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A human society that values equality benefits more than one that values hierarchy alone.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,742 times Debate No: 26278
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Egalitarianism – Principles and ideals that values and promotes opportunities for social, economic, and political, equality for all members of a human society.

Hierarchy – A means of restricting or stratifying human society according to categories, such as: class, caste, economic status, or other division, which in essence reserves certain privileges for an elite few, while simultaneously denying them to all others.

Intro/Statement of Issue: A human society that values equality benefits more than one that values hierarchy alone.
  1. History demonstrates that equality creates greater opportunities than hierarchy.
  2. Studies have shown that the promotion of egalitarian ideals are beneficial.
  3. A prime example of egalitarian ideals given form is the United States.

One needs only look at The Dark Ages to see just how
hierarchical thinking lead directly to widespread inequality and suffering of
the masses. When we see how the Catholic Empire collapsed, bringing forth a
“rebirth.” As this movement continued to grow Europe woke up from a long, bad
dream: works of art, literature, trade, exploration, and the spread of humanism,
led to populist sentiments that every human being has inherent value, and
should be afforded an equal opportunity to succeed. It would take centuries for
this to reach fruition, but it began with the downfall of a hierarchy. A more
modern example of hierarchical thinking run amok is Nazi Germany. A tyrannical
police state that stripped its’ people of all their rights, killed millions of
Jews for the “crime” of being born; and plunged the world into war, costing
millions more lives.

A study (
by the Equality Trust, clearly demonstrates how equality benefits everyone,
both rich and poor. The presentation available in the link demonstrates
demographic charts and statistical data that clearly shows that the promotion
of equality works, more people benefit from a commitment to providing greater
opportunities to excel.

Finally, the United States was the first nation founded upon
ideals and principles of liberty, self-determination, and equality. The
founders of this great nation were not saints, and they were not always right,
but they established a template by which future generations would be able to
improve upon their model.

“…We hold these truths to be self
evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator
with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the
Pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed--…”

Over the course of 236 years, the
promise of this model has resulted in the abolishment of slavery, the triumph
of women’s suffrage, and the establishment of Civil Rights for all citizens.
There are still more wrongs yet to be righted, but the promise of
egalitarianism holds greater benefits overall. The promise of the United States
of America remains great.


Hierarchies cannot promise equality. All they can do is
create more inequality. The adherence to principles of liberty,
self-determination, and equality, has helped to create a better world. There is
more to be done. Humans are creatures of habit, they have become conditioned to
idealize egalitarianism, but accept hierarchical thinking that divides and
stratifies, creating only weakness and suffering. While humanity may not be
able to completely shake off its need for hierarchy, it is better served when
it strives to grow beyond its limitations, when it stretches beyond the sum of
its parts to achieve something greater still.



In order for a debate to be discussed about which is better for society, Hierarchy or equality, we have to understand what is society and its natural relation to the world. You see society is a construct of human beings working together to ensure a wellness and higher probability of survival as a whole. In order to achieve this higher rate of probability of survival along with a chance of society of succeeding in such a goal we should recognize the strengths and weaknesses of all those present in a society.

1. The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
2. The community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations

We should first understand human nature, and the differences between individual humans. In psychology we come to learn we are all born different in thought processes to how we behave. We cannot deny the scientific fact that great leaders are for the most part natural born, while there are others who rather have those lead for them. This is just one example of many of the great differences between individual humans. Now lets apply this to the bigger picture and view it from a group dynamic. If there are natural born leaders, and there are those who rather let others lead then we can conclude that at the primitive level of human society, a hierarchy is already set in place at natures disposition. Equality is a pretty concept made to eliminate the negative aspects of discrimination, but the problem is the majority of people tend to believe that all discrimination is negative, which is far from correct.

1. The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
2. Recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.

As we can see in the first definition, the negative connotations of the word is brought forth. Its the second definition that intrigues me though, to discriminate is to understand the difference between one thing and another. This a crucial fact to take into consideration when debating this subject, because as humans we are still part of nature, we are not robots designed to be the same or equal to each other. Humans come in different types and varieties, with different thought processes and natural skills that put some in advantageous positions over others whom lack in those specific skill departments. This doesn't imply that one individual is better than the next, this implies that nature has a calling for everyone. To go against nature is to go against the very fundamentals of what it consists to be a human which is damaging to the psyche.

per"son"al"i"ty dis"or"der
A deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, typically manifest by adolescence and causing long-term illness.

In a society that dogmatically insist we are all equal, and misinterpret the definition of discrimination comes extreme view points. These extreme view points insist that we all have an equal chance of striving for and becoming the same thing. This logically can't be true since a natural born leader who consistently polishes his leadership skills will always have an advantage of the non natural born leader who also works on polishing their leadership skills. Now if we were to give both of these individuals a fair chance of an equal election, the natural born leader by nature most likely will be elected. While the other one has pushed himself to become something he isn't, which can create a personality disorder in ones self when one becomes something that they aren't naturally adept at being. They start to identify with a self that isn't there, and this can be bad for society if we push everyone to be equal in everything, because we are holding those back in becoming the best they can be at what their naturally adept at being. We are also creating more personality disorders in the process of pursuing a society who practices equality.

We cannot simply compare the successes of America who has only been around for a couple of hundreds of years or the failures of the dark ages which was only around for a few hundred years to powerful kingdoms that were around for hundreds of more years, even thousands. Look at the Chinese dynasties which lasted for thousands of years, or the roman empire which lasted for a thousand years. We can also look over at the Egyptian empires which lasted for thousands of years. What about the Vietnamese hong bang dynasty (2897 BCE " 258 BCE), or the Bulgarian dulo dynasty (2137 BC " 753 AD). Societies which were only around for a few hundred years can't compare to the successes of those that were around for thousands of more years. To be honest equality hasn't proved its successes,but when looking at the debt of which America has gotten itself in and the falling of its economy, we can already see its failures, while there have been hierarchies which survived for thousands of years and helped its species survive as a whole strongly.

We need to stop being delusional and accept that people aren't equal, they are equal at being human but not equal in living in every different aspect at life. A natural born painter isn't going to be a better pianist then a natural born piano player, but the painter can present to society an art so aesthetically pleasing due to their adept gifts given by nature. We need a society that embraces the differences in human beings, embraces that there are those who can lead better than others and trust in those to do what they're born to do and that is to lead. In a true hierarchy society, the king is no better than the civilian because you need civilians to become a king. One needs the other to identify who they are, and treat those with respect that nature has honored them. A society based on equality is a society that will have all hope but no strength due to every doing what they aren't adept at doing because society says they should be doing it and have an equal chance of surviving. While a society with a strong hierarchy in place to lead them will appreciate those for their gifts, and let nature do its rightful job of guiding us to survive as a species.
Debate Round No. 1


My esteemed opponent makes some interesting points.

First, I must ask him to provide some “scientific facts” to demonstrate his contention that leaders are “…For the most part, natural born.” I have yet to meet any newborns with any talents other than sleeping, eating, and going in their diapers. In fact, science is coming up with quite another answer.

“This is the most basic and most often-asked question about leadership. To cut to the chase, the answer is: ‘mostly made.' The best estimates offered by research is that leadership is about one-third born and two-thirds made. The job of leading an organization, a military unit, or a nation, and doing so effectively, is fantastically complex.”

Since the qualities of a leader tend to be more learned than innate, this drastically damages the effectiveness of my opponent’s lines of reasoning.

Second, my opponent seems to be a bit confused on the meaning of connotation vs. denotation. He attempts to derive a connotative meaning from a denotative one with regards to the word discrimination.

de•no•ta•tion (dn-tshn)
1. The act of denoting; indication.
2. Something, such as a sign or symbol, that denotes.
3. Something signified or referred to; a particular meaning of a symbol.
4. The most specific or direct meaning of a word, in contrast to its figurative or associated meanings.

con•no•ta•tion (kn-tshn)
1. The act or process of connoting.
a. An idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing: Hollywood holds connotations of romance and glittering success.
b. The set of associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning.

Since the definition of a word is its denotative meaning, and the connotative meaning is the associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning, there is a problem with asserting, as my opponent does:

"As we can see in the first definition, the negative connotations of the word is brought forth."
Thirdly, my esteemed opponent contends that “equality” in a human society can only mean that everyone is somehow compelled to be the same as everyone else, when nothing is further from the truth.

"Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the extent of property rights. However, it also includes access to education, health care and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society.
As we have already dealt with the flaws in leadership being “natural born,” we now see that the idea of equality being something that tries to “force” people to be something they are not, is equally faulty.

When one addresses the existence of the United States of America, as only having been around for 236 years, as opposed to the great empires of old (Chinese, Egptians, Roman, etc.) one thing stands out. What took these empires centuries to accomplish, the U.S. was able to do in only a couple hundred. While many different factors played into this, egalitarian ideals – the notion that privilege is more than just a birthright; but rather something that can and should be an opportunity which can be earned by anyone, had a profound effect on how the U.S. was able to grow from 13 isolated colonies into what it is today.

Finally, one must deal with the notion that there is something delusional, or utopian, about valuing, in principle, the principles of equality. It would be unrealistic in the extreme, to expect any society could possibly make everything exactly fair, or equal, but in striving to remove as many boundaries as possible so that motivated individuals within that society have every possible opportunity to succeed. People all have their own set of skills and abilities. It is up to them to discover what they are and use them to the best of their abilities, but when they are born into a society that does not afford them any opportunities; they never have a chance to even try. A slave who was born in Georgia in 1790 has little chance of upward mobility, nor would a serf born during the Dark Ages of Europe. Fortunately, most “First world” human societies are more enlightened than either of these examples. Equality need not mean to force everyone to be the same as everyone else. One celebrates the fact that human beings are an interesting mix of traits, skills, talents, and behaviors, and still value the principles of equality. People in a society should not be treated equally in the sense that they are all the same; rather, they each should be protected equally under the law, and afforded the opportunity to succeed at whatever endeavor they should choose to undertake. It does not guarantee success, it only promises to give everyone a chance.

"America should be free ground -- all of it. Not divided by a line between slave state and free -- all the way, from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here, we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was. Here, you can be something. Here, is the place to build a home."



You asked me to use a scientific article, so I shall. The article I choose to use is the one you presented. In the battle they explicitly express that extraverts are more likely to be born leaders over introverts.

"Research has shown clearly that extraverts have greater leadership potential than introverts, and so did participants in our study. Except, when we looked at social skills (which we assume is a learned skill), only the socially skilled extraverts emerged as leaders. Extraversion is only an in-born leadership advantage if one also learns and develops effective communication skills."

As we can see, research has already shown that there is a pattern of extraverts having "greater leadership potential than introverts". Now, yes out of all the extraverts, some have greater leadership skills than other extraverts such as the socially skilled extraverts. As I said in my previous post that their are different types of human beings born with different skills/gifts their adept in than other humans. There are those extraverts who are socially skilled and there are those who are not. This cuts down the chances of a good leader being born, raising the value of their rarity. Also I said before that if there are two different types of people, one being the natural leader over the other who rather have someone lead and they were both trained to be leaders, the natural leader is already a step ahead with their natural adept abilities.
Talking about leadership we almost need to take into account the different types of leadership. You have military leaders, you have leaders of school districts, you have leaders in businesses, you have national leaders. Each of these leadership categories demands for a specific skill, just because you're a great military leader doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a great math teacher which is a leader in the sense of being the one who guides the classroom. I would easily choose the natural born mathematician to lead a math class over the military leader who may or may not have an intelligence in math. Even if they did, the principles of leading a class is clearly different from the principles of leading a military unit which is quite different from leading a military organization.

Hierarchy is about setting up a social construct discriminating people by setting them up in classes that limits those in specific classes to receive the same opportunities of those in a different class. This isn't essentially a negative thing but great for society. In our modern day western society we spend government money so each individual has the equal opportunity to achieve the same goals. The problem is we dogmatically force everyone to go through these programs that aren't good for everyone. We spend countless amounts of money to support those to pursue a goal we as a society created for everyone to follow a set standard that we as a whole uphold, but we have many of those who don't get to shine in what their good at because they are forced to learn things that they aren't naturally adept at. In the long run, we create failures and honor the ones that are great at following these set standards. This goes into setting up the classes naturally by hurting some while embracing others. This hurts our society even more in the long run by creating the poor class, who lower our economy and have a harder time getting out of the class because we aren't giving them the chance to excel in the gifts nature has given them.

This equal society also includes we pay for certain necessities such as health care and education. The poor class gets inhibited because they don't have the money to pay for their health care, harming more of them than the ones in the rich class. The education also gets harmed, because the rich class has the money to out into their schools for a higher education while the poor class gets the bare minimum of education. This separates the classes even more because the rich class has more opportunities to excel while then poor class has to struggle, all because society wants to set a standard of equality and demand every one follow suit. In other words "the rich keep getting richer while the poor get even poorer.

Talking about setting up classes that inhibit specific classes while other classes excel in this "equal society" sounds much more of a society which hierarchy is in place with just a sugar coated title to prevent harming ones ego while creating an illusion of equality. Looking at history and the world around us, there isn't a true equal society, its just different ways of creating hierarchy, except now we are doing made harm than good. We are destroying our society and harming those who could benefit society as a whole by limiting what they can do instead of giving them the opportunity to help them excel at what they can do.

If we were to create a hierarchy society in which we let the people pursue what they are naturally adept at over others we can further expand the creativity, efficiency, and push the limits of those skills than what we have seen so far currently. This illusion of an equal society is damaging the evolution of the human nature. We can give everyone the opportunity to make a career out of their skills instead of the skills we tell them they should need. This would further create more jobs, less government spending on programs which favor specific groups of people, and help people be who they are naturally suppose to be, which would create a higher peace in society and help everyone work in the system to enhance society. A true hierarchal society would create happiness throughout the people, a more stable economy, and help the human evolution keep evolving at a higher pace than slow it down as this illusion of a equal society that we have created.

One could say that these current societies have created a success quicker than those ancient societies, but this current society is failing at a much quicker rate than those ancient societies. This failure will holds back the evolution of humans, while those ancients helped keep human evolution for a longer period of time. So what truly is this success? I would say that the current American society has only succeeded in failing much quicker than those societies, and in that case I wouldn't want to be bragging about how successful we are because we are only failing at a much higher rate than the ancients before us. Also talking about success, the Egyptians made pyramids that our modern machines can't handle doing yet, I would claim the Egyptians have succeeded in doing what we still can't do, that is a success I would be proud to claim.
Debate Round No. 2
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