Does Society Have An Obligation To Those Who Need It

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's November 2001

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IS SOCIETY OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE WELFARE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT? Welfare is aid in the form of money or necessities for those who need it. Obligation means duty or responsibility. It binds morally. The question then turns to be does Society have a moral duty to help the needy? Lets first consider what argues against such a responsibility. What I earn through my own hard work is mine and no one has the right to take it away from me. It is morally wrong to take something from me unless I choose to give by free will. Everybody has the same chances in life. And since we all start from the same equal starting point. It is the ones who did not take their chances and those who are lazy who benefit from welfare. It cannot be good to support such behavior. We would propagate laziness in future generations.

Children will see that their parents receive money and goods without any effort, for doing nothing. Therefore, they will consider such behavior as just and misuse the welfare system too. Thereby we continuously grow generations of lazy and independent people.

There is one essential argument that I consider being much stronger than all the contra arguments. To choose whether we as a society have the moral obligation to provide welfare to the needy one needs to use John S. Mill's approach. To decide we need to be in a state during which we do not know anything about our personal circumstances, the so-called veil of ignorance. We do not know whether we are rich or the poorest of the poor, healthy or ill. Placed in such situation everybody would choose a system, which provides the needy with support. Even though they would have to pay for it if they turn...