Apr 4, 2013

Asit's View

A)     What is equality?-

1) Giving a non-biased treatment in every sense.

2) Each man has different mental, social, environmental factors.

3) (From A2) thus each will receive and would like to receive different treatment.

4) (A1+A2+A3) Equality is a metaphysical myth. It is impossible to achieve absolute equality.

    
       B)   Inequality-

             1) Absence of equality

             2) (A4+B1) Inequality is Omnipresent.

             3) Different degrees of existence. (I take the meaning of equality here as the                                                                lowest degree of inequality.)

 

       C)  To make unequal things “equal”

            1) EX- Take two pans of a weighing balance where one has a heavier weight than the other. In order to make them equal one will have to add weight to the pan that has less weight. That is in order to minimize the inequality we will have to give a special treatment to one class of people while neglecting the other class. This amounts to inequality. (Ex- the minority reservations.

            2) C1 is done for the so called “greater good i.e. equality.”  However it soon turns out to be counter productive.

           3) When a special treatment is given to a certain class of people, they get more rewards for lesser efforts. They thus become less hard working. On the other hand when a special treatment is given out to a certain class, the other classes would lose out and thus slowly develop a sense of hatred. This would widen the inequality.

           4) (C1+C2+C3) Thus when one tries to make unequal things equal, the whole process turns out to be counterproductive in the long run thus increasing the degree of inequality.
            Thus by the above argument I think that Aristotle’s quote is completely right.      


Abhinav's View

I have pasted the argument below. Can you tell me if its going on the right track? It seems pretty tautologous and I can't think of any more to write on this quote, except go on about political, or different truth conditions.

“The worst form of inequality is to try and make unequal things equal.” – Aristotle

Aristotle’s argument (rather Tautology)

A1. Unequal and equal by logical status cannot be equated. (Law of extended middle mentions that as long as there is a proposition P, and a proposition not P, they cannot both be true)

A2. To try and make two unequal things equal is to try to force reasoning or violate principles of logic and thereby rational reason

A3. Inequality is an undesirable state

(A1 + A2 + A3)A4. To force things/concepts/values/rights to be equal is to resort to an undesirable state

A5. The main implication is that things can be fundamentally different and that there is no commonality, which can make equal 2 seemingly different things.

--X--

B1. What does it mean for 2 things to be equal?

-       A simple definition of equality could be the logical equivalence. 

B2. If B1, then A4 is true

B3. However B1 can be contestable in that we can consider B4 as a definition of equality

B4.

i.                Things can have a range of properties and a class of things can be named as all the items with at least one property in common.

ii.              Thus two things with 99 different properties and 1 common property P1 can be made equal for the class of objects defined by P1. 

B5. Things can then said to be equal if there is atleast one common property (Here we can introduce an alternative metaphysics of monism)

C1. In a political sense we can consider the statement: “Everyone is equal before the law”

C2. This accding to Aristotle tries to make everyone equal, not considering the circumstances, which led him or her to violate the law

C3. This is inequality in that 2 human beings with fundamentally different backgrounds are being seen equally

C4. However if we accept B4 as a definition for equality, then we can say that both humans are different but belong to a common class in that they are part of a common legal system defined in a particular manner.

C5. Thus C1 is not necessarily an inequality or undesirable outcome.