Thought on Rights/Equality

Human right/equality should be a zero sum game, though not in the normal sense.
Let me explain:
Let's have the value of having all basin human right and equality be zero. The idea being that we want everyone to have a zero value.
In cases where someone does not have a right or equality, its a -1 per each. In cases where a person has a special right beyond basic human rights and/or is unjustly favored its a + 1 per each.
Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Your thoughts people?

Human right/equality should be a zero sum game, though not in the normal sense.
Let me explain:
Let's have the value of having all basin human right and equality be zero. The idea being that we want everyone to have a zero value.
In cases where someone does not have a right or equality, its a -1 per each. In cases where a person has a special right beyond basic human rights and/or is unjustly favored its a + 1 per each.
Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Your thoughts people?

Would be nice, but it'd only work with some kind of supernatural arbiter, and absolute values, etc. Some rights/disadvantages are worth more than others, and some are worth more to certain people than they are to other people.

For example, a gay person wanting to marry and being unable-- is that a -1? Not if only legality matters, here in the UK at least. That '-1' must represent the symbolism; the fact that it's bloody dehumanizing to have an us-and-them system.

But, then, you have the religious fella arguing that if gays can get married, it's infringing on his religion. I wouldn't want to grant him a -1, myself, because I don't think his grievance has any validity to it.

I can certainly see how that system would be a great thing, but the very fact that the value of such things is subjective makes it impossible.

Tis a nice idea, though, a nice thought-experiment; it's a way I never thought about these things before.

It is an... Interesting idea, but it has some flaws. Mainly, some rights/inequality are more "valuable" (if you know what I mean) than others. Your system does not support that. But then, if you try to implement that, you run into the problem of how to assign value to inequalities. So, more complications. Then, of course, there is also trouble figuring out what inequalities are positive or negative. For instance, is the fact that women cannot be drafted into the military in the US a positive, or a negative? Or the fact that men are pushed to enter into higher paying sectors, like law or computer science? Or how about everyone's favorite flame bait, affirmative action? Also, your idea supports "different, but equal", which I, and many others, just cannot get behind.

Anyway, those are all the flaws I could immediately think of in your system. Take that for what you will.

It sounds like a really arbitrary way to establish privilege. As both Silvanus and BreakfastMan has said before it also needs some kind of supernatural arbitrator to work, because that super entity would need to decide what constituted a privilege or loss even in cases where some might feel their "privilege" is actually a drawback (women and the draft as an example). Not to mention the problem that it won't take into account the severity of different problems, if "not eating cake on sundays" is -1 and "being denied jobs because of ethnicity" also is -1, then there is something very wrong with the system.

Also, a zero-sum game is a game in which the winnings of one participant comes at the expense of the others. So it is not what you think it is.

..I'm really tired so I'm not sure I understand the OP even after reading it twice. Someone explain this to me in morning-retard-speech, please?

Sorta kinda, that's the reason behind various programs aimed at reducing inequality. If you can't get rid of a problem, you can try counter balancing it. For example, positive discrimination to try and make up somewhat for negative discrimination.

As mentioned, you can't really find a baseline people will agree on. A lot of people take the way things are as the baseline, provided that they aren't on the pointy end of discrimination. Ending discrimination against someone else is therefore somehow discrimination against them, as someone else is given benefits without them getting anything. The "gays want more rights" stuff when talk of letting gay people get married same as straight people, for example.

No.

Inevitably, some individual will end up being discriminated by it, finding itself in a situation where it doesn't have the privilege, but still suffers the disadvantage instituted to offset it. This is the same reason Affirmative Action is state instituted discrimination, and a gross violation of one of the most fundamental legal principles: Individual equality before the law.

This is a bad example and a bad theory for three reasons off the top of my head.

For one, people shouldn't be forced to do and not do things against their will except in extreme circumstances (Eg; you're a violent criminal, so you're going to jail). Most talk about equality and discrimination in developed countries is about more subtle non-statutory forms of discrimination, which are still very important even if they're not very obvious. People shouldn't be forced to eat/not eat fight/not fight bears at all.

For two, different forms of discrimination do not cancel each other out by virtue of both being a form of discrimination. A man's smaller chance of gaining custody of children does not equal a women's greater chance of being raped which does not equal the discrimination PoC face getting a job. All forms of discrimination don't automatically equal a +1 or -1.

For three, while I can agree with the general concept of treating is as a zero sum game where we try and make the equalities level out - the addendum I would add is that this should be done by trying to lessen the amount of discrimination taking place rather than balancing it out. Rather than cancelling a +1 by giving the same group a -1, you should get rid of the +1 in the first place. Rather than letting someone eat cakes on a Sunday but making them have to fight a bear, allow everyone who wants to to eat cakes on a Sunday.

God, I can't believe I have typed so much about cake eating/bear fighting while being completely serious. Could you not use a real world example?

^Also Imperator DK, I disagree completely because you're only looking at equality of benefit rather than equality of outcome. For instance poor people get legal aid so they can be represented in courts of law with something vaguely approaching the same effectiveness as the rich. Hell, people pay different tax rates and get different tax breaks depending on their individual circumstances.

This isn't anything specifically related to race/religion/gender/whatever, people have pretty much always been treated in different ways by the law. Sometimes it's been bad like apartheid, sometimes it's been good like progressive tax systems that make the rich pay more tax (Assuming you're not a flat taxer, but if you are just substitute in something else ridiculously obvious like people with disabilities getting state benefits).

Appealing to some non-existent history or moral law of states being completely blind to people's individual circumstances and differences and treating everyone completely heterogeneously is moot because that's not a thing that's ever happened or is accepted as something we should want to happen.

Imperator_DK:
This is the same reason Affirmative Action is state instituted discrimination, and a gross violation of one of the most fundamental legal principles: Individual equality before the law.

Let me try to see if I can't sum up the resulting several page argument we might otherwise have: You think the means do not justify the end (that some violation of fundamental legal principles are okay if they ultimately lead to a more equal and better society), and I disagree, right?
Because I think we've had this discussion before.

You can't put numerical values on human rights and civil rights. I can't agree with that theory.

Realitycrash:
...
Let me try to see if I can't sum up the resulting several page argument we might otherwise have: You think the means do not justify the end (that some violation of fundamental legal principles are okay if they ultimately lead to a more equal and better society), and I disagree, right?
Because I think we've had this discussion before.

Yep, I'm more of a rule utilitarian than you.

Overhead:
...
Also Imperator DK, I disagree completely because you're only looking at equality of benefit rather than equality of outcome. For instance poor people get legal aid so they can be represented in courts of law with something vaguely approaching the same effectiveness as the rich. Hell, people pay different tax rates and get different tax breaks depending on their individual circumstances.

This isn't anything specifically related to race/religion/gender/whatever, people have pretty much always been treated in different ways by the law. Sometimes it's been bad like apartheid, sometimes it's been good like progressive tax systems that make the rich pay more tax (Assuming you're not a flat taxer, but if you are just substitute in something else ridiculously obvious like people with disabilities getting state benefits).

Appealing to some non-existent history or moral law of states being completely blind to people's individual circumstances and differences and treating everyone completely heterogeneously is moot because that's not a thing that's ever happened or is accepted as something we should want to happen.

I'm not rejecting preferential treatment based on individual need. Everyone could become "poor" or "sick", so special measures to aid all citizens who suffer from "poverty" or "disease" are fine by me. Which you also happens to be the case in what you give as a "good" example.

Not everyone can become black or a woman. So handing out stuff/scholarships to select citizens, based on their race or gender, is racial discrimination which violate the principle of equality before the law (i.e. that people whose individual circumstances are the same are to be individually treated in the same way). Which also just happens to be the case in what you give as a "negative" example.

Imperator_DK:
I'm not rejecting preferential treatment based on individual need. Everyone could become "poor" or "sick", so special measures to aid all citizens who suffer from "poverty" or "disease" are fine by me. Which you also happens to be the case in what you give as a "good" example.

Not everyone can become black or a woman. So handing out stuff/scholarships to select citizens, based on their race or gender, is racial discrimination which violate the principle of equality before the law (i.e. that people whose individual circumstances are the same are to be individually treated in the same way). Which also just happens to be the case in what you give as a "negative" example.

You seem to be assuming that being poor is a binary state but that women and being a PoC are not.

Yes, different people will suffer different amounts from male/white privilege. However different people will also suffer different amounts from poverty.

Taking women, for example, they suffer from domestic abuse more severely than men but not all women suffer from domestic abuse and some men suffer from is just as much as any woman. They are treated differently when it comes to haggling over expensive goods like cars too, with men getting statistically significant saving using the same bargaining technique in numerous pieces of scientific research - but some women won't do worse than men and will do just as well. They will typically earn less than the average male employee in the same job role, although some women won't be effected by this.

So overall they suffer more than men, even if individual women can't be guaranteed to suffer in the same way.

Now taking people who live in poverty for example, they have numerous problems as well. Their lifestyle usually leaves them less fit and more overweight due to the cheap unhealthy food marketed at them, resulting in a lower average life expectancy and often have health programmes specifically aimed at them. However not everyone is less fit, some exercise to the point of being Adonises and many will live a lot longer than expected. Due to a host of social problems, children from poor families usually have lower educational achievement so are eligible to receive support and help. However some are especially gifted or have supportive families or other benefits that more than make up for it, to the point where the child would excel even without any additional help.

So overall they suffer more than rich people, even if individual people in poverty can't be guaranteed to suffer in the same way.

So what we've got is that people in poverty will receive the benefit regardless of the specifics of their individual situation based merely on one factor (income) which indicates a tendency towards suffering certain problems but doesn't guarantee it. There is no guarantee of individual circumstances being the same with poverty, just like there isn't with being a woman or black.

In either case you're just looking for a variable (Age, gender, sexual preference, race, income religion, whatever) that we know is statistically significant in causing inequality, then trying to balance the inequality out.

As for your point that people can't become a woman or black, putting aside things like gender reassignment surgery, so what? I mean your point seems to be focused on individual circumstances and then you randomly throw that in as if it's meant to matter, but i don't see how or even what your point is with it.

chaosord:
Human right/equality should be a zero sum game, though not in the normal sense.
Let me explain:
Let's have the value of having all basin human right and equality be zero. The idea being that we want everyone to have a zero value.
In cases where someone does not have a right or equality, its a -1 per each. In cases where a person has a special right beyond basic human rights and/or is unjustly favored its a + 1 per each.
Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Your thoughts people?

I dislike it on the very principle that it sort of presumes that rights are a finite resource, like as if somebody else has to give up a right to gain a right.

It'd be an extremely easy issue to abuse, especially depending on how you're counting, and you know damn well everybody's going to try to figure out some bizarre way to count this.

I can already see it, with the whole marriage equality thing. Sure, if you're gay, or supportive of gay rights, you'll see the situation as -1. They'll see themselves denied a right that others have, so where straight people have 1 in marriage, they have -1. But that's not really how the other side sees it. They don't see same-sex marriage as an existing right being denied people. They would see same-sex marriage as a brand new want putting the gay people's total to +1, because they would feel "Well, they have +1 rights towards getting a straight marriage, just like me, but now they want an extra special +1 right towards getting a same-sex marriage I don't need on top of it. So what are they going to give me".

Misogynistic men will look at something like, women fighting time off for a pregnancy, and go "We both are even with the right to work through our pregnancies, it's not my fault I just happen to never have one. What are you going to give for me? Well, I guess we're going to have to take the ability to report spousal abuse off the table for you."

Racist people will be like "Well, black people get paid less than me, but they had every right to be born white too.", or whatever, etc...

I can just see a near infinite abuse of this sort of thing, again depending on how you count what is or isn't a right.

Imperator_DK:

Not everyone can become black or a woman. So handing out stuff/scholarships to select citizens, based on their race or gender, is racial discrimination which violate the principle of equality before the law (i.e. that people whose individual circumstances are the same are to be individually treated in the same way). Which also just happens to be the case in what you give as a "negative" example.

Um, except that it's there to combat racial and sexual discrimination already present. Yes, nobody 'chooses' to become black, and not everybody is 'susceptible' to random vagina or whatever.

But you seem to be suggesting that scholarships for a minority are there because somebody was like "Lol, fuck white people". That's not really the case. The case is that the whole world or at least the whole of the western world is automatically pro-white person or pro-male, and these scholarships are there to rectify an imbalance that already exists.

They don't violate the principle of equality before the law. A lack of them violates the principle of equality. You're suggesting that these two hypothetical individuals of a white cisgendered christian man and a black lesbian transwoman Hindi are in the same circumstances and should be treated the same, but a person's gender or sexuality or race, etc. changes their circumstances. Oh, would it be great for people to get the fuck over racism or misogyny or whatever, so that their circumstances were the same? Yeah. You bet your ass it would be. But it'd also be nice to have an economy where it was literally impossible for anybody who worked reasonably hard could never ever fall through the cracks and get poor too, or even better, if we were born into a world of infinite resources and infinite spaces where the concept of poverty was completely alien to us all.

If you argue that a poor person making 11,000 dollars a year should get more help from the government because his circumstances aren't similar to a person making 240,000 dollars a year with a single income, then I would argue that a woman coming from a 11,000 dollar a year family has, intrinsically different circumstances than a man in the same situation.

Again, is that because men and women are all that different? No. I'm not arguing that. But how society treats them, and therefor how much help they might need, sure as hell is.

Overhead:
...
You seem to be assuming that being poor is a binary state but that women and being a PoC are not.

Yes, different people will suffer different amounts from male/white privilege. However different people will also suffer different amounts from poverty.

Taking women, for example, they suffer from domestic abuse more severely than men but not all women suffer from domestic abuse and some men suffer from is just as much as any woman. They are treated differently when it comes to haggling over expensive goods like cars too, with men getting statistically significant saving using the same bargaining technique in numerous pieces of scientific research - but some women won't do worse than men and will do just as well. They will typically earn less than the average male employee in the same job role, although some women won't be effected by this.

So overall they suffer more than men, even if individual women can't be guaranteed to suffer in the same way.

Now taking people who live in poverty for example, they have numerous problems as well. Their lifestyle usually leaves them less fit and more overweight due to the cheap unhealthy food marketed at them, resulting in a lower average life expectancy and often have health programmes specifically aimed at them. However not everyone is less fit, some exercise to the point of being Adonises and many will live a lot longer than expected. Due to a host of social problems, children from poor families usually have lower educational achievement so are eligible to receive support and help. However some are especially gifted or have supportive families or other benefits that more than make up for it, to the point where the child would excel even without any additional help.

So overall they suffer more than rich people, even if individual people in poverty can't be guaranteed to suffer in the same way.

So what we've got is that people in poverty will receive the benefit regardless of the specifics of their individual situation based merely on one factor (income) which indicates a tendency towards suffering certain problems but doesn't guarantee it. There is no guarantee of individual circumstances being the same with poverty, just like there isn't with being a woman or black.

In either case you're just looking for a variable (Age, gender, sexual preference, race, income religion, whatever) that we know is statistically significant in causing inequality, then trying to balance the inequality out.

Income level is an objective criteria all citizens can fulfil though. And falling below having the resources necessary to satisfy basic human needs - food, shelter, clothing - is about as close to objective "suffering" as one can get. So ensuring that all people who happen to fall short of it can equally get help.

As for your point that people can't become a woman or black, putting aside things like gender reassignment surgery, so what? I mean your point seems to be focused on individual circumstances and then you randomly throw that in as if it's meant to matter, but i don't see how or even what your point is with it.

If a law is to non-discriminatory, it is to allow everyone who's in the situation it seeks to address equal treatment. AA laws don't seek to address the condition of "being black". They seek to address various situation of need (such as for access/money to higher education). An equal degree of "need" can be present in people of a different race, but their skin clour precludes them from getting the same help. Which is discriminatory towards their equally dire need, as well as state sanctioned racism.

Of course, in a welfare system that can't afford to provide for everyone, trying getting the best for one's own group at the cost of other races is a natural development. But it certainly isn't a pretty one, much less one the state should engage in and reinforce. Obviously people who officially got access to their degrees in part due to their melanin level - happily profiting off discrimination of members of other races in the same situation along the way - are inferior to those who got it due to skill, so perception of them will hardly be more positive.

Damien Granz:
...
Um, except that it's there to combat racial and sexual discrimination already present. Yes, nobody 'chooses' to become black, and not everybody is 'susceptible' to random vagina or whatever.

But you seem to be suggesting that scholarships for a minority are there because somebody was like "Lol, fuck white people". That's not really the case. The case is that the whole world or at least the whole of the western world is automatically pro-white person or pro-male, and these scholarships are there to rectify an imbalance that already exists.

They don't violate the principle of equality before the law. A lack of them violates the principle of equality. You're suggesting that these two hypothetical individuals of a white cisgendered christian man and a black lesbian transwoman Hindi are in the same circumstances and should be treated the same, but a person's gender or sexuality or race, etc. changes their circumstances. Oh, would it be great for people to get the fuck over racism or misogyny or whatever, so that their circumstances were the same? Yeah. You bet your ass it would be. But it'd also be nice to have an economy where it was literally impossible for anybody who worked reasonably hard could never ever fall through the cracks and get poor too, or even better, if we were born into a world of infinite resources and infinite spaces where the concept of poverty was completely alien to us all.

If you argue that a poor person making 11,000 dollars a year should get more help from the government because his circumstances aren't similar to a person making 240,000 dollars a year with a single income, then I would argue that a woman coming from a 11,000 dollar a year family has, intrinsically different circumstances than a man in the same situation.

Again, is that because men and women are all that different? No. I'm not arguing that. But how society treats them, and therefor how much help they might need, sure as hell is.

And you can guarantee that every last individual in a national majority - including those who're locally in minority - have access to this "privileged position" which they are discriminated against to offset?

For if there is just one individual which doesn't, which have the same socio-economic needs as the minority individuals, yet am discriminated against because of its race, then such is state sanctioned racism. Inevitably there is or will be such an individual, meaning that AA is inherently discriminatory.

Too simplified, just the like idea that affirmative action is bad because discrimination is too simplified. You can't quantify human rights, and you can't ignore the fact that minorities still have it tougher in life because of long standing institutionalize and systematic prejudice and economic disadvantages. Things don't become better on their own. We need to give a helping hand to those with a minority status. We need to keep discussion and addressing the issue in a comprehensive manner and treat it like the complex problem that it is.

Sonofadiddly:
Too simplified, just the like idea that affirmative action is bad because discrimination is too simplified. You can't quantify human rights, and you can't ignore the fact that minorities still have it tougher in life because of long standing institutionalize and systematic prejudice and economic disadvantages. Things don't become better on their own. We need to give a helping hand to those with a minority status. We need to keep discussion and addressing the issue in a comprehensive manner and treat it like the complex problem that it is.

To clarify, my position wasn't to try formulate, here and now, in this forum, free of charge, a comprehensive complex reform that can address every or really any specific concern. My point was to address just the merit of having a system to address these concerns, at all.

Imperator_DK:

And you can guarantee that every last individual in a national majority - including those who're locally in minority - have access to this "privileged position" which they are discriminated against to offset?

For if there is just one individual which doesn't, which have the same socio-economic needs as the minority individuals, yet am discriminated against because of its race, then such is state sanctioned racism. Inevitably there is or will be such an individual, meaning that AA is inherently discriminatory.

Can you guarantee that every poor person's situation is exactly the same, and that some amount of social-economical favoritism can never happen?

Are you assuring me somehow that you can right now provide a system that can specifically address the concerns of everybody in it completely equally? That there will never be a case of a poor person who makes 10,000 dollars a year that will need more help than another person making the same because of his unique housing situation, family situation, health care, mental health care, even if they're of the same sex or race?

Are you trying to deny that for instance, even between two members of the same race and gender, LGBT youths of the same economic standard are several fold more likely to become homeless, or suffer abuse than their heterosexual peers on the same economic level?

Or are you saying, by claiming that a black person getting assistance tailored to his or her personal needs consists of racial discrimination, but the same differences in care between poor people of the same race with different isn't discrimination, as if discrimination on economic means is somehow less bad than that of racial?

I would venture to say, obviously not.

But the lack of the ability to create a perfect system that perfectly services all 7 billion humans on this rock isn't a very good excuse for not doing what is better.

My belabored point is that, even in a system entirely blind to race or sex, there are going to be points where 2 people are going to get (and need) different packages even if they make the same amount of money.

After all, I don't have a broken arm right now. Why would I require 10,000 dollars right now to fix it. Would it be social-economic discrimination if you, with a broken arm, got that help and I didn't?

I would say, of course no. And it wouldn't be racial discrimination if a black person on my economic level got slightly more help than I did to help make up for the very real differences in their situation compared to mine, even if, god forbid somebody got more help than I did personally, like as if I should personally be angry that somebody else is happy if I'm not.

Imperator_DK:
Income level is an objective criteria all citizens can fulfil though.

So your objection to affirmative action aimed at females is that we can't tell if someone is objectively female?

I think I get what you mean though, even if you phrased it badly. You meant to say that income levels clearly and objectively show that someone is going to live a worse life if they have low levels of income.

The thing is, that's generally true.

Your main problem with affirmative action aimed at women, say, is that women will suffer from male privilege to different degrees. Although many will be at a disadvantage, some will suffer little effect and some might do stupendously well by standard western capitalist definitions regardless of their gender.

The thing is, the same is true of income. If you have a hundred people on exactly the same income, they won't all do identically well, their circumstances will be radically different. Some might have friends who can support them, others might have (or develop) substance abuse habits, some might be exceptionally thrifty, some might become pregnant, whilst some might become forlorn at their circumstances and even become clinically depressed, some might be poor at the moment but have an exceptional education that should land them a job very quickly, etc.

There is no way to exactly gauge the individual level of need of different people. When you help the poor by giving them state benefits, they're having their need estimated. We don't know exactly how much they need, we're just estimating based on a few generalisations. Some stuff might be taken into account, perhaps even some of the stuff I mentioned, but with all the subtle nuances of human interaction and life you are never ever going to be able to individualise state benefits to people living in poverty.

This is exactly how it is with women. We don't know exactly how much each women will suffer from sexism, misogny and structural equality, but by looking at large samplings we can find the average and compensate, taking into account as many other contributing factors as possible. Sure, some women will be overcompensated, but just as many if not more will be undercompensated.

It still gets things closer to neutral than doing nothing.

And falling below having the resources necessary to satisfy basic human needs - food, shelter, clothing - is about as close to objective "suffering" as one can get.

Not all people in poverty fail to have the basic resources to satisfy human needs.

Women also suffer from domestic abuse and rape, which is also about as close to objective suffering as one can get.

Not all women suffer from domestic abuse and rape.

No difference.

So ensuring that all people who happen to fall short of it can equally get help.

You're also ensuring that people who have an income of the same level but are meeting all their basic needs get help. That's what you've decried helping women and PoC for.

If a law is to non-discriminatory, it is to allow everyone who's in the situation it seeks to address equal treatment. AA laws don't seek to address the condition of "being black". They seek to address various situation of need (such as for access/money to higher education).

Laws which put in place statutory pay for people in poverty don't seek to address the condition of being poor, the the various situation of 'needs' (eg; you get benefit towards paying your rent but that just meets your needs, it doesn't stop you being poor).

I think that's a fairly obvious arguement I've made and I'm trying to stick to the same example of poverty, but in case you disagree and I need to present a really clear-cut example, we wouldn't stop someone from receiving disability benefit if it happened to be a permanent disability rather than one they can recover from.

[quote[An equal degree of "need" can be present in people of a different race, but their skin clour precludes them from getting the same help. Which is discriminatory towards their equally dire need, as well as state sanctioned racism.[/quote]

An equal degree of 'need' can be present in people of different incomes, but their slightly higher income precludes them from getting help. Which is discriminatory towards their equally dire need, as well as state sanctioned classism.

People who officially got access to their degrees in part due to their melanin level - happily profiting off discrimination of members of other races in the same situation along the way - are inferior to those who got it due to skill, so perception of them will hardly be more positive.

You realise that and I mean exactly that, word for word, is the reason why we need affirmative action? The only thing you need to change is your assumption about ether the melanin level in question is high or low.

Where this system would fall apart is exactly where the current system falls apart: How do we determine what constitutes an inequality? In your bear and cake analogy, I would argue both are -1. The group who isn't allowed to eat it gets -1 as you said, but the bear boxing group gets -1 as well because boxing a bear is an incredibly dangerous and cruel way to make people earn cake.

There are other rights that aren't as black-and-white as having or not having food. Does a woman have the right to decide what happens to her body after she's been impregnated? At what point is that an autonomous human being, and she must carry it to term lest face a charge of murder or manslaughter? Does a person who did something voluntary and/or incredibly stupid and got injured deserve to have their injuries paid by state health care? If the state is paying for health care, do people have the right to do things to their bodies that would rack up expensive healthcare bills, like smoking or being fat?

Yes it would be nice to have a system to measure oppression and privilege. The problem is that requires a certain amount of objectivity, and while the western world is trying to decide if fat people deserve to get their medical bills paid, other parts of the world are trying to decide whether or not women should be put to death if they make the mistake of getting gang-raped on a bus. Not everybody has the same idea of what equality means, and not everybody is able to see their own biases.

Lilani:
Where this system would fall apart is exactly where the current system falls apart: How do we determine what constitutes an inequality? In your bear and cake analogy, I would argue both are -1. The group who isn't allowed to eat it gets -1 as you said, but the bear boxing group gets -1 as well because boxing a bear is an incredibly dangerous and cruel way to make people earn cake.

Jesus, do you guys wrestle bears on the weekend or something for sport? I'd put the bear wrestling at -5 personally.

At what point is that an autonomous human being, and she must carry it to term lest face a charge of murder or manslaughter?

There should be a 6 year window.

LetalisK:

Lilani:
Where this system would fall apart is exactly where the current system falls apart: How do we determine what constitutes an inequality? In your bear and cake analogy, I would argue both are -1. The group who isn't allowed to eat it gets -1 as you said, but the bear boxing group gets -1 as well because boxing a bear is an incredibly dangerous and cruel way to make people earn cake.

Jesus, do you guys wrestle bears on the weekend or something for sport? I'd put the bear wrestling at -5 personally.

At what point is that an autonomous human being, and she must carry it to term lest face a charge of murder or manslaughter?

There should be a 6 year window.

Well I thought -1 was the only option :-P Also the 6 year window made me laugh. Which startled the other person in the computer lab just a bit, but it was worth it.

chaosord:
Human right/equality should be a zero sum game, though not in the normal sense.
Let me explain:
Let's have the value of having all basin human right and equality be zero. The idea being that we want everyone to have a zero value.
In cases where someone does not have a right or equality, its a -1 per each. In cases where a person has a special right beyond basic human rights and/or is unjustly favored its a + 1 per each.
Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Your thoughts people?

I think there's a much simpler way of establishing fairness and equality:

1. Don't judge something based on degree of severity, judge it on point of principle. I.e. sexism against men is bad because it's sexism, which is an inherently bad thing - don't discount it because it's less severe than sexism against women (debatable, but for the sake of argument). The problem with judging inequality based on degree rather than principle is the point at which an inequality becomes acceptable or not is entirely arbitrary.

2. Whatever mechanism for objecting to inequality and dealing with that inequality is used and deemed acceptable by one group is fair game for all groups to use. I.e. if women object to the usage gendered language and want it removed, don't dismiss similar men's concerns about usage of gendered language and wanting it removed.

Hmm, didn't realise there were two versions of this thread. Copypasta tiem:

chaosord:
Human right/equality should be a zero sum game, though not in the normal sense.
Let me explain:
Let's have the value of having all basin human right and equality be zero. The idea being that we want everyone to have a zero value.
In cases where someone does not have a right or equality, its a -1 per each. In cases where a person has a special right beyond basic human rights and/or is unjustly favored its a + 1 per each.
Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Your thoughts people?

I think there's a much simpler way of establishing fairness and equality:

1. Don't judge something based on degree of severity, judge it on point of principle. I.e. sexism against men is bad because it's sexism, which is an inherently bad thing - don't discount it because it's less severe than sexism against women (debatable, but for the sake of argument). The problem with judging inequality based on degree rather than principle is the point at which an inequality becomes acceptable or not is entirely arbitrary.

2. Whatever mechanism for objecting to inequality and dealing with that inequality is used and deemed acceptable by one group is fair game for all groups to use. I.e. if women object to the usage gendered language and want it removed, don't dismiss similar men's concerns about usage of gendered language and wanting it removed.

I guess

chaosord:
Human right/equality should be a zero sum game, though not in the normal sense.
Let me explain:
Let's have the value of having all basin human right and equality be zero. The idea being that we want everyone to have a zero value.
In cases where someone does not have a right or equality, its a -1 per each. In cases where a person has a special right beyond basic human rights and/or is unjustly favored its a + 1 per each.
Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Your thoughts people?

I guess I would need better examples than the cake to see what your driving at, unless you are going for the "Then let them eat cake." and the counter balance in that case was a revolution and a lot of beheadings.

Lately most of the calls for fairness I keep hearing are not true calls for fairness, but rather demands of equality of outcome with no regard to creating equality of required input.

You didn't list why the one group can't eat cake on Sundays, it could be self-oppression. How many of the states of being that are trying to be equalized in the law are not enforced on them by the government, but are forms of self-oppression? I know its a bit of work, but try to analyze the underlying reasons and fix what the original cause was and focus less on the current states appearances. Granted most people won't even discuss original causes.

And how far do we take it? Do I get to claim my inability to bear children as an oppression the rest of the world needs to counter-balance?

I don't like this method, and its why I disagree with affirmative action programs. Someone claims there are at a -1 or greater disadvantage, and that I must suffer an equal disadvantage to give them a zero sum. Of course they cant prove their disadvantage, and even if they could, I didn't cause it so why should I take a handicap to fix it.

The entire system you propose is based around two wrongs making a right.

Our rights end, when your feelings begin.

chaosord:

Now why would one want to think of it this way? Simple some special rights have an offsetting cost. By using this system one can see if one is truly favored (positive value) or oppressed (negative value). Also it would help clarify things like; a certain group can't eat cake on Sundays and they claim oppression. However the group that does get to each said cake must box a bear. In this case the non-cake group is -1 for not getting cake and +1 for not having to fight a bear. The cake group is +1 for the cake and -1 for the bear boxing. Both groups are at net sum zero value. Neither group is more privileged or oppressed than the the other, they just have different rewards and costs.

Your thoughts people?

I have a very controversial thing to say about that statement/suggestion, something which has caused a lot of uproar in some parts of the world, and has lead to many deaths. However, despite that, I do feel that it needs to be said.

Let them eat cake.

chaosord:
I know this idea is flawed, how does one determine what is a right, basic human right, special human, equality? But it would be nice to have a system in place to measure oppression and privilege.

Why?

What would it actually tell us?

Sure, it would provide one possible answer the question of "who has it worse" but is that a relevant question to even ask? What does it actually allow us to do about anything? Does it actually allow us to challenge the terms of our "oppression" or "underprivilege", or does it just entitle us to either whine ineffectually or convince ourselves that actually it's okay that all these horrible things happen to us because we're just "equal but different"?

In reality, it's not a zero sum game. The same forces which disadvantage people in certain areas will generally advantage them in others, because when we talk about "oppression", much less "privilege", we're talking about total conceptual systems, not just random snippets of situational advantage and disadvantage.

I'm white. Let's say I want to be a gangsta rapper. Well, it's going to be difficult because people might be less inclined to believe that I'm a dangerous criminal and that I grew up in poverty, surrounded by crime and gang violence. Oh, woe is me! -1 privilege points for me please!

But let's say I want to be a lawyer. Are the reasons I'm going to be taken more seriously as a lawyer particularly separate from the reasons I'm not taken seriously as a gangsta rapper? Well no, not really. In fact, the precise assumed qualities of my race which make me a bad gangsta rapper almost certainly increase my credibility as a lawyer. It's not just a random assignment of advantage or disadvantage, it's part of a system of associations and presumed traits and competences.

Also, as we can see thanks to this brilliant metric which totally accurately measures privilege, black people are not underprivileged at all. Sure, they may not have access to high paid or respected professions, but they can always be taken seriously as brutish thugs! I guess the system works!

I think someone actually beat you to it. Jeremy Bentham proposed a system (Felicific Calculus) for determining morality as a sum of pleasures. One could easily apply said system to equality itself as well. The system takes into account various different factors, it's definitely not as binary as -1 and 1 making it maybe a little harder to interpret but it'd definitely be more accurate.

Why is it that 'equality of results' is considered a good thing? To me equality of results is the very anathema of human existence.

An individual is judged entirely based on their own natural abilities, not what they had access to through education, or whether or not their in an 'at risk' group, such as women or minorities or LBGT or whatever.

To refine it further, in my perfect society everyone has access to a full range of education services they have the free will and choice to participate in, and their final position after education is determined by their own hard work and natural ability.

After all, pretending that all humans are created equal is foolish. We aren't. Some people can absorb and recall information at a vastly different level then others, and in different ways, and some favor different types of information differently. Some people have amazing hand-eye control and can paint masterpieces, others (like myself) can't draw above a child's level.

To me the much better system is trying to ensure 'equality of chance'. Everyone should have an equal shot at getting a chance. No one should be denied a chance to do something on the principal of whether they are white, black, female, or male, but based purely on their own skill and ability.

Bentusi16:
Why is it that 'equality of results' is considered a good thing? To me equality of results is the very anathema of human existence.

An individual is judged entirely based on their own natural abilities, not what they had access to through education, or whether or not their in an 'at risk' group, such as women or minorities or LBGT or whatever.

To refine it further, in my perfect society everyone has access to a full range of education services they have the free will and choice to participate in, and their final position after education is determined by their own hard work and natural ability.

After all, pretending that all humans are created equal is foolish. We aren't. Some people can absorb and recall information at a vastly different level then others, and in different ways, and some favor different types of information differently. Some people have amazing hand-eye control and can paint masterpieces, others (like myself) can't draw above a child's level.

To me the much better system is trying to ensure 'equality of chance'. Everyone should have an equal shot at getting a chance. No one should be denied a chance to do something on the principal of whether they are white, black, female, or male, but based purely on their own skill and ability.

A meritocracy? The last one of those was 200~ AD or somethin'. Your ship has long since sailed, buddy.

Bentusi16:
Why is it that 'equality of results' is considered a good thing? To me equality of results is the very anathema of human existence.

An individual is judged entirely based on their own natural abilities, not what they had access to through education, or whether or not their in an 'at risk' group, such as women or minorities or LBGT or whatever.

To refine it further, in my perfect society everyone has access to a full range of education services they have the free will and choice to participate in, and their final position after education is determined by their own hard work and natural ability.

After all, pretending that all humans are created equal is foolish. We aren't. Some people can absorb and recall information at a vastly different level then others, and in different ways, and some favor different types of information differently. Some people have amazing hand-eye control and can paint masterpieces, others (like myself) can't draw above a child's level.

To me the much better system is trying to ensure 'equality of chance'. Everyone should have an equal shot at getting a chance. No one should be denied a chance to do something on the principal of whether they are white, black, female, or male, but based purely on their own skill and ability.

That's all very well in theory, but not going to happen. Because of this, society cobbles together any number of things to make things less wrong, rather than right. Now, that's a long way short of perfect, but shouldn't be abandoned in favour of an ideal that we can't actually achieve.

 

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