Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Are all humans born equal, and do they truly stay that way?

Aside from relative value differences, what actually separates people? I say ability. Some people are born with severely low IQ's, others disabled in different aspects, and some, born with the capacity for greatness, go on to be highly valued members of society. Is ability and productive action what separates humans in terms of their inherent value? What about morality? What about someone born with a genius intellect, who is highly moral, and who is a very productive and respected member of society - is this person truly equal to a person born with down-syndrome who cannot realistically contribute to society; who cannot affect any conscious act of morality - nor produce offspring with good genes: the final criterion I would establish for inherent human value - genes.

So what rational argument exists for asserting that such people are essentially equal? Yes you can't make a rational trade-off for 500 random human lives in exchange for 400 random ones, but who in their right mind would equate a great genius for a severely disabled person who must rely on the aid of others to have any reasonable quality of life.

I've been thinking about this. What are your thoughts, people?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Couple arguments for equality:

1. We're all points of consciousness on the universe. The fact you think you own your body and thoughts is petty and small. You're not better or worse than anybody; you are everybody/thing and everybody/thing is you.

2. We're all capable of experiencing pain and pleasure. For example, if you can acquire something easier than somebody else, but if it gives somebody else more pleasure to have it, then on a certain level they are more entitled to it, regardless of competence. You touched on this but I'm just elaborating.

The more I think about it the more I realize having a single model doesn't work and we just need to balance as much in each category as we can.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
767 Posts
Everyone has potential that can be explored to the benefit of a country or an organization or even yourself.

Not to mention if there is a mindset to where people objectively value people instead of showing a sympathetic or empathetic view toward equality for all human beings, then that's how irrational prejudice is born, and worse, we most likely wont have control over it. There's a thread in the philosophy forum section that asks whether hate speech should be banned, and the majority opinion is no because people do not want to risk free speech being banned. Simply speaking, it's a tactic to promote sympathy and respect toward human beings. That's one I'm for because what if you were in a situation if it ended up screwing you over?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
767 Posts
Historically, inequality causes a lot of violence as well. The very concept is still argued and causes violence to date, so let's just move forward instead of backwards with this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Couple arguments for equality:

1. We're all points of consciousness on the universe. The fact you think you own your body and thoughts is petty and small. You're not better or worse than anybody; you are everybody/thing and everybody/thing is you.

2. We're all capable of experiencing pain and pleasure. For example, if you can acquire something easier than somebody else, but if it gives somebody else more pleasure to have it, then on a certain level they are more entitled to it, regardless of competence. You touched on this but I'm just elaborating.

The more I think about it the more I realize having a single model doesn't work and we just need to balance as much in each category as we can.
1. Putting ourselves together on the wider scale of the whole universe and then saying that we are not any more special in the bigger picture is irrelevant because we are speaking in the context of Earth's society, or even national or local society. Therefore there are obvious differences in individual effects.

2. Some people are more sensitive to emotions or experience deeper emotions. So emotional capacity isn't equal. And just because we can all suffer that is not an argument for asserting that we are all equal. That's essentially saying because one set of something can all experience the same phenomena, that means they should be treated equally; it ignores further context.

@Bolderousness and @Duo

It is not rational to counter irrationality with irrationality. Just because many humans do not have the wisdom to treat others well despite knowing that humans are not inherently equal, that does not mean we should spread an emotional argument that defies sense.

Obviously it's irrational to assert that, for example, white people are inherently superior to black people because of an aesthetic disagreement.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
767 Posts
It is not rational to counter irrationality with irrationality. Just because many humans do not have the wisdom to treat others well despite knowing that humans are not inherently equal, that does not mean we should spread an emotional argument that defies sense.
In my opinion, it makes more sense to censure elitism and prejudice than to legitimately promote calling others unequal.

First of all, people are good at many different things. While I might be good at management, someone else is better at typing up essays on the spot. What determines who else is better in that respect? Are savants lesser than me because they don't have the same functions as I do in areas I excel in?

Second, you have to consider the external factors of many different individuals. Either economic or social factors play a gigantic factor into the development of people. If you grow up in a poor home with negative social influences, you're most likely going to grow up to be someone who will have a lot of catching up to do in areas.

Third, I don't disagree that everyone isn't equal. Everyone is different. My question to you is what positive message would you try to spread with it with the society we have now? If you just want to expose the truth and leave society to figure it out, then you really aren't helping. That's like a father leaving their son in the woods to toughen him up, and then taking credit when the boy comes back an independent man. What's your purpose here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,276 Posts
It is not rational to counter irrationality with irrationality. Just because many humans do not have the wisdom to treat others well despite knowing that humans are not inherently equal, that does not mean we should spread an emotional argument that defies sense.

Obviously it's irrational to assert that, for example, white people are inherently superior to black people because of an aesthetic disagreement.
It's totally irrational to judge premised on [insert protected classes] hence why the Constitution protects against this human tribalistic failing. For the same reason, public sanitation rules are intended to protect against the human natural instinct to crap in public areas when the need strikes.

How can this be considered irrational?

Also, your conception is premised on your subjective values of what you deem is important, that of high IQ and morals (universal morality doesn't exist), never mind how you subjectively perceive productivity and social perception. Don't forget that Hitler was highly regarded by Germans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
@Bolderousness

So if we're clear, then it's a matter of it being too complex to judge.

My purpose is truth of reason: I believe that stands on its own merits. If people can develop wisdom with the truth then that's superior any day. But as we agree on, human-to-human superiority or inferiority is too hard to judge, and so I think we should promote equality in order to mitigate irrational prejudice.

@Duo

About universal morals; good morality has followed a common pattern in any society with wisdom. Therein lies the answer to what is good morality. Good morality also tends to follow reason and it makes sense in the social context. In any reasonably advanced civilisation the modern values we most commonly hold today are the prevalent ones. Such good morality also positively correlates with mental health, and, as we should know, behaviours born of mental illness are irrational and thus invalid in any sensible judgement of goodness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,276 Posts
About universal morals; good morality has followed a common pattern in any society with wisdom. Therein lies the answer to what is good morality. Good morality also tends to follow reason and it makes sense in the social context. In any reasonably advanced civilisation the modern values we most commonly hold today are the prevalent ones.
As in the advancement of Mongol empire, Nazism, the Japanese empire, etc?

Such good morality also positively correlates with mental health, and, as we should know, behaviours born of mental illness are irrational and thus invalid in any sensible judgement of goodness.
Can you cite any studies that correlate 'good morality' with sanity?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
767 Posts
@Bolderousness

So if we're clear, then it's a matter of it being too complex to judge.

My purpose is truth of reason: I believe that stands on its own merits. If people can develop wisdom with the truth then that's superior any day. But as we agree on, human-to-human superiority or inferiority is too hard to judge, and so I think we should promote equality in order to mitigate irrational prejudice.
Cool. I think we're on the same page then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
@Duo

You're right. Goodness in advanced civilisations have not tended to follow that pattern. However in the modern day we can say that for any advanced society. My first point tied in with my second though: those evil civilisations were mentally ill. Evil is mental illness, and that's evil as modern society would define it. Can you possibly cite an example of a healthy person who committed great evil?

This is not to say that mental illness is always evil, but evil is always mental illness. The evidence lies in any psychiatric assessment of any example you may bring up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,276 Posts
You're right. Goodness in advanced civilisations have not tended to follow that pattern. However in the modern day we can say that for any advanced society. My first point tied in with my second though: those evil civilisations were mentally ill. Evil is mental illness, and that's evil as modern society would define it. Can you possibly cite an example of a healthy person who committed great evil?

This is not to say that mental illness is always evil, but evil is always mental illness. The evidence lies in any psychiatric assessment of any example you may bring up.
Dominant civilisations have risen and fallen, all with positive and negative aspects. Your perception appears to revolve around the misplaced belief of the right of might.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,806 Posts
I always found the idea that people with any disability are lesser than those without to be pretty assinine. I know many healthy people who are shit at doing anything useful, who cannot take action when needed, who, being used to putting in little effort become lazy and find the concept of doin anything difficult absurd. I find them to be a great hinderance as they can never just get the hell out of my way and allow me to handle things.

Today has been a great example of this. We lost power -our main breaker is shot- my husband flipped his shit-as he always does- I couldn't wait for him to get the fuck out of the house! Thank GOD he went to California for the weekend. Couldn't handle his fretting and bitching.
Once he finally did I walked my broken ass down the hill for a few non-perishables and fire starter logs. I'm currently sitting in front of a warm fire -which I'm using to boil water fir coffee- watching Hulu ( We have just enough power to run one or two things. The fridge is one of them so we're fine.) once a friend gets off work he'll take me to get some propane so I can cook and boil larger amounts of water. I could livne like this...forever if I had to.

If all of my able-bodied friends were here? Oh gawd. They'd all be bitchy, hungry and cold, sitting the dark waiting for someone to come save them.

It's about the will to make something happen regaurdless of the challenge ( and tbf, this is hardley challenging) not how easy it is for someone to continue getting by while there i s no obsticle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
@Duo

You're right. Goodness in advanced civilisations have not tended to follow that pattern. However in the modern day we can say that for any advanced society. My first point tied in with my second though: those evil civilisations were mentally ill. Evil is mental illness, and that's evil as modern society would define it. Can you possibly cite an example of a healthy person who committed great evil?

This is not to say that mental illness is always evil, but evil is always mental illness. The evidence lies in any psychiatric assessment of any example you may bring up.
As a psychology student, this is too wrong to even bother with.


In regards to your OP, @Fumetsu is likely correct. Many people smarter and more well-educated than you and I have been debating about the more useful follow-ons to this question for decades. However, one fairly plausible theory centers on grit. https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance Take a gander.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Khadroma

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
@maust

I universally define mental illness as mood disturbance that causes irrational behaviours; are you trying to say that evil isn't an irrational behaviour born from mood disturbance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,130 Posts
I think the idea behind 'equality' of humans is too establish a baseline. Like everyone is equal to this basic level regardless of capacity or usefulness. You don't shove Einstein casually down a flight of stairs but you also just don't do that to someone with Down syndrome. Cuz regardless of how brilliant you are there's this sense that a basic shared humanity guarantees a certain bare minimum of decency.

Is this logical? Meh. In as much as deciding the point for something mattering is that it matters for humans. Ultimately arbitrary cut off points for meaning-making is par for the course. People being equal and just basic humanity needed for that equality is the current paradigm cuz the idea of a sliding scale of humanness where you are worth more at a fundamental level if you're capable of doing or achieving more leads to gross ideas when you let it run for a bit. Eugenics, Social Darwinism, the acceptability of culling and/or mistreating non or low functioning members of society cuz they just aren't useful (think the average person over 80 say or the severely disabled or the terminally ill or people in comas or the homeless etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
@Duo

I didn't make this thread from a belief. I simply made it as I was considering the question and was struggling to find rational arguments for the truth-claim of human equality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
@maust

I universally define mental illness as mood disturbance that causes irrational behaviours; are you trying to say that evil isn't an irrational behaviour born from mood disturbance?
That isn't the actual definition of mental illness. There are psychologists who have spent literally decades defining the term - it means more than just what you think of it as. IE I can think "purple" means "happy," but that's not what purple means.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
That isn't the actual definition of mental illness. There are psychologists who have spent literally decades defining the term - it means more than just what you think of it as. IE I can think "purple" means "happy," but that's not what purple means.
Your logic is terrible, and I wish you'd stop placing me on your level and then putting us below all these great and successful people who are just so much "smarter".

First of all, an actual definition is a definition that actually describes what it's trying to describe - my definition does; it is universally valid, and thus, it is the actual definition.

Secondly, how on earth you managed to equate that logic with just assigning a random definition is beyond me. Please stop.
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top