Having a minimum income would probably be great once there was enough automation to supply the basics to all humans with negligible human effort.
Maybe. I know a lot of creative people who would never just sit and watch TV, that's an anecdote to counter yours. Perhaps there are enough people who love to create, and these would be given incentives. The wage for simple tasks like cleaning would go up, as the supply of workers went down. Many would consider this to be fair. For a while people could do menial tasks and be compensated well for it, until it finally would be cheaper to design advanced robots.
'basic income' doesn't exist now as welfare. It's not meant to be a permanent solution, and people like I don't consider it ethical to use it as such. If I was given basic income I would probably work on open source projects and develop hardware for a while. In the end though it wouldn't be good enough as my passion is with experimental physics, and those experiemnts aren't cheap. Much of the work could be done remotely by volunteers though. Depending on the level of compensation (or donation, I suppose), I would probably prefer to work on basic income vs to go through the awful waste of time that is applying for jobs. As a counterpoint, I'm using my free time to write this long reply to a post on slashdot modded 0 instead of working on my Java application.
People shouldn't be just given free anything simply for the great feat of being born if this means any degree of collectivist intervention.
I don't agree. One shouldn't force people to donate a lot to others, as in communism. Freedom and property rights are important. However, when giving away the basics is almost free, then people indeed should be given it for free. There's no dogma to support that, but it seems fair, doesn't it?
As to work without profit - it is called a hobby. A business has to be profitable to be sustainable and to serve large number of customers.
Pointless semantics. Money is like an IOU. If you make a profit it shows that what you do positively benefit others more than negatively affecting others. This is also true for many "hobbies". This doesn't mean that economics is perfect at assigning value. Why do we then have bubbles, crises? Free software even. Is there any reason to believe that wage levels or capitalism in general are more fair and sane? Astronomy was a hobby when they discovered the heliocentric picture. The second point I don't even get, why must a business serve a large number of customers? The benefit is efficiency, but the ultimate in efficiency is automation, and if all is automated then nobody will have work, and people will basically die of starvation in the food store.