Essay about Ethics of Welfare and Government Assistance

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Pages: 7

Patrick Cassidy PHL 215 3/23/10 Ethics of Welfare and Government Assistance When the topic of welfare is brought into an ethical discussion most individuals would surely see it as an ethical act that genuinely helps those in need. This is true to an extent, but is it possible that welfare does more harm than good? Most would argue that the hand out of money to those less fortunate is being socially responsible. The question that drives this ethical issue is where does social responsibility end and personal responsibility pick up? This question is difficult to answer because every family in need is in a different situation. Government benefits are supposed to be used as a crutch for families to get back on their feet, but about …show more content…
There are three different types of ethical egoism; however, only two are actual theories on moral behaviors. The first is Individual ethical egoism. Individual ethical egoists believe that they should only act in self-interest, and that other around them should act out of their self-interest as well. This is the definition of being completely selfish, not only are you only looking out for yourself, but you expect others to help you along the way as well. In regards to government assistance, these people would likely complain about paying taxes for these programs, but also are very likely to want to use and abuse them. Another type of ethical egoism that exists is called universal ethical egoism. The main belief behind universal egoism remains the same as that of individual egoism; individuals should only act out of their own self-interest. Where these two types of egoism differ is that universal egoism suggests that all people should act in a selfish manner, removing all altruistic acts from society. If this type of egoism really described the actions of all people, it is likely most people would favor the individual egoism theory, for they would desire to have everybody acting for their personal interests. Both of these types of egoism don’t give a realistic grasp of the American society when dealing with government assistance. These egoists would surely all desire government benefits, but they would have no desire to give back to the