Mary Bernadette V. Egloso
2005 – 60288
Argument Paper in Philosophy 1
CONCLUSION: Most of the children with OFW parents (both or one) constantly away from them grew up less better than children who were raised by non-OFW parents. ------- STEP 1: Examining the statement of the conclusion. ------A. Types of Concepts used: 1. The term “Most” refers to 50% plus 1 of the population of children raised by non-OFW parents. 2. The term “children” is empirical. 3. The terms OFW parents and non-OFW parents are empirical and are not vague. 4. Evaluative (i.e. grew up better) and empirical (i.e. OFW parents, children, better) terms. 5. The conclusion is an empirical generalization. B. Definition of Terms: 1. OFW parents would refer to those working abroad, particularly those who are regular and full time OFWs. The non-OFW parents would refer to those working in or near their homes, and even within the country. 2. The term “children” will encompass young boys and girls within the ages of 1-17 years old. 3. The term “raised” refers to being closely and constantly taken care of by the parents. 4. The term “better” refers to the state of being more pleasing or acceptable than others of the same kind. It would primarily pertain to: a. Economic status b. Having a close relationship with others, such as friends, relatives and other peers, and being happy being with them c. Doing good in school and in other extra-curricular activities within and outside the school, wherever the child is good at. d. Not experiencing constant depression while the parents are away, e. Not being involved in any minor or major vices (i.e. illegal drug intake, smoking, drinking) and crimes (i.e. stealing, rape, harassment). 5. The term “constantly away” refers to being far or away most of the times, such as for almost 8-11 months away each year. ------- STEP 2: Analysis of the claim of the conclusion. ------A. This conclusion is an empirical knowledge claim and generalization that is not controversial. B. The required proof or evidence to justify the claim of the conclusion: 1. The empirical conclusion: Most of the children raised by non-OFW parents grew up better than children who grew up with both of their OFW parents constantly far from them. The required evidence is 50% plus 1 of the population of children raised by nonOFW parents should be demonstrated to be better than children who grew up with both of their OFW parents constantly far from them.
2. The claim of the conclusion is in the realm of the known and thus provable. Hence, the evidence can be produced in principle. ------- STEP 3: Composing the argument. ------A. Conclusion: Most of the children with OFW parents (both or one) constantly away from them grew up less better than children who were raised by non-OFW parents. B. Premise Set: 1. Parents especially the mothers, play a key role in the family and in the influence of their children through physical nurturance and moral guidance. The physical presence of parenthood is important for children since there are much bigger social costs (i.e. dealing with peer pressures, fights and conflicts within the family) when they grow up with various negative factors (i.e. internet, media, bad influence of peers) in their environment. **The Mother’s Role: Hence, if the mother is physically separated from her child, then his/her growth will be greatly affected. a. According to the 2003 Children and Family Study, the children of migrant mothers have responded to lower academic performances, delinquency, aggression, suicide and poor social relations. b. The said study confirms that the absence of the mother may weaken the physical well being of her child. These children suffer depression due to lack of attention from their parents, hence affecting their physical state. c. According to Aries Rufo in his article (September, 2008), men do not assume complete responsibility of the mother’s role when the women leave their homes. Also in the same article, Vanessa Tobin, the deputy director of UNICEF, has stated that “increasing ‘feminization’ of migration has complicated the situation as it implies a redefinition of the economic role of women in society and within the family as well.” compromise **The Father’s Role: Although the father is deemphasized in the parenting role than the mother, his key responsibilities in rearing his child includes, the promotion of discipline, helping his children with school work, attending school meetings, teaching the children good manners and teaching them what is right and wrong. All these are greatly compromised when the father is absent during his child’s growing years. a. According to Ross Eshleman (1997), the physical presence of the father contributes to the improvement of psychological, occupational and educational attributes. Hence, in their absence, their children are not physically, emotionally, psychologically and intellectually guided.
2. Vanessa Tobin of UNICEF further stated that “social costs of labor migration outweigh the economic benefits, with family relationships and dynamics as the first casualty.” a. There are shifts to the gender roles. Caregiving has fallen more on other female family members than on the father. Fathers left behind tend to give the responsibility of parenting to the eldest girl in the family which puts her on a burden because she may not also interpret well since she is still in an immature age. It affects her educational performance and social relations due to the distress she experiences. b. Some of the parents leave their children even before they were born. This would lead to the formation of gaps in the ties between parent and child, thus affecting the child’s well being as well due to the lack of attachment. c. Misguidance due to parental absence has resulted to increased teenage pregnancy and violence in the country. 3. It was further observed that most of the children were not receptive to the leaving of their parents. The children left behind experience difficulty in coping up with the absence of their parents. Hence, the value of the physical presence of parenthood has diminished. a. Results of a study (Children and Family Study, 2003) deduced that 10% of the children they interviewed were against the leaving of their parents, specifically their mothers, more than 50% received the idea of the absence quite well, while the remaining had difficulties in dealing with the absence. b. Not all of these children left behind understand that their parents leave for work abroad as a form of love in order to provide good lives for them. An article produced by ABS-CBN states that the absence may even distort the concept of the children as money equivalence. The children may believe that they are much less priority than the jobs of their parents. They may also feel abandoned, since they cannot determine the real reason for their parents leaving abroad. c. According to an article of GMA entitled “Teenagers Bear Social Cost for OFW Parents”, teenagers demand more attention from their parents. They are needless to the material provision since they want the more important substance of the family – communication. 4. UNICEF’s deputy director Vanessa Tobins further stated that there is not much improvement in the lives of the families of OFWs. a. In an article released by GMA7, “Reyes said that several studied showed how migration of parents is indeed heart-breaking for children, making them long for parental care, get confused over gender roles, be vulnerable to abuse, and even develop consumerist attitudes.” b. The money being sent is just enough or sometimes hardly enough to meet the demands and needs of the families left behind. They are also vulnerable to
economic shocks, especially related to the country’s economic and political situation. Thus, not all OFW families are in fact well provided financially after all. ------- STEP 4: Criticizing the argument. ------A. Scrutinize the Conclusion: Conclusion: Most of the children with OFW parents (both or one) constantly away from them grew up less better than children who were raised by non-OFW parents. 1. I believe that there is no need for a revision of the statement of the conclusion. However, the term non-OFW parents, “less better” and “constantly away” need refinement. 2. The required evidence for the “most claim” in the conclusion was substantially provided by the given premises. Statistics and concrete examples were even provided to further stress the given points. Hence, the argument has NOT committed the fallacy of hasty generalization. B. Scrutinize the Premise Set: 1. There is no duplication in the premise set. 2. All the premises stated are empirical claims about the effects of the absence of parents in their children’s growth and development. 3. There is no contradictory or inconsistent premise. 4. Strength of the support offered by the premise set to the conclusion (ranked from the strongest to the weakest): a. In their absence, the roles of the parents in rearing their children are greatly compromised. b. Due to the lack of proper and adequate parental guidance, much bigger social costs result leading to dire consequences as children grow up. Social costs of labor migration outweigh the economic benefits, with family relationships and dynamics as the first casualty. c. It was further observed that most of the children were not receptive to the leaving of their parents. The children left behind experience difficulty in coping up with the absence of their parents. Hence, the value of the physical presence of parenthood has diminished. d. There is not much improvement in the lives of OFW families. 5. The claims stated in the premises are presumed to be true and are widely acceptable because they are based on concrete sources of data, such as statistics and surveys, which account for their credibility. 6. There is no premise that provides no support to the conclusion, thus, all the premises are necessary. 7. Even if the premise set is assumed to be true, the set provides only a moderately strong support for the conclusion. The premise set is not sufficient to prove
conclusively the claim of the conclusion. There is a need for an additional premise, namely, that the communication primarily used by OFW parents nowadays (i.e. cellphones and the internet) cannot suffice or replace even, the emotional bonding that can develop in the relationship when parents are physically present. Moreover, they will miss the growing up years of their children and their value formation. The premises supporting the conclusion are all making multiple empirical generalizations. However, it is difficult to estimate the level of generalization since there are no quantifiers like some, many, most or all. However, since the claim of the conclusion is “most”, then I will take the level of the generalization to be “most” as well. The required evidence for the generalization is adequately produced in the premise set. Hence, all the premises presented are relevant because they provide a very persuasive support to the claim of the conclusion. Moreover, the level of generalization is “most,” and a “most claim” is unaffected by counterexample(s). None of the premises are mere multiple generalizations since, data, concrete empirical evidences and statistics have been presented to further prove and emphasize them. ------- STEP 5: Composing the counter argument. -------
C. Conclusion: Most of the children with OFW parents (both or one) constantly away from them grew up better than children who were raised by non-OFW parents. D. Premise Set: 1. OFW parents provide a better status of life for their family and their children in particular. a. Most of the migrants’ children interviewed in the study (Children and Family Study, 2003) classified themselves as middle class. b. These children are materially well provided – branded clothes, laptops, high end cellphones and other gadgets, big allowances. c. They also have access to good quality education, hence, resulting to higher academic grades and a lot more opportunities for additional cultural developments to hone their skills (i.e. ballet and voice lessons). d. The said study (Children and Family Study, 2003) also showed that OFW migrants’ children are provided with optimum health and good physical well being as well. Their absence may even be the primary reason why they put much effort in putting their children in good physical conditions because they do not want their child to suffer, in any way as much as possible, in their absence. In the study, OFW children are more resistant to resistant than their counterparts. 2. Children especially in their adolescent years, actually enjoy the “little” liberty that accompanies the migration of their parents.
a. Children learn to be more independent. They learn to make decisions on their own without much intervention. b. Distancing is quite favorable in a way for adolescents for the problems in this stage include identity crisis and role confusion, which may be resolved by giving the child independence. 3. The 2003 study further stated that fights and conflicts of the family are being experienced more by the non-migrant’s children than the migrant’s children. This is quite true since both of the parents are with them and stress in work maybe an indicator to this problem. 4. If children are adequately provided, then this would sufficiently substitute the roles of the parents in rearing their children. ------- STEP 6: Evaluating both arguments. ------1. Comparing both the original argument and the counter argument, it can evidently be deduced that the original argument is stronger and more persuasive, hence, is likely to be more accepted by its target audience. 2. Although the original argument is stronger, the counterargument also did well in supporting the claim of its conclusion. Both gave adequate empirical evidence to support an empirical generalization “most”. 3. The premises of the counter argument directly oppose the premises stated in the original argument, however, they are also well supported.
Bibliography: Business World. (2 February 2008). Teenagers bear social cost of OFW parents. Retrieved March 1, 2009 from, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/Teenagers-bear-social-cost-of-OFW-parents.html. Eshleman, J. R. (1997). The Family: An Introduction. 8 th ed. MA Allyn & Bacon. Rufo, Aries. (26 September 2008). Six million Filipino Children Left Behind by OFW Parents. Retrieved March 1, 2009 from, http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/09/25/08/six-millionfilipino-children-left-behind-ofw-parents.html. Study of Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC), in partnership with the Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People-CBCP (ECMI)/Apostleship of the Sea-Manila (AOS-Manila) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) The Children and Family Study Retrieved March 1, 2009 from, http://www.smc.org.ph/heartsapart. Tan, Kimberly Jane. (19 November 2008). Leaving OFW children behind: Economic benefits vs social costs. Retrieved March 1, 2009 from, http://www.gmanews.tv/ofwstation.