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  1. #1

    Default Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity, Equivalence and the Difference Between them

    I am curious, what do the following words mean to people?:
    Equal Rights
    Equal Opportunity
    Equivalence

    I am asking in the context as these words apply to people. That is:
    People having equal rights
    People having equal opportunity
    People being equivalent

    Can you distinguish between these cases (as they mean to you) with concrete examples?

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  2. #2
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    A right specifically entitles someone to something, like a freedom to do something or a freedom from being made to do something. Equal rights just means granting such a thing to everyone. That does not automatically result in equal opportunity. Giving everyone the right to own a gun does not mean everyone exists in circumstances where they can purchase a gun. Giving people a right to speech does not mean everyone is in an equal position to be heard. Some people have a right, but they still don't have a plausible chance to exercise it.

    In the past (and to some extent today) oppression of minorities or women has legally used loopholes in how our rights are defined to apply legal valid laws which do not directly affront the rights enumerated in the law, but have the practical effect of placing a disadvantage on the group in question and thus reducing the chance of exercising their rights.

    This is really what people are arguing over with the voting rights act. You have a right to vote as a citizen (not in the bill of rights, but in the constitution, with blacks and women extended the vote in the bill of rights later), but racist state governments have in the past put seemingly innocuous requirements on voting which anyone could theoretically, potentially meet, but at a cost that weighed more heavily on blacks, thus disenfranchising them from voting. That's an example of an equal right without equal opportunity.

    Equivalence is, I think, a much more abstract and vague term here. I don't usually use it in these discussion, and people use it in so many different ways that I would not presume to know what they mean. They could mean two peoples are literally identical, or they could mean two peoples are equal in merit, or they could mean two peoples are the same for the purpose of some particular perimeters they are talking about, etc...
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    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    I always thought equivalence was just an exchange of two forces of equal measurement. Or I've been watching too much Full Metal Alchemist.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I am curious, what do the following words mean to people?:
    Equal Rights
    Equal Opportunity
    Equivalence

    I am asking in the context as these words apply to people. That is:
    People having equal rights
    People having equal opportunity
    People being equivalent
    @Magic Poriferan did a good job of contrasting rights and opportunity. I would add that rights are a legal construct. Even when we speak of inalienable, "God-given" rights, we do so to argue for their legal recognition. Opportunity is the reality of the situation, practice vs. theory. The voting example is a good one. Health care provides another interesting one. Opponents of managed care or national health care systems often cite the right to choose your own doctor as an advantage of market-based systems. Lack of money often keeps people from exercising that right, though, and sometimes keeps them from seeing a doctor at all. Equality of opportunity, then, would start with ensuring everyone had access to a doctor.

    Equality of opportunity should not be confused with equality of outcome. Not every opportunity is right for every person. People must be free to make their own choices, even if they are sometimes unwise. That is part of being an adult. Not everyone will go to the doctor, even if the financial impediment is removed. Not everyone will go to college; some will do better in technical training, or the military, or learning on-the-job. All these options are valid. Equality of opportunity merely means that people are limited only by their actual abilities and desires.

    I see equivalence as implying equal value, not being identical. One US dollar today is the equivalent of 0.75 Euros. If I held the actual money in my hands, I would see it is quite different, but they are worth the same. Similarly, one might say that doing a trade apprenticeship is equivalent to going to college, in that it provides education beyond high school, connects a young person with suitable mentors and peers, and prepares one for a career. I don't see how one can compare people in this way unless one focuses on specific roles or abilities: e.g. a close family friend could be the equivalent of an aunt, or a good cook could be the equivalent of a good handy"man" in what they contribute to a household.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I am curious, what do the following words mean to people?:
    Equal Rights
    Equal Opportunity
    Equivalence

    I am asking in the context as these words apply to people. That is:
    People having equal rights
    People having equal opportunity
    People being equivalent

    Can you distinguish between these cases (as they mean to you) with concrete examples?
    Equal is equal: man-woman, gay-straight, fat-thin, sideways gary-afro.

    Divorce is epidemic, an option, and more disgusting to me than two men exchanging body fluids. Show me where God and country support such lunacy.

    What is equal to me? Having the same measure for ALL acts of lunacy -- whether it be falling in love, divorce, or attempting to procreate with the same sex. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

    "I support equal rights" means, I support such things as gays getting drunk, hitched, and filing for divorce like the rest of fallen mankind. And then begging God for forgiveness. In the eyes of God, all sins are equal.

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NICKERS SNICKERS View Post
    In the eyes of God, all sins are equal.
    Nah, in the eyes of God there are venial sins and mortal sins. So God can send venial sinners to purgatory where they are purged of their venial sins and then admitted to heaven. And also so God can send mortal sinners to hell for all eternity. None of this hippy-dippy nonsense of all sins being equal - I mean where would be the justice?

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Nah, in the eyes of God there are venial sins and mortal sins. So God can send venial sinners to purgatory where they are purged of their venial sins and then admitted to heaven. And also so God can send mortal sinners to hell for all eternity. None of this hippy-dippy nonsense of all sins being equal - I mean where would be the justice?
    And once again, Man (or Mole) creates God in his own image.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    And once again, Man (or Mole) creates God in his own image.
    You are going to get a terrible shock in the afterlife to discover that God is the Great Mole, the Good and the Merciful, (except for weasels and stoats, and cheeky rabbits).

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    It means to me an unleashed civilization complete with individuality and coexisting together in harmony with all of their separate ways in unison.

    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

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