Do we have a duty to help the poor? How do we quantify that?
#31
(02-02-2012, 11:05 PM)Adam_Michael Wrote: Rbjmartin made a great point, about how many of the social safety nets currently being handled by the government were once upon a time handled by the Church.

Off topic a bit, but...  I firmly believe that the goal of the Obama administration is to completely push the Church out of this arena. That is the motive behind the HHS Mandate. They hope the Church will close their charities to avoid paying for birth control, effectively leaving all charities in the control of the government.

Yes, BO's goal is transformation of our entire social-polical-economic order; oddly enough, he said he'd do all this but no one listened because they were too enthralled by the prospect of our first black president.  Sad. 
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#32
(02-03-2012, 10:56 AM)cgraye Wrote: Parmandur,

Yes, I don't think anyone disputes that.  The question is really whether this translates into a right for the poor to have their needs met, and, in either case, whether it is the government's place to enforce it (redistribution of wealth).  Aquinas seems to say it is not a government's place to do that.  I am particularly thinking about this in terms of health care.  Can we say that health care is a right?  Can we say that a government is right in providing it to all the citizens (setting aside practical considerations of whether this is a good idea)?

I think this is the core of the issue here cgraye; what do you think a right is? 
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#33
(02-03-2012, 10:48 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: The church and charity groups do not have the means to help all the poor of the world.

Dear StrictCatholicGirl,

I undesrstand where you are coming from; and it's laudable that you feel the way you do.  However, i beg you to please think about the following:  if indeed it's true that the "church and charity groups do not have the means to help all of the poor of the world," why do you think a government does?  Think about this carefully:  where does the government get its "means"? 
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#34
(02-03-2012, 11:18 AM)Micawber Wrote: I don't see this as a legitimate use of State power; moreover, for example, sodomy laws do nothing to stop sodomy; among other things, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and evangelism will do so.

I don't think the point is to stop it, really.  The point is to establish that it is contrary to a well-ordered society, and to allow the government to inhibit the ability of people to spread the error that it is not.

Quote:There are many points there - which one do you want me to expand upon and/or point to sources?

I was referring to the idea "that nothing ever prescriptively devised by man for the purpose of reducing poverty/misery, etc., comes even remotely close to the success that the market economy and limited government has had in reducing poverty, increasing access to opportunitites, etc."

Quote:Again, you simply don't understand what a right is - we have a duty to help all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, and to the extent that we are able.

So you say that a duty does not imply a right?

Quote:I DO NOT believe that we should establish a State religion. 

As soon as we have Traditional Catholics in power (the entire bicameral legislature, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency); and as soon as we know they'll be in power for all the time to come; and if and only if these "Traditional Catholics" are also perfect "Philosopher Kings" with no sinful proclivities at all, including towards aggregating power to themselves; then, once we're given all this, then sure, let's have a new Constitutional convention. 
 
Until we have these things you are merely pursuing a mirage; and it will end badly.  To try to institute paradise on earth has always ended badly.  If you trust sinful man with too much power, you will get what you deserve: tyranny rammed down your throat.  And trust me, it's not likely to be respectful of traditional catholic teaching.  Don't be a fool.  We are to be as innocent as doves - but wise as serpents; and what belongs to Caesar, etc.

Those were just examples.  What I am trying to get to the bottom of is whether or not the redistribution of wealth for the purposes of heath care is a legitimate function of government - not the US government, just government in general.
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#35
(02-03-2012, 11:21 AM)Micawber Wrote:
(02-03-2012, 10:56 AM)cgraye Wrote: Parmandur,

Yes, I don't think anyone disputes that.  The question is really whether this translates into a right for the poor to have their needs met, and, in either case, whether it is the government's place to enforce it (redistribution of wealth).  Aquinas seems to say it is not a government's place to do that.  I am particularly thinking about this in terms of health care.  Can we say that health care is a right?  Can we say that a government is right in providing it to all the citizens (setting aside practical considerations of whether this is a good idea)?

I think this is the core of the issue here cgraye; what do you think a right is? 

I like the definition given in the Catholic Enclopedia:

Quote:Right, as a substantive (my right, his right), designates the object of justice. When a person declares he has a right to a thing, he means he has a kind of dominion over such thing, which others are obliged to recognize. Right may therefore be defined as a moral or legal authority to possess, claim, and use a thing as one's own.

The entire article is here:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13055c.htm

Unfortunately this doesn't quite answer my question about whether or not a duty implies a right, and, more importantly, WHY.
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#36
(02-03-2012, 11:50 AM)cgraye Wrote:
(02-03-2012, 11:21 AM)Micawber Wrote:
(02-03-2012, 10:56 AM)cgraye Wrote: Parmandur,

Yes, I don't think anyone disputes that.  The question is really whether this translates into a right for the poor to have their needs met, and, in either case, whether it is the government's place to enforce it (redistribution of wealth).  Aquinas seems to say it is not a government's place to do that.  I am particularly thinking about this in terms of health care.  Can we say that health care is a right?  Can we say that a government is right in providing it to all the citizens (setting aside practical considerations of whether this is a good idea)?

I think this is the core of the issue here cgraye; what do you think a right is? 

I like the definition given in the Catholic Enclopedia:

Quote:Right, as a substantive (my right, his right), designates the object of justice. When a person declares he has a right to a thing, he means he has a kind of dominion over such thing, which others are obliged to recognize. Right may therefore be defined as a moral or legal authority to possess, claim, and use a thing as one's own.

The entire article is here:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13055c.htm

Unfortunately this doesn't quite answer my question about whether or not a duty implies a right, and, more importantly, WHY.

I don't have time now to respond to everything above; briefly for now:  a duty manifestly DOES NOT imply a right; for many reasons, but in part because a right is a "kind of dominion" over one's property and sphere of action & personhood vis a vis other persons, but more specifically vis a vis State power.  To say that someone has a right to appropriate my property, or impinge upon my sphere of action & personhood, whether direclty or via the machinery of the State, is to directly contravene what a right is. This is exactly why Marxists have focused on "rights" language - an infection in language and philosophy that seems to taken hold in many places, including the Church.  A sad state of affairs and much the reason why we are such a mess here in the US and Europe.   



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#37
Yes, we have a responsibility to help those in need.......... with money or time or prayers or work........35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ()‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these (J)my brothers,you did it to me.’

And no, I'm not wealthy.........but, I can usually dig up a couple of hundred dollars if I know that someone needs it & I have a theory that if we all helped our own relatives, we wouldn't need welfare. I have 4 grown children who worked hard to help with their college fund. And I mean HARD!! Two or our sons got a partial athletic scholarship, our daughter got a scholastic scholarship, ALL of them took any summer job they could get...........from working for a man who dug wells to washing dishes in a restaurant. Our daughter worked at 1. Walmart, 2. Hardy's 3. the college cafeteria & still got a degree in Journalism from M.U. in four yrs. We picked up the "rest of the tab".

I came by my feelings of obligation for those who are less fortunate than we are, through the actions of my parents. They taught me to share what I have.....be it money, time, love.................whatever. I have a brother who is an alcoholic. He hasn't had a drink in 12 years.............but it was too late when he quit. He has Cirrhosis, a nasty, dirty disease & he lost everything years ago: his wife, his business, his money & his health. I got him a job where I worked &, though he didn't feel well a lot of the time, he never missed a day of work & he did a GREAT job for the 6 years he was healthy enough to work.

He just spent two complete YEARS in hospitals..........surgeries in a not-for-profit hospital, recovery in the VA hospital. He doesn't need money at this point, he gets SS. now. But, YES, I'm obligated, according to the Word of God to take him out to eat once a week, either myself or my daughter take him grocery shopping once a week, I do his banking, take him to the doctor etc., etc.

I'm not boasting really I'm not, but I feel very strongly about this. There are 5 of us siblings & the others do not agree with me. Charity must be done with love & they feel that "he brought this on himself, he's nothing but a dry drunk, etc. etc." This week, I'm going to take him out for Chinese & to see the movie "War Horse" (got to make sure that it doesn't bring on a PTSD spell first. He served in Vietnam, but the VA. really helped him deal with the aftermath of that.)

Enough of my thoughts, it's God Whose direction we must follow & He made it very clear that we are obligated to help those in need.
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#38
(02-03-2012, 10:56 AM)cgraye Wrote: Parmandur,

Yes, I don't think anyone disputes that.  The question is really whether this translates into a right for the poor to have their needs met, and, in either case, whether it is the government's place to enforce it (redistribution of wealth).  Aquinas seems to say it is not a government's place to do that.  I am particularly thinking about this in terms of health care.  Can we say that health care is a right?  Can we say that a government is right in providing it to all the citizens (setting aside practical considerations of whether this is a good idea)?

Ah, I see.  Well, then, the state certainly isn't obliged to be the keeper of everyone's conscience, but it is the keeper of the common good.  Matters which pertain to the common good, such as the fire department or the hospital, I'd say the government is legitimately involved in supporting.  I think it would work better if the local government managed things rather than the Federal, but government involvement is legitimate.
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#39
(02-03-2012, 10:48 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: The church and charity groups do not have the means to help all the poor of the world.

The productive part of society is in the private sector, i.e. private individuals, private charity groups, the Church, etc.. There IS enough food to go around. I'm sure there are enough other resources, as well. It's just a matter of individuals voluntarily looking to the needs of their neighbors.

If we leave the care of the poor up to the government, on the other hand, you can count on the inefficient allocation of resources, which WILL leave less to go around.
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#40
[quote='JoniCath' pid='968406' dateline='1328286724']

He just spent two complete YEARS in hospitals..........surgeries in a not-for-profit hospital, recovery in the VA hospital. He doesn't need money at this point, he gets SS. now. But, YES, I'm obligated, according to the Word of God to take him out to eat once a week, either myself or my daughter take him grocery shopping once a week, I do his banking, take him to the doctor etc., etc.

I'm not boasting really I'm not, but I feel very strongly about this. There are 5 of us siblings & the others do not agree with me. Charity must be done with love & they feel that "he brought this on himself, he's nothing but a dry drunk, etc. etc." This week, I'm going to take him out for Chinese & to see the movie "War Horse" (got to make sure that it doesn't bring on a PTSD spell first. He served in Vietnam, but the VA. really helped him deal with the aftermath of that.)

Enough of my thoughts, it's God Whose direction we must follow & He made it very clear that we are obligated to help those in need.[/size]
[/quote

I forgot something. Receiving charity is NOT  a right. It is an undeserved gift from God, Who uses people to distribute the gift, but then what isn't an underserved gift? Our Faith, our health, our "good works".
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