Should life be fair? Is Utility the Point to help the marginalized

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We live in a world of inequity. And sometimes, that really sucks. I mean, seeing inequity at its greatest in Mumbai or when I first saw it in Mexico City, it is really just plain awful. But, inequity doesn’t always suck. Hear me out. I know, it is horrible that you can see famished children, dying of hunger in squalor, next to people who throw out food they, in passing, have determined as “gone bad” or “waste.” Is that fair? Is it fair that 52% of people in India don’t have access to a toilet? Is it fair that a government deems it to be “everyone’s responsibility” to get rid of a disease that is generally not deadly, when there are side effects to the procedure? What is fair?

distopian life isn't fair
So, we all know life isn’t fair. Is the point to work hard then to take our share, or should we all expect less? Or, should we, instead, make life fair for everyone?

There will always be a casualty – but the question is whether or not we all have a duty to care, or if we all have a duty to rise up above our conditions and strive for something great.

Philosophers have many things to say, and it is more than just political, because in today’s world, inequity comes in many forms.

  • money
  • freedom
  • access to medical treatment of choice
  • education

So here’s the thing, if we give access to money, do we get to choose how it is used? If we give freedom to all, then someone else will be marginalized. If we give access to medical care, and science changes, does everyone have to make the change? If we give access to education, must it be used in a way that the creators of the policy see fit?

“It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.”
Voltaire

“Equality, as understood by the American Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law. Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect. Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in the sense that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics. Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.”
Mark R. Levin, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

Okay, so many will say that’s just TOO much. There are too many basic inequities to ensure that everyone has that equal access to not being dependent. But, at what point do we see that there dependence can be created? That, the government can be the co-dependent “person” here too?

We all need support, we need others to lift us up. Should we all be working toward a better place for all human and non-human kind? Who is working toward making the world great? If, that is the point?

What is great though? Is it something great for all of human kind? Or, is it fair that some people have physical laborious jobs, while others can benefit others through an art? Whose job is more important? Should less important jobs go away? Should we have a choice to do a job we love if it doesn’t bring a utility other than joy to others?

Should we be allowed to be creative in the arts instead of creating in a science? Is science the study of living things, or is technology, or the ability to manipulate science to our short-term or long-term favor more important? Are both as worthy? Should all of these works or creations be paid the same?

Is utility the point? Do we all need to be useful for others for life to be worth while?

If someone cannot serve others in some way – give to others, do for others – are they worth the breath they take on earth?

Whose rights are most important? Whose rights are the most important? Need we individually worry about every single damn person? Is it the individual or all of us as a collective that matter?

Is their humanity with out each individual human?

The marginalized, the bigots, the poor, the poor in spirit. Who do we need to lift up most, if not our selves? If everyone did the bare minimum, there’d be nothing to help lift up those who are willing to fight for themselves with just the help to get their leg up in life.

What are your thoughts? Is there a limit to equality and the means to equality?

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6 comments

  1. I’m not sure how to answer this, only to say that we need to help each other as much as we can. It takes a village and I do believe we are all in this together and need to do the best we can for each other.

     
    1. Agreed. The only way to really make us all equal is to take away families. And that really doesn’t solve the bigger issues of humanity. Do I think discrimination based on gender or race or country of origin should happen? No. Does it happen? Yes. We can sensitive people to that and through exposure it will go away. But when we hear things about not letting parents read to their kids at night because other parents don’t… That is just asinine. Struggles aren’t a bad thing!

       
  2. Should life be fair? sounds like a rhetorical question to me… The question we need to grapple with in our global community today is: how can we make life equitable? Instead of pitting rich against poor, haves against have-nots, governments need to work harder to provide the basics for all its citizens; shelter, healthcare, food, access to education, work opportunity, and the fundamentals of liberty would be a great place to start.
    Those who thrive on maintaining unjust systems like to reach for that ridiculous notion that the poor don’t carry their weight or that some basic form of equity would deprive them of their gains… It’s a false argument. Do they have poor friends?
    Until we walk in the shoes of a struggling mom who works 2-3 jobs to provide for her family and remains poorly paid and marginalized, we’d never fully grasp why a just, equitable world is a better world.

     

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