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Equality, and Other Stupidities

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posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:01 PM
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To any naive progressive, romantic, or idealist, equality sounds like a mighty fine deal. It conjures imagery of sharing, hands reaching down from gilded-perches to the dirty streets, and compassion towards those who are unable to rise to the median. I mean, what could be left of any hierarchy when no one can possibly fall lower or rise higher than anyone else? Well, the hierarchy would still be there, except that there would only be one rung to one could clasp on to, and the only way to move would be to shuffle horizontally rather than to climb or fall vertically.

Equality is an unreasonable and unrealizable utopian pipe dream, that if implemented in progressive reform, would only serve to reduce an individual to a product of a sadistic state assembly line, with your typical authoritarian dictator or other playing quality control, imposing the universal standards by which we are supposed to be equal. To determine how equal we should be, it only makes sense that a consensus of the entire society would be in order, and each response would be equally considered. Of course that would never happen. The would-be levellers of humanity get to decide the level of equality, that magical value chosen from the vast gradient of variety called humankind to which we should be homogenized and flattened, and thus which nails need hammering down. Who would do the hammering I am unsure.

But let’s pretend that we have eyes unencumbered by the intersubjective agreements we religiously view our reality through, and hold off on looking “through a glass, rosily”, for but a moment.

Anyone with eyes can see that among the myriad objects of reality, equality is a fiction. One thing does not equal another thing. Anyone with eyes can also see that in fact we are not endowed with certain inalienable rights, we are not created equal, and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are but imaginative notions of collective agreement and conformity, mere comforts of our artificial constructs, the philosophical remnants of religiosity and piety, and not even close to anything that would be considered self-evident. Equal opportunity, equal treatment, equal income, and so on, are essentially meaningless given the sloppiness through which these terms are often fused together, and to the extent to which nothing outside of an equation is ever equal to anything but itself.

Perhaps I am being too critical of this relatively benign principle, and I shouldn’t be worried; but there are voices louder than mine who assert the exact opposite: that we are born equal, that we are born with rights, and everyone deserves equal treatment and outcomes, and these loud voices often reach for legislation and reform quicker than those who stay their tongue. All of these assertions are, when compared to the conditions of reality, fatuous falsehoods, and born from the assumptive notions of eternal souls and essences and the like, which is reason enough to be suspicious of them. If a foundation is false, and as such, dead before it was even born, surely its corollaries are as well.

All one has to do is compare two newborns to see that we are not born equal. Locke’s Tabula Rasa has been thoroughly refuted by the sciences, and any “born equal” platitudes refuted with it. There is no eternally equal essence trapped somewhere in eternally unequal bodies—we've looked. And what else didn't we find? There is no blank slate. There is no inherent universal value beyond each and every individual’s inherent originality, and to sand down our fundamental differences so as to arrive to some ethereal platonic form is not only unimaginable (try imagining a universal human), but impossible to attain.

It is also obvious that not everyone deserves equal treatment. The thief should not be treated like a murderer, and a murderer should not be treated like a mayor. I would dare you to treat your accountant as you would your doctor, but I’m afraid you might actually take me up on it.

Let’s not forget the principle of so-called “equality of opportunity” tossed around in political discourse. We can safely wager that the homeless man with the underwear on the outside of his pants does not have the same opportunities as the wealthy well-educated debutante with her underwear properly worn. Opportunity only favours the opportune and advantageous, with preference spent on those willing to take advantage, while the rest have nothing but missed opportunities.

Of course, you might offer the notion that we are, or at least should be, equal in the eyes of the law. I mean sure, I get the point, but then I quickly lose it upon further inspection. For such an apparently progressive notion as equality, the method and fashion through which equality is assumed, dogmatized and enforced by something like divine law is regressive to the highest degree, especially since the notion itself was born of religious motivation. I suppose progressives should give thanks where it is due.

Equal in the eyes of the law…assuming that something so inhuman and so disembodied as the law indeed has eyes, it might also have the wherewithal to witness the variety of individuals and different circumstances unique to every living being, both human and non-human alike. Why pretend that the law is divine when it is conceived, written and enforced by men? Such a notion is as arrogant as the vacuous assumption that humans are equal in the eyes of God, that other ever-present ghost we anthropomorphize and set to do our bidding. If we are to be governed by some divine and all-encompassing set of standards, it might be best if this divinity understood and accurately described what it is that it is governing, rather than forcing an untenable, and likely disastrous, expectation upon them. If we are equal in the eyes of God or the law—whatever the case may be, it all serves the same function—this all-powerful coordinator is unable to distinguish one human and situation from the next, which would place it somewhere in the realm of idiocy. Let’s do ourselves a favour and endow our governing principles with at least a comparable intellect to our own. I think we deserve that much.

Wage gaps, income disparity, social inequality—are these the outcomes of a crude and corrupt society, or the glaring results of a fair one? Have people been pushed and shoved beneath their supposed equals, or have they fallen on their own accord?

Of course, some people get a head-start in life or have some sort of advantage or disadvantage, which is an empirical example of how unequal we really are; but then again determination, ingenuity and even luck have given the edge to even the most disadvantaged and underprivileged of people. There most certainly are some institutional hurdles or privileges embedded within the very structures of our institutions and systems, and in the very minds of the people that compose them. Luckily for us, there are people not so concerned with pulling people down and lifting other’s up, but have rather tasked themselves with constructing better steps so that people can do it themselves. This is why I choose equity over equality, so we can give reward to those who do not expect reward, and so that we can entitle those who do not feel that they are entitled, but have earned it. Give these folks a larger slice of the pie. Hell, give them mine.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis




posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:12 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Do you dislike women and/or minorities?



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:15 PM
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a reply to: Tsubaki




Do you dislike women and/or minorities?


No. Why?

Do you dislike men and/or majorities?



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:15 PM
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We are all born equal.
You may think it a pipe dream but we must strive to make everyone have equal rights at least.
Just because it isn't equal now doesn't mean it will be in the future, If we give up the fight we lose.
But I'm a naive hippy who has had a couple of drinks so what do I know?. lol.
edit on 10-9-2015 by boymonkey74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:20 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

All things being equal, people simply are not equal.


That being said the current state of affairs regarding the haves and the have nots, and the way wealth and power is distributed amongst our respective populations is taking the proverbial vagina.
edit on 10-9-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:23 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I feel you have a lot of valid points in your statement. it reminds me of something I saw on yahoo.com earlier
Mixed-Gender Teams Come up Short in Marines

This article describes the issues faced by the Marines who have integrated female soldiers into their teams and how they compare to all male military teams of the same branch. Essentially it says that there is credence to the statements that women are (on average) not as physically robust as men. I'm not stating that women are incapable of making hard choices in a job such as this but unable to compete physically in the same arena.
I would see them excelling in technical positions (flying drones for example) or maybe in the Air Force where hand/eye coordination is more front & center rather than hiking/marching with heavy equipment.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:31 PM
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Although, I agree with your sentiments, perhaps it would have been nicer to presented in a neutral point of view to not bait others to react negatively.

Equality also comes with respective and kindness towards others and without assumptions what so ever, we all should live what we preach if we really want to get the message across.

Peace
edit on 10-9-2015 by InnerPeace2012 because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-9-2015 by InnerPeace2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:55 PM
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You started out so promising and then you fell into the trap.

If we are indeed not equal, and I agree with you there that we aren't. Then why should we expect an individual's circumstances to be equal beyond conception? At that point we are pretty much the same 1 sperm + 1 egg. After that, the grand game of life begins and differences begin to make themselves known.

And while you rail against equality, you confuse the two notions: equality before the law and equality of outcome. You correctly nail the latter as a utopian pipe dream, but the former is simply the idea that the law is the law and no matter what you are the law says what it says and means what it means. There should be no room for interpretation based on feelings or compassion, only the law.

History shows that societies that respect the rights of the individual tend to prosper. Yes, those same unalienable rights you claim don't exist. And unless you can claim Cicero to be some sort of religious zealot, then the idea of basic rights of the individual goes back much further than most of today's religions.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:10 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko




If we are indeed not equal, and I agree with you there that we aren't. Then why should we expect an individual's circumstances to be equal beyond conception? At that point we are pretty much the same 1 sperm + 1 egg. After that, the grand game of life begins and differences begin to make themselves known.


But we are different sperms and eggs, from different parents and carrying different genetic information. A particular sperm and a particular egg are fused together only once .


And while you rail against equality, you confuse the two notions: equality before the law and equality of outcome. You correctly nail the latter as a utopian pipe dream, but the former is simply the idea that the law is the law and no matter what you are the law says what it says and means what it means. There should be no room for interpretation based on feelings or compassion, only the law.

History shows that societies that respect the rights of the individual tend to prosper. Yes, those same unalienable rights you claim don't exist. And unless you can claim Cicero to be some sort of religious zealot, then the idea of basic rights of the individual goes back much further than most of today's religions.


The law says what it says and means what it means... If that is an argument, sure, the law says what it says and means what it means.

But laws change, correct? In other words, there is always room for interpretation. For instance, the idea that we are born with rights, and born equal, are fundamentally absurd given the empirical data. We are promised rights, not born with them. They don't exist in the sense that our laws say they do. They are intersubjective agreements They are human-inspired standards. Intersubjective agreements between members of a society and human-favoured standards do exist, but natural or god-given rights do not.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

You know we might not have equal qualities as everyone knows individuals traits vary amongst people, however our lives are equal, and our quality of life would be nice to be equal. Obviously no one can argue "god" blessed the child who's got his own, and we all need to have our own.




posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:21 PM
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I wish I were as eloquent as you. This was beautiful to read, even if the message is not agreed upon by all. Everyone has to admit it is an exquisite work of art you have shared with all. (Funny that, it seems we are not equal just on this point alone.)

As far as equality and a Utopian society, it's is truly impossible. As written by George Orwell, "Some are more equal than others." Those who will, in this dream like society, enforce the equality standards cannot by definition be equal with those they enforce them on.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:23 PM
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look at an atom. Should we all be neutrons? or would we rather have a balanced collection of protons and electrons. A balanced collection of male and female. Electrons at various energy levels, different spin states, and occupying different orbitals. People occupying different roles in society. Despite this stratification, the electrons in higher energy states should realize they would fall if a lower energy electron were to be removed. This is where the analogy falls short... the elite look at us as expendable pawns. Regardless, we know that the higher energy electrons are the first to go when the energy in the system dwindles.

Equality is reserved for a resting state, we are currently dynamic.

Good post.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:23 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Didn't you know, except for continued efforts to take the "wealth" from those that have some, the social battle cry of "equality" has shifted to a new paradigm labeled "Diversity." That new plan escapes the drab commonness of "equality" and substitutes what will be class divisions as each class seek out their own level of existence. 'Course, the equality thing is handled quietly with entitlements to those diverse populations that choose to take the free ride as they are given checks one way or another fairly equal to the middle-class employed.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

In what respect are our lives equal?

I too value life, all life as a matter of fact, but definitely not because they are equal.

Why are our lives equal, and why should equality make those lives more valuable? To say the life of our mother is equal to the life of Kim Jung Un's is to lessen the value of other mother's lives.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:28 PM
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a reply to: Baldryck

You noticed the Orwell reference? I recommend the essay "Through a glass, rosily".

Thank you for the words.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:28 PM
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originally posted by: Aliensun

'Course, the equality thing is handled quietly with entitlements to those diverse populations that choose to take the free ride as they are given checks


Overheard at the coffee shop today:

"I used my food stamps on two cases of red bull and finished it in two days"




posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:31 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Subjectively, lives are not equal, and that holds true to our values as individuals. Objectively life should be valued as equal because it is something we all take part in, that we all share infrastructure and circumstances past humanity has given us. It's seems reasonable that the highest aspiration of humanity is altruism, and if that is true than the objective value of life is equal, we just build upon it with subjective quality.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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S&F

Equality guarantees stagnation and stifled potential. No room to grow, no room for failure. More lives have been destroyed in the name of equality than Americans would like to admit.

A standard and immutable law is ideal for the protection of liberty and privacy, but the ability to interpret the law is a gift that society is unequally yoked with. Some people are to ignorant to interpret the law correctly, and yet others too emotional.

The idea of a Bill of Rights is the only good part of the US Constitution. The rest is a utopianist wet dream, yet even the Bill of Rights has failed to guarantee equal liberties (due to ignorance and emotional thinking).

The weakness of equality is humanity.
edit on 10-9-2015 by BELIEVERpriest because: typo



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:36 PM
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originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Didn't you know, except for continued efforts to take the "wealth" from those that have some, the social battle cry of "equality" has shifted to a new paradigm labeled "Diversity." That new plan escapes the drab commonness of "equality" and substitutes what will be class divisions as each class seek out their own level of existence. 'Course, the equality thing is handled quietly with entitlements to those diverse populations that choose to take the free ride as they are given checks one way or another fairly equal to the middle-class employed.


Diversity to me is the sectioning off of human beings into groups and classifications, almost like subspecies, which is particularly dehumanizing. People get jobs based on sex or race rather than ability and character, because some imaginary quota must be met for the purposes of keeping up appearances. People don't exist solely in their skins or genitalia, and should never be valued according to such false distinctions.
edit on 10-9-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 09:40 PM
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originally posted by: TechniXcality
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Subjectively, lives are not equal, and that holds true to our values as individuals. Objectively life should be valued as equal because it is something we all take part in, that we all share infrastructure and circumstances past humanity has given us. It's seems reasonable that the highest aspiration of humanity is altruism, and if that is true than the objective value of life is equal, we just build upon it with subjective quality.


That is a fair and beautiful thought. But I usually mistrust what appeals to me out of principle, at least for a while.

As for altruism, I would argue that it would be a higher aspiration to live for others only as much you expect them to live for you.




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