View Poll Results: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

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    37 75.51%
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Thread: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

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    Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    It is very clear what equal opportunity means, or at least it should be…. Well, just to be clear for this post… by equal opportunity, I mean the following… do you believe that everyone should start life with the same opportunities (this = equal opportunity for the purposes of this post)? Or would this lead to a lack of adequate separation between the rich and the poor, leading to a lack of functionality. For example, if everyone were allowed the same amount of money at birth, the same amount of land, the same amount of education and so on … would this lead to an inadequate number of “worker bees” (the poor) and an overpopulation of possible business owners etc. … ? What do you think?

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    I don't believe that everyone *should* start life with the same opportunities (since this is impossible in the first place), and I don't believe that it would lead to inadequate numbers of "worker bees", because equal opportunity does not mean that equal skill, equal motivation, and equal success would occur.

    I voted no to reflect what I see as reality, and not as a *wishful thought*
    Last edited by lizzie; 01-19-12 at 01:07 AM.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Equal rights and the freedom to pursue opportunity but not provided. It simply wouldn't work.
    Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    I don't believe that everyone *should* start life with the same opportunities (since this is impossible in the first place)
    I disagree, there are certain things, such financial wealth, land shares, access to education, that could be quite equally portioned out to every citizen at birth (and that is what I was referring to) - of course, one's talent, etc. cannot be portioned out equally and that is the whole point .. just as you've mentioned below ...

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    and I don't believe that it would lead to inadequate numbers of "worker bees", because equal opportunity does not mean that equal skill, equal motivation, and equal success would occur.
    So, would equal opportunity as described in the OP be good or bad for society?

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    Equal rights and the freedom to pursue opportunity but not provided. It simply wouldn't work.
    Right, right, right, we all know about "freedom to pursue opportunity" ... that's old news, but actual provided equal opportunity is new - remember, it does not mean equal outcome

    So, I am curious, why do you think that it would not work?

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Right, right, right, we all know about "freedom to pursue opportunity" ... that's old news, but actual provided equal opportunity is new - remember, it does not mean equal outcome

    So, I am curious, why do you think that it would not work?
    It's not new, it's called communism. You eliminate incentive, motivation for ingenuity and production, variety and who is going to apportion out the means? It will be a small minority of government of tyrannical leaders who are above reproach. If we could simply take what we've got and make it work appropriately you'd see the best possible outcome. The people who founded this country weren't exactly unenlightened. Unfortunately we are frail humans who make mistakes and learn and that's a process that's still evolving within our civilization. Two steps forward one step back.
    Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    I disagree, there are certain things, such financial wealth, land shares, access to education, that could be quite equally portioned out to every citizen at birth (and that is what I was referring to) - of course, one's talent, etc. cannot be portioned out equally and that is the whole point .. just as you've mentioned below ...



    So, would equal opportunity as described in the OP be good or bad for society?
    It would be neither good nor bad. It's an impossibility. The only way that equal opportunity would work, as described in your op, is for the very first generation of your make-believe society, requiring that babies be born, taken into custody by the state, raised in a homogenous environment, then set free to see what they could do. Some would succeed, some would fail, most would likely be mediocre.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Yeah I don't understand how that would be able to work either.
    -"For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex...uh...setbacks." —George Bush Sr.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    It's not new, it's called communism.
    Not quite

    the following is communism:

    A political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs

    and

    Any political philosophy or ideology advocating holding the production of resources collectively; Any political social system that implements a communist political philosophy; The international socialist society where classes and the state no longer exist

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=comm...w=1252&bih=546

    I am talking about private ownership of certain goods and production, not public
    I am talking about a system where classes still exist

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    You eliminate incentive, motivation for ingenuity and production, variety and who is going to apportion out the means? It will be a small minority of government of tyrannical leaders who are above reproach. If we could simply take what we've got and make it work appropriately you'd see the best possible outcome. The people who founded this country weren't exactly unenlightened. Unfortunately we are frail humans who make mistakes and learn and that's a process that's still evolving within our civilization. Two steps forward one step back.
    So are you saying that equal opportunity is bad for society because it would mean that there would be just enough for everyone (upon birth that is ... remember, this is only a one time distribution ... at least in this scenario), leading to a lack in motivation to move forward?

    If this is the case, why wouldn't we start everyone out (remember just starting people out) with just enough to survive, but still providing them with motivation to move up?

    Remember this is an experimental question - this is about whether equal opportunity (as defined in the OP) would be good for society - please do not assume any specific model (such as communism)

    Try thinking about how things could both work and fail, then you'll be contributing to new ideas - this requires stepping outside of the box - thinking new

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    It would be neither good nor bad. It's an impossibility. The only way that equal opportunity would work, as described in your op, is for the very first generation of your make-believe society, requiring that babies be born, taken into custody by the state, raised in a homogenous environment, then set free to see what they could do. Some would succeed, some would fail, most would likely be mediocre.
    What are you talking about?

    I only referred to material things such as money, land and education

    I was never referring to talent, environment etc.

    Are you sure we are talking about the same OP?

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