||[Jul. 30th, 2004|10:12 pm]
I think therefore I like philosophy
Debate: Is it possible to have absolute equality (/equal opportunity)? Why or why not?
My argument: It's not possible to achieve it. Since there are differences (big or small) in most aspects of people's background, lives, and society. Where there are differences, equality is impossible to achieve. If we attempt to achieve it, it will be at the expense of another group, which would essentially mean that it's an infinite loop. Achieving equality through inequality results in more inequality.. You could always get a certain group to be closer to being equal to another one, but I doubt that you can do it without bringing the other side a bit down on the scale in the process. Of course, you could always argue that well, it doesn't matter if the other side loses a bit of something, that's not inequality, because in the end they're going to be closer to equality, but when talking about equality, we should always consider fairness as well. Not to mention, one could always argue that while it's the right (or accepted as a fact) of the minority party that's seeking equality to either stay PUT in its position or go UP on the scale (rather than go DOWN), the other party might be moving DOWN the scale to bring the two closer. Which means that the two parties are not being given the SAME rights, because there are double standards. And where there are double standards, there can be no real equality, or at least not a step closer to equality than before. The argument that the rich have not acquired their wealth by fair means and therefore it's only fair that they're brought down to the same level as those seeking equality is irrelevant. Just because they haven't acquired their wealth fairly doesn't mean we have the right to be unfair to them. Each situation should be judged separately. It is not fair to take them down to level zero, just because others couldn't acquire their wealth the same way. Because we're not starting from point zero anyway (i.e the development of minorities and wealthy groups). So taking them down all the way back to 0 is not fair.
Related readings: Rawls