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Social Issues What Do We Owe Each Other

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Submitted By msbree
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In what do we owe each other by James Wendland the author discusses the issue on xenophobia around the continent. The topic was extremely thought provoking as it caused me to consider my own family members lives and my future had my family been unable to migrate from Haiti to the unites States, many years ago.
Philosophers such as Emanuel Levinas confronted the issue and Wendland often refers to his findings in this article. In Levinas extensive body of work he has educated us on how dangerous nationalism is. As Americans it is our nature to welcome people, it is the value in which we stand on. Setting people apart based on differences that should be accepted hardly seems constitutional.
Levinas traces the roots of Nationalism and points out how hostile these types of classifications can make people. Hospitality according to Levinas, involves curtailing our enjoyment of the world, being a host to others often feels good because the art of welcoming and sharing with others is what makes us human. Levinas shows that being hospitable will allow us to identify with others more easily. It is the mark of humanity and what out community stands on.
Now, in Germany and else where, doors are closing. The consequences to this are the possibly suffering of those in need. Few philosphers will confront this issue in the way Levinas has. Levinas traces the roots of nationalism to the distinction of we draw between “same” and “other” he explains that totalization does occur when members of one group take a feature of another group to be both definituve of that group and all members in it.
The reality is we are asked to share out possessions with all human beings. Leninas sees this as an infinite responsibility. Although we seem to have come full circle, Levinas has also taught us that our responsibily for others is our…...

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