The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)

Equality and Equity are two different things, and Equity is more fair.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2018 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 695 times Debate No: 110625
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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For those who don't know, equality is where, quite obviously, everyone is treated equally. However, equity is where people (or animals) are given the right things to suit their needs. The most common example of this is at a football game. There is a tall person, a medium sized person, and a small person. There is a fence in front of them which means they can't see the game. Equality is giving each of the people the same box to stand on, to help them see, but equity is giving more boxes to the smaller people and less to the taller. In the first situation, only the tall person could now see, but in the second, everyone could see. Although this is on a much smaller scale to the real world, it is still a compelling argument to show that actually, equality isn't enough. I believe that equity is much more important than equality, because it means that people get what they need, not what others need. I understand that everyone needs equal rights to some extent, otherwise there would be no justice, but a 3 year old child would obviously need more support than a 35 year old man/woman. I hope you will debate my topic and I am looking forward to debating with you!


I agree with you that Equality and Equity are different things. I am arguing that Equality is more fair, in the lens of pragmatism and of social policies.

There indeed are a vast array of different individuals in society--each with their own traits, demands, and needs. From your examples of the football game boxes and comparison of people of two different ages, I assume that you define the notions of 'fairness' and 'justice' by this definition: fairness is the optimal distribution of physical goods, social benefits, or legal protections, etc. that are proportional and reflective of individual's unique needs. Please correct me if I am wrong.

However, there is a problematic assumption in generalizing the box analogy to larger aspects of society: the differences between individual's needs are usually not quantifiable in large enough steps(i.e have one box for Large People, Medium People, and Small People) as mentioned in your example. Even going with the height analogy in a football game, it would be largely impractical for the stadium to provide boxes of every 12 inches, 6, inches, 3 inches, and so forth. In other words, society/provider can try to best accommodate different people's need, but they need to draw the line somewhere. But where do they stop? I will propose how equality, not equity, can set this dilemma straight, and equality is at the core of the endeavor.

Equality is about the absolutes, both in terms of what is distributed amongst all individual but also what is achievable. Think of the famous quote "Inalienable Rights", or the equality such as the right to preserve our own life. By implementing these core absolutes, these equalities form the very foundation of our modern societies and personal thoughts. And by definition, everybody has exactly equal amounts of something, no more, no less. By this I call equality more fair than equity. Of course, we have the possibility to give and receive more/less than how much this equality demands, (these are the fine points of the discussion), BUT who has the authority/knowledge to determine what distribution is fairer (more optimal)? Mathematics? Statistics? Surveys and census of every individual in the world every second? I doubt that people would have an timely agreement in a practical sense (such as deciding upon legislation) based on equity, therefore making equality more practically fair and theoretically clear when compared to equity. Hope to hear back!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting my debate! I have realised, after reading your argument, that my example wasn't great. I do agree that this would not be practical for the football stadium to provide different heights of boxes for different people (although the picture actually illustrates different numbers of the same box, not different heights). However, I'll take another example to argue my point. If, say, there were 10 people stranded on a desert island (clich"d but simple) - one was a baby, two were children under 12, two were teenagers, four were adults between 18 and 60, and one was an adult over 60. If, for arguments sake, the average person needed 100g of food per day to survive (I know this is not true, but I am making up figures here), then 1kg of food would be needed each day. Giving the group equality would mean giving every person 100g of food every day, but equity would give each person the food that they need - the baby wouldn't need much (or none if they are still breast-feeding), so that 100g could be used to feed the teenagers or young adults, who need more food than the extremely young or elderly.
I do think that equality is important though, e.g. between races, genders, sexualities etc. However, I think what society needs is equity within equality. Every race, gender, sexuality etc. should be treated equally, but within that, there needs to be some equity with different ages/conditions. Having a completely equal society would be boring; there would be no diversity, and everyone and everything would be the same. There would only be one brand of cereal, milk, everything, and society would be very dull. But think about it. There would be absolutely no way to have a fully equal society. Who would lead the country? Surely no one could because it would mean they don't have equal rights to everyone else. I said that there would only be one brand of everything, but who would lead these companies? Who would make the products as a job, instead of doing something better that they want to do? I understand your argument, but I just don't think equality could exist without equity in the equation somewhere.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TPPDJT 3 years ago
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