The following was a comment on a facebook thread that brought up the subject of government welfare. What follows was my response:
“If you want to kick disabled, old people and children to the curb just because they don’t produce income, what does that say about you?”
Why should it say anything about anyone? Is it a requirement of being born that to be human you ‘must’ support non-producers? Is it an outright condemnation or facet of ‘unethical’ behavior if supporting the un-able is not, for whatever reasons, your personal priority? By what condition of existence and reason is one duty bound to support the non-productive (outside of individual, personal motives)?
“Not everyone is able and it’s a blessing if you are [..] Your time to need help will come…”
Blessing from whom or what? The same source that makes it an unconditional duty and virtue to help the less fortunate I suppose.
The second part of the statement was the best part in there with one exception. It should read “Your time to need help may well come“. The use of an absolute is unfounded*.
One that is not faced with immediate misfortune and exercises responsible, intelligent behavior and appropriate foresight, need not be totally dependent upon ‘good will‘ as a means of their own survival at any time.
For example, a productive individual that behaves responsibly will invest money or other items of value for times in the future when they may not be as productive. They could get insurance of one form or another. They might stockpile supplies or learn alternate skills just in case should they lose some or all of their physical capacity. They will likely live their life and develop their thoughts and behaviors in such a way as to be prepared to adapt to new circumstances.
The notion that the a time may come when you ‘may‘ need help, is the cause for getting such insurance. But, and more importantly, it’s also a cause (and a source of motivation and choice by way of individual perceived value) to inspire charitable works and contributions.
*It may well serve as ‘common sense’ and therefore in-line with the goal of fulfilling one’s own selfish needs. But it is by no means a duty — except to the extent that it is an individual’s duty to fulfill their own self interest by whatever means they see the most appropriate for behaving responsibly and planning accordingly.
If an individual sees community based charitable initiatives as a means to that end, it could and should be an option available to them. If instead they choose to rely only on their own foresight, abilities and planning, then they should also be allowed to utilize such a method with no requirements by others for them to do anything otherwise – and no duties placed upon others to help them fulfill it.
But most importantly – in both circumstances – they should be left to accept the consequences of their own decisions should they not entirely suit their needs. (at least in-so-far as no one else being coercibly required by any governmental or other community force to correct shortfalls in their chosen method)