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True equality?

savvga13
Posts: 4
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12/2/2013 10:28:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Recently, I read Kurt Vonnegut's short story " Harrison Burgeron", about a future society in which everyone is "equal" and competition is eliminated. Of course, nothing is all angel perfect as it sounds, because the transformed authoritarian U.S. Government basically controls everyone's lives with handicaps and secret cameras. The strong are weighted down with physical handicaps so they won't be stronger than anyone else, the intelligent are forced to wear mental handicaps that shriek and explode in the mind every time a thought is formed, the beautiful need to wear hideous masks..etc. Only the "average intelligence" people have no handicaps, but these people basically forget everything they see in seconds and do not understand the concept of "figurative language" and sarcasm. It's a horrifying society (to me) to live in.

Anyways, if you didn't read that whole block of text, the point for posting this is that I just want to know what people's thoughts on equality are; if they would like to live in a "equal" society. I think of equality as when all people no matter race, background, gender, wealth, traditions, beliefs, and other characteristics that can define someone are all treated equally, meaning they are given the same opportunities, and their individuality is not made fun of. I am skeptical equality can be achieved- we're making lots of progress, but I personally don't think it's going to be part of our future society.

Thanks for taking the time to read and post!

-savvga13
-savvga13
Bannanawamajama
Posts: 125
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12/3/2013 11:49:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think a future like Harrison Bergeron is what people fear about things like redistribution and government socialism. They worry that the only way to help the less fortunate is to push everyone else down to their level.

But I think the point of seeking equality is to try to elevate the worst of us up to the level of the rest of society, even if that isn't always how its implemented. When we try to pass laws like workplace discrimination protection, its to help give women or minorites the same odds of achieving success as an equivalent white male, not to restrict the man who already had good odds.

The problem is that A. We usually don't think through the implications of these kinds of rules, and don't see the unintended consequences coming, to the point that now we just assume there is going to be some flaw in any plan, and B. People see everything in terms of relative comparison. A dollar doesn't mean anything unless you know how many potatoes a dollar can buy. As such, if you elevate people below you to your level, it technically does lower your worth since your worth was how much better you had it than them. So its impossible really to hit that ideal of making some people's lives better without making another person's seem worse.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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12/3/2013 5:46:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Equality in what sense?-- material, social, psychological, physical, political, etc.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
savvga13
Posts: 4
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12/3/2013 11:52:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 5:46:38 PM, Noumena wrote:
Equality in what sense?-- material, social, psychological, physical, political, etc.

Whatever area you think defines equality. I think of it in social terms, but it could also be in terms of material, psycoligical, etc. This is basically just a free for all forum.
-savvga13
Wren_cyborg
Posts: 241
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12/4/2013 9:57:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I feel obliged to tell you that just because a book paints a politically-charged storyline, doesn't mean that this story-line can be use as in any way. But you knew that.

I don't think there's much truth to be found in imagining fanciful societies that do not exist in reality.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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12/5/2013 8:26:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/3/2013 11:52:15 PM, savvga13 wrote:
At 12/3/2013 5:46:38 PM, Noumena wrote:
Equality in what sense?-- material, social, psychological, physical, political, etc.

Whatever area you think defines equality. I think of it in social terms, but it could also be in terms of material, psycoligical, etc. This is basically just a free for all forum.

It can be defined in several co-existing manners. I think equality in some of those domains is a good thing, in others a bad thing.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.