Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Kids and divided loyalties

I agree with the previous viewpoints regarding the unsettling nature of seeing children advocating death. This discussion reminds me of studying African child soldiers. If, as a child, a boy is taken by rebels, drugged and brought up as a rebel himself, is he to blame for the horrendous crimes he has committed? This highlights a problem with loyalty – is there such thing as right or wrong loyalty in the case of a child who is only acting to support those they look up to? In the previous example, the boy would have done what he was told in order to survive, and because children are so easily influenced, he would have grown up with the same values as the rebels around him. However, this same boy would have been loyal to completely different beliefs had he never been taken by rebels.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that no, it’s not acceptable to place a sign in a child’s hand to promote killing, but the situation is complicated by the fact that the people who support the child are supporting their own beliefs and don’t necessarily feel they are doing anything wrong. Perhaps they even think they are being globally just by supporting what they believe in.

I think the whole issue boils down to the difference between the Western vs. Other views. Different cultures have different beliefs, influencing where loyalty lies. Like Bethany suggests, perhaps the best way to deal with cultural differences is to understand perceived threats – maybe this is the answer to dealing with exploitation of innocent children.

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