chapter  3
Human Dignity and the Welfare State
ByMachan Tibor
Pages 41

This chapter argues that the crucial ideal of human dignity is placed in serious jeopardy by the legal features of the welfare state. Human dignity is better secured by a fully free society and free-market system. The chapter aims to give moral or ethical backing to certain kinds of legal principles and possible legal developments. Rational consciousness and the ability to make choices make an individual a moral agent, since his decisions can be made in accordance with a rational standard in which some actions are right while others are wrong. The major objection to the individualistic viewpoint comes from those who see guaranteeing economic or spiritual welfare as the primary goal of political life. The chapter examines three central contemporary ideas, namely, the doctrine of prima facie rights; the doctrine of equal rights to freedom and well-being; and the doctrine of justice as equal resources.