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How should we address homelessness? Show more Show less
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A homeless individual lacks a permanent and safe nighttime residence. Approximately 150 million people worldwide suffer from homelessness. Although a wide variety of potential solutions exist, experts disagree about the correct response to this widespread problem.

We shouldn't do anything to help people who are homeless. Show more Show less

Although homelessness is heartbreaking, it is an unavoidable part of life.
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The homeless must learn to help themselves

By offering assistance to homeless people, we prevent them from helping themselves.
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The Argument

In modern society, homeless people have countless opportunities to improve their situation. The homeless can find a job, gain a stable source of income, and work their own way out of poverty. If we continue lending them outside assistance, the homeless community will never feel compelled to take responsibility for their circumstances. A passerby's independent donation is rarely large enough to provide long-term assistance, and thus only enables their lifestyle. Ultimately, outside assistance transfers responsibility from homeless individuals to the larger community and never encourages them to take responsibility for their lives.

Counter arguments

It is wrong to assume that homeless people have many opportunities to improve their situation. Our job market is competitive and navigating the hiring process is even more difficult for homeless people, who lack the resources to make the best first impressions. If private donations are rarely large enough to support a person's livelihood, this would provide even more incentive to improve one's situation, it would not compel homeless people to rely on charity.

Premises

[P1] If a homeless person accepts private donations, they will not feel responsible for their living condition.

Rejecting the premises

References

This page was last edited on Friday, 15 May 2020 at 22:01 UTC

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