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Equality -- how can anyone believe this?

Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
May 05, 2010, 04:40:30 PM
No two things in nature are equal. They are different:

  • Context is always varied. Can't step into the same river twice and other cliches go here.
  • Chaos. Small variations occur in everything, like variations in each generation with genetics.
  • Metaphysical forces. Even if you have the same thing or infinite numbers, the object itself is not the source of power. Its use in a chain of events is. Ten thousand bong hits will never be as cool as your first bong hit.


This isn't a political argument here, just a thought: our concept of "equality" is wishful thinking -- that time doesn't change, that we can't be wrong in how we guess something will turn out, that we're not just fodder for recombination like the rest. Yet we are.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 04, 2011, 07:24:12 PM
Equality is the faith based secular religion of the West. Thanks for nothing Jesus.

Quote
Two thirds of the people in Sweden relying long term on social benefits have a foreign background, while child poverty in the same group is becoming more and more serious, according to new reports.

http://www.thelocal.se/37702/20111202/

Quote
Liberals would never stoop to stereotyping, but they say minorities necessarily make distinctive — stereotypical? — contributions to viewpoint diversity, conferring benefits on campus culture forever. And minorities admitted to elite universities and professional schools supposedly serve to enlarge the minority component of the middle class and professions.

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“Academic mismatch” causes many students who are admitted under a racial preference, but who possess weaker academic skills, to fall behind. The consequences include especially high attrition rates from the sciences, and self-segregation in less-demanding classes, thereby reducing classroom diversity.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2011/12/02/race-based-admissions-harm-minority-students.html

Phoenix

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 04, 2011, 07:33:44 PM
Say I'm a better hunter, mathematician, artist, and athlete than you. What does this mean? It means I can kill an animal for food more easily, I can solve math equations better, I can create nicer art and I can perform more advanced physical feats. The moment we start to use the terms "better" and "worse" removed from the very criteria we use to define them, the moment we speak of "better" and "worse" to refer to some absolute, over-arching value scale upon which human lives can be measured, then by definition the words cease to hold meaning. I can't be better than you, period, but I can be better than you at certain things. I believe a proper interpretation of the admittedly often-flawed notion of equality is that if absolute superiority of one individual over another cannot exist, then by de facto they are both equal in a fundamental sense, while conventionally of course they retain their differences.

Perhaps no two things in nature are identical, but surely their respective 'worths' or 'values' are context-bound as much as is the uniqueness of their respective identities. To speak of some absolute hierarchy of superiority where no two things are on the same level is as blind as the flawed religious notions of equality, because in chaos such a linear order can't exist, and depending on the needs or goals of a situation some things may be more or less favorable than others to meet those needs or goals.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 05, 2011, 02:03:37 AM
Say I'm a better hunter, mathematician, artist, and athlete than you. What does this mean? It means I can kill an animal for food more easily, I can solve math equations better, I can create nicer art and I can perform more advanced physical feats. The moment we start to use the terms "better" and "worse" removed from the very criteria we use to define them, the moment we speak of "better" and "worse" to refer to some absolute, over-arching value scale upon which human lives can be measured, then by definition the words cease to hold meaning. I can't be better than you, period, but I can be better than you at certain things. I believe a proper interpretation of the admittedly often-flawed notion of equality is that if absolute superiority of one individual over another cannot exist, then by de facto they are both equal in a fundamental sense, while conventionally of course they retain their differences.

Perhaps no two things in nature are identical, but surely their respective 'worths' or 'values' are context-bound as much as is the uniqueness of their respective identities. To speak of some absolute hierarchy of superiority where no two things are on the same level is as blind as the flawed religious notions of equality, because in chaos such a linear order can't exist, and depending on the needs or goals of a situation some things may be more or less favorable than others to meet those needs or goals.

I agree, the notion of social equality is the problem, because within the social sphere certain people better suited to fulfilling some roles than others.  Traditional Christianity recognized that every man was equal in an essential sense, but that contingent inequalities must be acknowledged in the social hierarchy.  The modern situation is a result of confusion between the two spheres, people assume that because equality exists in an abstract sense, that it can be applied literally to every situation, which results in chaos and decay.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 05, 2011, 02:55:19 AM
Through the lens of nihilism we understand that like everything else, human beings lack inherent meaning or value. If inherent human value is the source of human equality in the abstract, then equality in the abstract itself is a worthless concept. Therefore, only our inequities, by the variant values we may develop during the course of our lives, if any, are real. A measure of man's worth is not the fact of his existence but instead what he makes of it.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 05, 2011, 05:08:40 AM
My views may mirror that of Transcix in the belief that essential worth is not quantifiable by humanity (it requires a consciousness that can appreciate objective reality as a whole, but that is not relevant, merely stated as what occurs to this observer). There is no inherent value, but there is an objective reality. We are "equal" on a cosmic scale, and yes, essentially set apart by what one makes of particular frameworks of subjective definition (affirming what is stated in the first post as undeniable truth). This is expressed in a faith of supposedly "Judeo-Christian" inference (Islam) as; "all are created equal in the eyes of God but judged according to deed."

In the vein of forbidden thoughts, this has been at the very least interesting and thought provoking, particularly as it relates to a certain discussion on this board. Goluf wisely mentions: "We might then say that metal music uses the language of beauty to describe darkness". Is the best of metal not a powerful metaphor for and an affirmation of objective reality defined as language (of its own creation and to its own purposes; the narrative drives the song). The problem that springs forth is that this model derives from a tautology, but according to the man behind it this can be resolved empirically (as mathematical proof). It is diversionary, possibly unsound, but by a mind that at least makes the attempt and is learned to a greater degree than me. It is also an argument for an essential "equality", but beyond that doesn't relate to the thread :D

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 05, 2011, 09:45:49 PM
"We might then say that metal music uses the language of beauty to describe darkness".

I'd put it the other way around...

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 06, 2011, 01:38:19 AM
As concisely as possible: cognitive dissonance.  I actually don't think people, at least most, really and truly believe in equality.  Many only subconsciously believe it in a very abstract way that is necessary to justify legal egalitarianism.  Which is bullshit too, but for different reasons.

People who actually believe it tend to be new age retards who think the world can be explained in comfortable generalities (e.g. "there's no such thing as a stupid child", "everybody's good at something / we all have something to offer", "love and peace are the only path to salvation", "Osama bin Laden just needs a great big hug", etc., etc.).

Phoenix

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 06, 2011, 07:49:22 AM
Through the lens of nihilism we understand that like everything else, human beings lack inherent meaning or value. If inherent human value is the source of human equality in the abstract, then equality in the abstract itself is a worthless concept. Therefore, only our inequities, by the variant values we may develop during the course of our lives, if any, are real. A measure of man's worth is not the fact of his existence but instead what he makes of it.

I disagree. If meaningfulness is a false concept to begin with, then saying humans lack it is as relevant as saying that humans lack purple elephant feathers. In my view to latch onto the notion of meaningfulness, even if "by the variant values we may develop during the course of our lives" as you put it, is to latch onto a false concept. If meaningfulness can be tossed out the window, then what remains? When the mind and its equations are removed from the picture, we still feel emotions, our heart still speaks to us.

One can rightly pursue meaningfulness as much as one can remove their eyes from their sockets and rotate 180 degrees to look back on themselves, or that is to say, affirmation towards seeking meaningfulness is affirmation that meaningfulness is not yet acquired, yet meaningfulness pertains to that which by definition is the most fundamental and inherent of all, that which, well, 'gives things meaning'. If we are free of motives which encourage us to pursue the myth of meaningfulness, then we are free to operate according to our heart's content, without egocentric concern to elevate our self-concepts.

The ego is not based on evil, as if the flaw were a matter of morality in conflict with heart, rather it is based on the illusion that it is possible to make comparisons between people or things on the level of meaningfulness or value. And the heart, for its part, comes in many varieties, to oversimplify slightly--shiny ones, dark ones, fiery ones, etc.

To do something "because you can" is false reasoning, neglecting the reason why you chose that course of action over another. It points to the truth--when all possibilities are open to you then experience itself dictates your path organically, you just do it--yet it takes root in an intellectual reaction of fear or anger towards this choicelessness of 'ISness', resulting in a defiant validation of the ego. Incidentally, operating this way closely mimics the path of the fiery heart, and the two are often confused.

The left-hand path master neither re-makes himself every moment as if choosing among infinite possibility, nor is he shackled by the chain reactions of his past. The key is to recognize you cannot be shackled by those chain reactions because you are precisely them, and to thus work to ensure the various patterns and processes therein are not mutually-contradictory but in perfect coherence and cohesiveness. Where contradictions are found, then the heart may choose which way to go, and perhaps it is inevitable which way it will pick.

However to think it would be a rather dry and un-unique script would be to severely underestimate the breadth of permutations possible in the area of sentient consciousness. Freedom of will is a matter of who's will? Yours. Thus to use it as justification to seek out your will, this seeking is your will. If an infinitely powerful calculating machine could measure every single facet of your consciousness, as well as all of surrounding reality and all possible circumstances you could encounter, then yes it could indeed predict all your next moves. But no such machine exists, nor does any such god exist, the future is truly unknown (though in the great war the perverse lie of 'destiny' is frequently used to enslave). You have it within you to defeat any foe, any would-be deity, because you can still surprise them, and surprise yourself, this is the extent of your uniqueness and your free will, however it requires outside-of-the-box thinking, not a reactionary position against the insignificant absence of choice which indeed grants you freedom through ISness.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 07, 2011, 11:44:22 PM
"We might then say that metal music uses the language of beauty to describe darkness".

I'd put it the other way around...

Incidentally, so would I, but it serves the point nonetheless. I would have said it uses the language of darkness (subjective observation of objective) to describe (which is in itself a purely subjective action) beauty (a purely subjective quality).

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 08, 2011, 12:30:53 AM
If meaningfulness is a false concept to begin with, then saying humans lack it is as relevant as saying that humans lack purple elephant feathers.

This is not what was put forward. You're raising a strawman. The analogy is also terrible because you're attempting to roughly equate a null value abstraction with something substantive like purple feathers. Try again.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 08, 2011, 12:41:21 AM
On the contrary, he is saying that this is what you are doing.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 08, 2011, 04:16:27 AM
If I stated anywhere that simply existing as a person, vegetable, or mineral is equivalent to someone actively bringing value by progressing through life, then I'd be interested to see it.

Phoenix

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 08, 2011, 04:32:00 AM
You said "Through the lens of nihilism we understand that like everything else, human beings lack inherent meaning or value." I'm saying inherent meaning or value is as real and relevant as purple elephant feathers (and I meant to convey that purple elephant feathers are not a real thing, they are an impossibility, as elephants do not have feathers hehe). Subjective value therefore must have for point of reference exclusively your own mind and paradigm, and it must be based on experience and doing and must fundamentally pertain to your own situation, not the situation of others (subjectivity), though indirectly your situation is not an isolated event, admittedly you are often exposed to others. But I'm saying why add a level of intellectualization then over your subjective experience and doings? Why ascribe meaningfulness to things? When you ascribe meaningfulness to things, all you're doing is ascribing meaningfulness to your act of ascribing meaningfulness. There can be no lack of meaningfulness nor degrees of it. Unfortunately you've driven me into what may be construed as fluffy zen logic... if you would have elaborated what exactly was the straw-man argument you observed in my previous statements then I could respond in more precision.

Re: Equality -- how can anyone believe this?
December 08, 2011, 05:03:52 AM
It can't be that difficult to establish a distinction between the purposeful toward some quality value, thus perhaps introducing something meaningful, and purposeless, which because some quality is never introduced, is effectively at best non-existence. Assigning meaning to this or that is not itself meaningless because quality and the lack thereof, as evaluations, are definite.