Think about equality: what's the difference between equality of standards and equality of results?
Results are invariant within certain degrees of freedom, assuming that you did the study correctly. Standards are arbitrary. For example if I were extracting something from a lifeform, or synthesizing something in the lab, one standard would say 100 micrograms of the product is plenty, the other might say it is not enough.or.If I were to take a swab of one room in a hospital and enumerate the organisms present, some would say a certain level is acceptable, and the others would not. The set of parameters in a standard as a basis of comparison is dependent on whom you agree with.
For labs you might want to google ISO 9000
I am sorry, I was answering as a scientist.. Social and political issues are harder to gauge, because by their very nature there are too many variable, i.e. the participants.
Equality of results : If someone were to donate just an arbitrary number of 100 Billion dollars to charity, the result of that donation should not matter where the money was placed as long as it resulted in the upliftment of Humanity, in general.
Equality of Standards: I would assume that if we were doing a study, social or scientific, the merit of something would be the same as it is the intrinsic rather than extrinsic measurement. For example, who is to say that a Rodin's sculpture will be more or less valuable than a Monet painting or a composition by Mozart? Who is to say that the donation made to a writer to produce his works is less valuable than building an irrigation system in one of the countries in Africa?
Good distinction about certain standards being moveable. True. For the rest of the answers, let's assume we're talking about those standards that are fixed (whether by morals or by law).
(Yes, I acknowledge that even laws are passed and could've been something else with different legislators -- but they still serve as standards in a practical sense. So let's talk about those.)
I'm not sure what "standards" and "results" you're driving at. Inequality of income and wealth are clearly unequal in most societies for many reasons, some defensible (industriousness, persistence, creativity, etc.) and others indefensible (prejudice, big money politics, etc.). Inequality of income and wealth have increased in this country to the point where a significant percentage of citizens are losing faith in our capitalist democracy.
Equal doesn't mean the same as "identical." Women are different from men but equal to men. Who's to say which is "more equal," an individual with a kind and generous spirit, one with the intellect of Einstein, the determination of a Helen Keller, someone with the artistic ability of Picasso, an incredible athlete like Jim Thorpe or Jackie Robinson or a great politician like Abraham Lincoln or a creative business man like Bill Gates? That's an unanswerable question, or at least one which might be answered differently by most people. The answer in our democracy is that all people are equal in "ultimate value." Please don't ask for the meaning of "ultimate value." It could mean "one man or woman, one vote, " or "equality before the law." or we're all children of God, and equal in his or her eyes.
One of my favorite college professors, Henry Alonzo Myers, set forth an American view of equality in his book "Are Men Equal?," Great Seal Books 1945 which I recommend to anyone who is interested in the concept of equality.
Equality of opportunity makes more sense to me than the phrase "equality of standards." One characteristic of an egalitarian society is to remove legally instituted class privilege as a means of eliminating barriers enforced by the state to the individual right of pursuit of happiness.
Equality of outcomes, on the other hand, implies state-enforced redistribution of property, access to avenues of advancement, and status in the eyes of the law. Instituting that necessarily involves the establishment of classes and a system of privileges.
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