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If someone can't take care of themselves, someone else will have to watch over them. I wouldn't go so far as to call these individuals as freeloaders or moochers, but the question of the sanctity of life versus the quality of life arises. There is no quality in living your life off of someone else--that goes without saying. But with things like euthanasia, where an individual voluntarily calls upon a doctor to end their life in exchange for money, would Rand consider this moral? I know right now if I'm incapable of becoming something great, I wouldn't want to live a life of obscurity. I want to be as independent as possible. I want to be able to put my mind to the best possible use. What would she think?

asked Dec 23 '11 at 23:44

Collin1's gravatar image


edited Dec 26 '11 at 14:43

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Do you find that your desire to be great causes you to constantly change goals trying to find that one goal that will "guarantee" you the greatness that you seek?

(Dec 24 '11 at 04:31) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

In a way, yes. You can say that.

(Dec 24 '11 at 08:53) Collin1 Collin1's gravatar image

It is always possible to be as independent as possible. It is always possible to put your mind to the best possible use.

(Dec 24 '11 at 09:25) anthony anthony's gravatar image

Would you tell a professional basketball player who is not in the list of top ten recognizable names that his life is meaningless because he is not great?

(Dec 24 '11 at 12:05) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

A. A right to live includes the right to die, on your own terms. Euthanasia would be a moral choice, but only a rational choice if your life was nothing but unending pain, you had nothing to live for, and (IMO) you wrapped up your affairs ahead of time.

B. Putting your mind to its "best use" is moral, but NOT "becoming something great" doesn't mean a "life of obscurity". Be your best, seek enjoyment in your work and recreation, and do so based on your own values, and to the fullest extent of your ability and ambition. You don't have to be John Galt to live a happy and fulfilled life.

(Dec 26 '11 at 15:58) xyshom xyshom's gravatar image
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In this day and age the disabled can pay their way through sheltered workshops - a local one does car detailing and gardening services, for instance. The disabled wouldn't exactly be living middle-class lifestyles in most cases, but they'd still produce more than they consume. It takes a very high degree of disability not to be able to do this. In such a case, what they can do then is prevail upon others for charity, and there'd be so few of such extremely disabled people that the ability to find sufficient charity would be a non-issue.

If someone can't take care of themselves, someone else will have to watch over them.

In point of morality, the rest of us are not morally obliged to provide support of any kind - we don't 'have' to do anything. Of course, I do recognise that you're only speaking of "have" in terms of practical causal requirements so as to stave off starvation. In point of fact, there'd be plenty of charity for the truly needy under laissez-faire, and what the disabled would have to do is ask. Unless you want to challenge the morality, that's all there is to be said.


answered Dec 27 '11 at 03:26

JJMcVey's gravatar image

JJMcVey ♦

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Asked: Dec 23 '11 at 23:44

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Last updated: Dec 27 '11 at 03:26