Freedom or Equality?

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Freedom or Equality?

Unread postby Harimau » Fri Dec 20, 2002 9:50 am

"There is no method by which men can be both free and equal"
-Walter Bagehot 1826-77: The Economist 15 September 1863


"You can have equality or equality of opportunity; You cannot have both. Equality will mean the holding back (or the new deprivation) of the brighter children. -Brian Cox and Rhodes Boyson Black Paper 1975


"Make all men equal today, and God has so created them that they shall all be unequal tomorrow." - Anthony Trollope 1815-82 Autobiography


"The Constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens" - Wendell Willkie An American Programme


In this current world of fear for terrorism and death, more and more governments and their citizens opt to 'surpress' the freedom of their citizens for their 'safety' from these terrors. However, are the governments right in doing this? Are they not actually following what the 'terrorists' want them to do? By surpressing these freedoms, are they not making the people suffer just a little bit more? However, it does not seem that governments today do not have a choice in this matter. They can protect their citizens and 'strike back' in a 'war against terrorism'. (Im not attacking or singling out America and her allies. Im actually applauding them if they actually improve the conditions of those people but if they dont ill join the protestors).

But doesnt the people(of the world) actually deserve to choose between their Freedom and their Safety? In this Safety, this is not just about safety from terrorism, but safety from also the Law of Nature. ("Survival of the Fittest"). In this choice of "Equality and Safety", no person would ever have to be afraid of perishing just because they are 'weak' in the eyes of nature. But, those who are the 'fittest' also do not get a chance to shine, just as the second quote said. But is this fair to those who are gifted who will never be given the chance to utilize their talents? But when 'Freedom' is the main policy, the weak would most surely perish under the tyranny of the 'fittest'. This is very exampled in the Business World. Without the regulation of governments and government bodies, there would eventually be one or few companies that dominate the whole business world. One example of how governments prevent this is when they Forced Microsoft to split. But is right for Governments or outside bodies to actually intervene? The big companies are not allowed to reach their maximum potential, which would have to come at the price of the small companies.

Which would you prefer? Equality to the point where all are strictly equal or Freedom to the point that only a few would survive? If you do not agree on one extreme, what are your opinions on the right mix that would make this world a better place for all?
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:05 pm

I do not believe that “freedom” and “equality” can coexist. Personally, I prefer to have “freedom” and let everyone make the best of it, perishing in the cold if they can’t muster the necessary dedication. Especially here in the United States, racism doesn’t exist like it has in the past, women can achieve anything they like, and the poor can become rich if they want to dedicate the time. People do not have “equality” because they, apparently, do not want it… at least this is how it looks from my perspective.
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Unread postby Dennis » Fri Dec 20, 2002 3:22 pm

I believe in having equality, first man and woman should be given the chance to give life a go on equal footing. Maybe in the US it is different because women and men can both achieve a lot, but in most other states I think the segregation of rich and poor, and one minority in comparison to majorities it too great. That's why I think things could be evened out a least a little, so the ones who are bright and shining under the pile of soot have a chance to become something themselves.
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:22 pm

Jia Wenhe wrote:I believe in having equality, first man and woman should be given the chance to give life a go on equal footing. Maybe in the US it is different because women and men can both achieve a lot, but in most other states I think the segregation of rich and poor, and one minority in comparison to majorities it too great. That's why I think things could be evened out a least a little, so the ones who are bright and shining under the pile of soot have a chance to become something themselves.

It isn’t that I don’t think equality can exist, I just don’t think a government is capable of bringing such a thing about without destroying freedom. People will always be different – some will be strong and others weak, some fast and others slow, some intelligent and others unintelligent, some Republican and some Democrat – and that is the beauty of humanity. The way people in the US define equality, these days; you would think they want blind basketball players and 400 pound fire fighters. My vote on that? No.
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Unread postby Dennis » Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:29 pm

James wrote:The way people in the US define equality, these days; you would think they want blind basketball players and 400 pound fire fighters. My vote on that? No.


Granted I agree, but what about a skater who has the talent of Michelle Kwan but just can't afford to pay for lessons, or forsake school for 6 hours of practice a day? Some people can't pursue their dreams because of a lack of equality, and if they can't pursue something because of a limitation, they aren't technically free.
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:36 pm

Jia Wenhe wrote:Granted I agree, but what about a skater who has the talent of Michelle Kwan but just can't afford to pay for lessons, or forsake school for 6 hours of practice a day? Some people can't pursue their dreams because of a lack of equality, and if they can't pursue something because of a limitation, they aren't technically free.

They are free to peruse their dream however they see fit. A lack of money does not mean a lack of freedom, and there isn’t really a practical government solution for this anyway. I don’t want the government giving money to the poor, in nearly all cases they use the money to be poor for a living.

Anyway, I will explain my perspective on this. Freedom, to me, means the ability to make whatever you like of your life without limitation based off class or status, but without artificial assistance. This means that if you are only 4 feet tall, nobody is going to help you get in the NBA. If you are poor, and you haven’t got the money to pay for professional lessons, nobody is going to be forced to give it to you. You have to go out and work your ass off for the money to create your dreams.

The two alternative solutions, in this scenario, is government assistances (what does taking my money and giving it to other people have to do with freedom?) and removing the expense from the profession (which will quickly make sure skating is no longer a profession).
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Unread postby Travis » Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:44 pm

My vote is on freedom. Eqaulity is a good Idea, but impractical as not all people are equal. It has failed many time as in Communist Russia, sure the USSR was strong, but they had to build walls to keep people from leaving. Equality would mean things like people getting paid the same no matter what job they have, or people's families being all the same size. I mean would want to go through 8 years of college to be a doctor and get paid the same as a garbage man? and how would a family work if it had to be the same size as some one elses? You abolish it, no families. I mean think about it. Trying to make everyone eqaul won't work. I remember reading a story once where the US tried to make people equal. They had a Department of Equality. There was a family in this story, one was a genius, and everytime he thought to much he would get shocked by a device. I don't remember what the rest of the family had, but they were watching TV. Ballerina's were on it and they had to were weight's and hideous masks to keep them equal to others b/c they were to beautiful and were more agile than most people. I mean it is is simply immpossible to make everyone equal, and if it is, we definately don't want it.
Last edited by Travis on Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Dennis » Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:44 pm

James wrote:
Anyway, I will explain my perspective on this. Freedom, to me, means the ability to make whatever you like of your life without limitation based off class or status, but without artificial assistance. This means that if you are only 4 feet tall, nobody is going to help you get in the NBA. If you are poor, and you haven’t got the money to pay for professional lessons, nobody is going to be forced to give it to you. You have to go out and work your ass off for the money to create your dreams.


How can you say one is free when it is society that provides a glass ceiling on society. Sociological study has shown that two applicants of the same talent have less of a chance or receiving a job if they are black, and even less if they are female! Also in psychological tests, when shown a picture of a white man holding a knife to a black man, and when asked to tell the story to a peer, the person who viewed the picture 9 times out of 10 shifted the knife into the black man's hand.

Society is far from giving people equal footing, and what is easy for one person won't be as easy for someone else, thus freedom yes although in the technical sense is in place, it will be meaningless because of so many people having to sacrifice freedom due to a lack of equiality.

As long as there is minorities and majorities, and women continue to bear children, as Socrates would say, there would be no equality, and as a result no freedom.
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 20, 2002 5:04 pm

Jia Wenhe wrote:How can you say one is free when it is society that provides a glass ceiling on society. Sociological study has shown that two applicants of the same talent have less of a chance or receiving a job if they are black, and even less if they are female! Also in psychological tests, when shown a picture of a white man holding a knife to a black man, and when asked to tell the story to a peer, the person who viewed the picture 9 times out of 10 shifted the knife into the black man's hand.

Obviously crime and racism exists, and the solution to this is an efficient legal system. I do not believe orderly society can coexist without civil war, in one form or another, without efficient but moderate law enforcement. Hate crimes must be punished, and racism must not be tolerated.

When a black man and a white man want to be basket ball players they should be judged only by their capabilities, not their color. The major problem with over enforcement of racism is reverse racism (that may be a made up term). I will explain. Here in Utah labor jobs are required to employ certain majorities of the Mexican population. In many cases the requirements outstrip the number of Mexican applicants who are interested in doing a good job. So next thing you have some Mexicans that are hard working American citizens doing their jobs with eight others sitting by the water cooler doing nothing knowing it is basically illegal for them to be fired (I have seen three examples of this very thing).

After the 9-11 incident people noticed that the involved firefighters were mostly white adult males. People were furious that minorities and females didn’t play a large role in the firefighting department. I think that when the job opens they should take the healthy strong adults that come in, while turning away the weak and inexperienced. Now, thanks to government intervention, the NY fire department will be weakened because they will be forced to fire the strong adults in favor of the weaker or inexperienced, as will be the case in many of the instances.

I am getting off-track.

I am not against minorities, but I do believe that the right people should get the right jobs. But I agree we need adequate law enforcement to protect against actual predjudice. If a black man is turned down in favor of a less experienced white man, simply for racial issues, it is time for the law to step in.

Jia Wenhe wrote:Society is far from giving people equal footing, and what is easy for one person won't be as easy for someone else, thus freedom yes although in the technical sense is in place, it will be meaningless because of so many people having to sacrifice freedom due to a lack of equiality.

People should stick to what they do best. We weaken society by helping Martha Stewarts to become football players (of course that is an overstatement, but it is understandable). Actually, how would you like things to be? Do you think employers should be forced to hire certain percentages of different groups? For example, fire departments should be required to have a certain percentage of female and minority group fire fighters?

Jia Wenhe wrote:As long as there is minorities and majorities, and women continue to bear children, as Socrates would say, there would be no equality, and as a result no freedom.

We cannot abolish minorities and majorities, and I sure as hell hope that males don’t start bearing children… we aren’t exactly built for that. As much as I would like to complete destroy racism and segregation, it is a fact of life that we must attempt to control to the best of our ability through laws. When we go too far ladies are filing lawsuits against males for sexual harassment over being patted on the shoulder and men have almost no chance to gain custody of a child in the court system because of a bias in favor of a minority. Our attempts to right a wrong have created a whole new wrong.
Last edited by James on Fri Dec 20, 2002 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Travis » Fri Dec 20, 2002 5:44 pm

Wow I think James Out did my longest post :lol:

Lemme add a bit to what he said about reverse racism. Racism is not nearly a prevailent as it has been in the US. Now despite this certain law have been implimented that make things unfair. In the state of Georgia there is a law passed that requires teachers to base minorites on a grading curb. Meaning, If I made the same grade a Black person, they would make a higher average, simply becasue they are black. Other states have done the same. Is this really fair? No not at all, but it is just the way it is. Also In Georgia there is a law that give women and minorites to be considered for jobs before a white male is. So If I had slightly better qualifications and a Mexican Woman had near the slightly less qualifications and went out for the same job, she would get the job before me. Also I remember one year, there was a massive race fight. Not whites all over one black, but 9 black seniors and juniors on one white freshman. The story was the kid was walking behind a group of black females and steps on teh bakc of her shoe on accident. She turned around and called him a 'craker', so he responed with the n-word which I will not say. Well it just so happens around the girls were these 9 people. They turned around and beat the kid nearly to death. They broke the Student Resources Officers shoulder and punched the priniciple in the jaw as they tried to break the fight up. Luckily the Student Reasources officer from the Middle school was there, and with the help of the assistant principles, drug the kids into the office. No charges were brought up and they refused to let the SRO of our school press charges. Also, the black student came back to school the very next week, while the white student was in the hospital for a month. I thought about sending the story to Fox News but never did. Now, I have nothing against minorites, I am just saying you only mentioned oppression of whites on Minorities, when the gate of Racism opens both ways.
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