It seems unethical to me for the government to provide material support for people in need, for two primary reasons:
- for the harm it does to the people being supported
- more importantly, because it undermines the moral imperative of people in society.
- in the USA, it also appears to be a violation of the First Amendment, which prohibits the establishment of a state religion. Helping people in need is fundamentally a religious directive ("feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless")
I fully support providing material support for people in need, as long as it is done either directly by individuals, or by individuals organizing together in various social organizations (e.g., church, synagogue, local food bank, clothing drive, soup kitchen, etc.)
- each of us has a personal moral imperative to help those less fortunate, we cannot simply satisfy this imperative by taking money away from other people by force and then using those funds to provide help.
- the people receiving...
You offer two reasons (though really it's three.) The first is that if the government helps people (provides material support, in your phrase), it harms those people. Is this true? It's quite possibly true sometimes ,. But is it true by and large? You haven't offered any evidence, and I'm not convinced that there is any. In any case, when the government doesn't help people it's at least as plausible that at least some of the time, that results in harm. So even if both policies sometimes harm some people, that doesn't tell us which is worse. But there's another problem internal to your argument. You're in favor of various kinds of aid, so long as it's not provided by the government. Presumably you're in favor of that at least partly because you think it can actually do good. But if private charity can do good and help people, it's not obvious that having the help come from the government can't do likewise. Now there are questions here that philosophy alone can't answer: which kinds of aid...