I think it's grossly unfair and saddening that people are judged differently based on their looks, talent, education, when many of these factors are out of their own control. Not just that they are judged differently, but a person's fate can be largely dependent on factors outside their own control. For example, I can never become Einstein or Bach, but I am fortunate to live much more comfortable life from someone born in an area plagued by war, even though I do not think I'm more entitled to such life than they are. However, I understand absolute equality can also be appalling as depicted in Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron". Where do we draw the line? What do philosophers think?
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...
In many questions about government, the terms "the state" and "the government" seem to be used almost interchangeably:
a common theme in the answer is that "the state" is a vehicle by which people agree to abide by standards of order as to how they interact with each other, and "the government" is the vehicle by which "the state" then enforces these agreements.
However, in real life, "the government" is actually two different entities, is it not?
a) "the government" as the agency that enforces agreements, as described above, but also (b) "the people who collectively work for the government," who often make sure that they themselves are taken care of before anyone else, and not infrequently, at the expense of everyone else.
We see Congress, for example, exempt itself from laws it imposes on everyone else.
We see state employees receiving large pensions (far larger than anyone in the private sector receives) even as states run large budget deficits and/or raise taxes on non-state employees to fund...
When Bernie Sanders talks about healthcare being a "right", is he talking nonsense? If you consider any other right in the Bill of Rights (eg right to bear arms), it's about freedom from government interference. It's something I can hold against the government. But what Sanders wants seems to be the opposite of that. To pay for a healthcare system, you need to tax people. So, basically, a so-called right to healthcare really means an obligation on the government to interfere with my money. This so-called right would limit my freedom instead of protecting it!
Is taxation theft?
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