On 16 March 2010 02:45, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:

>        It should not matter what the particular "need" is. The same
> reasoning can be applied to Housing, Transportation, Food, Entertainment,
> etc. So long as some notion of "need" can be presented and accepted by some
> portion of society that has the ability to implicitly or explicitly use
> coercion to motivate the fulfillment of this need. I am trying to get a
> discussion of the consequences of this entire line of reasoning without
> having to get into the subjective notion of "morals".

But the thing about political and ethical principles is that they are
not like a formal argument, with premises and conclusions. If you try
to pretend they are, you can get ridiculous results that no-one would
accept. Does the right to health care mean the government can enslave
people to provide it if there aren't enough volunteers? Most people
would say no, the government should provide higher salaries or perhaps
advertise in other countries to attract health care workers. Isn't
that still enslavement of sorts, since working people will be forced
to pay for these services? Most people would say no, it is not as bad
to be taxed as it is to be directly enslaved, and although they don't
like to be taxed, they can see that there are benefits to it and they
prefer to live in a society where significant taxation exists. In a
formal argument or for an insanely rigid ideologue going back and
changing the premises is not allowed, but in real life it is.

Stathis Papaioannou

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