International adoption is more complex than I thought!
Each of the positions put forth in the NYT’s Room For Debate blog is articulate, well-considered, and is internally / logically consistent. This is rarely the case in the public debates I am familiar with. So often (read: virtually always) the “controversies” we discuss are not nearly so nuanced: it is usually pretty easy to tell who is wrong, especially with even a small amount of actual knowledge of the subject. An extreme example is gay rights, which has only one valid position. Less extreme is global warming, where there can and should be legitimate debates about what exactly to do, but where too often the debate is between truth on the one hand and lies and misrepresentations on the other.
But as the essays linked to above show, there seem to be actual debates to be had about international adoption. None of the six commentators seem to quite agree with any of the others, and the positions of some are completely, 100% opposed. And on the face all make sense. And the differences are philosophical as well as practical: about principles, law, facts, psychology.
This is a complex and nuanced question which I had frankly not given much thought at all. Still might not (I’m working on getting a hold on singularities, identity, and nothingness), but I love the puzzle. A great argument stemming from psychology might be overridden if the facts show it doesn’t apply in the majority of cases; a legal argument might just as well show that the law is unjust as that the behavior in question is wrong; a principled stand about what is best for the child may run head-first into corruption.
This is one issue where there are incompatible arguments from people I might otherwise be inclined to believe; someone will have to convince me through education and argument. Obvious? Not really. I don’t need to know what they’re talking about to know that Gov. Pawlenty or Dick Cheney are wrong.