Fairness can be taken as an analogue for "justice." A society that is fair is also just. A society that is just must also be fair. I think you can say that fairness and justice is ALWAYS objectively a good thing.
On the contrary, equality simply means that two things are judged to have the same value. There are many good things that are equal, but also some bad. Judging two people as having the same value before the law (i.E. Equal protection) is an objectively good thing. Judging that any two people have the exact same needs is objectively wrong though. Equality might be good in some things, but its opposite- individuality also has its own uses and benefits.
The opposite of fairness is unfairness or injustice which is NEVER a good thing.
Therefore, it is more important to be fair than it is is to be equal.
Also, may people would say that being equal is part of being fair- so in a way the question is invalid.
Examples for why fair is better than equal: Equally treated, people with disabilities or unusual circumstances of any kind cannot compete quite as well as the otherwise "normal" or empowered etc in something, say, like a job hiring. Fairly treated, the best qualified person, regardless of extenuating circumstances or other disability is selected, because circumstances or disability is disregarded as irrelevant (for example, a person growing up poor not disregarded because of this background), or compensated for (giving a ramp or special equipment to a wheelchair-bound employee).
Fairness satisfies everyone has needs based on biases. Equality satisfies everyone has needs based on value.
Equality demands for perfection. It's just like math. However, being sentient on its own creates a bias that will never be overcome. We have feelings and beliefs and personalities that are not one in the same with one another. Those continually create a bias. If perfection cannot be achieved, equality cannot be either.
So we're left with fairness. Unlike equality, fairness takes in account the feelings, beliefs, etc. that create a bias. Men aren't created equal and fairness takes it all into account. From there, decisions will be made based on the bias created.
We're more fair than we are equal.
Equality means everyone gets the same while fairness means everyone gets what they need. Say a skinny guy gets one small meal because that's all he needs, but a big guy can't be satisfied on that. If it was fair the skinny guy would get a small meal and the big guy a big meal instead of them both getting the same. Fairness > Equality
Equality is saying that all workers must take the stairs. Fairness is giving the handicapped a ramp or elevator. Equality is giving every human an equal share of everything. Fairness is letting hard work turn a profit. Equality is when everyone's vote counts for one, no matter the topic. Fair is letting an expert speak with more weight. Equal is requiring everyone to learn a general base of knowledge before being allowed to do anything else. Fair is allowing people to specialize with their talents and strengths so that usefulness and application are obtained quicker and with less mess.
Equal is considering the total vote here to determine the right way. Fair is considering the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments within before deciding.
I hope this makes sense.
I guess when we talk about equality, what we really mean is justice and fairness. Fairness is an analogue for justice. Fairness allows the human intelligence and objectivity to play a role to make a decision. An absolute equality means equality in everything and every time. This is an impossible concept in human world of interaction, and will never happen. In some way, given specific contexts, equality can be a paradox to fairness and justice. A good example is communism.
Equality is a concept which may or may not lead to fairness and justice.
1. Notion of equality leading to justice: Two people have equal rights and valued equally before the law.
2. Notion of equality leading to injustice: Two people have exactly same needs and have exact same capacities.
1. Inequality leading to appropriateness and justice: My patient Mr. Kx received 1gm Vancomycin two times daily for his infection. My other patient Mr. Nx received 1gm vancomycin once every three days with Dialysis. Both received fair (but unequal dose) coverage for their infection and were appropriately treated.
2. Inequality leading to unfairness and injustice: This is the commonest theme of the events taking place in different communities at present and in the past.
Consider the following scenario:
- A man spends 8 hours a day working compared to a man who spends 4 hours a day working. How should they get rewarded?
Equality: Both get the exact same rewards because they are equal. (similar to communism)
Fairness: 8 Hours should get double of whatever 4 hours gets (similar to capitalism)
In my opinion, Fairness is more important than equality because 'equality' isn't in human nature and we can never achieve it since we wouldn't be doing justice to those that deserve more. Fairness on the other hand guarantees that everyone gets what they deserve.
The caption shared by Joe Bower on his blog For the Love of Learning was “Fair isn’t equal; fair is when everyone gets what they need.” This really got me thinking about the concept of fairness. How do we, as a society, determine what is fair?
Joe’s caption reminded me of a quote from Rick Lavoie, a professional who works with teachers and students with learning disabilities. Lavoie suggests that the definition of “fairness” is really quite different from what most people believe. Most people believe that “fairness means that everyone gets the same”; whereas in reality “fairness means that everyone gets what he or she needs.”
Look at the image; there is nothing unfair about the picture to the right, is there? And yet, nevertheless, it has been my experience that people most often determine fairness through equality.
If you ask my kids, equal is fair. They each want the same amount of ice cream for dessert. They want the same amount of spending money at the mall. And if one has a sleepover, the other somehow feels entitled to one, too.
Are they right? Is equal the only measure of what is fair? What if one of my kids ate a birthday cupcake from a classmate at school; is it still fair that she have the same amount of ice cream as her brother?
Let’s extend this concept to education. In a classroom of 4th graders all students are expected to read the same Hebrew prayer and master it by the same due date. This is certainly equal; but is this fair? One of the criticisms of inclusion that I have heard most often is of fairness: “It's not fair to have different expectations for different students.” Why not?
Using the same Hebrew example, what if a student hasn’t yet grasped the concepts covered by the assignment? Is it unfair to extend the due date to allow for remediation? And if a student excels, shouldn’t he have the opportunity to move forward and be challenged? Meeting each child where they are currently functioning isn't unfair to the other students.
When we determine fairness based on need we capitalize on an educational philosophy that is not only fair, but helps all students to reach their full potential. Not a predetermined potential that we expect all students to eventually reach; but their own individual potential. This is the premise upon which differentiated instruction is based.
Fair isn’t equal. Fair is ensuring that everyone receives what he or she needs.
Fairness and equality are one in the same thing. Most of the time you gain equality through fairness but occasionally it is the opposite. Here is the definition of fairness: conformity with rules or standards; "the judge recognized the fairness of my claim". Here is the definition of equality:
the state of being equal, esp. In status, rights, and opportunities. You gain the state of being equal in status, rights, and opportunities through conformity with the rules or standards. Here's an example. A father gives one of his two children (Charlie) three lollipops. He only gives his other child (Bob) one lollipop. "Hey!," shouts Bob," That's not fair! If Charlie gives me one of his lollipops then that'll be fair because we'll have equal amounts." As presented through fairness comes equality. But you could view this the other way. All in all, they are both relate and are one in the same thing. I just lean towards fairness as being more important.
Both. You cant have fairness without equality. To achieve true equality you must be fair and if the person is treating others unfairly over other people doesn't represent equality or fairness, it represents favoritism which by all means is bad for both parties, favoritism is teaching intolerance to where there shouldn't be in the first place, I say this as a white female and have been the victim of racial intolerance. Be it black, white, Mexican, etc etc.... It goes both ways.
Imagine, if the world is fair, where the rich helps the pathetic poor. That would rip off the rewards and discourage the progression of a advance society! No breakthrough would be achieved and opportunities would be lost because no one is doing anything! Socialism methodology will end up social! All talk, no actions! Just like NATO - No Action, Talk Only.
These days we're so hung up on everything being fair and equal that we seem to have lost sight of the fact that neither goal is actually attainable. Some people will always be more equal than others in a cash-based society, and life just isn't fair for everyone. We need to get rid of this culture of whining.
People are going to get away with doing bad things, and others will be punished. Perfectly good people will have tragedy, horrible people will become rich. Justice and fairness are very different. And equality will never completely happen, but if each person is recognized as equal, then each one can begin to make their own life, and not be judged harshly, and they will have the ability to build a life as they chose it. That is fairness. Each person creates their own fairness, but they cannot do so if they do not have equality. Therefore, because equality is the first step to creating your own fairness, equality is more important.
How is it fair to treat someone as if they are not equal? This is affront to fairness; it is a self-defeating principal; a paradox, in short. That's like saying: "All men are created equal, so treat them fairly. Unless they're black, Hispanic, Native American, Jewish, Muslim, a women, African (even white African), Middle-Eastern, Aboriginal . . . Never mind. Not everyone is equal." Get my point?