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Examining Inequality

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Posts

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Ack wrong thread, TotP too....

    SanderJK on
    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Why is equality good?

    It's also why phrasing the question that way doesn't work. A better question is "Why is equality better?"

    I'm not sure there is a meaningful distinction here without some elaboration.

    I think it's that good/bad implies a black/white dichotomy while better/worse implies degrees.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    I am saying that two possible reasons to care about equality are the desire to wring the most benefit out of the peaches we have and the reason you described.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    I am saying that two possible reasons to care about equality are the desire to wring the most benefit out of the peaches we have and the reason you described.

    So, not the well-being of the poor.

    Ok. That's cool.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    This is basically my take on it but for a different reason. There are certain thresholds of suffering in certain classes of material goods that are basically intolerable, and no amount of happiness or reduction of suffering in other categories can make up for them.

    So it is not the top end of inequality that we should be concerned with but instead raising the lowest level of suffering up to a tolerable level. This level changes with technology and social standards but generally should revolve around food, shelter, medical care and some form of socialization.

    I honestly have not thought much about where to stop fixing the lower side of inequality since the current problems are so widespread and obvious (extreme poverty mostly) that debating a minimum tolerable standard of living seems pointless (I would be glad to be part of such a discussion however).

    One of the key parts to my philosophy is that you need to separate different kinds of happiness and suffering into classes then rank them in importance. While doing so you can combine similar ones where it makes sense. For example depriving a person of a yacht might be a hardship, but you need to look at what is actually being deprived of them, a social and recreational opportunity. If that personal already has access to numerous other social and recreational opportunities then it is not really such a burden on them, they can give up other things to get the yacht if it is that important or they can use the other things.

    I think that utilitarianism can be a good framework but some of it's conclusions require both perfect knowledge and perfect implementation of the results, where we have to live in a world where we do not have enough information to know how to distribute resources and the act of distributing them can itself cause problems. Vast inequality causes suffering and complete equality causes suffering so we have to find a middle ground.

    The last two paragraphs may be less then sensible, I wanted to write something down despite being a little drowsy, take from them what you may.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    I am saying that two possible reasons to care about equality are the desire to wring the most benefit out of the peaches we have and the reason you described.

    So, not the well-being of the poor.

    Ok. That's cool.

    Well, declining marginal utility will generally argue in favor of giving to those who have less over those who have more, but if the poor were somehow peach gluttons who only enjoy a peach 1/100th as much as the rich, then I would not argue in favor of giving the poor our limited supply of peaches. It wouldn't be an efficient use of our resources.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    V1m wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    I could apply the same argument to racial minorities: If we just sterilised all the browns then in a hundred years none of us superior blue eyed blondes would have to worry about a world where racial prejudice existed. What a marvellous solution!

    Wait no, it's horrifying and so is your proposed Brave New World of facial conformity.

    First, this is all highly theoretical because the technology to perform these types of genetic manipulations simply does not exist. But if it did, and instead of sterilizing people we just genetically manipulated all new children to be a single skin color, would that really be a problem? I don't think there is any more inherent value in skin color diversity than diversity of eye color.

    It would be wrong because it's essentially putting a band aid on an issue. The underlying issue is that a small cross section of the population are severely intolerant of characteristics that are arbitrary. If you simply try to eliminate the characteristic your doing nothing to change underlying behavior or thinking. They'll simply latch onto a different set of characteristics they identify with to reward and punish groups of their choosing.

    2000 years ago, "civilised" Romans were engaged in Cripps vs Bloods style gang warfare over who supported which fucking chariot team in the Hippodrome.

    Yeah it's possible to eliminate that sort of intensely virulent competition, but getting rid of chariot racing ain't the methodology.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    I am saying that two possible reasons to care about equality are the desire to wring the most benefit out of the peaches we have and the reason you described.

    So, not the well-being of the poor.

    Ok. That's cool.

    Well, declining marginal utility will generally argue in favor of giving to those who have less over those who have more, but if the poor were somehow peach gluttons who only enjoy a peach 1/100th as much as the rich, then I would not argue in favor of giving the poor our limited supply of peaches. It wouldn't be an efficient use of our resources.

    I like it.

    We oughtn't give poor people wine since they lack a cultivated palate.

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    Your initial argument kind of only works on the premise that equality/inequality is a checkbox we pick in the config file for The Universe. The choice is not between everyone having exactly the same experience and everyone being different. It's not between the general concepts of "equality" and "inequality". When someone desires a prosthesis for a lost limb, telling them "maybe not everyone is supposed to have all their limbs, think about it! Why should everyone be equal?" isn't really a sound argument.

    Also, I still maintain that there's no reason to grant special dispensation to the status quo simply because it is.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • NamrokNamrok Herndon, VARegistered User regular
    Every time equality comes up I just think of that MC Frontalot lyric. "Freedom is a right but having any means your are privileged".

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    It would seem that this is one of only two arguments for equality, both of which are hugely powerful arguments.

    1) We should divide the peaches more evenly, possibly even completely uniformly so that everyone will receive an equal amount of benefit from the peaches (communism)
    2) We should divide the peaches more evenly so that while those who are best at producing them are still encouraged, those with the least peaches will still be able to enjoy enough peaches so as to remain content and involved in the peach making industry (capitalism)

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Eugenics is an interesting concept. Unfortunately humans are NOWHERE near smart enough to implement it effectively since we don't know the long term affects that the mutation path of a gene will have. Perhaps today a gene causes you to have a high level of flatulence. Not truly desirable, and of no real benefit. But perhaps in 10 generations time that gene will allow you to tolerate gut flora which increase your food/energy conversion efficiency.

    Any gene might take this path, so even if we could say for sure that a given gene was bad today and understood all its interactions we couldn't say if it would still be bad tomorrow.

    Eugenics just says that if we understand genetics well enough we can create a more ideal society through long term manipulation of otherwise random couplings. The problems are...

    i) We don't understand it well enough
    ii) We can't agree what a more ideal society is
    iii) It's really hard to control who people sleep with

    tbloxham on
    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    It would seem that this is one of only two arguments for equality, both of which are hugely powerful arguments.

    1) We should divide the peaches more evenly, possibly even completely uniformly so that everyone will receive an equal amount of benefit from the peaches (communism)
    2) We should divide the peaches more evenly so that while those who are best at producing them are still encouraged, those with the least peaches will still be able to enjoy enough peaches so as to remain content and involved in the peach making industry (capitalism)

    My peaches taste better if you can't have them, so I'd rather let a bunch of peaches rot and horde the rest than to share them with you.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    I am saying that two possible reasons to care about equality are the desire to wring the most benefit out of the peaches we have and the reason you described.

    So, not the well-being of the poor.

    Ok. That's cool.

    Yes, but I would add that it is unlikely that the poor will be utility sinks with respect to every resource in society. But if it turns out that the poor are utility black holes who benefit less than the rest of the population from all resources, then I don't think we should spend our resources on them.

    Your initial argument kind of only works on the premise that equality/inequality is a checkbox we pick in the config file for The Universe. The choice is not between everyone having exactly the same experience and everyone being different. It's not between the general concepts of "equality" and "inequality". When someone desires a prosthesis for a lost limb, telling them "maybe not everyone is supposed to have all their limbs, think about it! Why should everyone be equal?" isn't really a sound argument.

    Also, I still maintain that there's no reason to grant special dispensation to the status quo simply because it is.

    How do you propose to change things If you don't start from the status quo as the default? You may have a year plan for peach distribution, but if one person holds all the peaches, you need to convince him to let you redistribute them, and so he is the gate keeper to your plan.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Sanger was only one of many, and notably was related to only one of the goods I mentioned in very general terms. More precisely, I'm talking about things prior to and unrelated to Sanger.

    Swing and a miss Hedgie, you'll not have your fight this day.

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    I've more or less caught up on this. I think we should address certain types of inequality that impact quality of life (wealth, education, healthcare and political access to name a few) and stay far the fuck away from the inequality that could lead to eugenics programs.

    -I'll admit quality of life affecting inequality probably isn't the best term but realistically you can't address all cases of "well that isn't fair!" nor do all of them warrant the resources. Also addressing these doesn't mean that you need to make all of them equal, for instance everyone should have equal access to doing well financially but we shouldn't give Joe DoNothing the same wages as Mare WorksALot. We do need to give people an incentive to actually works, but we also shouldn't let people born into wealthy families to continue building up the family worth while not actually doing anything to earn it.

    Now there are other aspects of equality that we should make equal for everyone regardless of how much effort they put in because these are the areas that give everyone an equal shot at success. If everyone gets equal access to quality education (I think the first 2 years of college should be free at the very least and college in general should be affordable), then it's possible for social mobility since someone hailing from a family of unskilled labor could actually get a PhD without getting any scholarships. Equal access to universal healthcare means that people aren't beholden to a shitty job and forced to show up work ill because they'll get fired and lose healthcare for taking the day off.

    Ideally, giving everyone equal access to politics by the vote and having a non-shitty media would prevent those that do pull ahead from having an easy time of screwing over those that are behind them, while setting up wealth incumbency for their offspring. Also this would also be more achievable by having a tax code the heavily punishes the rich for taking part in a dick waving contest of who has the most money by forcing them to either invest it helping out the rest of society or lose to taxation.

    -Then their is inequality that really doesn't have a factor on quality of life when people aren't being worthless little shits. Height, hair color, eye color, skin color just to name a few things don't factor into the actual worth of an individual. Yes, their are worthless little shits that feel insecure that will try treating others like shit for arbitrary differences. I'm not including weight in this because that should be done case by case, some people have a legitimate reason for being chubby that they can't help, others really need to hit the gym. The solution isn't wait for technology to hit a point where we can just make everyone look the same, the solution is to tell them to bugger off.

    I'm know human geneticist or expert on pathogens but I'm pretty sure we don't want to engineer everyone to look the same. One, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Two, while physical differences are worthless in regards to worth, that unique genetic makeup helps the human race as a whole. No, really, you don't want to make the genetic code for your race between different individuals too similar. Sure it makes the racists happy but then it also makes it easier for certain pathogens to quickly spread through the population and hose the whole race. Genetict engineering is best left to dealing with genetic defects that have a negative impact on an individual's quality of life.

  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Eugenics is an interesting concept. Unfortunately humans are NOWHERE near smart enough to implement it effectively since we don't know the long term affects that the mutation path of a gene will have. Perhaps today a gene causes you to have a high level of flatulence. Not truly desirable, and of no real benefit. But perhaps in 10 generations time that gene will allow you to tolerate gut flora which increase your food/energy conversion efficiency.

    Any gene might take this path, so even if we could say for sure that a given gene was bad today and understood all its interactions we couldn't say if it would still be bad tomorrow.

    Eugenics just says that if we understand genetics well enough we can create a more ideal society through long term manipulation of otherwise random couplings. The problems are...

    i) We don't understand it well enough
    ii) We can't agree what a more ideal society is
    iii) It's really hard to control who people sleep with

    Your gut flora example struck a nerve, since in my country an increase in food/energy conversion efficiency would probably be seen as a major health hazard, what with the increased risk of obesity. So in order to preserve our ability to stuff our faces with metaphorical peaches (or, er, literal ones) we would actually seek to avoid such an apparently beneficial alteration to our genome. Meanwhile, the people who would benefit - perhaps drastically, creating spillover benefits to these United States of America as countries preoccupied with starvation develop an interest in consumer goods - would have the least access to it.

    You really lost me with the second half of your post though. Hopefully nobody here is thinking in terms of the old-fashioned genetic hygiene version of eugenics; what with the obvious problems with arranged marriages, forced sterilization or, y'know, cleansing of individuals with undesirable characteristics, that shit is not really worth discussing. Inhibiting reproductive freedom is not a practical proposal, nor is it even necessary since that method of altering our genome is nearing obsolescence anyway. What I think SKFM was talking about as this line of discussion began was more along the lines of Gattaca's designer babies. Gattaca seems topical since that film wasn't so much a warning about "eugenics mk2" as it was about the disastrous consequences of wealth inequality being compounded by human-altering technology.

    Given that half of America still thinks abortion is a holocaust of tremendous proportions, and Europe thinks that genetic engineering is the spawn of an unholy union between Dr. Frankenstein and Big Business, I don't think we're going to see human genetic engineering turning into the massive issue that Gattaca predicted. Information technology is another matter. We're already seeing it a little bit with stuff like smartphones, and I suspect it's going to get really weird if the perpetually-five-years-away augmented reality tech ever actually manifests. If you have wealthy people walking around with an overlay of information - a sixth sense - that is increasingly perceived as normal and even necessary, then you could have a situation where an unprecedented barrier between the classes arises that is every bit as significant, or even more significant, than alterations in biological performance.

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Eugenics is an interesting concept. Unfortunately humans are NOWHERE near smart enough to implement it effectively since we don't know the long term affects that the mutation path of a gene will have. Perhaps today a gene causes you to have a high level of flatulence. Not truly desirable, and of no real benefit. But perhaps in 10 generations time that gene will allow you to tolerate gut flora which increase your food/energy conversion efficiency.

    Any gene might take this path, so even if we could say for sure that a given gene was bad today and understood all its interactions we couldn't say if it would still be bad tomorrow.

    Eugenics just says that if we understand genetics well enough we can create a more ideal society through long term manipulation of otherwise random couplings. The problems are...

    i) We don't understand it well enough
    ii) We can't agree what a more ideal society is
    iii) It's really hard to control who people sleep with

    Your gut flora example struck a nerve, since in my country an increase in food/energy conversion efficiency would probably be seen as a major health hazard, what with the increased risk of obesity. So in order to preserve our ability to stuff our faces with metaphorical peaches (or, er, literal ones) we would actually seek to avoid such an apparently beneficial alteration to our genome. Meanwhile, the people who would benefit - perhaps drastically, creating spillover benefits to these United States of America as countries preoccupied with starvation develop an interest in consumer goods - would have the least access to it.

    You really lost me with the second half of your post though. Hopefully nobody here is thinking in terms of the old-fashioned genetic hygiene version of eugenics; what with the obvious problems with arranged marriages, forced sterilization or, y'know, cleansing of individuals with undesirable characteristics, that shit is not really worth discussing. Inhibiting reproductive freedom is not a practical proposal, nor is it even necessary since that method of altering our genome is nearing obsolescence anyway. What I think SKFM was talking about as this line of discussion began was more along the lines of Gattaca's designer babies. Gattaca seems topical since that film wasn't so much a warning about "eugenics mk2" as it was about the disastrous consequences of wealth inequality being compounded by human-altering technology.

    Given that half of America still thinks abortion is a holocaust of tremendous proportions, and Europe thinks that genetic engineering is the spawn of an unholy union between Dr. Frankenstein and Big Business, I don't think we're going to see human genetic engineering turning into the massive issue that Gattaca predicted. Information technology is another matter. We're already seeing it a little bit with stuff like smartphones, and I suspect it's going to get really weird if the perpetually-five-years-away augmented reality tech ever actually manifests. If you have wealthy people walking around with an overlay of information - a sixth sense - that is increasingly perceived as normal and even necessary, then you could have a situation where an unprecedented barrier between the classes arises that is every bit as significant, or even more significant, than alterations in biological performance.

    Yeah, gattaca without the price as a gate keeper is exactly what I had in mind. Just because we are too dumb when it comes to genetics to understand all the interrelationships between genes does not mean we will never be smarter, and when we are, why wouldn't we use that knowledge to our benefit?

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Sanger was only one of many, and notably was related to only one of the goods I mentioned in very general terms. More precisely, I'm talking about things prior to and unrelated to Sanger.

    Swing and a miss Hedgie, you'll not have your fight this day.

    The point though is that all of those good things that you said were brought about by eugenics were and still are good things intrinsically, and are and have been defended on their own merits. Arguing that they came about because of leftward support of eugenics is a silly notion, especially considering how popular the concept of eugenics was at the turn of the 20th century. The more rational conclusion was that at the time concepts of reproductive health and public health were argued for on grounds of eugenics because it was a popular and widespread concept. And it's telling how quickly those concepts were divorced from eugenics once we realized how poorly set up and dangerous eugenics really is.

    I pointed out Sanger because she's the classic example of how eugenics wound up being a distraction from the actual cause of reproductive health.

    The fact is, eugenics was always bad science, and was popular because it fed into people's beliefs.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Eugenics is an interesting concept. Unfortunately humans are NOWHERE near smart enough to implement it effectively since we don't know the long term affects that the mutation path of a gene will have. Perhaps today a gene causes you to have a high level of flatulence. Not truly desirable, and of no real benefit. But perhaps in 10 generations time that gene will allow you to tolerate gut flora which increase your food/energy conversion efficiency.

    Any gene might take this path, so even if we could say for sure that a given gene was bad today and understood all its interactions we couldn't say if it would still be bad tomorrow.

    Eugenics just says that if we understand genetics well enough we can create a more ideal society through long term manipulation of otherwise random couplings. The problems are...

    i) We don't understand it well enough
    ii) We can't agree what a more ideal society is
    iii) It's really hard to control who people sleep with

    Your gut flora example struck a nerve, since in my country an increase in food/energy conversion efficiency would probably be seen as a major health hazard, what with the increased risk of obesity. So in order to preserve our ability to stuff our faces with metaphorical peaches (or, er, literal ones) we would actually seek to avoid such an apparently beneficial alteration to our genome. Meanwhile, the people who would benefit - perhaps drastically, creating spillover benefits to these United States of America as countries preoccupied with starvation develop an interest in consumer goods - would have the least access to it.

    You really lost me with the second half of your post though. Hopefully nobody here is thinking in terms of the old-fashioned genetic hygiene version of eugenics; what with the obvious problems with arranged marriages, forced sterilization or, y'know, cleansing of individuals with undesirable characteristics, that shit is not really worth discussing. Inhibiting reproductive freedom is not a practical proposal, nor is it even necessary since that method of altering our genome is nearing obsolescence anyway. What I think SKFM was talking about as this line of discussion began was more along the lines of Gattaca's designer babies. Gattaca seems topical since that film wasn't so much a warning about "eugenics mk2" as it was about the disastrous consequences of wealth inequality being compounded by human-altering technology.

    Given that half of America still thinks abortion is a holocaust of tremendous proportions, and Europe thinks that genetic engineering is the spawn of an unholy union between Dr. Frankenstein and Big Business, I don't think we're going to see human genetic engineering turning into the massive issue that Gattaca predicted. Information technology is another matter. We're already seeing it a little bit with stuff like smartphones, and I suspect it's going to get really weird if the perpetually-five-years-away augmented reality tech ever actually manifests. If you have wealthy people walking around with an overlay of information - a sixth sense - that is increasingly perceived as normal and even necessary, then you could have a situation where an unprecedented barrier between the classes arises that is every bit as significant, or even more significant, than alterations in biological performance.

    Yeah, gattaca without the price as a gate keeper is exactly what I had in mind. Just because we are too dumb when it comes to genetics to understand all the interrelationships between genes does not mean we will never be smarter, and when we are, why wouldn't we use that knowledge to our benefit?

    Because one, there's a reason that Lego Genetics is a trope; and two, I think we can all agree that the Destiny Plan is a fundamentally bad way to run society.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    If reality is peach deficient we should produce more peaches. Maybe we can't all have the same number of peaches or a lot of peaches, but everyone should get at least one.

    I'm not sure about that.

    I get that our ideal is for everyone to have a peach, since we can imagine a world with adequate peaches.

    However, it might be keen to get our norms from reality. In reality, not everyone can have a peach. So, maybe that's good.

    We're conditioned to imagine things being other than what they are, and finding "goodness" in that realm of imagination.

    It's interesting to flip that, sometimes, and try to conceive of what is the case as being good.

    Maybe it's good that some people don't get peaches.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you just mean that since the world has scarce resources, it may be better to take those resources and parcel them out in such a way that everyone has what they value? We can imagine a world where everyone starts with one of everything, and then people trade among themselves until Pareto optimally is reached. This may well be a world where some people don't have peaches, because they didn't value them as much as apples or snakes or paper shredders.

    I think this example shows one of the key problems with the veil of ignorance. If we strip out our preferences, then we may create a world where people are equal, but could be much happier, since it is a world designed for people without preferences, and those don't exist.

    Generally, persons think "equality = good" and "inequality = bad". Equality is good because...well...equality is good.

    Given that reality is not equal, we need to articulate why "equality = good" is a sensible position. We're arguing for things to be other than how they are, and generally those sorts of arguments require reasons.

    I can point to the world right now as one in which not everyone has a peach.

    When someone maintains that situation to be "bad", they need an argument for why it is bad.

    We don't need to argue for things to stay the same. We need arguments for why things ought to change.

    So, the idea is for persons to think about why reality's fundamental status of inequality is bad, given that it's the fundamental way things be.

    Why is equality good?

    Awesome! Now I'm not the only person on the boards taking this position :)

    I think that there are a number of arguments for why equality is good. The declining marginal utility of money means that we get more value out of money by giving money to the poor than the rich, and this means we eventually reach a state of greater equality just from maximizing our resource of money to distribute. I also think equality is worth striving for because a society where some people reap all the benefits of our society and other barely do ultimately weakens the fabric of society, since the people who are constrained by the rules but not benefiting from them will have fewer reasons to follow them, and the net result of this behavior is a drop in overall utility since we need to spend more time and resources defending ourselves and our property from rule breakers.

    You seem to be saying that we need things to be more equal (not "actually equal", but "more equal") in order to quash poor people's desire to steal our peaches.

    Is this correct?

    I am saying that two possible reasons to care about equality are the desire to wring the most benefit out of the peaches we have and the reason you described.

    So, not the well-being of the poor.

    Ok. That's cool.

    Yes, but I would add that it is unlikely that the poor will be utility sinks with respect to every resource in society. But if it turns out that the poor are utility black holes who benefit less than the rest of the population from all resources, then I don't think we should spend our resources on them.

    Your initial argument kind of only works on the premise that equality/inequality is a checkbox we pick in the config file for The Universe. The choice is not between everyone having exactly the same experience and everyone being different. It's not between the general concepts of "equality" and "inequality". When someone desires a prosthesis for a lost limb, telling them "maybe not everyone is supposed to have all their limbs, think about it! Why should everyone be equal?" isn't really a sound argument.

    Also, I still maintain that there's no reason to grant special dispensation to the status quo simply because it is.

    How do you propose to change things If you don't start from the status quo as the default? You may have a year plan for peach distribution, but if one person holds all the peaches, you need to convince him to let you redistribute them, and so he is the gate keeper to your plan.

    It's always worth keeping in mind that when properly applied, pitchforks and torches make for strong, convincing arguments.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    It's always worth keeping in mind that when properly applied, pitchforks and torches make for strong, convincing arguments.

    Gabriel Gale used a pitchfork as an effective argument against solipsism in GK Chesterson's The Poet and the Lunatics... by using it to tie the solipsist to a tree.
    "A very large number of young men nearly go mad. But nearly all of them only nearly do it; and normally they recover the normal. You might almost say it's normal to have an abnormal period. It comes when there's a lack of adjustment in the scale of things outside and within. Lots of those boys, those big healthy schoolboys you hear about, who care for nothing but cricket or the tuckshop, are bursting with a secret and swelling morbidity. But in this young man it was rather symbolically expressed even in the look of him. It was like his growing out of his clothes, or being too big for his boots. The inside gets too big for the outside. He doesn't know how to relate the two things; and generally he doesn't relate them at all. In one way his own mind and self seem to be colossal and cosmic and everything outside them small or distant. In another way the world is much too big for him; and his thoughts are fragile things to be hidden away. There are any number of cases of that disproportionate secretiveness. You know how silent boys have been about incredible abuses in bad schools. Whether or no it's false to say a girl can't keep a secret, it's often really the ruin of a boy that he can keep a secret.

    "Now in that dangerous time, there's a dreadfully dangerous moment; when the first connexion is made between the subjective and objective: the first real bridge between the brain and real things.

    ...

    I went through with the whole wild business; and I was sure I was right; as he himself is now sure I was right. Nobody knew but I how far he had already gone along that road; and I knew that there was nothing for it but acute, practical, painful discovery that he could not control matter or the elements; that he could not move trees or remove pitchforks; that he could struggle for two hours with a rope and a pair of prongs and still be bound."

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The essential flaw is that eugenics is crackpot bullshit abandoned back sometime around Harry Truman dropping the A-bomb. Your reasoning is just icing on the cake.
    Euegenics gets a bad wrap.

    It was also a great left wing ideal at the same time as it being a monstrous right wing one.

    It lead to things like public education, public health and birth services, STI preventative measures and a range of other things.

    It turns out that the underlying theory was partly incorrect (genetic hygiene is much less straight forward than assumed and seems to have nothing to do with race) , but it was also partly correct - things like public health and education do lead to a healthier society and more productive citizen.

    No, it really doesn't. Sanger was an idiot for pushing eugenics just as much as she was a hero for promoting reproductive health.

    Sanger was only one of many, and notably was related to only one of the goods I mentioned in very general terms. More precisely, I'm talking about things prior to and unrelated to Sanger.

    Swing and a miss Hedgie, you'll not have your fight this day.

    The point though is that all of those good things that you said were brought about by eugenics were and still are good things intrinsically, and are and have been defended on their own merits. Arguing that they came about because of leftward support of eugenics is a silly notion, especially considering how popular the concept of eugenics was at the turn of the 20th century. The more rational conclusion was that at the time concepts of reproductive health and public health were argued for on grounds of eugenics because it was a popular and widespread concept. And it's telling how quickly those concepts were divorced from eugenics once we realized how poorly set up and dangerous eugenics really is.

    I pointed out Sanger because she's the classic example of how eugenics wound up being a distraction from the actual cause of reproductive health.

    The fact is, eugenics was always bad science, and was popular because it fed into people's beliefs.

    Well, you might say so and portray history like that, but it would be revisionism and perhaps even Whigishness.

    These goods were considered part of eugenics (based in part in some bizarre neo-Lamarckian views* which people were actively trying to combine with Darwinism during the period before the Modern Synthesis). We might now recognise them as separate and be so motivated for Enlightened reasons, but it was not always so. Regardless of how things COULD and SHOULD have been, this was how it was - Left-Wing Eugenics programs were public education, reproductive health and even things like greater support for public libraries, they brought about good things even if we now recognise that the justification was bad.

    * Which combined with the views still exhibited by the Right Wing today - that success in society is reflective of some intrinsic properties within the individual. Rich people are rich because they are better.

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    im rich because my father is better

    deal w/ it

    wait a sec...

    obF2Wuw.png
  • DolraithDolraith Registered User
    Trying to genetically engineer people for height (or other similar things) won't really work as then mostly you're just narrowing the scale of difference. Human brain being the difference engine that it is, will simply measure people on the 6'-6'5" scale or whatever is related. Now I know that ideally you would want the height to be completely identical, but it is not only dependant on genes, there's also horomones and nutrition. Thus, instead of having children born tall or short, you'll have height be a status symbol, i.e. the children of the rich will be taller than the children of the poor, thus simply transforming a genetic inequality into a privilige inequality.

    On that topic, how is it possible to remove generational wealth growth? If we disallow inhertance, then the dying parent will simple "gift" their whole estate to their heir. Of course we could disallow gifting of items, money, and property, but then charities are kind of screwed. And the minute you make an exception for them, the "charity for the inheritance-deprived" will spring up...

    Of course you could institute a policy by which all children will be raised by the state in an identical manner. This has its own share of problems however, starting with the fact that it generates a lot of strong emotion from people, and ending in irresponsible behaviour (especially on part of the males) since the consequences are much lessened.

    I have a problem with providing for creature comforts, as there is very little motivation to do more than eat, socialize, procreate, and sleep. This would be bad enough in the first generation, when people's parents actually worked and had privilidge goods, but in second generation and further, there would be no motivation to actually work. Examples of this include the roman plebs in the 2nd or so century, or the dolist community in David Weber's books. However, because the people who feed off the support system would still be citizens, they would have the right to vote, and thus become an electral platform, leading to economically unsustainable policies being instituted for election reasons. THe only way out that I can see is to administer 3-year's worth of contraceptive at every goverment support handout, thus making it so if you want children, you HAVE to get off government support, and STAY off government support for an extended period of time. I can't imagine that being a very popular policy that would last any kind of decent time.

  • TheOrangeTheOrange Registered User regular
    While I wish poor people didn't have as many kids, I think its a decision that poor people should reach themselves. Anything else and the cost is too freaking high, we should never make procreation limiting laws, or laws that punish the children for parents fuckups (like tying welfare with contraceptives).

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012


    I was just watching the meaning of life. Kinda wish we did more to enable the poor to have fewer children too. Better education, fewer anti-abortion laws and less stigmatization.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    You can see a lot of history as the flow of Good Things from parents to children, and the limits on it. For example, monks/priests of many cultures aren't allowed to reproduce. This makes it much harder for them to grow in power over successive generations (they manage it, but they need more complex methods such as the church, which gives wealth to their peers rather than their children). This means that they don't grow with the same speed as a feudal aristocracy, allowing the two to coexist (uneasily). And that meant that the feudal aristocracy, who were warlords in all but name, didn't feel the need to kill them all. Can you imagine if the medieval Catholic Church had been popping out kids and those kids had been inheriting their positions and holdings? Everyone with a brain and a sword would go for them.

    So we can't stop inheritance, and shouldn't, but shaping it is tremendously important for the long term of our societies. For example, a nation with massive inheritance taxes and a nation with none, all other things being the same, will be very economically unequal after a few generations, and will be utterly different after several. Or a religion with a taboo on reproduction but not money vs a religion which supports reproduction even by priests but eschews wealth - imagine their relative progress.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    You can see a lot of history as the flow of Good Things from parents to children, and the limits on it. For example, monks/priests of many cultures aren't allowed to reproduce. This makes it much harder for them to grow in power over successive generations (they manage it, but they need more complex methods such as the church, which gives wealth to their peers rather than their children). This means that they don't grow with the same speed as a feudal aristocracy, allowing the two to coexist (uneasily). And that meant that the feudal aristocracy, who were warlords in all but name, didn't feel the need to kill them all. Can you imagine if the medieval Catholic Church had been popping out kids and those kids had been inheriting their positions and holdings? Everyone with a brain and a sword would go for them.

    So we can't stop inheritance, and shouldn't, but shaping it is tremendously important for the long term of our societies. For example, a nation with massive inheritance taxes and a nation with none, all other things being the same, will be very economically unequal after a few generations, and will be utterly different after several. Or a religion with a taboo on reproduction but not money vs a religion which supports reproduction even by priests but eschews wealth - imagine their relative progress.

    I agree with this completely. The logistics of transfer taxes are complex (since you need to watch out for predeath gifts) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try our hardest to get it right.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    You can see a lot of history as the flow of Good Things from parents to children, and the limits on it. For example, monks/priests of many cultures aren't allowed to reproduce. This makes it much harder for them to grow in power over successive generations (they manage it, but they need more complex methods such as the church, which gives wealth to their peers rather than their children). This means that they don't grow with the same speed as a feudal aristocracy, allowing the two to coexist (uneasily). And that meant that the feudal aristocracy, who were warlords in all but name, didn't feel the need to kill them all. Can you imagine if the medieval Catholic Church had been popping out kids and those kids had been inheriting their positions and holdings? Everyone with a brain and a sword would go for them.

    So we can't stop inheritance, and shouldn't, but shaping it is tremendously important for the long term of our societies. For example, a nation with massive inheritance taxes and a nation with none, all other things being the same, will be very economically unequal after a few generations, and will be utterly different after several. Or a religion with a taboo on reproduction but not money vs a religion which supports reproduction even by priests but eschews wealth - imagine their relative progress.

    I agree with this completely. The logistics of transfer taxes are complex (since you need to watch out for predeath gifts) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try our hardest to get it right.


    You are wasting your time. Wealth transfer from one generation to the next happens so long before the death of the parents that estate taxes are a red herring.

    What tax are you going to implement that stops a legacy from getting into an ivy league school and then out, debt free? Are you going to tax private tutors out of existence?

    The people you'd hit with an estate tax? The family who spent 30 years paying off a house, and just want to leave their middle age kids a place to live rent free.


  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    BSoB wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    You can see a lot of history as the flow of Good Things from parents to children, and the limits on it. For example, monks/priests of many cultures aren't allowed to reproduce. This makes it much harder for them to grow in power over successive generations (they manage it, but they need more complex methods such as the church, which gives wealth to their peers rather than their children). This means that they don't grow with the same speed as a feudal aristocracy, allowing the two to coexist (uneasily). And that meant that the feudal aristocracy, who were warlords in all but name, didn't feel the need to kill them all. Can you imagine if the medieval Catholic Church had been popping out kids and those kids had been inheriting their positions and holdings? Everyone with a brain and a sword would go for them.

    So we can't stop inheritance, and shouldn't, but shaping it is tremendously important for the long term of our societies. For example, a nation with massive inheritance taxes and a nation with none, all other things being the same, will be very economically unequal after a few generations, and will be utterly different after several. Or a religion with a taboo on reproduction but not money vs a religion which supports reproduction even by priests but eschews wealth - imagine their relative progress.

    I agree with this completely. The logistics of transfer taxes are complex (since you need to watch out for predeath gifts) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try our hardest to get it right.


    You are wasting your time. Wealth transfer from one generation to the next happens so long before the death of the parents that estate taxes are a red herring.

    What tax are you going to implement that stops a legacy from getting into an ivy league school and then out, debt free? Are you going to tax private tutors out of existence?

    The people you'd hit with an estate tax? The family who spent 30 years paying off a house, and just want to leave their middle age kids a place to live rent free.
    You mean like the imaginary family farms broken up over estate taxes? The estate tax system already exempts most of the population.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Inheritance taxes are the tiniest tip of the iceberg. As BSOB said, wealth transfer is lifelong.

    Private schools are one of the earliest systems, along with private healthcare. High taxation on private healthcare and education combined with enabling good public systems through funding and policy are a good place to start.

    Your basic socialist nightmare for some Americans, but if you desire greater equality, it won't happen while people can literally buy their child the chance to get qualifications and whatever intelligence education can give you. That's why 'meritocracy' is such a farce in unequal societies - you're still buying people the chance to be of merit.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    The trick is to give people some chance to transfer wealth to their children (this is every decent parent's dream, for a sufficiently wide enough definition of wealth) but not so much that society becomes tremendously unequal, as even if you're not a leftie with empathy for humans like me, there are still large costs to society that stem from inequality, e.g. theft.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • riposte_18riposte_18 Registered User regular
    The first thing I thought about when I read the OP was that there originally must have been a starting-line equality sometime back. From an evolutional point of view, when humanity was at the hunter-gatherer stage, that was about as equal as things could be. However, over time, a number of factors such as physical attributes, luck, clever usage of resources, etc, allowed some groups to prosper over others. This has continued, with the prosperity working its way to its descendants until we have the current distribution of wealth. Ultimately, if you enforced starting-line equality, eventually you would come to a similar point in time where there's such vast inequality. Either, you continue to re-establish the starting-line equality, or put in place arbitrary rules to prevent those who can maximize their resources from gaining an edge over those who can't. Ie, this discussion on an inheritance tax is along these lines. I'm totally for the idea, since there is a need to redistribute the wealth more evenly, but from an equality perspective (ie, excluding social or economic aspects), the balancing out of wealth is arbitrary.

    However, no discussion takes place in a vacumm.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    I don't think it's as simple as that. I think there have been moves towards and away from equality, sometimes gradual trends, sometimes sharp changes. The colonisation of the US was a big equalizer, though not a perfect one of course.

    I figure I could take a bear.
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