Harmful practices


Harmful Practices and Discussions Around Them

Here are some insights from experts on harmful practices and the considerations for addressing them:

  1. Government Intervention Based on Harm: discusses the importance of government intervention in cases where actual harm occurs, rather than just moral disapproval. She uses child labor as an example, explaining how widespread child labor can indirectly harm families who choose not to engage their children in such practices. The idea is that a practice should have tangible harm, not just be subject to moral disagreement, for government intervention to be justified 1.

  2. Incorporating Masculine and Feminine Qualities: talks about the harmful effects of patriarchal dominance which emphasizes masculine qualities and downplays feminine ones. This imbalance can be harmful to individuals and society. She and discuss the significance of bringing balance by incorporating both sets of qualities into our practices and views to create a more nourished and connected society 2.

  3. Open Discussion and Its Impact: During a discussion on the risks and benefits of open dialogue, , , and emphasize that avoiding discussion can itself be harmful. They argue that open discussion usually leads to better, more thoughtful outcomes and helps prevent harm from ignorance or unchallenged bad practices. However, they acknowledge that there are rare cases where open discussion might directly cause harm, such as disclosing how to engineer harmful biological agents 3.

    Harm and Government Intervention

    Debra discusses her view on government intervention, emphasizing that it should be based on actual harm rather than moral distaste. She uses the example of child labor to illustrate how a widespread practice can negatively impact families who choose not to engage in it. Russ raises questions about the power of the state in relation to harm.


    Debra Satz on Markets

These discussions shed light on different aspects of harmful practices, emphasizing direct impacts, the balance of personal and societal views, and the benefits of open dialogue.