ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Where Have Our Ethics Gone?

Updated on March 9, 2012

What responsibilities does a government have to its people? And when a people has no working government, who is responsible for them?

That the Democratic Republic of Congo is entrenched in war should come as no surprise. But The Greatest Silence kept me in utter shock as I watched it.

Lisa F. Jackson (producer/writer/director/cinematographer) went to the Congo to explore one of the negative externalities of the war: rape. A victim of gang rape herself, Jackson wanted to learn and share the stories of the tens of thousands of girls and women who have been tortured, raped, and mutilated by the Congolese army, foreign militiamen, and even some United Nations peacekeepers.

Whose Responsibility Is It?

Now, the ethical arguments against rape, systematic mutilation, and torture are well-known and practically self-explanatory. More interesting -- and becoming increasingly relevant -- is the question of international obligations.

Should developed nations with strong armies enter into moral conflicts like these? Or would that be unfairly imposing ethics onto an unrelated culture? Essentially: is it any of our business?

I would argue in favor of intervention, especially from a country that has the world's largest army. But "intervention" does not necessarily mean "occupation," and America's military supplies are not unlimited, so we can't go around invading countries for no reason (as I hope we have learned from our occupation of Iraq).

So how do we decide who to help and who to leave? Which issue, for example, deserves intervention first: genocide perpetrated by government or genocide born of anarchy? Who, specifically, makes that decision? Congress? The President? Is that decision even possible?

Origins

And even when we decide to act, what can we do? Forcing a ceasefire to stall the violence does not actually solve any problems.

Many issues in parts of the world that were colonized, for example, arise from the arbitrary borders drawn by the imperial powers, which did not align with the cultures of the people who were already there. The indigenous people did not feel particular allegiance to these arbitrary lines, so why honor them?

The lines became a point of dispute. An outside power forcing a ceasefire seems like it would have much the same effect, but in reverse. Why honor a ceasefire if the problem was not truly resolved?

Join HubPages!

You can write a "hub" like this and make money from the advertisements! Just join the HubPages community (it only takes a few seconds), and start writing about whatever moves you. It's that simple!

Where Does That Leave Us?

But at the same time, can we stand by while millions of women are raped and mutilated? Once a film like The Greatest Silence becomes widespread and popular (which it may or may not), we can no longer claim ignorance, and what then?

As an individual, I cannot fly across the Atlantic Ocean to stand between a militia and the next village they come upon, so what can I do other than feel sad about this? I'm not really sure even where to begin, but for now I hope that this film and others like it (Invisible Children, for example) will draw enough attention to effect even just a little bit of change.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eastern Rainbow profile image

      Eastern Rainbow 

      8 years ago

      The thanks share

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      pray

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)