Philosophy Essay Paper

1311 words - 6 pages

Nation building is the term Kymlicka uses to refer to the process by which a state constructs a national identity by unifying its citizens. Kymlicka believes that minority groups have the right to develop their own identities by using the same tools given to the majority. He argues that we can justify granting special rights to minorities in a liberal-state in order to protect them from various injustices, which can result from the majority’s efforts at nation building (Kymlicka, 2013, p.328). Certain minority groups have rights which conflict with the liberal rights of a state. For example, denying a child access to healthcare, or forcing women to stay in the house. In this essay I will ...view middle of the document...

I believe that the state should not allow the practices of the minority groups that are in direct conflict with their explicit principles of equality. There are certain minority rights that undermine individual autonomy and should not be allowed to exist. An example of this is as mentioned above is a right that enables a group to forcibly confine women to the home. Kymlicka distinguishes between two types of rights a minority group can claim. The first kind, which is called internal restrictions, deals with the rights of a group against its own members in order to protect them from internal disagreement and possible destruction. An example of this right is the decision of individual members not to follow traditional practices or customs (Kymlicka, 2013, p.340). The second type of right is called external protections and is meant to protect the group from the larger society and the external pressures such as the economic and political decisions of the larger society. There are many problems that arise when dealing with internal restrictions. One example given by Kymlicka is how the Catholic Church attempted to take away the rights of its members to decide if they wanted to attend church or to question traditional beliefs (Kymlicka, 2013, p.341). One of the biggest arguments against letting the church make this rule is because it contradicts one of our most basic civil liberties, the freedom of choice. I believe that this example is one of the many reasons why the state should not allow minority groups to have rights that conflict with their principles. By allowing minorities and ethnocultural groups to limit the rights of their members, the state is inevitably saying that it does not care about the minorities. Of course government or state interference into every single aspect of life is dreadful and unwanted, but these rights being imposed and taken away by the minority groups have to be dealt with.
The case about the girl who was a Jehovah’s Witness is a perfect example of how the state needs to interfere with the minority rights if they are at odds with liberal rights. The girl was a Jehova’s Witness meaning that she would not take a blood transfusion that she desperately needed because of her religion. This situation brings about the question of how could a group allow a person to suffer and die when a way to save them exists. If the state allows these minority groups to create and limit the rights of their members, then they are ultimately saying that they do not care about their citizens or individual autonomy. To explain exactly why the state should interfere with these minority rights I will simplify my arguments. If the state does not interfere, it allows minority groups to create and limit the rights of their own members with no restrictions. This...

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