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Are We Morally Responsible For The Making Of What We Purchase?


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#1 Coveny

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 07:36 PM

So I came across this video of children mining cobalt in Congolese and it got me thinking about the whole battery debate.

https://www.youtube....h?v=op3FkZ4_DFQ

 

On one side they say we are responsible for the way children are being treated in this video because we purchased the phone, so we are providing the incentive to make children work, and putting children in these terrible conditions, with terrible futures.

 

On the other side though how can we be expected to know every piece in the supply chain? Is it our fault that the country wants to use child labor in mining conditions to turn a profit? Isn’t that the same thing we did here in the U.S. not so long ago? Proponents say it’s the lesser of two evils: “It is common for homeless children or those without parents or adult supervision to be pushed into the sex trade or towards other criminal activities in order to earn money to survive. In this context, working in sweatshops is a far better solution.”

 

https://www.triplepu...veloping-world/

 

So who’s morally responsible for them working the mines, or do you believe it’s a lesser evil and we are helping not hurting?



#2 sanctus

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 07:17 AM

We are definitively guilty. Thanks to internet, the problem of knowing the whole supply chain is solved, no matter what you buy someone made the research for you.

You cited the article saying that working in sweatshop is the better option to sex-trade. That is true, but thing is if we are willing to pay the proper price for any product, where "proper" means enough such that everyone along the supply chain gets a fair share, then the argument does not hold anymore because it becomes: "8h in ventilated sweatshop with protection gear 5days a week and salary to sustain family" vs "slave labour in sweatshop".

So I see all of us as guilty (me included), because we got so used to be able to afford everyday things and still have money to spare, that we are unwilling to give it up if prices became "proper/fair" prices--a >1000% increase.



#3 Farming guy

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 10:51 AM

We are definitively guilty. Thanks to internet, the problem of knowing the whole supply chain is solved, no matter what you buy someone made the research for you.

 

Just don't put too much trust in the internet. There is a lot of garbage put out on the internet, too!



#4 sanctus

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:23 AM

Farming Guy, agreed, but there are plenty of other sources. In Italy there is a book coming out every few years called something like "guide to critical consumption".


And anyway ignorance can be an explanation but no excuse.