Do we have a duty to help the poor? How do we quantify that?
(02-02-2012, 10:36 PM)cgraye Wrote:
(02-02-2012, 10:14 PM)Micawber Wrote: The State should not enforce morality per se; the State should perform the functions for which it was duly empowered and no more; one of those is the protection of life from wrongful death.

And yet we have no problem with the state having laws against sodomy.  Or prohibiting the practice of false religions.

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. 

Quote:Charity cannot be peformed by proxy; Christ implored us to care for the poor, etc - not create massively powerful bureaucracies to feed off the taxpayer while they pretend to help the less fortunate, and in fact create more poverty, etc.  To paraphrase Rep Paul Ryan, 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:  As I alluded to in my previous post, this point is obviously highly disputed.  Do you know where I could actually look at sources for this? 

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

Quote:By definition they cannot be a right; Marxists/socialists/collectivists have tried to appropriate this sort of language to mean the exact opposite of what it is.  You cannot have a positive "right" to someone else's property.

Quote:  That was my thought as well, but that's why I asked about whether the poor have a right to the food of a rich man man who hoards it, when they have no means of working for it themselves, though they are willing.

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. 

Quote:If we care about the rule of law, the government is only justified in assuming powers that it has actually been granted.  Collecting taxes towards those ends is part of those powers.  However, "redistributing wealth" has no constitutional basis.

Quote:  True...for the American constitution.  But philosophically speaking in general? 

It's not useful to talk in the complete abstract like this; the American Constitution, the Federalist papers, the Declaration of 1776, etc. and whatnot are profoundly wise because they take into account the sinful nature of man, and given the fallen nature of man at present, I can't imagine how they be improved upon.   

Quote:  After all, the American constitution prohibits the government from establishing a state religion, but we would argue that a government can do this (though perhaps is not required to).

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. 

Quote:I'm thinking less about our personal responsibilities than the government's role in this.

Yes, that is why I included this in my post - which for some odd reason you've left out:

(02-02-2012, 10:14 PM)Micawber Wrote: As a matter of charity, we all have to wrestle with ourselves on how far one goes in all this.  Whatever we do we shall be held accountable - but that accountability will include ALL relevant factors, including your own limitations in terms of time, money, etc.  

Much of this doesn't fit together; we have no alternative but to do the best for those around us.  

We should not become like Mrs. Jellyby and worry ourselves to death about some far away tribe while neglecting those right in front of our faces (in her case, her children.)

And we would do well to always keep in mind with O'Connor, that evil (suffering, poverty, etc.) is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be endured.

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Re: Do we have a duty to help the poor? How do we quantify that? - by Micawber - 02-03-2012, 11:18 AM

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