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Debate Score:9
Arguments:48
Total Votes:9
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Amarel(5505) pic



What's your take on egalitarianism?

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Side Score: 5
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Side Score: 4
2 points

Existence conditions inequality. Consequently, egalitarianism offers false assurances which it cannot deliver. It attempts to imitate on a grand scale what we can barely accomplish in even our most intimate relationships with other beings. In the pursuit of an impossible social order, we diminish our already limited capacity to form and maintain caring relationships with others. It is to the state that we turn for the guarantee of a basic quality of existence, rather than to our immediate selves and those we interact with.

The only thing existence guarantees is death. Everything else is circumstantial. No being is entitled to anything; there is only power and its determined distribution. The common appeal of egalitarianism is that it denies the brute facts of existence. It assures people that they are entitled to a certain quality of existence and promises to secure it for them - they need merely invoke its name: egalitarianism. That's the idea of egalitarianism, anyways.

In practice, equality is ever in the eye of the beholder and thus always subject to disagreement. It's promise has never been realized, and it never will be. But it keeps a great many people passive by inculcating a sense of dependency upon its social order. Egalitarianism, then, is a psychological palliative which can only be purchased by diminishing one's own agency.

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Amarel(5505) Clarified
2 points

What is you take on agency ?

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Jace(5161) Clarified
1 point

What I mean by 'agency' is the ability to pursue and realize one's interests. I do not take it be interchangeable with 'free will', which suggests that our interests are a matter of voluntary election rather than material determination.

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Dermot(5740) Clarified
2 points

Existence conditions inequality.

How do you address such inequalities?

Consequently, egalitarianism offers false assurances which it cannot deliver.

But yet there are countless examples where it has delivered or would you disagree?

It attempts to imitate on a grand scale what we can barely accomplish in even our most intimate relationships with other beings.

You seem to think that such a system should be perfect before it can be of any benifit, the only way it could be so is if humans were basically clones that behaved and acted more or less the same , where one size basically fits all

What is it one seeks in our most intimate relationships ? Surely that differs from person to person?

In the pursuit of an impossible social order, we diminish our already limited capacity to form and maintain caring relationships with others

I don’t follow , what exactly to you is a caring relationship with others and how could it be diminished by seeking equalities in society?

. It is to the state that we turn for the guarantee of a basic quality of existence, rather than to our immediate selves and those we interact with.

What would you propose in lieu of such ?

The only thing existence guarantees is death. Everything else is circumstantial. No being is entitled to anything; there is only power and its determined distribution.

Power in this sense to me is the ability to make a living by my own means which I do by creating Art , no one tells me how or when to create such or what hours I must work , where I must work or when , to me this is total freedom

The common appeal of egalitarianism is that it denies the brute facts of existence. It assures people that they are entitled to a certain quality of existence and promises to secure it for them - they need merely invoke its name: egalitarianism. That's the idea of egalitarianism, anyways.

I don’t think it does , I think it recognises such but tries address them

In practice, equality is ever in the eye of the beholder and thus always subject to disagreement. It's promise has never been realized, and it never will be.

Of course this is true in many aspects but yet in the workplace where one now has many safeguards against bad practice and abuses systems are necessary to ensure such , workers have and do get a say in such so their is power in the collective

But it keeps a great many people passive by inculcating a sense of dependency upon its social order.

What do you suggest instead that may ensure a more equal society if such is possible?

Egalitarianism, then, is a psychological palliative which can only be purchased by diminishing one's own agency.

How is my agency diminished by at least attempting to treat others as equals ?

Thank you for the exchange I like the way you flesh your positions out and your piece invites many interesting questions.

One more question if I may .....regards moral decisions and reaching them is your position that of Emotivism?

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Jace(5161) Clarified
1 point

How do you address such inequalities?

Systematically, I don't address them at all. As an individual and in my immediate relationships with others, I negotiate inequality according to the nature of my relationship with the person in question.

But yet there are countless examples where it has delivered or would you disagree?

I disagree, categorically.

You seem to think that such a system should be perfect before it can be of any benifit, the only way it could be so is if humans were basically clones that behaved and acted more or less the same , where one size basically fits all. What is it one seeks in our most intimate relationships ? Surely that differs from person to person?

No. My concern is not merely that egalitarianism is an ideal theory, but that as an ideal theory it is too willfully ignorant of existence to be practicable. The human capacity to treat others equally is exceedingly limited, not merely by our general disinterest in caring for most others but also by our absolute inability to occupy the existence of others (i.e. to know their interests as our own). Egalitarianism does not merely fall short of realizing equality; it denies that what we seek differs in its insistence upon equality, and this makes it impracticable to pursue even as an ideal.

I don’t follow , what exactly to you is a caring relationship with others and how could it be diminished by seeking equalities in society?

What constitutes a caring relationship varies from person to person, and my particular idea of a caring relationship won't offer up any useful insights here. It is this variability that causes our interpersonal relationships to be diminished by ideal theories like egalitarianism. If we are preoccupied with pursuing the ideal theory of egalitarianism, then we are concerned with serving something abstract and absolute (i.e. the virtue of equality) before we are concerned with serving ourselves. We cease to view our relationships with others as strictly between us and for us, and evaluate them based on how consistent they are with the 'higher' virtue of equality.

What would you propose in lieu of such ?

I propose (not prescriptively) that we turn to our immediate selves and those we interact with.

Power in this sense to me is the ability to make a living by my own means which I do by creating Art , no one tells me how or when to create such or what hours I must work , where I must work or when , to me this is total freedom

This is a bit narrower than what I mean by 'power, but very much in the spirit of my meaning I think. Power to me is the ability to do anything in life by one's own means - your living for one, but your relationships, your past times, or any other undertaking (or abstention) one might imagine. My proposition is that ideals, like the 'equality' of egalitarianism, are inconsistent with this power (or, as you call it, this total freedom).

I don’t think it does , I think it recognises such but tries address them

How does egalitarianism recognize these brute facts of existence: that inequality exists necessarily because there is nothing which selects against it or for equality, that we are entitled to nothing by the mere fact of our existence except what we are determined to receive, and that there is no objective morality or good. In what way does egalitarianism address them?

Of course this is true in many aspects but yet in the workplace where one now has many safeguards against bad practice and abuses systems are necessary to ensure such , workers have and do get a say in such so their is power in the collective

Whose workplaces? Tell this to the immigrant and third world labor whose exploitation enables those safeguards to hold for the privileged few. Tell it to the rest of the social margins while you're at it.

Even in the few and far between places where these safeguards are effectively practiced and enforced, wealth and other inequality have persisted; you are mistaking modest empowerment with a stride towards equality, but they are not remotely the same thing.

You are also drawing a false equivalency between 'the collective' and egalitarianism.

What do you suggest instead that may ensure a more equal society if such is possible?

I don't suggest anything to that end. I have no interest in a more equal society. I do not believe it is a coherent objective. My interest in my immediate relations with others, where my actions may have a practicable effect.

How is my agency diminished by at least attempting to treat others as equals?

If your attempts are motivated and justified by an appeal to egalitarianism then your agency is directed according to a 'higher virtue' that looks constantly outside of yourself and those you interact with. Your treatment of others will never be a consequence of what you find of interest in them unique to themselves, but rather a consequence of the generic value you find in the idea of them and through an appeal to the 'higher virtue' of equality.

Ideology makes us incapable of meeting any person directly as ourselves and them as themselves. The value we find in ourselves and in others is indirect; we are alienated, our agency diminished.

Thank you for the exchange I like the way you flesh your positions out and your piece invites many interesting questions.

Thank you as well. I appreciate your sincere effort to understand my position, and I enjoy your questions.

One more question if I may .....regards moral decisions and reaching them is your position that of Emotivism?

Emotivism isn't far off the mark, though I expect my position is closer to ethical nihilism. Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate; I don't want to presume your interest.

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BurritoLunch(6607) Disputed Banned
1 point

Existence conditions inequality.

I don't think that is true. Present existence does, sure, but what I mean is that it doesn't have to be so. Largely, we have invented the social apparatus by which we judge certain people to be superior or inferior. The means by which we measure their value is not objective, but rather relative to the society which needs (or doesn't need) them.

For example, I might be born with jaw-dropping strength, and I might also have top one percentile intelligence, but maybe you have a bizarre skill which saves somebody's life one day. If that person is dependent upon you for life then -- at least from their perspective -- you are considerably more valuable than I am. But, at the same time, maybe from my employer's perspective, I am more valuable. The point is that we are inventing this "inequality" ourselves. Differences are not inequalities unless they are viewed within the parameters of a certain culture or way of life. Capitalism is the machine which wants to convince you that difference = inequality, because it needs to rationalise to you why it has produced inequality.

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Jace(5161) Disputed
1 point

Existence as we know it is conditioned by natural selection, which fundamentally does not function to produce equality. There is no reason to suspect that any novel evolutionary force has been or will be introduced to alter those conditions which have existed for literally millions of years.

Your own remarks demonstrate the subjectivity of the value persons have to one another; all the value you attribute to others' existence is contingent upon what they are to someone else. Egalitarianism requires the value of people to be unequivocally equal but this is too great a departure from reality for the theory to be practicable.

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1 point

I don't know enough about it but from what I just read, I don't 100 percent agree with it. While I agree that people deserve equal rights and opportunities, not all people are equal. A person with a learning disability can not be on the same footing as a person without one. One can't say that a person in a wheelchair is equal to a person who can walk. They deserve the same rights and opportunities but they aren't on the same level. That's not to say there is anything inherently wrong with a handicap, just that compared to the norm, they can't be expected to operate on the same level. I hope that makes sense.

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Amarel(5505) Clarified
1 point

I'm going to interpret "equal rights" to mean equality before the law. If this is not what you mean, please let me know.

The person bound to a wheelchair cannot have opportunities equal to someone not in a wheelchair. It's a physical impossibility. A person in the middle of the country cannot have opportunities equal to those on the coast. It's a geographic impossibility. A person raised in the back country cannot have the same opportunities as a person raised with numerous family connections. It's a social impossibility. I don't believe it can be said that equal opportunity is realistic in any sense. However, equal rights can be nearly attainable, if not perfectly for most.

I hear the right and the left argue over equal opportunity vs equal outcome, and I find both to be pipe dreams at best and an excuse for government intrusion at worst. I find egalitarianism to be mostly interchangeable with the pursuit of equal outcomes.

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Mint_tea(4602) Clarified
1 point

I'm going to interpret "equal rights" to mean equality before the law.

Yes.

Expand it in a slightly broader spectrum and we get into equal opportunity. If two people are equally capable of preforming a job, the choice should not boil down to gender or color.

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Jace(5161) Clarified
1 point

Why do we care about equality before the law if it does not guarantee either equal opportunity or equal outcome?

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1 point

I think it’s goals are noble and worth aiming for. One has to ask what the motivation for achieving equality is based on , it can be religiously motivated or on a broader belief in the rationality of equality of respect for all people

Opponents of egalitarianism seem to think it aims at a system of complete uniformity which it doesn’t.

Unfortunately the times we live in have thrown up systems that are meant to be based on egalitarian principles where reverse discrimination now occurs, recruiters for positions In various fields now actively recruit from groups that were once deemed underprivileged this phenomenon seems to be spreading and is meant to speed up the process of society becoming more equal

This practice in some countries is illegal in others it’s required by law

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Jace(5161) Clarified
1 point

I think it’s goals are noble and worth aiming for.

Why?

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Dermot(5740) Clarified
1 point

The why i presumed was evident by what I stated in my post , I’m interested to know the why not?

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HellNope(56) Clarified
1 point

I think it’s goals are noble and worth aiming for.

Why?

Because without the goal of getting to the toilet, you would shit your pants. Without the goal of cleaning the shit off of yourself, you'd get a nasty rash. Without the goal of nursing the rash, you'd get an infection and die. Without the goal of not dying, you'd walk blindly into heavy moving traffic.

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