Freedom or Equality?

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Unread postby James » Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:06 pm

Fan Kong wrote:I agree with everything you said up until your last statement about going to jail.......the truth is actually the reverse. Ever wonder why there are so many more Blacks on death row when there are more White murderers?

That was very interesting to think about, but I have been studying crime and punishment for a while now (I am not referencing the book of the same name here now), and I have a few theories I would like to present.

1) Consider average wealth. Most whites in society can afford better lawyers and a more elaborate defense campaign. The same can work in favor of minorities; take a look at OJ Simpson.

2) I will not deny that on occasion prejudice plays a role. There are plenty of people that are still prejudice against certain minorities, and there are plenty of members in those minorities that are still prejudiced against the majorities. I will elaborate a little on this though.

I believe that prejudice isn’t the major reason why blacks outnumber whites on death roe. I believe the major reason is true crime. I have explained in my post above that providing benefits to a minority groups separates them from the average part of culture and promotes segregation. The majority starts to look down upon the minority because the minority enjoys benefits that they do not, and in return the minority starts to dislike the majority.

What I said about jail is very true. If you attack a minority you run a high risk of being accused of a hate crime. Once you go to court for hate crimes you are in serious trouble, even if it wasn’t a hate crime. The government strongly opposes racism and they are very hard on members of majority groups that attack minority groups. As for serial killers, the whites are prosecuted every bit as hard as the blacks.

I think we will start to see the largest introduction of prejudice in more minor crimes. For things like drugs and vandalism, it is very possible that minority groups are punished more often. This gives prejudiced officers a chance to haul in the people they focus anger against and in minor levels of court they will be persecuted as much as the white kids in the gangs. Prejudice will simply create a more dangerous aspect of society for these people. I tie this in, once again, with that sub-culture’s actions in society. If you are a police officer, and you are usually dealing with a certain culture-dominated gang in your routine arrests, in many cases you will start to form a prejudice. We probably see this a lot in society.

Once a crime moves to the higher levels of court, however, I do not see how prejudice plays a role. It may be part of the defense attorney’s attack against the prosecution, and something the family complains about at home, but they aren’t sent off to die because of the color of their skin. From the highest levels of court people are sent off to die because they committed a crime, and both minority cultures and majority cultures alike can be improperly prosecuted.

Even though the government makes a huge mistake in providing benefits to minority groups, they aren’t messing up as seriously in higher levels of court. We have to look at the reasons behind the numbers, not the numbers themselves. Society has some serious flaws that will be worked out with time, I believe, but providing non-universal benefits to special interest groups is not the answer.

I am not saying that prejudice doesn’t exist anymore, it does. I will, however, say that it is nothing like what it once was in the United States. We aren’t preventing blacks from reaching high levels of government or from participating in society. The United States may not be ready for a black president yet though, all it takes is one sick fanatic with a gun, but I for one would love to see what Colon Powell could do for us as president.

As before, if some of my views don’t make much sense at all, and you don’t know were I am coming from, read my earlier messages in this thread. I will remind everyone that I am not a prejudiced person, please don’t take my blunt speech and observations to mean that I am.

Xiao Gui wrote:Funny, the arguement on freedom and equality has turned into jobs inequality and racism. :lol:
...
Now, can we go back to the original topic? I have plenty to say. :wink:

We are discussing this because it has to do with our views on the topic at hand. If you want to chat about something else related to Harimau’s presented topic, please feel free. :)
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Unread postby Travis » Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:21 pm

Fan Kong wrote: Name one serial killer that was black.


I can't belive I didn't think of this one. The Beltway Sniper in Maryland is black serial killer.
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Unread postby James » Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:39 pm

Taishi Ci wrote:
Fan Kong wrote: Name one serial killer that was black.

I can't belive I didn't think of this one. The Beltway Sniper in Maryland is black serial killer.

Henry Louis Wallace, John Lee Malvo, Marc Sappington, Kendall Francois...
I could provide a similar list for any other culture as well. You can’t really say, “name one <insert culture here> serial killer” and honestly expect there to be no reply.

A quick search over studies in the Internet states that around 12% of the US population is black, while around 13-22% of serial killers are black (this number changes up and down wildly within this range, 22% from MSNBC).

And with that, let not focus on any one given culture, because then the topic of debate becomes too racial and we are getting too far away from the subject at hand, which is not focused on one specific culture.
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Unread postby Justin » Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:50 pm

well after reading all the posts in this thread I must say I'm very impressed. These have to be the longest posts I've ever seen :D

This is no longer the 1800's, people are no longer oppresed by physical force. I agree with James people are opressed in this day and age because they have no desire to get out of their current situation.
And why should they if the gov't offers them a way of life that is extremely easy to maintain. People would rather be hateful and bitch rather then actually do what is required to get ahead in life. I have been poor and I am poor now. But I am working my ass off and have been stuck in a crappy house for several years but all the time and money I have spent in school are now starting to pay off. The gov't should get rid off the equal opportuntity bullshit. When someone doens't work for what they get it means nothing to them and when you apply that to a whole race, pretty soon their whole race will suffer as a result.

In the US I see this a major problem for the black culture and soon for the hispanic culture. I think the US should get rid of all the welfare, EO programs, etc. Instead they should focus on enabliing people too get above the poverty line. Don't keep them there with free handounts. Create and use programs that get people good jobs and an education and make them self sufficient and not sufficient on the gov't.
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Unread postby Travis » Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:44 am

K I guess I will get us back on subject since I got us off subject.

Freedom is the only realistic goal. Equality wouldn't work no matter what. If everyone was equal than there would be no one in charge, thus everyone would be leading themselves. Which essentailly is total choas. Babies would be equal to adults, which again can't happen. Truely there is no such thing as full equality in terms of human life styles, just fairness. And as alot of People believe "Life isn't fair."

Also People have to have purpose to do something. If Everything was Equal, than a Nuclear Scientist would be getting the same benefits and payment as some one who sits around and watches TV all day. So when presented with a choice, they will rather sit and play video games with the guy who watches TV. Everyone would have the same things, and everyone would have to have the same opportunity as everyone else to everything. Thus it wouldn't matter if you wanted to get a job they would just pick ppl at random.

Lastly, Competition could not exist with out freedom. If everyone were truely equal, then no one would win. It would either have be a tie, which is dull.
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Unread postby Xiao Gui » Sun Dec 22, 2002 7:16 pm

How wonderful!! We are back on topic!! James’ the best!!! :o

Here is my view on freedom and equality. They are both unrealistic and are simply terms invented by philosophers and Christianity to give people the illusion that they have freedom and equality. But, I won’t go into explaining my view, because it might be too philosophical for this debate. 8-)

:roll: Anyway, I will argue against freedom, because it’s winning so far. Let’s assume it does exist. The topic digressed, because people were confused about the definition of freedom. There are two kinds of freedom: freedom to pursue and achieve human potential and freedom to peruse and accumulate material wealth. However, most people need the incentives of wealth and the fear of poverty in order to motivate themselves to achieve their potential. This is why capitalism marks the prosperity of a country. However, are we truly free to achieve our potential? No, there are many reasons. In a capitalistic society, our goals are only limited to those that are, selfishly, good only for us, and those that are practical. If my goal in life is to help out with charitable causes, I’d better change my goal since I probably will starve to death. Similarly, if my goal is to be a millionaire, I am not achieving my greatest potential or being a useful member of my community.

:evil: True face of capitalism is very ugly. :evil: Let’s use U.S. as the example, capitalism thrives on and can only survives with the exploitation of natural recourses, the abundance of cheap labors, and excess of poor people (who provide the cheap labor). People DO have freedom to pursue, but have very little opportunity to achieve. The lack of cheap education, medical support, welfare programs contribute to this problem. Those who can afford the most expensive lawyers corrupt even the justice system. There are people who are earning too much for doing very little work, and there are people working themselves to death but receiving very little pay. Also, inflation, recession, and depression are the characteristics of capitalistic economy. :? I can go on forever.

Some might argue for the survival of the fittest. This term is awfully outdated and flawed. First, whoever says that sounds very much like Nazis. :x Natural selection does mean the survival of the fittest, but humans are far from being naturally selected. We live in an artificial environment where we alter our environment to FIT us, so we wouldn’t be naturally selected. If we went along with the belief in the survival of the fittest, who can be the judge to decided who is the fittest, and why don’t we just kill off all the physically challenged people instead of making ramps and special elevators for them. :?:

Freedom is not realistic goal (itz a ugly one), but equality would not do it either. Communistic society can only successfully operates if no capitalism exists to tempt people to be greedy. I won’t go into detail, but here is a simple analogy. Anybody with younger siblings would agree with me: when you get into arguments with them and obviously you win, your younger brothers or sisters go running crying to your mom who would then tell you to let them win, because they are younger. And you will say it’s not fair. :x On the other hand, anybody with older siblings would also agree with me that it is only fair this way. Since you have no choice but to be the miserable younger sibling, it is absolutely essential that your older bully brother or sister let you have your way, because you will never win their games. It’s not fair that they get to decide the rules of the game, so they can win all the time. :cry:

:idea: Anyway, I would like to propose the system Denmark has. In Denmark, people are free to pursue their goal and free to accumulate wealth (if that is their goal). The catch is you are taxed heavily. If you make a million a year, you end up with 50000 plus huge income tax refunds. If your neighbor makes 100000 a year, he ends up with 55000 plus some income tax refund. Hey, you are still making more than your neighbor and still have lots of money left to spend. Your family has free medical care and your kids have free education and free post education. Denmark has the highest GDP in the world, so obviously capitalism works under these terms.

OOps, it's getting too long. I will stop here for now.
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Unread postby Travis » Sun Dec 22, 2002 8:06 pm

Xiao Gui wrote:Here is my view on freedom and equality. They are both unrealistic and are simply terms invented by philosophers and Christianity to give people the illusion that they have freedom and equality. But, I won’t go into explaining my view, because it might be too philosophical for this debate. Anyway, I will argue against freedom, because it’s winning so far. Let’s assume it does exist. The topic digressed, because people were confused about the definition of freedom. There are two kinds of freedom: freedom to pursue and achieve human potential and freedom to peruse and accumulate material wealth. However, most people need the incentives of wealth and the fear of poverty in order to motivate themselves to achieve their potential. This is why capitalism marks the prosperity of a country. However, are we truly free to achieve our potential? No, there are many reasons. In a capitalistic society, our goals are only limited to those that are, selfishly, good only for us, and those that are practical. If my goal in life is to help out with charitable causes, I’d better change my goal since I probably will starve to death. Similarly, if my goal is to be a millionaire, I am not achieving my greatest potential or being a useful member of my community.




The Christian thing was rather insulting and sort of racist, thats like Hitler blaming the Jews for Germany's problems.

A lot of what you said is questionable, But there is an acheivable thing known as complete freedom. The man who goes out and lives off the land on some island whatever is totally free to do what he wants with in his power. So freedom does exist in terms of people. And not made up by Christian and Philosphers.

People in the US are free to do what they want under terms of law, which is technically not complete freedom. In the US if you don't like it, you are free to leave and live under whatever system of government you want. Heck, you could move to Iraq for all they care. Also if a person wanted to devote thier life to charity, then that is a totally realistic goal, you can achieve this so there is an opportunity to achieve it. You can achieve most everything you said, just not with favorable results, but hey you chose that way of life, which is freedom.

Xiao Gui wrote: True face of capitalism is very ugly. Let’s use U.S. as the example, capitalism thrives on and can only survives with the exploitation of natural recourses, the abundance of cheap labors, and excess of poor people (who provide the cheap labor). People DO have freedom to pursue, but have very little opportunity to achieve. The lack of cheap education, medical support, welfare programs contribute to this problem. Those who can afford the most expensive lawyers corrupt even the justice system. There are people who are earning too much for doing very little work, and there are people working themselves to death but receiving very little pay. Also, inflation, recession, and depression are the characteristics of capitalistic economy. I can go on forever.


Well this sounds kinda weak but... So Capitalism is mean, thats what makes it successful. That really had little to do with freedom or equality.

Xiao Gui wrote: Some might argue for the survival of the fittest. This term is awfully outdated and flawed. First, whoever says that sounds very much like Nazis. Natural selection does mean the survival of the fittest, but humans are far from being naturally selected. We live in an artificial environment where we alter our environment to FIT us, so we wouldn’t be naturally selected. If we went along with the belief in the survival of the fittest, who can be the judge to decided who is the fittest, and why don’t we just kill off all the physically challenged people instead of making ramps and special elevators for them.


Fairly true, but again that really didn't have to do with anything either. Survival of the Fittest is just a term used to describe nature. Humans don't live in Nature, as you said, so does that have really anything to do with freedom or equality?

Xiao Gui wrote: Anyway, I would like to propose the system Denmark has. In Denmark, people are free to pursue their goal and free to accumulate wealth (if that is their goal). The catch is you are taxed heavily. If you make a million a year, you end up with 50000 plus huge income tax refunds. If your neighbor makes 100000 a year, he ends up with 55000 plus some income tax refund. Hey, you are still making more than your neighbor and still have lots of money left to spend. Your family has free medical care and your kids have free education and free post education. Denmark has the highest GDP in the world, so obviously capitalism works under these terms.


Ahh but the US is a different situation. Denmarks economy may work for Denmark, but the US needs alot more money to sustain itself than Denmark does, and that is why people in Denmark get such large Tax Refunds, is becasue they aren't using the moeny. In the US a system like this would actually hurt the government rather than progress it, because it would have less money to spend.

All in all one form of freedom or another is a better choice over any form of Equality.
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Unread postby Xiao Gui » Sun Dec 22, 2002 9:21 pm

Taishi Ci wrote:The Christian thing was rather insulting and sort of racist, thats like Hitler blaming the Jews for Germany's problems.

Sorry if it insults you. :oops: Freedom has much to do with Christianity in its connection to freewill. (lets leave this to the topic "religion") Also, from the sociological perspective, we are not born with our ability to action and thoughts. We learn them from imitating others around us. Our ability to choose is greatly influenced by our culture, our belief, and the law of the country in which we live in. But please, spare me the pain of going into it. I prefer not to (too lazy :lol: ) go into why I think freedom does not exist. (But it will probably be my master thesis) I will keep you posted. In the mean time, read some Descartes and Humes and then Nietzsche (especially Humes).

Taishi Ci wrote:A lot of what you said is questionable, But there is an acheivable thing known as complete freedom. The man who goes out and lives off the land on some island whatever is totally free to do what he wants with in his power. So freedom does exist in terms of people. And not made up by Christian and Philosphers.

Yes, I do know a case where a couple who absolutely hated society and went to live on an island where they depend on no one but themselves. Well, the amusing part is they boat themselves back to the nearest city to get medical help when they are sick. Well, they can choose to never come back. But they would die, die of sickness. Now hold that thought.

Taishi Ci wrote:People in the US are free to do what they want under terms of law, which is technically not complete freedom.

The problem IS the law. Do you know there are US citizens that apply immigration to Canada as refugees? The commonly known one would be US's policy on drugs. Many US patients who need pot come to Canada as refugees. They have the freedom to leave, but they have no choice to stay.

What does capitalism has to do with freedom? :? Oh it has a lot to do with freedom. It uses freedom as an excuse to justify the greed for accumulation of wealth. Take US constitution for example, I hope you know Locke. Anyway, Hobbes is one of the first philosophers to discuss freedom where government and the church should not interfere with people’s private life, although he was mainly trying to justify for the rising middle class during the industrial revolution. Locke followed in his footstep and makes the basic rights of every citizen, but he also deviated into accumulation of wealth (<<= great fallacy in this argument) He has great influences in the US constitution and thus the US capitalistic culture.

Taishi Ci wrote:Ahh but the US is a different situation. Denmarks economy may work for Denmark, but the US needs alot more money to sustain itself than Denmark does, and that is why people in Denmark get such large Tax Refunds, is becasue they aren't using the moeny. In the US a system like this would actually hurt the government rather than progress it, because it would have less money to spend.

Instead of going into math, let’s use current affairs. The military spending of US government this year is enough to end world hunger. The amount they ask Canada to spend on Canadian military this year is enough to send every Canadian student to four years of post secondary education for free. I think US can do it. However, the big corporations that sponsor the campaign of US politicians may think otherwise.
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Unread postby Travis » Sun Dec 22, 2002 9:42 pm

Xiao Gui wrote: I will keep you posted. In the mean time, read some Descartes and Humes and then Nietzsche (especially Humes).


Descartes the very one who tried to prove God and Himself were real? I dunno the other two :lol:

Xiao Gui wrote: The problem IS the law. Do you know there are US citizens that apply immigration to Canada as refugees? The commonly known one would be US's policy on drugs. Many US patients who need pot come to Canada as refugees. They have the freedom to leave, but they have no choice to stay.

What does capitalism has to do with freedom? Oh it has a lot to do with freedom. It uses freedom as an excuse to justify the greed for accumulation of wealth. Take US constitution for example, I hope you know Locke. Anyway, Hobbes is one of the first philosophers to discuss freedom where government and the church should not interfere with people’s private life, although he was mainly trying to justify for the rising middle class during the industrial revolution. Locke followed in his footstep and makes the basic rights of every citizen, but he also deviated into accumulation of wealth (<<= great fallacy in this argument) He has great influences in the US constitution and thus the US capitalistic culture.


Is accumulation of wealth really a factor that is severe enough to make Freedom worse or equal to equality? Not really. Accumulation of wealth is a problem in both, but accumulation of wealth makes equality utterly useless, because it would have to be the same to eveyone, even though you may work harder and deserve more. The only way to make sure people get what they deserve is through a Capitalist Society. Sure people get greedy, it has always been that way, and always will. Here is part of a saying from the profound scholar 'Dante' from Devil May Cry :lol: "Where there is light there will always be dark, but where there is darkness there can be no shadow." This applies very well to this situation. Though freedom has it's drawbacks, they are not bad enough to make "a dark world with no shadows" known as equality. I'm not goign to get into the rest of the thing, because I'm not an Economist, but I'm sure it could work if we would like to lower our public safety and well being.
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Unread postby Xiao Gui » Sun Dec 22, 2002 10:06 pm

Taishi Ci wrote:Is accumulation of wealth really a factor that is severe enough to make Freedom worse or equal to equality?

I think freedom and equality are equally bad. I just decide to argue against freedom because nobody is doing it.

The only way to make sure people get what they deserve is through a Capitalist Society.

Yes accumulation of wealth drives and motivate human. But, money is a finite resourse. That is a problem. Locke did not foresee this.
Who is to decide who deserve what? Does a handicap are able to get what they deserve if they work as hard as the able people? They can now, but they couldn't before. How about women? (I will not digress into jobs and opportunities)

Though freedom has it's drawbacks, they are not bad enough to make "a dark world with no shadows" known as equality.

If I have to choose between freedom or equality, I choose anarchy. :lol:

Most people, including you, sees freedom as capitalism. I see capitalism wearing the sheep skin of freedom. This is why I argue against capitalism. I really can't argue about which one is better: freedom or equality. They are so different that they may be the same thing, just like fascism and communism. Sorry about that. :oops:

Otherwise, I think freedom to achieve human potential is great. I myself study not for the sake of getting a good job but to obtain knowledge. (nerdy? yeah) Hey let's see freedom from a totally different perspective. Personally, I think lying on the nudist beach fully naked in the most liberating and elevating experience in my life. What do you think?
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