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The Manchester Armchair Philosophers Ask is Looking After Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves a Moral Obligation

At the moment it’s up to you whether or not you give to chaity or not. What if the Government made it compulsary for you?

The Manchester Armchair Philosophers Ask Is Looking After Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves A Moral Obligation 16th July 2013 The Royal Oak Pub Chorlton, Manchester

Do we have a moral responsibility to look after others deemed needy, either by ourselves or by others? Should we put our own needs first?

In Britain we have a Welfare State that is supposed to provide support for the needy, especially through the National Health Service, but many feel strongly that the government is failing in this mandated duty.

We often give to charities in the expectation and hope that they will help feed the hungry, and offer relief to refugees, victims of natural disasters, etc. However, much charity money is lost in administration costs for the charities themselves and some money is stolen in transit by corrupt individuals as the aid makes its transit journey to those who need it most,


This stops many people wishing to support any charity, (and is often a casual excuse for some who simply want to keep their monies anyway). If our governments did more there would be less need for charities, which at grass roots level, are often run by volunteers.

The Welfare State was created as a counter-blast to fears of the hardships we faced between the first and second World wars. Increased industrial action, the Jarrow Marches, medics and doctors exploiting the need for payment from patients, and he Depression, all gave rise to growing right wing extremists with promises of a better way that led to even greater terror throughout the World.

Now, we see he National Health Service in crisis again, and our politicians undoing the principles on which it rests. To what extent can we challenge this as individuals? We can vote for other politicians, come an election, and we can sign petitions, arrange protest marches, etc. But is it enough?

Our taxes pay for much of our welfare, but tax also pays for defence and other government spending – we have little direct control of how the Government spends our money.

While most people would help the needy by instinct, others would simply exploit their danger and despair for personal gin. Most of us seeing someone drowning or at risk of burning in a house fire, would try to offer a personal rescue attempt or at least call the emergency services. Sadly, Others would simply film the impending tragedy on a phone for Youtube-ing and Bluetooth swapping.

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