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Thread: Equality

  1. #1
    Bird of War Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Default Equality

    It seems to me that a great deal of the political issues prominent in the 21st century center around the concept of equality. I suppose, then, it might be a useful exercise to see what other people might describe as equality. I suppose I'm curious about people's answers to the following questions. (This isn't intended as a debate thread, and is intended more along the lines of figuring out what people actually think.) Please don't link to YouTube videos from various internet celebrities; I wish to know what you yourself think in your own words, although quotations are fine.


    • Is equality of opportunity important?
    • Equality of outcome?
    • Is equality a simple matter of treating everyone the same, or does it happen to be something more complex?
    • Do you think your psychological type plays a role in your conceptions of equality?
    • Is equality in general even important? Why, or why not?
    • What are the biggest barriers to equality?
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    No Title agentwashington's Avatar
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    Is equality of opportunity important?
    Y
    Equality of outcome?
    What exactly is meant by outcome?
    Is equality a simple matter of treating everyone the same, or does it happen to be something more complex?
    Complex-er.
    Do you think your psychological type plays a role in your conceptions of equality?
    No. I also think most people are simple-minded enough that their type has nothing to do with it.
    Is equality in general even important? Why, or why not?
    ...Aside from moral reasons, it also appears to be the most sustainable model with regards to business management in the long run.
    Not that I give a shit about businesses, but it has implications for society.
    What are the biggest barriers to equality?
    Where I'm from, the lack of equality laws. I think human rights, except for the right to property insofar as right to property contradicts rights to congregation and freedom, as well as the ineffectiveness of protecting rights without affiliation to a national state recognising said rights, is generally the right direction. Rights are also useless without consciousness of societal duty towards its constituents.
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  3. #3
    was here that's not my name's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julius_Van_Der_Beak View Post
    [*]Is equality of opportunity important?
    Yes, I think for a society to be its most productive there needs to be equality of opportunity (in the legal sense), so that people who are better suited for certain things can find their way to doing those things if they choose.
    [*]Equality of outcome?
    No. It's pretty much impossible to regulate and any attempt to will waste tons of resources that could go to making society more productive. I also think it can create some strange situations economically and the closer we can get to having the market work organically the better it is for the economy and progress in any industry.
    [*]Is equality a simple matter of treating everyone the same, or does it happen to be something more complex?
    Treating everyone the same under the law. That's it.
    [*]Do you think your psychological type plays a role in your conceptions of equality?
    I think if I were another type I would not think as deeply about it, since dominant function is subjective logic. But to answer your question more broadly, if everyone were a different person, would their opinion be different than it is now? Maybe...almost certainly if their views are nuanced.
    [*]Is equality in general even important? Why, or why not?
    In the legal sense it is, for the reason I mentioned in the first question. In any other sense, it doesn't exist and if people try to force it into existence its at the risk of creating a society out of touch with reality.
    [*]What are the biggest barriers to equality?
    Social norms that go against the idea of legal equality, complex situations (like child support, divorce, child custody, abortion...etc), people who pretend they are for equality but are for supremacy and try to divide americans along identity lines (basically identity politics is the fucking worst).

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    This is a good topic that deserves a long response, but I am still summoning up the force of will to exert myself in a long post.
    Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. -Richard P. Feynman

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    Senior Member deathwarmedup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julius_Van_Der_Beak View Post


    Is equality of opportunity important?
    It's a moral imperative. To deny it, either actively or passively, means that some person or group has taken it upon themselves to set the limits of another's aspiration.

    Equality of outcome?
    If we'd always strived for this we'd still be in the stone age.

    Is equality a simple matter of treating everyone the same, or does it happen to be something more complex?

    It's about being mindful of maintaining a form of relationship between people that allows for the basic dignity of everyone in that relationship. The heart of inequality is enforced submission of one to another (slavery); the heart of equality is universal freedom - the dignity of freedom. The enforced equality and the passive inequality of totalitarian Communism and 19th century High Capitalism were both forms of freedom-denying and dignity-denying bondage. Bondage persists in varying degrees of force, subtlety and intentionality as per the economic conditions (the exclusion of modern young British people from home ownership and accumulation of capital and the passive failure to fully address it).


    Do you think your psychological type plays a role in your conceptions of equality?
    Yes. And my culture, and upbringing and education, and genes.

    What are the biggest barriers to equality?
    Only stone age hunter gatherer groups ever achieved a form of social equality and it was an active equality, enforced because their societies were small enough to enable it and their "economies" required cooperation over property accumulation and stability in the absence of laws. Passive equality is not possible because it's not natural. Hierarchy and authority are in our evolutionary legacy, and some remain more entranced by that legacy than others. I don't believe that makes it right because I don't believe we are merely animals. Take a rickshaw ride for a minute - just long enough to feel the effort of the man's shoulders and thighs jolting back through the carriage and you might understand how profoundly wrong true inequality is and that another man is no more an animal than you are and has no less dignity. The most shameful thing I ever did.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ace_'s Avatar
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    I think equality of outcome is a cancer that will eat away at the foundations of a society.

  7. #7
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    I think a lot of people don't even fully grasp the concept of equality, to the point it's become another buzzword people toss about without fully considering.

    -I would answer that equality of opportunity is desirable, while equality of outcome, while it would be nice, is not a desirable goal so long as the means outweigh the ends in their harm.

    -In terms of treating everyone with the same base level of respect, I think that's a good approach.


    Have you looked into terms like "luck egalitarianism"?

    I think equality has become oversimplified as a term, probably most "moderate" people inbetween political extremes wouldn't mind some basic form of equality, but it seems that a lot of people have drastically different ideas of what the end product of perfect equality might even look like.
    our preferences do not determine what's true. -Sagan

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    Is equality of opportunity important?
    Yes. It is necessary people have their basic rights recognized by law. And I feel this is a right.

    Equality of outcome?
    This is different. It cannot be attempted except by means few would approve of. I am with Hayek and Nozick in saying that eqaulity of outcome and freedom are incompatible. And I prefer freedom.

    Is equality a simple matter of treating everyone the same, or does it happen to be something more complex?
    Treating everyone the same is indiscrimination, not equality. But they are related, indiscrimination and equality. Equality of opportunity doesn't allow discrimination in matters of law. And eqaulity of outcome doesn't allow discrimination in personal choices. The latter reason is a way of saying liberty and and equality of outcome are incompatible. Equality of outcome has to be forced in order to be brought about: and through this process of forcing people to make choices that are "good for the welfare of society" you take away freedom and responsiblity.

    Do you think your psychological type plays a role in your conceptions of equality?
    I don't know.

    Is equality in general even important? Why, or why not?
    Equality before law is important, not equality of outcome.

    What are the biggest barriers to equality?
    Not sure.

  9. #9
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    The more opportunity we have, the more we allow the best matches of people to interests, jobs, and/or one another to happen more naturally. Supply/demand-ish systems work best when opportunities and people can actually be matched. Opportunity means removing artificial barriers, especially the barriers of entry. That's good for self-actualization, productivity, moving forward as a society.. you name it: personal fulfillment self-organizing to societal fulfillment. Barriers to opportunity just clip perfectly good wings.

    The ideal is for everyone to have infinite opportunity: the easiest way for that sort of matching to occur. You know, access to every single bit of information, resources, how-to guides, religious texts, collective wisdom, job postings, etc. that's out there. But finite is all we've got.

    Finite equal opportunity, as a goal in and of itself, is only good if (a) you're looking at life as a track meet or (b) prioritizing fairness above all else. If you were God, you could make opportunity equal across the board by seizing everyone's assets and handing everyone a $10 bill. "Here's what everyone starts with. Good luck!" That simply clips everyone's wings, but hey -- equal opportunity!

    But, again, finite is all we've got. How do we approach (maybe even approximate) infinite opportunity with what we have, then? How do we square reality with fairness? What's fair -- do we distribute our finite resources or not? To what degree? That's where economic systems, policies, laws, (hopefully equal) enforcement of those laws, etc. come into play.


    But equal outcomes? No. Hell no. Just set it all up right and see how it shakes out.
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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace_ View Post
    I think equality of outcome is a cancer that will eat away at the foundations of a society.
    I think people tend to take anyone saying <something> is a cancer less seriously than they would had another word been chosen.

    Equal outcomes are a ridiculous expectation. We have finite opportunities but they aren't managed or available in an equal way, they never have been. Starting by acknowledging that fact might be a better conversation than anything else right now.
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