was that I was so used to being the only girl, I couldn't bear to have a sister. I'd had 14 years of being made to feel extra special because I was the only girl.

Now I see that was selfish. After 14 years of being spoilt, I should have felt ready to give something back or to share. But you see, at 14, I didn't see it that way.

Anyway, to answer the question, I'd give nothing that I couldn't give to all my children in equal shares.

Sue said...

This is a very interesting question. I would rather throw the ball in my children’s court. I would ask them to either choose to donate these three items to the poor to avoid any odd situations between them, or to agree (all the five of them) on who gets what. If they went for the first option I think this would be great (this would mean that I have raised five saints). If the five of them agreed on the “who gets what” question, this would also be great (this would mean I have raised five practical people who managed to reach such a compromise). If they fought together and did not reach a decision this would mean I was a bad parent in the first place and did not raise them properly and then I should not worry about not giving anything to anyone, I am a bad parent anyway.

N said...

i'd give them to the three older ones and hope they'd find a way to pass the appreciation on to the younger ones

Knulp said...

I would not call it "ethical question". This is just a mental trick that you can find in newspapers to spend one afternoon in a endless and pointless discussion.

What I mean is that the question is so generic that it is not possible to answer properly. Life is much more complex than that. First of all, what kind of items are we talking about? Then, why you say that we may cause a "mental damage"? What kind of family? What kind of rules are in that family?

If we had a precise answer to this kind of generic questions, then it would be easy to be parents. And it would be possible to write books like "parenting for dummies", or "the idiots' guide to become a father".

Well, fortunately, life is more complex than this!

Finally, what I would do? I will look at the context, and I will try to apply my own rules. So, depending on the context, I will give them to the older ones, or to the younger ones, to the males or to the females.