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A question about giving to those who need it

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Why is it that Richie Rich can, under Objectivist ethics, abandon lil' Timmy with cancer to die so that he can get his dog gold plated?

Why is "lil' Timmy" --a random person--more important to him than his own dog, i.e., his property. How's does "Timmy's" sickness place an obligation of any kind on "Richie"? How would such an "obligation" be enforced? And why wouldn't forcing Richie to "help" Timmy against his will not be considered immoral? Is it wrong to value one's property over strangers? Why?

Edited by EC
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Why is Lil Timmy *entitled* to *anything*? Because he's poor and he has cancer? After Ritchie Rich is destroyed to pay for the supposed "needs" of a million Lil Timmy's, who is Lil Timmy going to get his cancer treatment from? Why doesn't he go pick it off the tree where it grows?

Oh . . . but wait . . . cancer treatment and wealth don't *grow* on trees . . . they are only made possible by men who produce abundance through the free use of their minds. If my ability to produce a sonnet or a cancer cure means that my status is to be that of a *slave* to men who have produced *nothing*, why should I bother? Let them starve in their incomptence.

Read Atlas Shrugged and stop asking stupid questions.

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Why is it that Richie Rich can, under Objectivist ethics, abandon lil' Timmy with cancer to die so that he can get his dog gold plated?

A man's property is his own and no one's need lays a legitimate claim to that property.

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This is with regards to nationalized health care and is from the FIRM website, but the question is fundamentally the same as yours.

Q4) What if someone has a bad disease through no fault of his own, can't afford the treatment, and no insurance company will cover him? Who will pay for his care?

A4) The short answer is, "Anyone who wishes to do so."

If someone incurs an unfortunate random hardship (even though it is no fault of his own), it does not create an automatic obligation for anyone else to pay for it. Depending on the exact circumstances, I might be willing to voluntarily donate my own time/money to help him out. For example, in my capacity as a physician, I have personally waived my own professional fee more times than I can count out of voluntary charity for patients whom I've thought were worthy recipients. The same is true for nearly every other physician I know. And in general, Americans have been extraordinarily benevolent about voluntarily donating their time and money for innocent victims of natural disasters, disease, and man-made harms (such as 9-11 or the Oklahoma City bombings).

So if someone developed a bad disease that would cost him $100k, and either didn't get insurance or couldn't get insurance, then he essentially has to rely on the voluntary charity of others. His need (genuine as it may be), does not create a right to someone else's property or time.

This isn't limited to health care. The same would be true if an unfortunate homeowner didn't or couldn't purchase flood insurance, then his house was completely destroyed by a freak 100-year flood. His hardship does not constitute any sort of automatic claim on others' assets. Again, I (and many others) might be willing to be offer voluntary charity to help him out. But if no one is voluntarily willing to help him out, then he loses his house.

Furthermore, the very fact that such examples tug at the sympathies of normal decent Americans also means that those Americans will be forthcoming with voluntary charity. And I fully support giving to charities that are consistent with my values and priorities.

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Why is it that Richie Rich can, under Objectivist ethics, abandon lil' Timmy with cancer to die so that he can get his dog gold plated?

If Richie Rich got to know little Timmy and liked him and thought that Timmy is a great little kid who might grow to achieve wonderful things Richie Rich might decide that plating his dog is less important.

Otherwise, Timmy means nothing to Ritchie Rich and that's the way of the world. if anyone tells you differently, if anyone claims the they care about every hypothetical 'Timmy" you know they are lying.

They are only trying to enslave the hypothetical "Richies" because they *know* that no matter the philosophy of these Richies, a story like Timmy's will cause their hearts to bleed and they might (or so the loopy's of the world hope) might change their philosophy based on these emotions.

because every time someone tells a story like Timmy's people remember, or think about, their *own* little timmys that they know and love... (which is what brings them to empethize with the hypothetical ones)

Now of course I love MY little Timmy, and if anything should happen to him I'd do everything I can to help him (even beg if I must) but I would never force any Richie to do anything.

Unfortunately, most people who invent stories like Timmy's, without really knowing and loving a real Timmy, are only doing so to push their own political agenda.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Why is it that Richie Rich can, under Objectivist ethics, abandon lil' Timmy with cancer to die so that he can get his dog gold plated?

Why is it OK under altruistic ethics for someone to use force to steal from Richie to pay for Timmy's cancer treatment?

What if there are ten Timmys? Or ten million? Where does it stop? Who says enough is enough?

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  • 2 weeks later...
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