A starving baby in the woods is discovered by Person A who declines to feed the baby. Person B observes Person A's lack of concern, but being a benevolent Objectivist and not sacrificing anything particular, feeds the baby himself and disregards Person A. Person B places the baby in the care of the government agency in charge of protecting the rights of individuals(a legitimate function of government.)The government agency tracks down the parents who have reneged on their implicit contract to care for their offspring that they voluntarily brought into the world and forces them to pay for the upbringing of the child.
Person B wasn't obligated to go out of his way to further the well-being of the child, but is there any Objectivist that wouldn't?
Sam - In writing my topic The Baby In The Woods, I considered whether to expand the hypothetical to what Person B should ethically do instead of using violence against Person A. Ultimately, I decided to keep the issue more narrow for clarity. However, I'm happy you introduce the topic here and expand the hypothetical in this way because it illustrates more clearly why Person B resorting to violence would be wrong if this happened in the "real world." Initiation of volence is often easier than non-violence, but it is nonetheless wrong.
My take is similar to yours - Person B should attempt to persuade Person A to share the food, but if it becomes clear that Person A won't budge, Person B should attempt to help the child without violence. If I were Person B and lacked any food of my own, I would take the child to the nearest home or town I could find. The original hypothetical doesn't consider the baby's parents at all (maybe they're dead), but if it turns out that they neglected to care for the child, then absolutely they should be held accountable.
Steve - Presenting the history of a discussion and expanding upon it is not "bashing." There is no ad hominem in my topic. If you're going to make that leap, then isn't your own comment "bashing" me by implication?
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