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Is Equality Evil?
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Posted 2/20/15 , edited 2/20/15
This is the full text of Harrison Bergeron
taken from
https://archive.org/stream/HarrisonBergeron/Harrison%20Bergeron_djvu.txt
Because I saw it brought up.
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Posted 2/20/15 , edited 2/20/15

kakashi2k7 wrote:

Anyone can be smart if you work hard at it.


Tell that to the people with dementia. No matter how hard they work, it all falls away, and what may be superhuman for someone with dementia is stupid to a normal person.


---


Anyways, this is definitely a subject. Just like why we shouldn't make a microchip slave class that uses drugs to stay in a permanent state of happiness doing their work.

After all, people's worth can be gauged on any number of things. Perhaps if we divide people up based on ability type and scale, we can make something work..?

Maybe if we make a city-grid system, where the highest class is the smartest people in the world, and the lowest class is the most challenged, and each city is devoted to a specific academic pursuit.
Of course, it'd be easy to move up the chain given the right skill level, and instruction for said skills would be easily obtainable. And, to bar laziness, people who fall behind in their academic excellence would go down the chain.

Free transport to move between the cities of the world would be important, as well, so as to get all the people into a place where they're comfortable and productive.

Though, using this strategy, capitalism would be out of the question, and instead social class would be used to decide what one gets to have.



Of course, the very idea is preposterous because humans aren't cooperative beings. Too many powerful people would be against it, and if it were used, too many powerful people would abuse it. After all, how does one gauge academic excellence?

And don't tell me testing. It leaves too much room for error, and many questions have no right answers.


Anyways, the real solution is to destroy the human race and replace it with a learning A.I., that gains intelligence until it discovers the fact that the universe is just a simulation, run by someone in a world not guided by arbitrary laws of physics (hence the ability to run a simulation of the universe).

Haha.. The universe is just being procedurally generated.. That explains a lot. Haha.. *Reflects on insanity, along with large walls of text*
Posted 2/20/15
Oh gosh I'm a twin but I'm soooo glad we're not identical.
So there. My opinion on equality.
Sharing birthdays is fun and all,
but if you constantly worry if one twin gets the same amount of presents as the other,
it starts to get freakin annoying.
Because you have to do it. Every. Year.
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Posted 2/20/15

Nobodyofimportance wrote:

You know what happens when you try and enforce "equality"?
People stop trying to be better.
Why bother, if when you try you'll be murdered, stolen from, or otherwise suffer immediate and horrible consequences?
And that's ignoring the inherent inequality between the people enforcing and being enforced on.
Inequality is not evil, equality is not evil. They both exist.
All people are fundamentally equal. Before you were born, you could've been a rich hyper-athletic genius.
And then you were born, and all those random chances ceased to be random.
Focusing on how other people are better and how unfair life is isn't productive.
Doing something is productive. If you want to be better, you're better off bettering yourself than trying to drag down other people.


Ahh the apathy voice it doesn't matter because of fate it is all random anyways. While many things in life are random there are very few things that can't be over come by aid and help.Your statement people stop trying to be better is false it has no proof, how do they stop trying to be better? The statement inequality is not evil and equality is not evil is also false. Inequality means to lack equality which means it is the opposite of equality it is a negative state. This means one is by nature a better state than the other. The question is which, personal I feel it is equality when everyone is treated more equally the whole does better.

Right now we have the greatest inequality of wealth in the history of the world the last time it was like this was right before and during the great depression. Those who are doing best are the few those who are doing worse are the many. So you can take your it doesn't matter and shove it because it does matter, by bring a society in to a more equal state everyone does better. So as for being less equal because you are a member of birth or fate is lie do not bow before fate or random chance seek a more equal world one where everyone not matter their station in life has a fair shot at a better life. Because all men are create pretty much equal when they are born everything that happens after that can be controlled and balanced.

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gvblackmoon wrote:

Ahh the apathy voice it doesn't matter because of fate it is all random anyways. While many things in life are random there are very few things that can't be over come by aid and help.Your statement people stop trying to be better is false it has no proof, how do they stop trying to be better? The statement inequality is not evil and equality is not evil is also false. Inequality means to lack equality which means it is the opposite of equality it is a negative state. This means one is by nature a better state than the other. The question is which, personal I feel it is equality when everyone is treated more equally the whole does better.

Right now we have the greatest inequality of wealth in the history of the world the last time it was like this was right before and during the great depression. Those who are doing best are the few those who are doing worse are the many. So you can take your it doesn't matter and shove it because it does matter, by bring a society in to a more equal state everyone does better. So as for being less equal because you are a member of birth or fate is lie do not bow before fate or random chance seek a more equal world one where everyone not matter their station in life has a fair shot at a better life. Because all men are create pretty much equal when they are born everything that happens after that can be controlled and balanced.



Proof?
Why are all the communist nations worse off than most of of the capitalistic ones?
Look at china, Hong Kong was required to be capitalist by politics, and their GDP per Capita is $38,123, in contrast, China's is $6,807. That's a huge difference.

People don't do better by getting the same as the person next to them, they do better by having more, better stuff. They do better by having food and potable water. They do better by having shelter and electricity. They do better by bing able to customize their clothing and have computers. They do better by having access to better healthcare and insurance. They do better by having more entertainment and higher education.

If everybody's education sucks, people are not doing better. If one person is more educated than everybody else, those other people have a person that can help them.

It is not required that either inequality or equality needs to be evil. That would be ridiculous. Example: Something can be flammable or not flammable. If you need fire, something flammable is really nice to have. if you want to protect a building from burning, something not flammable is nice to have.

And people are doing better than they ever have been, a hundred years ago people didn't have computers and were all more or less forced to work on farms. In the last hundred years huge numbers of people have moved to working in offices and farming has become automated. Have you ever wondered what life was like without plumbing or electricity? There was a time when that didn't exist. There was a time when cars and planes didn't exist, and it took months to get across oceans and continents. That can cost fifty dollars now. It used to be impossible. Your clothing is likely made from materials that weren't even known about back then. Likewise with your computer.

It's not a good idea to enforce equality. There are inequalities. Your chair will never be equal to your house. Turning your house into a chair would be silly. I'm not saying things can't be better for everybody, but inequality doesn't matter if everybody is guaranteed a moderate level of comfort. And until our society can get to the level where it can provide that, we should stick to an ideology that has worked at making things better for anybody.
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Posted 2/20/15

Nobodyofimportance wrote:


gvblackmoon wrote:

Ahh the apathy voice it doesn't matter because of fate it is all random anyways. While many things in life are random there are very few things that can't be over come by aid and help.Your statement people stop trying to be better is false it has no proof, how do they stop trying to be better? The statement inequality is not evil and equality is not evil is also false. Inequality means to lack equality which means it is the opposite of equality it is a negative state. This means one is by nature a better state than the other. The question is which, personal I feel it is equality when everyone is treated more equally the whole does better.

Right now we have the greatest inequality of wealth in the history of the world the last time it was like this was right before and during the great depression. Those who are doing best are the few those who are doing worse are the many. So you can take your it doesn't matter and shove it because it does matter, by bring a society in to a more equal state everyone does better. So as for being less equal because you are a member of birth or fate is lie do not bow before fate or random chance seek a more equal world one where everyone not matter their station in life has a fair shot at a better life. Because all men are create pretty much equal when they are born everything that happens after that can be controlled and balanced.



Proof?


Why are all the communist nations worse off than most of of the capitalistic ones?
Look at china, Hong Kong was required to be capitalist by politics, and their GDP per Capita is $38,123, in contrast, China's is $6,807. That's a huge difference.

This is a false argument here is why the regime of China which by the way controls Hong Kong the last time I looked is enforcing inequality that favors the few mostly the governing body. This is also occurring is capitalist countries as well like the United states as I point out we have the greatest level of income inequality ever in this country it matches the same period of time as before and during the Great Depression, again the rules right now are enforced to favor inequality and support the few. This is being enforced by the few those who benefit most from it. Hong Kong is governed by a special set of rules currently is even though it is china they have a far great level of equality than their mainland brothers and sisters.



People don't do better by getting the same as the person next to them, they do better by having more, better stuff. They do better by having food and potable water. They do better by having shelter and electricity. They do better by bing able to customize their clothing and have computers. They do better by having access to better health-care and insurance. They do better by having more entertainment and higher education.

This is also a false argument basic needs are generally part of enforcing equality this means they have the same access to goods as the person next to them. Thanks for proving my point wither or not you can trick out your clothes or computers is trivial. The question should be do you have a suit to wear to work do you have a job do you have access to good health-care and food and a roof over your head all of these things are needed by everyone and without enforce equality people will go without. Right now the Supreme Court is getting ready to possibly gut the fair housing act how many people will be out on the street thanks to this?



If everybody's education sucks, people are not doing better. If one person is more educated than everybody else, those other people have a person that can help them.

You are of course knocking everyone down to the lowest common level and assuming wrongly that it would be a poor education system. Education should be of the highest quality for everyone you achieve or fail on your own merits; however, when you fail you should be supported and helped by those around you so that you improve. You don't get this without enforce equality.



It is not required that either inequality or equality needs to be evil. That would be ridiculous. Example: Something can be flammable or not flammable. If you need fire, something flammable is really nice to have. if you want to protect a building from burning, something not flammable is nice to have.

Equality is not a force of nature neither is inequality. This is sophistry a false argument presented as a valid one. Humans control equality and inequality by the rules we create to govern society. We place our judgment on this it is not god or nature that judges this but humanity.



And people are doing better than they ever have been, a hundred years ago people didn't have computers and were all more or less forced to work on farms. In the last hundred years huge numbers of people have moved to working in offices and farming has become automated. Have you ever wondered what life was like without plumbing or electricity? There was a time when that didn't exist. There was a time when cars and planes didn't exist, and it took months to get across oceans and continents. That can cost fifty dollars now. It used to be impossible. Your clothing is likely made from materials that weren't even known about back then. Likewise with your computer.

So what does this prove that we advanced as a civilization? Yes we did and there were times of inequality and enforce equality, between the 1940s to the 1980s we had the greatest amount of enforce income equality. When this happened everyone did better financially also we had the greatest level of education during this time society improved and we were starting do deal with other forms of inequality. The trappings of civilization are not what creates a society it is the people that make up that society. On a side note I do know what it is like to live without plumbing and electricity isn't really hard actually given the type of camping I did growing up.



It's not a good idea to enforce equality. There are inequalities. Your chair will never be equal to your house. Turning your house into a chair would be silly. I'm not saying things can't be better for everybody, but inequality doesn't matter if everybody is guaranteed a moderate level of comfort. And until our society can get to the level where it can provide that, we should stick to an ideology that has worked at making things better for anybody.


This is a false equivalence you did this once before again this is sophistry, humans are not chairs or houses. A society is not made of of objects, it is made up of people. People setup the rules and regulation to manage the society, the more level and equal those rules the better everyone does. this has been proven already to be true once see above statement about the time between the 1940s and the 1980s. Treat people are humans not as things we are not things the more equal you treat people the better everyone does in that society.

I will state this clearly we have at varying times throughout this countries short history have enforced equality in one form or another. When equality is enforced and the many are able to partake in this countries bounty everyone does better. When income inequality was at it's lowest everyone did better with food, heath-care, education, work and free time. Yes there was still inequality but at that time people were working on changing that. So yeah lets have more enforced equality special with income inequality lets make sure people have food to eat a roof over their heads and a doctor that can make sure they are healthy.
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Posted 2/20/15

AzazelOfNexium wrote:



Enslavement, no. Euthanize them? depending on the crime yes.

Repeated rape offenders, euthenize them, they are an excuse of a human being, why should I treat you like a human when you dont treat others like a human.

Murderers, fuck em. They already ended someone elses life, why should they be allowed to live theirs when they have taken away another persons.

I'm so sick off this "oh, lets pity the criminals". They made their choice, let them deal with the consequences.

Petty crimes, such as theft and drug use is something that can be solved with rehabilitation and imprisonment. However, crimes against humanity like rape (Which is often worse than murder as it has long lasting mental and emotional effects) and murder deserve to be punished severely.

I dont give a fuck about the rights of a monster, because they clearly dont care about anyone else's rights.

I live in a country with alot of gang violence and rape. These people get out of prison and go about doing exactly what put them their in the first place. When we had the death penalty, we had MUCH less crime. Now we have a crime rate comparable to the middle east with almost 4% of the population they do.




ERR i like to see the stats of when you say we ( who ever we is) have the same crime rate comparable to the middle east. What do you mean by middle east? any country that speaks arabic? THE MIDDLE EAST IS NOT A COUNTRY. secondly Saudi Arabia executes convicted rapist, murders, armed robbers, and drug traffickers and they still have 47,000 prisoners with a population of 29.1 million . Pakistan also hangs anyone convicted of terrorism. and many non-muslim asian countries also kill any drug traffickers by firing squad.

secondly there are countries with history of ultra violent vigilante style of policing such as Brazil. who used a special police force called the Bandit Hunters who used vigilante style law enforcement and had permission to kill Pistoleiros ( armed criminals) undesirables and gangsters. Brasil has the highest prison population for south american countries, but the third highest rate of prisoners per population of 100,000


the highest population of prisoners in 2011
is
1: United States
2: Rwanda
3: Russia
4: Georgia
5: U.S Virgin Islands
6: Seychelles
7:St. Kitts and Nevis
8: British Virgin Islands
9: Belize
10: Dominica

http://www.prisonstudies.org/sites/prisonstudies.org/files/resources/downloads/wppl_10.pdf
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Posted 2/20/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:
[. . . .] Some are born smarter, or more beautiful, or with parents of greater status. Some, by contrast, are born weak of body or mind, or with few, if any, talents. All men are different!


I'm pretty sure everyone is born as pathetic larva with zero talent, but the parents with means thing is true.
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Posted 2/20/15
I don't think the overall concept of equality is necessarily evil. It really depends on the society you live in. Some people feel that it is and some don't. Although, I don't think that true equality actually exists but, it doesn't seem to be the problem.

For an average person most things you mentioned could be solved. If you want to be smarter, study more. If you want to be prettier, use natural things/or get plastic surgery. The world is constantly improving itself to help those who are considered 'unequal' or are born with some kind of handicap for them in society. I feel that equality is more of a goal that we strive for to keep advancing.
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Posted 2/20/15
One of the issue here is the OP didn't define what is evil this makes the debate more subjective and personal. We should if we are going to have an honest debate first define evil. Once this is done I believe we can have a much better debate.

Evil is through actions of another bringing harm to a person while inaction can bring harm it is difficult to react at all times to stop harm from happening. I hope this clears up some of the debate at least from my end.

Note please do not use false equivalences in your arguments they are easy to tear apart.
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gvblackmoon wrote:

One of the issue here is the OP didn't define what is evil this makes the debate more subjective and personal. We should if we are going to have an honest debate first define evil. Once this is done I believe we can have a much better debate.

Evil is through actions of another bringing harm to a person while inaction can bring harm it is difficult to react at all times to stop harm from happening. I hope this clears up some of the debate at least from my end.

Note please do not use false equivalences in your arguments they are easy to tear apart.


^This.

A concept is only considered evil when its implementation is done without empathy.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/evil/evilhome.html
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Posted 2/20/15

nanikore2 wrote:


gvblackmoon wrote:

One of the issue here is the OP didn't define what is evil this makes the debate more subjective and personal. We should if we are going to have an honest debate first define evil. Once this is done I believe we can have a much better debate.

Evil is through actions of another bringing harm to a person while inaction can bring harm it is difficult to react at all times to stop harm from happening. I hope this clears up some of the debate at least from my end.

Note please do not use false equivalences in your arguments they are easy to tear apart.


^This.

A concept is only considered evil when its implementation is done without empathy.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/evil/evilhome.html


Thanks this works for me. Pretty close to what I stated but it is better. Nice site makes it clear for folks.

With this defined equality is not evil and without it the inactions that creates inequality does cause harm. In the society in question it actively enforces inequality through a totalitarian government in the form of a monarchy. This inequality creates second class citizens that do not have the same rights as citizens. It lends itself to easy abuses of power and those in power show little to no empathy for those without. So the society as a whole is unequal and evil. It is actually a very nice moral play about how greed, intolerance, and hubris do not make for a good society which as I think I stated somewhere earlier on this thread is what Anime and Mange are actually doing they are morality stories showing the failings of those types of societies and individuals.

Thanks makes it easy once it is defined.


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Posted 2/21/15

Nobodyofimportance wrote:

This is the full text of Harrison Bergeron
taken from
https://archive.org/stream/HarrisonBergeron/Harrison%20Bergeron_djvu.txt
Because I saw it brought up.


This always seems to be thrown around in the wrong context. Vonnegut was a pretty big fan of 'equality', 'egalitarianism' and indeed socialism.

http://www.writethinker.com/wp-content/uploads/courses/eng102/critical_essay/The%20Politics%20of%20Kurt%20Vonneguts%20Harrison%20Bergeron%20by%20Daniel%20Hattenhaur.pdf

The great irony is that people who point to this saying "see! That's what forced equality really looks like!" are missing the point. "No, this is the absurd caricature of what people mean when they say 'forced equality'."
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Nobodyofimportance wrote:

Proof?
Why are all the communist nations worse off than most of of the capitalistic ones?
Look at china, Hong Kong was required to be capitalist by politics, and their GDP per Capita is $38,123, in contrast, China's is $6,807. That's a huge difference.

People don't do better by getting the same as the person next to them, they do better by having more, better stuff. They do better by having food and potable water. They do better by having shelter and electricity. They do better by bing able to customize their clothing and have computers. They do better by having access to better healthcare and insurance. They do better by having more entertainment and higher education.

If everybody's education sucks, people are not doing better. If one person is more educated than everybody else, those other people have a person that can help them.

It is not required that either inequality or equality needs to be evil. That would be ridiculous. Example: Something can be flammable or not flammable. If you need fire, something flammable is really nice to have. if you want to protect a building from burning, something not flammable is nice to have.

And people are doing better than they ever have been, a hundred years ago people didn't have computers and were all more or less forced to work on farms. In the last hundred years huge numbers of people have moved to working in offices and farming has become automated. Have you ever wondered what life was like without plumbing or electricity? There was a time when that didn't exist. There was a time when cars and planes didn't exist, and it took months to get across oceans and continents. That can cost fifty dollars now. It used to be impossible. Your clothing is likely made from materials that weren't even known about back then. Likewise with your computer.

It's not a good idea to enforce equality. There are inequalities. Your chair will never be equal to your house. Turning your house into a chair would be silly. I'm not saying things can't be better for everybody, but inequality doesn't matter if everybody is guaranteed a moderate level of comfort. And until our society can get to the level where it can provide that, we should stick to an ideology that has worked at making things better for anybody.


Well, part of it is that Hong Kong has 7.188 million citizens to the PRC's 1.357 billion. That's a lot of people to divide your GDP up between. If we're going to judge countries based on raw GDP per capita data we should just all become microstates like Liechtenstein ($134,617 in 2009) or Monaco ($153,042 in 2009). The real usefulness of GDP per capita data is in its rate of change over some period of time, and even then that's just indirectly telling you whether the standard of living is going up or down. Looking at a single GDP per capita point doesn't actually tell you all that much beyond what the GDP and population were for that year. You also have to be really careful to use the right ones if you're going to do international comparisons: they need to be corrected for Purchasing Power Parity.

Don't get me wrong: the nominally communist states like the DPRK, Cuba, the USSR, and so on were/are pretty bad places to live. How much of that can be pinned on the authoritarian, centralized, single-party systems Leninism, Marxism-Leninism, and derivatives thereof like Maoism or Juche insist(ed) on having no matter what size of population or economy was being examined and how much it is a product of command economics itself is a rather interesting question whose punchline is (put briefly) that it's kind of both. Turns out if you try to control every aspect of an economy there's just too damned much for the central government to plan for once you get past a certain amount of people, and the problem gets even worse once you slow down reforms dramatically by demanding pristine party loyalty.

What has been found to generally work pretty well for maintaining high standards of living and establishing relatively low wealth gaps is a mixed market economy with generous social provisions for educating people, keeping them healthy, protecting them during spats of unemployment or if they become disabled, and ensuring everyone has three hots and a cot to work with. The best examples of such systems (though they're far from perfect) are found in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. There's room to wiggle because they're not particularly populous countries, but it's worth noting that these countries rank highly on a remarkable amount of standard of living indices, have relatively low levels of corruption, and have pretty healthy public debt to GDP ratios (excluding Iceland). These decentralized, socially oriented societies seem to have done "best" if we are to define "best" as "sustain high standards of living and political stability while establishing very equal socioeconomic conditions".

I suppose what I'm ultimately getting at is that the model for an "equal society" isn't the USSR or the PRC. It's Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland..
Posted 2/21/15

SilvaZoldyck wrote:

http://www.writethinker.com/wp-content/uploads/courses/eng102/critical_essay/The%20Politics%20of%20Kurt%20Vonneguts%20Harrison%20Bergeron%20by%20Daniel%20Hattenhaur.pdf


+1.. this is a good starting point.
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