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Is Life Fair?

Blazewind
Posts: 1
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2/11/2014 12:14:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm new to this site, but I wish to have a good intelligent discussion, and this seems a good place for it. We've surely all heard time and again "life isn't fair," from the mouths of other people. I almost feel like I might be in a rare minority or something when I say that I think life is indeed perfectly fair. saying something like "suck it up, life's not fair," sounds so very patronizing to me however, that I question whether that is actually the true opinion of a typical person, or if the simply mean to be, well, patronizing, whether fully on purpose or not.

I believe that part of the view on the fairness or lack of, in life, comes from the way we in the modern world raise our children with such great emphasis on making sure everything each child or one age group in a household gets is exactly the same. Give one child five blue M&Ms, many people feel a need to make sure each sibling gets exactly five as well, all blue. Wouldn't that naturally give us the simply exception that life should give us all the very same set of circumstances in order to be seen as perfectly fair.

Life, I tend to think, gives every person a set of circumstances, a series of experiences, each at lest slightly different from those of the next person. One person gets to be great at the very thing the last person never quite got the chance to learn. but that next person will likely get something the first will never know. Some of us appear to get more and others less, but well all get something and we have the freewill to got out and try for more if we are displeased with our current situation in any way. Making sure children in one family all get five blue candies is somewhat logical I suppose, but translated to life itself in the adult world, such a situation is every aspect of ourselves would only make us all carbon copies. And who wants to be that?

I would LOVE some views on this. If I've got it all wrong, fine, if I've got it right great . I just happen to think though that "life's not fair" is an extremely weak excuse for injustice or lack of common sense and consideration of others.
rross
Posts: 2,772
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2/11/2014 3:55:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 12:14:17 AM, Blazewind wrote:
I'm new to this site, but I wish to have a good intelligent discussion, and this seems a good place for it. We've surely all heard time and again "life isn't fair," from the mouths of other people. I almost feel like I might be in a rare minority or something when I say that I think life is indeed perfectly fair. saying something like "suck it up, life's not fair," sounds so very patronizing to me however, that I question whether that is actually the true opinion of a typical person, or if the simply mean to be, well, patronizing, whether fully on purpose or not.

I believe that part of the view on the fairness or lack of, in life, comes from the way we in the modern world raise our children with such great emphasis on making sure everything each child or one age group in a household gets is exactly the same. Give one child five blue M&Ms, many people feel a need to make sure each sibling gets exactly five as well, all blue. Wouldn't that naturally give us the simply exception that life should give us all the very same set of circumstances in order to be seen as perfectly fair.

Life, I tend to think, gives every person a set of circumstances, a series of experiences, each at lest slightly different from those of the next person. One person gets to be great at the very thing the last person never quite got the chance to learn. but that next person will likely get something the first will never know. Some of us appear to get more and others less, but well all get something and we have the freewill to got out and try for more if we are displeased with our current situation in any way. Making sure children in one family all get five blue candies is somewhat logical I suppose, but translated to life itself in the adult world, such a situation is every aspect of ourselves would only make us all carbon copies. And who wants to be that?

I would LOVE some views on this. If I've got it all wrong, fine, if I've got it right great . I just happen to think though that "life's not fair" is an extremely weak excuse for injustice or lack of common sense and consideration of others.

For example, I always think of the story I heard in Bangladesh about the family and the jackfruit tree. The tree was only a few weeks away from bearing fruit, but one of the children was very sick and needed medicine, so they cut the tree down to sell it for firewood because they needed the money right away and there was no other means of getting it, even though it meant sacrificing that season's crop of fruit which would have brought a whole lot more money. And they may have starved as a consequence, I don't know.

See, that's not fair. I wouldn't say "suck it up" for something like that. Or some friends of mine who had twins, and both children died in the first few days due to some genetic disorder. That's not an injustice in the sense that the first example was (resources should be more equally distributed), but it's horrible anyway, when so many other people have healthy babies and it does seem unfair in that way. I wouldn't say "suck it up" for that.

I suppose the "suck it up" comes in when the complaint is only comparative. For example, if someone's happy with some item, but then they see someone with a slightly newer or better version and become dissatisfied. So there's no suffering in an absolute sense and yet they complain.

But yes, I think life is definitely unfair at times. I'm surprised to hear you say otherwise, actually. How can you say that life is perfectly fair when people are starving only a few kilometers from people living in mansions? Or when there are thousands of children dying from diseases that are easily and cheaply preventable but corruption prevents the vaccines from being delivered? etc.

And welcome to the site. :)
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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2/11/2014 4:05:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Weird that you have the same pic, lol.

At 2/11/2014 12:14:17 AM, Blazewind wrote:
Life, I tend to think, gives every person a set of circumstances, a series of experiences, each at lest slightly different from those of the next person. One person gets to be great at the very thing the last person never quite got the chance to learn. but that next person will likely get something the first will never know. Some of us appear to get more and others less, but well all get something and we have the freewill to got out and try for more if we are displeased with our current situation in any way. Making sure children in one family all get five blue candies is somewhat logical I suppose, but translated to life itself in the adult world, such a situation is every aspect of ourselves would only make us all carbon copies. And who wants to be that?

Seems like capitalist versus communist logic. Although I don't really understand your framing of 'fairness', which is already a quite broad term.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Tophatdoc
Posts: 534
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2/11/2014 5:47:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 12:14:17 AM, Blazewind wrote:
I'm new to this site, but I wish to have a good intelligent discussion, and this seems a good place for it. We've surely all heard time and again "life isn't fair," from the mouths of other people. I almost feel like I might be in a rare minority or something when I say that I think life is indeed perfectly fair. saying something like "suck it up, life's not fair," sounds so very patronizing to me however, that I question whether that is actually the true opinion of a typical person, or if the simply mean to be, well, patronizing, whether fully on purpose or not.

I believe that part of the view on the fairness or lack of, in life, comes from the way we in the modern world raise our children with such great emphasis on making sure everything each child or one age group in a household gets is exactly the same. Give one child five blue M&Ms, many people feel a need to make sure each sibling gets exactly five as well, all blue. Wouldn't that naturally give us the simply exception that life should give us all the very same set of circumstances in order to be seen as perfectly fair.

Life, I tend to think, gives every person a set of circumstances, a series of experiences, each at lest slightly different from those of the next person. One person gets to be great at the very thing the last person never quite got the chance to learn. but that next person will likely get something the first will never know. Some of us appear to get more and others less, but well all get something and we have the freewill to got out and try for more if we are displeased with our current situation in any way. Making sure children in one family all get five blue candies is somewhat logical I suppose, but translated to life itself in the adult world, such a situation is every aspect of ourselves would only make us all carbon copies. And who wants to be that?

I would LOVE some views on this. If I've got it all wrong, fine, if I've got it right great . I just happen to think though that "life's not fair" is an extremely weak excuse for injustice or lack of common sense and consideration of others.

Life is not fair to many people. Even this very moment someone is suffering for something they have no control over at all.

For example, is life fair to someone being born blind or someone that born mentally disabled? Is life fair when someone randomly decides to break into someone's car and steals a radio? Will life be fair to someone that will be told by their boyfriend/girlfriend they are breaking up today? Is life fair to those people who will walk into work today only to find out they are fired? Is life fair to the people who are going to be told today by their physician that they are afflicted with cancer? Is life fair to those who went to sleep last night and will not wake up this morning? Will life be considered fair to those who find out their loved ones are dead? I doubt any of those people will say life is fair.

All of these things, one has no control over. But I promise they will happen this very day and people will say it is unfair and unjust. There are plenty more examples of what other unfairness will take place today as well.Life is not fair because one only control oneself only.
"Don't click on my profile. Don't send me friend requests. Don't read my debates. There are many interesting people on DDO. Find one of them. Go find someone exciting and loquacious. Go click on their profile. Go send them friend requests. Go read their debates. Leave me alone." -Tophatdoc
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/11/2014 9:22:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 12:14:17 AM, Blazewind wrote:
I'm new to this site, but I wish to have a good intelligent discussion, and this seems a good place for it. We've surely all heard time and again "life isn't fair," from the mouths of other people. I almost feel like I might be in a rare minority or something when I say that I think life is indeed perfectly fair. saying something like "suck it up, life's not fair," sounds so very patronizing to me however, that I question whether that is actually the true opinion of a typical person, or if the simply mean to be, well, patronizing, whether fully on purpose or not.

I believe that part of the view on the fairness or lack of, in life, comes from the way we in the modern world raise our children with such great emphasis on making sure everything each child or one age group in a household gets is exactly the same. Give one child five blue M&Ms, many people feel a need to make sure each sibling gets exactly five as well, all blue. Wouldn't that naturally give us the simply exception that life should give us all the very same set of circumstances in order to be seen as perfectly fair.

Life, I tend to think, gives every person a set of circumstances, a series of experiences, each at lest slightly different from those of the next person. One person gets to be great at the very thing the last person never quite got the chance to learn. but that next person will likely get something the first will never know. Some of us appear to get more and others less, but well all get something and we have the freewill to got out and try for more if we are displeased with our current situation in any way. Making sure children in one family all get five blue candies is somewhat logical I suppose, but translated to life itself in the adult world, such a situation is every aspect of ourselves would only make us all carbon copies. And who wants to be that?

I would LOVE some views on this. If I've got it all wrong, fine, if I've got it right great . I just happen to think though that "life's not fair" is an extremely weak excuse for injustice or lack of common sense and consideration of others.

Two perspectives:

1)

Two scenarios:

a) Wealthy family has a kid, that kid grows up in a world of privilege and ends up running one of the most successful businesses ever seen after dropping out of college (Bill Gates).

b) A woman with HIV gives birth to a baby.

Life isn't fair.

2)

We all die in the end. Life is fair.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/11/2014 9:23:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 4:05:20 AM, sdavio wrote:
Weird that you have the same pic, lol.

lol, IMHO it's the pic that's weird, no offense. =)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
KnightArtorias
Posts: 103
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2/11/2014 9:34:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm not sure this is even a coherent question. It seems to me to be along the line of concepts like a "blue quantum whisper". The ideas your discussing have no relation to one another.

The wind blows East on moment, then West the next. Is it more "fair" to blow East vs. West? The concept of fairness doesn't seem to coherently apply to things like this, as fairness deals with proper treatment. For a situation to be fair, it seems to imply there must be conscious actors and a code of conduct to which they are supposed to act within. But life isn't like that. "Life", or more accurately in this context, "existence", isn't a conscious actor. It just does what it does. It's neither "fair" nor "unfair". Life simply is.

The good die young. The bad live for ages. We want to say ideas like these are "unfair". The person who works hard all their life, only to be crushed time and again by the random chance of life, we want to say is unfair. Someone who loses a loved one "before their time" we want to say is unfair. But our ideas of fairness simply don't apply to life. Working hard simply does not guarantee positive outcomes according to life. Death does not always come when we demand it should. Rather, it comes whenever it happens to come. And so on and so forth.

Life is neither fair nor unfair. It simply is. To ask if it is fair, I feel, is an absurd and incoherent question.
"Within us all, we are burdened. Hidden away. A murmur of the dark. Always seek the light of reason. Lest you slip and be devoured by the Abyss."
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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2/11/2014 9:45:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 9:23:45 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/11/2014 4:05:20 AM, sdavio wrote:
Weird that you have the same pic, lol.

lol, IMHO it's the pic that's weird, no offense. =)

Don't like aliens?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/11/2014 9:46:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 9:45:39 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 2/11/2014 9:23:45 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/11/2014 4:05:20 AM, sdavio wrote:
Weird that you have the same pic, lol.

lol, IMHO it's the pic that's weird, no offense. =)

Don't like aliens?

As a personal statement? No.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?