Do high-income countries have a moral obligation to take in refugees?

Perspective Writers' Votes
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High-income countries have a moral obligation to take in significant numbers of refugees.

Pros
Cons
  • Refugees are desperate, vulnerable, innocent human beings. Given that every human being is of equal dignity and humanity, high-income countries must help them.

  • The high income countries themselves benefited historically from migrants and refugees. We have the likes of Australia, US and most of Europe. Therefore it is a clear moral duty to assist today's unfortunate members of the human race.

  • High-income countries have signed international agreements to take in refugees.

  • It is in the long-term interests of humanity for high-income countries to host refugees.

  • Closing borders to refugees is equivalent to committing an act of violence against those refugees. It is not an omission - a failure to help someone in need - but an active harm.

  • Accepting refugees benefits the citizens of high-income countries.

  • High-income countries are complicit in exploiting - and hence profiting from - many exchanges that have contributed to the current world-wide refugee crisis.

  • We are all global citizens, and have moral responsibilities towards each other that transcend national boundaries.

  • There are too many refugees to take them all in.

  • Accepting refugees encourages more people to attempt dangerous journeys to reach high-income countries, which results in more harm to refugees on net.

  • Accepting refugees can be harmful for their home countries.

  • Taking in refugees can have negative economic and cultural consequences for high-income countries.

  • A country's wealth is irrelevant to the moral obligation to take in refugees.

  • Countries do not, in principle, have any moral obligations to people who are not their citizens or residents.

  • Taking in refugees creates security problems for high-income countries.

  • No, moral obligations do not exist. More precisely, morality is meaningless, its definition referencing nothing except synonyms. "Morality" is simply an audiovisual symbol used to indicate the elevated psychological status of certain behavioral rules. Normally this is done in response to the elevated emotional responses elicited by certain prohibited behaviors, or to the non-performance of certain required behaviors. Such emotional responses are cultivated through bio-cultural programming.

  • Any moral responsibility that high-income countries have towards refugees can be discharged without taking them in.