TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?

This is an idea I recently fell upon while thinking about colleges and scholarships. I was wondering why I've been told (not actually witnessed) that minorities get a better chance of getting in college for being a minority. This was apparently an attempt to level the playing field and make things for equal for applicants. I realized that in their attempt to equalize the playing field, they made it unfair. What are your thoughts on this situation and any other equality situation? Do you think people should be going for fairness or equality, both, or are they essentially the same thing?

+5
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 19 2013: Equality and fairness are very perplexing to me. Equality of what?

    Opportunities? Opportunities are a matter of chance. All lottery players have an equal opportunity to win the jackpot. It does not mean that all of them will win. And not everyone even has a chance to buy a ticket.

    Outcomes? Shall all lottery players win the same amount? That, of course, will be less than the ticket price. And also, those who bought more tickets (spent more effort) will win the same amount as those who bought just one ticket (spent little or no effort). Fair? What's the point of the game then?

    Is it fair to give some lottery players a better chance to win because they could not participate in the lottery in the past? So what? How is that fair to the rest of the players? Just let them participate now on general rules. I like the bumper sticker "Equal rights are not special rights". "Special treatment" of minorities seems to emphasize the inequality instead of eliminating it - that's just my opinion.

    I prefer not to speculate on "what's fair". Everyone is entitled to one's own opinion. That's, perhaps, is the only entitlement I recognize.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.