Society is not Making us Anything-People Are
This is my answer to peeples' question below:
Why does society try to make us all equal when we clearly aren't?
This mentality is odd to me and I'm confused as to why we want to make everyone equal. Drug dealers, rapist, child abusers are not equal to honest people who try to live a moral life. There will always be some who are better and worse than others. Do you believe we are all equal and do you relate this to a religion?
Necesseties to Hurt Others
This kind of question is tricky. It assumes that there is sth called society that wants to make us equal and the correct answer to it would be “mu” a Japanese word which means “Your question cannot be answered because it depends on incorrect assumptions”.
First of all, never can an organization nor a system or any other institution hurt anybody as they have neither arms nor any other physical necessity to hurt somebody. Then of course everybody understands your question as “Why are the people that are part of the accused institution, system or society doing this?” This assumes that everybody in that particular society etc. is participating or at least approves of it, neglecting the fact, that there is not many things on this planet that do not evoke resistance in at least a single person whatever reason (or more often non-reason).
I want to be Better than Others
What I read though between the lines is your wish to be different from drug dealer, rapists and child abusers but at the same time assuming that these can not be honest people. There is no argument whatsoever against your claim of immorality of these persons’ actions. But moral has to be defined as well. What does it mean precisely? For some people it is already immoral not to go to church, to lie or even to masturbate. I am talking of my childhood experiences here. You omit the discussion by jumping right to the conclusion that these people are immoral. As said before, there is always someone disagreeing. Abusing a child is no way a benefit to anyone or action to be tolerated and left unpunished and untreated if ever possible. Yet psychiatrists hold it possible that pedophilia is a genetic disposition. Should that be so, than how can this person’s action be immoral? Doesn't morality require at least some kind of intention? It is obvious that I am not here to play child abuse down, therefore I will not engage in any discussion about it.
We Will Never be Equal
Having said this I can answer the other questions if I believed that we are equal and if I relate this to religion.
I surely do not believe that we are equal nor that there are equal rights or situations on this planet for all of us. Ideally there would be, though I am not sure of the consequences. That would be the stuff of novels to come. We are born in different countries and even being born in the same country we are different from most others that live there. It depends on our parents, their standing in society, the district they live in, their believe system and many other seemingly tiny but influencial things.
When people say we are born equal than they can only rely to the very fact that we still come from a mother’s womb but as soon as we exit that space esoterics want us to believe is worth reexperiencing, we are different. Some kids are born on the streets, in slums with no hospital nor doctor in reach, some at home, some on the back of dolphins. There is no equality in the outside world and never will be. The sun might go out before that happens.
So how does it look on the inside? What would it mean to be equal from this point of view? We would have to treat every person that we meet with the same amount of respect and appreciation, also ourselves. To achieve this one would have to give up every judgement about the other person as judging means to make a difference. If you stopped doing so, you soon would be dead as this is an elemental biological function of our mind that secures our survival. You see a grim, clearly foreign looking man with a gun coming straight at you you might want to move out of his way or even change the side. Of course this situation is a clear one but the mechanism is the same even with our best friends. They are our best friends because we judge them to be good, making them different.
But I would like to leave a little space for doubt here as I have myself experienced a phase where I was aware about my judgements but didn’t give them any importance and got away with it by still being able to identify dangerous situations. And I have met many people taking drugs that made them feel one with all others indicating that there at least is a feeling of equality. By the way, my phase was induced by an insight I had won in a seminar but didn’t last long.
There's Illusion of Equality
To summarize my thoughts I have to say that I do not believe in equality and I do not share your impression that society is trying to make us be equal. Even law, as one reader commented, differenciates a lot and even where it does not still leaves the judge or the police quite some room of interpretation. And as these two are the ones practicing the law -as they have got arms and mouths- there is again human beings involved that are influenced strongly by their disposition.
Groups and clubs create the illusion of equality. Even religious organizations profit from this illusion. Before you feel offended note that I do not say that this is the main intent of these groups. If you are part of such a “closed society” do you honestly feel and more important are you really, in every aspect of the group's idea(l)s, equal to all others in your group? Even to the leaders or founders? Or do you even look up to someone leading a better maybe more moral life than you do, making yourself smaller than you are?
Answer this question: Whom do you really feel equal to?
I can not name a single person, no matter how much I love them. They are always different and I treat them differently. Sometimes better sometimes worse than others, even than myself. And I wouldn’t believe you if you seriously answered this question with a name other than your own.
The Benefit of Numbers
This is my reply to peeples comment on my comment (see below). I put it here as well as it will stay more visible than in the comment section.
Hmmmm... As I don't watch American mainstream -I am not even watching German ms-I can not contradict on the presentation of equality. But I do not think that anyone, not even the lazy ones or the drug dealers think that welfare should be given to them but dare to say that they are pretty aware about their abuse of the system. Everyone abusing social welfare knows about it, especially those cases you read or hear about. Those who are not aware of it's abuse are the ones that might need it. How many people do you know for real that take advantage of social welfare? What are the statistics? I have done some research and find the situation in the US similar to ours here in Germany. The clearest overview I have found here, but numbers from other sources like the la-government homepage indicate the same percentage of abuse, namely 2%. Of course the estimated number of unknown cases might raise this quote significantly but let's stay "reasonable" and guess that it doesn't exceed 10%. So one out of ten is already pretty high and most probably guessed too high as well, but in the end it means that at least 90% of the receipients of SW are honest people in need. And also consider that of these fictional 10% there are many cases that are not commited on purpose. And even those doing it consciously, how much do they gain individually? A $100 monthly? Do not underestimate the media here as they blow single cases up that are shameless but these might even make less than 1% of the alleged cases.
Also, what would be your alternative to the existing system that guarantees a better rate than this?
Back to the evil “guys”. I don’t know what TV-show you are referring to but so called “Talkshows” are mainly scripted or engaging actors to attract audience. They are in no way a representation of any majority or reality. Only numbers can give some insight and even these have to be handled and questioned carefully. It is the interest of those presenting information that has to be considered when juggling data or processing information. TV needs audience. 2% of fraud do not attract my grandmother from behind the oven (old German saying) but an extremely shameless example of welfare fraud attracts viewers, even if only 0,1% of all cases, what of course will never be mentioned.
And if it is a bit similar in the US as it is here, the discussion isn’t really about treating those crack-dealers equal to others, or not allowing others to call them “bad people” but rather about the wish of some to punish them cruelly or exaggeratedly. And this is of course a valid discussion with regard to humanitarian concerns.
Philosophy on TV
Arte hosts a beautiful show on philosophy. Unfortunately only available in French and German.
There was one on Equality (Gleichheit)
as well. Maybe you find it.