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
    Jun 14 2013: Somehow, I feel this discussion is simply a collection of personal experiences of fairness and evaluations of them in the world around you. I suppose I’ll be dragged into joining it.
    Apart from the annoying exchanges regarding Allah, there is also the disappointing lack of analysis of the root of inequality and unfairness. I suspect many of you have felt prejudice and discrimination rise into your minds at some point in your lives, but what caused such emotions?
    As a government orphan after WWII, placed in a foster home that desperately needed the supplied subsidy for rearing me, I could see we had nothing in that poor home, and remained completely unaware of state support in my academic endeavours that led to my admission to a top school surrounded by children of the elite. Thus, I saw both ends of the prosperity scale, a mongrel among thoroughbreds.
    Despite my headmaster’s refusal to recommend me for a university because of my humble roots, there was ample encouragement from the rest of the teachers. I emerged unscarred and saw the world as fair and equal.
    Equality and fairness are intangible concepts, existing in a remote generalisation, usually at a governmental level. We need to find them within ourselves. The emotional rewards for personally applying these attitudes are incomparable. They are easier to offer than their opposites so why are social groups easily infected by the virus of discrimination?
    If Americans allow their dogs to bark at black people, they must teach it to desist; if Brits cast slurs at Muslims, they must be publicly chastised. Find your inner peace and tolerance, distribute them and we shall have no need of discussions like this.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.