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Are we all truly equal?
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Posted 2/26/11
No.

If everyone were equal, then everyone would be the same. Everyone is different, ergo we are all unequal.

Just because two people are unequal doesn't mean that one is "better" than the other, though. However, the sad fact of the matter is that some people were born with genes which predisposes them to academic success, beauty, charisma, etc etc...

Furthermore, some people are born into wealth, fame, power, etc... Other people, however, get the short end of the stick from birth.

To claim that everyone is equal is to make a mockery of the human condition.
Posted 2/27/11

Taedrin wrote:

No.

If everyone were equal, then everyone would be the same. Everyone is different, ergo we are all unequal.

Just because two people are unequal doesn't mean that one is "better" than the other, though. However, the sad fact of the matter is that some people were born with genes which predisposes them to academic success, beauty, charisma, etc etc...

Furthermore, some people are born into wealth, fame, power, etc... Other people, however, get the short end of the stick from birth.

To claim that everyone is equal is to make a mockery of the human condition.
Ah ha! That's where you got it wrong. Because when the environmental factors are the depending variables, we're all the same as to we either adapt to the human conditioning, or we get eliminated by our competitions.

And just like that, certain genetic traits mean nothing without the actual environment suitable for them to manifest. So before you turned to the rank of Nazism with eugenics, even Einstein himself did poorly in public school with its standardized education. Universalized acculturation doesn't work on everyone.

Also, when material wealth was but an illusion, so too were the arbitrary concepts of fame and status as social capital.
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Posted 2/27/11

DomFortress wrote:


Taedrin wrote:

No.

If everyone were equal, then everyone would be the same. Everyone is different, ergo we are all unequal.

Just because two people are unequal doesn't mean that one is "better" than the other, though. However, the sad fact of the matter is that some people were born with genes which predisposes them to academic success, beauty, charisma, etc etc...

Furthermore, some people are born into wealth, fame, power, etc... Other people, however, get the short end of the stick from birth.

To claim that everyone is equal is to make a mockery of the human condition.
Ah ha! That's where you got it wrong. Because when the environmental factors are the depending variables, we're all the same as to we either adapt to the human conditioning, or we get eliminated by our competitions.

And just like that, certain genetic traits mean nothing without the actual environment suitable for them to manifest. So before you turned to the rank of Nazism with eugenics, even Einstein himself did poorly in public school with its standardized education. Universalized acculturation doesn't work on everyone.

Also, when material wealth was but an illusion, so too were the arbitrary concepts of fame and status as social capital.


Actually Einstein excelled in school. You may be thinking about the misconception that Einstein failed math. This is not true - he failed the entrance examination to Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule in Switzerland, despite the fact that he had "exemplary scores in math and physics". In fact, Einstein was an extremely gifted math student, as he mastered both differential and integral calculus by the age of 15. The entrance examination probably did not allow him to display his incredible math skills, so it instead highlighted his disinterest in non-technical fields (though that is just speculation on my part).

But anyways, back to the main argument at hand:

Yes, sometimes environmental factors are the depending variables. But you have to remember that not everyone is born into the same environment, through no fault of our own. And at the same time, not EVERY human characteristic is determined solely by environmental factors.
I am also a little worried that you reference Nazi eugenics. Eugenics reduces the genetic diversity of a species and interferes with a species' ability to adapt to environmental changes. I myself would NEVER "[turn] to the rank of Nazism with eugenics" as you put it. The only eugenics program that I could ever accept is evolution.

That social capital link that you mention is also incorrect. Psychopathy, now called Antisocial Personality Disorder, means that someone has a fundamental lack of empathy. While it IS true that more men are diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder than women, this only serves to highlight both the environmental and genetic differences between men and women. It is these differences which cause more men to be psychopathic than women. And because these differences exist, men and women are unequal.

Please, please PLEASE understand that when I say unequal, I do not mean that one is better than the other. I merely mean that they are not interchangeable. If you take any two people, and exchange them at birth- they will both lead entirely dissimilar lives from either of the lives they would have had if you left them alone.
Posted 2/27/11

Taedrin wrote:


DomFortress wrote:


Taedrin wrote:

No.

If everyone were equal, then everyone would be the same. Everyone is different, ergo we are all unequal.

Just because two people are unequal doesn't mean that one is "better" than the other, though. However, the sad fact of the matter is that some people were born with genes which predisposes them to academic success, beauty, charisma, etc etc...

Furthermore, some people are born into wealth, fame, power, etc... Other people, however, get the short end of the stick from birth.

To claim that everyone is equal is to make a mockery of the human condition.
Ah ha! That's where you got it wrong. Because when the environmental factors are the depending variables, we're all the same as to we either adapt to the human conditioning, or we get eliminated by our competitions.

And just like that, certain genetic traits mean nothing without the actual environment suitable for them to manifest. So before you turned to the rank of Nazism with eugenics, even Einstein himself did poorly in public school with its standardized education. Universalized acculturation doesn't work on everyone.

Also, when material wealth was but an illusion, so too were the arbitrary concepts of fame and status as social capital.


Actually Einstein excelled in school. You may be thinking about the misconception that Einstein failed math. This is not true - he failed the entrance examination to Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule in Switzerland, despite the fact that he had "exemplary scores in math and physics". In fact, Einstein was an extremely gifted math student, as he mastered both differential and integral calculus by the age of 15. The entrance examination probably did not allow him to display his incredible math skills, so it instead highlighted his disinterest in non-technical fields (though that is just speculation on my part).

But anyways, back to the main argument at hand:

Yes, sometimes environmental factors are the depending variables. But you have to remember that not everyone is born into the same environment, through no fault of our own. And at the same time, not EVERY human characteristic is determined solely by environmental factors.
I am also a little worried that you reference Nazi eugenics. Eugenics reduces the genetic diversity of a species and interferes with a species' ability to adapt to environmental changes. I myself would NEVER "[turn] to the rank of Nazism with eugenics" as you put it. The only eugenics program that I could ever accept is evolution.

That social capital link that you mention is also incorrect. Psychopathy, now called Antisocial Personality Disorder, means that someone has a fundamental lack of empathy. While it IS true that more men are diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder than women, this only serves to highlight both the environmental and genetic differences between men and women. It is these differences which cause more men to be psychopathic than women. And because these differences exist, men and women are unequal.

Please, please PLEASE understand that when I say unequal, I do not mean that one is better than the other. I merely mean that they are not interchangeable. If you take any two people, and exchange them at birth- they will both lead entirely dissimilar lives from either of the lives they would have had if you left them alone.
I was referring to how standardized education failed to nurture diversion thinking skill. When Einstein was home-schooled.

Don't you mean natural selection?

Don't get psychopathy all missed up with APD, you've no idea just how serious the matter is: a psychopath manipulates others in order to get what they want, someone with APD OTOH doesn't.

Finally, when men and women were socialized differently due to gender ideology, it's not hard to see why their brains developed differently. That's completely different that your "blank slate" hypothesis.
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Posted 2/27/11

DomFortress wrote:


Taedrin wrote:
Excessive pyramid quoting

I was referring to how standardized education failed to nurture diversion thinking skill. When Einstein was home-schooled.

Don't you mean natural selection?

Don't get psychopathy all missed up with APD, you've no idea just how serious the matter is: a psychopath manipulates others in order to get what they want, someone with APD OTOH doesn't.

Finally, when men and women were socialized differently due to gender ideology, it's not hard to see why their brains developed differently. That's completely different that your "blank slate" hypothesis.


Natural selection is part of evolution. Evolution is comprised of two driving factors: 1) Natural selection and 2) Mutation.

Natural selection weeds out undesirable genetic traits. Natural selection can act very fast, especially amongst r-strategist species
where several generations of a species are produced in a short amount of time. Excessive natural selection reduces genetic diversity and can be harmful in the long run - especially if there is a sudden environmental shift. For example, it was natural selection which caused humans to become omnivores. in the process, however, we lost our ability to synthesize certain amino acids and vitamins. Now we are dependent upon eating meat, or a wide variety of vegetables in order to get the nutrients we need, where we used to be able to subsist entirely on fruits and nuts.

Mutation is a source of genetic diversity, as it slowly adds new, random genes to a specie's gene pool. Usually these genes do nothing noticeable.

As for psychopathy, this term was redefined to Antisocial Personality Disorder in the 1980's by the 3rd edition of the DSM - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders written by the American Psychological Association. I apologize if this definition is different elsewhere in the world - I am merely recalling what I learned in my psychology class.

Finally, with that last point you made about men, women and the blank slate: I am a little bit confused about what you are trying to say. When you say "men and women were socialized differently due to gender ideology, it's not hard to see why their brains developed differently.", are you arguing that men and women are only different because of the gender roles that society places upon them? If so, this is frankly not true. Hormonal signals that both men and women receive from even BEFORE birth cause different brain development paths to be taken. For example, male brain development in a fetus differs from female brain development. In the male, testosterone causes the auditory cortex to inhibit "white noise" more than females and accelerates development of the visual cortex.

Your TED talk (brownie points for mentioning TED, btw) highlights exactly what I am trying to say:
We have political motivation to think that everyone is a blank slate because: "If we're blank slates, we're all equal. But if something is written on the slate, some people could have more of it than others."

But as the TED talk points out, Fairness != Sameness.

Perhaps the crux of our disagreement is based on definitions? As a programmer, when someone makes a statement that two things are equal, I tend to read that as meaning that they are the same: they can be exchanged freely without consequence or alteration of function.

Perhaps an analogy will help clear up what I am trying to argue:

You have two babies born in the same hospital on the same day to different parents. They live very different lives. Let us say that John lives life A and James lives life B. Now, we discover time travel, and go back in time and switch them at birth. Does John now live life B and James live life A? Or does John live life A and James live life B, even though they were switched? I would argue that neither is quite true. John will most likely develop into a person similar to his first life, but not exactly the same. Likewise, James will also develop into a person similar to his first life, but not exactly the same. Thus you would not be able to say that John and James were equal at birth, nor would you be able to say that they were completely genetically predestined to live out their life the way they did. Both genes and environment come into play.
Posted 2/27/11

Taedrin wrote:


Natural selection is part of evolution. Evolution is comprised of two driving factors: 1) Natural selection and 2) Mutation.

Natural selection weeds out undesirable genetic traits. Natural selection can act very fast, especially amongst r-strategist species
where several generations of a species are produced in a short amount of time. Excessive natural selection reduces genetic diversity and can be harmful in the long run - especially if there is a sudden environmental shift. For example, it was natural selection which caused humans to become omnivores. in the process, however, we lost our ability to synthesize certain amino acids and vitamins. Now we are dependent upon eating meat, or a wide variety of vegetables in order to get the nutrients we need, where we used to be able to subsist entirely on fruits and nuts.

Mutation is a source of genetic diversity, as it slowly adds new, random genes to a specie's gene pool. Usually these genes do nothing noticeable.

As for psychopathy, this term was redefined to Antisocial Personality Disorder in the 1980's by the 3rd edition of the DSM - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders written by the American Psychological Association. I apologize if this definition is different elsewhere in the world - I am merely recalling what I learned in my psychology class.

Finally, with that last point you made about men, women and the blank slate: I am a little bit confused about what you are trying to say. When you say "men and women were socialized differently due to gender ideology, it's not hard to see why their brains developed differently.", are you arguing that men and women are only different because of the gender roles that society places upon them? If so, this is frankly not true. Hormonal signals that both men and women receive from even BEFORE birth cause different brain development paths to be taken. For example, male brain development in a fetus differs from female brain development. In the male, testosterone causes the auditory cortex to inhibit "white noise" more than females and accelerates development of the visual cortex.

Your TED talk (brownie points for mentioning TED, btw) highlights exactly what I am trying to say:
We have political motivation to think that everyone is a blank slate because: "If we're blank slates, we're all equal. But if something is written on the slate, some people could have more of it than others."

But as the TED talk points out, Fairness != Sameness.

Perhaps the crux of our disagreement is based on definitions? As a programmer, when someone makes a statement that two things are equal, I tend to read that as meaning that they are the same: they can be exchanged freely without consequence or alteration of function.

Perhaps an analogy will help clear up what I am trying to argue:

You have two babies born in the same hospital on the same day to different parents. They live very different lives. Let us say that John lives life A and James lives life B. Now, we discover time travel, and go back in time and switch them at birth. Does John now live life B and James live life A? Or does John live life A and James live life B, even though they were switched? I would argue that neither is quite true. John will most likely develop into a person similar to his first life, but not exactly the same. Likewise, James will also develop into a person similar to his first life, but not exactly the same. Thus you would not be able to say that John and James were equal at birth, nor would you be able to say that they were completely genetically predestined to live out their life the way they did. Both genes and environment come into play.
And standardized education as an arbitrary human condition disrupted human evolution big time, when its myth on specialization is unifying the mutation process, aka divergent thinking.

I went two steps further to analyze the source of DSM IV on psychopathy: Snakes in Suits: When psychopaths go to work. The book breaks down psychopathy into a sub section of APD. And when I emulated the patriarchy culture to the extreme, the result is the behavior of a psychopath.

Hormonal signals during the development of the fetus does create personality traits, however this isn't sexually exclusive enough as a determine factor:

Still, even if prenatal testosterone is a factor in homosexuality, it's unlikely to be the only element. Studies indicate genes wield much influence.

Even as digit ratio research flourishes and more behavioral links are established, the relationships will remain mere statistical correlations until researchers fully understand how sex hormones physically affect the brain. The reigning hypothesis is that testosterone encourages growth in the right side of the brain, while inhibiting growth in the left. Animal models using rats, mice and sheep show that testosterone boosts growth in a part of the hypothalamus involved in sexual behavior and fertility. In sheep, males with hypermasculinized brains are sexually attracted to other males.

You may be tempted to draw conclusions from your own fingers. But it's impossible to do so accurately in a vacuum, cautions Manning. Fingers are an indication of the environment that molded the brain, but only if you know how you measure up to others.

"You have to be careful," he says. "You can't look at someone's fingers and make a determination about whether they are heterosexual or lesbian, just as you can't decide whether they're neurotic. The [sexuality indicators] are most certainly there, but they're not strong enough to allow us to make predictions."(citation)

BTW, thanks for the TED credits.
Posted 3/1/11
Well, I don't know. Who do you trust with your money?
The Man in the suit?
or the man with no suit?
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Posted 3/4/11
If there is a first, there must be a last. A second, a third.
If there is someone rich, someone needs to be poor.

If everyone was good looking, they would all be considered average.
Everything is relative.

High pay can only exist with low pay.

By the laws of chance, the polulation will form a bell curve.
Someone just by sheer bad luck will end up in the worst situation, and will resort to crime.

We can not have clean streets without the landfils we fill with trash and polute the enviroment.




The only reason I can live this was is because some poor guy in asia is only making 2 dollars a day farming rice










Posted 3/4/11

Daniel9878 wrote:

If there is a first, there must be a last. A second, a third.
If there is someone rich, someone needs to be poor.

If everyone was good looking, they would all be considered average.
Everything is relative.

High pay can only exist with low pay.

By the laws of chance, the polulation will form a bell curve.
Someone just by sheer bad luck will end up in the worst situation, and will resort to crime.

We can not have clean streets without the landfils we fill with trash and polute the enviroment.




The only reason I can live this was is because some poor guy in asia is only making 2 dollars a day farming rice
Nope, it's because you believed the many lies known as the illusion of choice, natural happiness, and extrinsic motivation.
Posted 3/19/11
No, we aren't. Some people are born with higher intelligence, and some are born with defects and disabilities. If you mean in the terminology of people being equal in 'rights', that's subjective. Though I think everyone is inherently equal until you evaluate their usefulness and progression in society.

Posted 4/6/11
Hm.. that's hard. There are people who get insecure to others because of social status, physical appearance etc. I'd like to think that we are all equal though. We may be facing different problems in life, but we all go through problems. Everyone also gets his/her share of happiness. Maybe he/she's not happy today, but he/she'll be, in time.
Posted 4/6/11
No, people are not born equal.

People are born with a unique set of genes which determines how smart they'll be, how tall they'll be, how talented they'll be in various areas. They are born with a set of parents who'll further shape them depending on how rich they are, how much effort they put into the upbringing, how well educated and intelligent they are. In which country they live plays in, what kind of friends they make plays in, how much fortune they have in life, etc etc etc...

Posted 4/6/11

Okazu606 wrote:

No, people are not born equal.

People are born with a unique set of genes which determines how smart they'll be, how tall they'll be, how talented they'll be in various areas. They are born with a set of parents who'll further shape them depending on how rich they are, how much effort they put into the upbringing, how well educated and intelligent they are. In which country they live plays in, what kind of friends they make plays in, how much fortune they have in life, etc etc etc...
Then your unrealistic perception only conforms an arbitrary psychosocial inequality. When you're unaware of the huge human dependency when it comes to cultural upbringings, how the negative stereotypes can cripple human development, and the dire state of public education due to a misunderstanding about human learning.

In short, while some of us are insane in very unique ways. The majority of us OTOH are evolutionary stupid in a very predicable pattern.
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Posted 4/7/11
I think equality is an illusion. There is so much more opportunity for those born into wealthy families who have influence. They are the ones who get the internship positions at important companies through who their parents are friends with and so are the ones who will get the jobs that matter while a child born into a lower working class family will struggle for everything they get as their parents did so in that sense we are really not equal at all. Who your parents are dictates your future more than anything else since societies elite like to keep their own on top.

The only equal thing we have is we are all human.
Posted 4/7/11 , edited 4/7/11

MrMoondoggie wrote:

I think equality is an illusion. There is so much more opportunity for those born into wealthy families who have influence. They are the ones who get the internship positions at important companies through who their parents are friends with and so are the ones who will get the jobs that matter while a child born into a lower working class family will struggle for everything they get as their parents did so in that sense we are really not equal at all. Who your parents are dictates your future more than anything else since societies elite like to keep their own on top.

The only equal thing we have is we are all human.
But when kinship and lineage are cultural traditions existed before prehistory, while humans are essentially social animals, you can see that while biologically humans still inherited their evolutionary decision-making biases, so too is inequality but a cultural constructed psychosocial meme much like racism. For humans are more subjective towards mindless aping, due to their rather high dependency on culture and socialization. Yet empathy and thus morality in the form of social justice have their biological and neurological roots.
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