General Question

Steve_A's avatar

Is equality an idea that will never exist?

Asked by Steve_A (5120points) September 9th, 2010

Do you believe it is too subjective and impossible to really give the world or even a country such a thing?

No matter how far we come it can never exist. Can it?

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31 Answers

mammal's avatar

well there will always be natural diversity, but legal and economic equality is definitely possible.

Steve_A's avatar

@mammal How does a person bring legal and economic equality?

Nullo's avatar

Depends on what you mean by equality. Men and women, for instance, are complementary in their attributes, not equal

Steve_A's avatar

@Nullo I suppose for the sake of getting people’s point of views it can be however you want to define it.

mammal's avatar

Through governance, how else?

Steve_A's avatar

@mammal Through government…..But if our government is not working then it would cease to exist does it not?

mammal's avatar

@Steve_A or better still, if even more idealistic, living socially, according to the Anarchic principles of Liberty, Equality and Solidarity. Then you could do away with your hated Government altogether.

Ben_Dover's avatar

You cannot legislate equality. this is something each person must learn to live themselves.

To answer the question, Equality is an idea which already exists.

Steve_A's avatar

@mammal I don’t hate the government just saying it does not work, then what it stands can not exist can it?

@Ben_Dover Why would legislation not mean anything?

Ben_Dover's avatar

You cannot force people to consider everyone as equals. This must come from their hearts and souls.

Coloma's avatar

Be the change you seek in the world.

That is all anyone can do.

Nullo's avatar

@Ben_Dover You can’t legislate a lot of things, but that doesn’t stop legislators from trying.

CMaz's avatar

@Nullo – Good choice of word. “complementary”. A natural and more realistic way to see it.

“Equality” will always cause a line in the sand to be drawn. Usually in favor of the squeaky-er wheel. Not necessarily in favor of what is truly… Complementary, of one another.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo – “Men and women, for instance, are complementary in their attributes, not equal” – naturally, I don’t get this statemetn because I don’t see how ‘complementary’ is mutually exclusive from ‘equality’ or ‘should be having equal rights’.

Nullo's avatar

Each have, generally speaking, strengths and weaknesses that the other does not. This does not preclude legal equality, but it does make the idea of them being truly equal kinda silly. They’re not the same, and I’d bet good money that nobody actually wants them to be.

Think Tetris. The L-block and the flipped L-block are complementary. The I-block and the other I-block are equal.

Fun Facts For You: In public relations, females outnumber males, and the margin is growing. This is because women are, on the whole, more naturally talented at it than men.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo thanks for the Tetris analogy, like I don’t get the biological essentialist arguments used to show why females and males are different already
I don’t understand at what point people began to assume equality with sameness or the provision of equality as forcing people to be the same. That is where we disagree. I am different from every other person on this Earth and it matters little what tetris blocks I have – you will not clump me with a man or a woman because I exist in my own right, not as a complement to anyone and, because of this, I just like you, deserve equality to anyone else.

Coloma's avatar

We are all equal in our humanity and deserve respect for just being, period.

Nobody is better than or worse than.

Sex, gender, age, career, income, sexual preferences, body types, lifestyle choices, makes no difference.

Everyone IS equal already, whether or not people can see this, well…that’s another issue entirely.

Just as all gifts are equal, be it a plate of cookies or a Porsche.

It is ego that asigns superiority where it does not exist.

Nullo's avatar

@Coloma So you’re saying that even though everybody is different, everybody’s the same? Riiiiight.

Coloma's avatar

That is exactly what I am saying, and it is a universal truth.

Differences are subjective, commonalities are indisputable.

I believe in treating everyone as a equal with dignity regardless whether they are a bum in the gutter or the king of a country.

We are all looking at ourselves when we look at another because we are all one.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo – it is possible to see how people differ and yet find ways in which they should be treated the same. For example, you have a prostate, I have a uterus – you need to get your levels of PSA checked to make sure you don’t get prostate cancer and I need to get my Pap smears in to make sure I don’t get cervical cancer but we both should have the right to these health screenings.

mammal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir people seem to think of equality as synonymous with cloning. Not saying that is wrong, just strange.

downtide's avatar

I don’t think true equality will ever exist, because there will always exist people with differing needs. The trick is to learn how to treat people fairly not necessarily equally.

Jaxk's avatar

It’s a difficult question to answer and depends a lot on what you mean by equality. Legal and social justice I presume, is your intent. We have spent years trying to level the playing field for all sorts of minorities. At times we tip too far, others we don’t go far enough. The problem is when you try to tip the scales, one side goes up and the other down. When you create a protected class, you also create an unprotected class. When you give to one you must take from another.

Any group you can think of will have some affinity for others in that group. Fat people, thin people, short, tall, black, brown, white, male, female, jew, chistian, or muslim. I doubt we could eliminate that affinity for others like us nor is it necessarily bad. Just another issue we need to understand. I’m not trying to indicate that we should not do some legislation but rather that legislation will never completely solve the problem.

Trillian's avatar

Too many people think that equality must mean sameness. The words are not synonymous, and until people stop having unrealistic expectations about equality and what it means we will probably not have it.
I like @Coloma and @Jaxk‘s answers. I haven’t scanned them all.

YARNLADY's avatar

Like all judgement words, equality is entirely subjective. In nature, no two items are exactly alike, so equality has to depend on some other measure. When we use a word that depends on undefined qualities, we bring our experience and bias into the conversation. There has to be a general consensus as to the approximate meaning, and that it the best we can expect.

mrrich724's avatar

As long as ego exists, inequality will. And I don’t think ego is going anywhere any time soon!

Coloma's avatar


Yep, ego cannot handle the fact that all life forms are equal, be it a rabbit, a human or an ear of corn.

Human ego does not like to be compared to am ear of corn, it is special! lol

The truth?

Life is life…nothing special about what form it takes.

The pine tree does not compare itself to the oak, the fish does not compare itself to the bird, only man compares himself and decides his life form is stellar. haha

Andreas's avatar

@Steve_A Like many questions posed on Fluther this is probably one that’s evergreen in nature and will never be resolved. Just reading through the answers to this point it’s clear to me there are a lot of reasonable comments and viewpoints which I would deem “equal”.

Hence, equality is subjective, not objective. One person’s equality is another person’s inequality. And if you factor in greed…that’s another topic completely.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t care if you think I am your equal or not. In actual fact, I am probably more than the equal of most. The point is ALL PEOPLE should have equal opportunities to succeed in their life pursuits or screw them up. It should not depend on plumbing, skin color or any other judgement based on an individual’s own particular leaning.

mrrich724's avatar

agreed @Coloma
well put.

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