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The Great Conversation and the Ethics of Inclusion

Author: PAUL A. WAGNER and GRACIELA LOPEZ
Published in GVER, Vol. 7 No. 2

The United States Government is once again readying itself to review its immigration policies. Law and governmental policy is always a matter of determining what moral commitments the government and its people are willing to endorse and enforce. When considering governmental policies of any kind and at any level, the fact that moral issues are being weighed and evaluated cannot be ignored.
However, government policies may, as Aristotle warned, come into conflict with personal moral commitments or as we shall suggest professional moral commitments as well. When they do, members of professional communities must reflect on those moral commitments, which should be most heavily weighted when deciding how to act, what internal policies to enforce and what governmental regulations may be ignored as destructive of the profession?s core purpose for existing.
We begin by assuming that the historic professions of teaching, doctoring, lawyering and preaching pre-date any nation state and moreover are generally valued by nearly all nation states that have arisen over the generations. The following argument also stipulates that all citizens have certain duties to their respective governments. However, the argument concludes by pointing out that some ageless professions like medicine and pedagogy have special duties transcending any immediate and transient duties imposed by nationalistic affiliation. We focus specifically on the duties educators have to their students. We conclude that these duties may sometimes legitimately trump the duties the citizen/teachers have to the state. In the specific class of cases we outline, we conclude that all pedagogues are duty ? bound to do nothing, which foreseeably may exclude any willing participant from participation in the Great Conversation of Humankind.

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