Let help be optional, based on values, rather than duty oriented
Reader comment on: Budgets and Brothers
Submitted by Gideon Reich (United States), Jul 19, 2011 16:50
I think the important point that Brook and Watson are trying to get across is that an unchosen duty to help anybody in need means that your life is not your own. It belongs to any person in need or their representatives that bring the claims of the needy to you.
I'm quite sure, however, that neither Brook nor Watson (nor Ayn Rand) meant that it is never proper to help someone. Far from it -- if people are a value in your life (and in a normal situation, many people should be), of course you would be willing to help support the people that represent your highest values most. For example, your children and spouse, as well as immediate family (everything else being equal) and friends and even acquantainces and strangers in the appropriate circumstances. But the help should be regarded as an aspect of your integrity, and general benevolence, not as an altruistic duty.
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