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 assistance also have a moral imperative to use these funds properly to tend to their own physical needs.
Perhaps there are additional moral arguments to help support this thesis?