THIS IS THE SITUATION:
Your father died because of prostate cancer five years ago. Because of this your mother has to work as a street sweeper in your locality. Her income is just enough for your family's daily expenses and to support your education in high school. One sunny afternoon, your mother is rushed to the hospital because of cardiac arrest. The doctor frankly told you that if your mother does not undergo heart surgery after two weeks she will die. You, being the eldest in the family of five who is only 14 years old decided to ask for help starting from your family's close relatives and friends, to the government officials but you get no response from them. You ask the help of all the private sectors that you know but you will be receiving their help after eight months. Because of this you decided to accept the work that your neighbor is giving you, to be a prostitute in her night club.
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This is really a difficult situation but I would have to say that the mother would be completely mortified if she found out what he 14 year old daughter did to help save her. In addition, if she ever did find out, she may not be able to emotionally deal with it.
It is understandable that the daughters only intention is to save her mother. The issue is, at what cost. Not only could she get raped, but she catch STD's, etc.
The premise that this girl might make may be that it is her body and she can do what she chooses in order to save her life. Her mother gave her life, now she is going to save hers no matter what the cost.
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant gave as the following rule for how to determine what's moral: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." (This is called the categorical imperative.)
So what this says is that you should ask yourself what rule about prostitution (or about dignity) would make a better universal law.
If you decide to become a prostitute, your premise (the law you make) might be "All people should value their own dignity less than they value the life of another (or maybe "the life of a family member)." That seems like a pretty valid premise to me...
The primary premise I would employ is the idea of being able to assist my mother and family in a time of need. I would suggest that if this is my primary motivation, I would do whatever is needed to assist. While my dignity is extremely important, I would feel that more of it would dissipate if I were confronted with a situation where I could have done something and chose not to on the grounds of personal dignity. In such a hypothetical situation, I would suggest that the criteria used to make such a decision is even more compelling than the answer proposed.
If the cost of prostitution is affordable or sustainable by the 14 year old daughter and to her mother on an individual basis, then go ahead.
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