Enhanced Inequality

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  buttermilkman 7 months ago.

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  • #5944


    Equality has been a tricky struggle for thousands of years. First, the concept of “all men are created equal” gained popularity, using as its basis the rationalization that all human beings are created in God’s image. This definition of equality extended, chiefly, to what we attempted to define as “basic human rights.” Next, our government systems slowly evolved to the putatively more equal democracies which dominate the geopolitical landscape today. Recently, we have begun to address the concept of wealth equality, faced with the guilt that a select few people possess more than one person could ever make use of, while others starve to death. Of course, all of these struggles hinge on that first rationalization: that all humans are, at birth, “equal” in some way — maybe not in intellect, ability, or otherwise, but in some undefined way, equal nonetheless. The question we will soon face is: does this equality hold in an enhanced world? Can we maintain any semblance of equality when all people are absolutely not created equal; when some are born with extreme and tangible advantages? Will we even try? How will our justice systems deal with these issues? All of these questions will cause us to explore from where our definition of equality comes — is any dignified, capable human being “equal” or will enhancements give some a legitimate claim to superiority?

  • #5954


    In regards to your question, will this ethereal sense of equality our nation has developed hold up in a bioenhanced future, my answer is no. To clarify, I do not believe that sense of equality truly exists today except in the form of political rhetoric and within naïve outlooks on the world. There is no “maintaining any semblance” of equality because the world is inherently unequal, nor is it fair. Everyone is born to completely different parents who have different socio-economic backgrounds that will lay the framework for their children’s successes or failures. I do not understand why people would even worry about enhanced people becoming authority figures when there already are enhanced (monetarily) authority figures. Would it make a difference if someone had power over you due to money compared to higher intelligence? Odds are they already are more intelligent as demonstrated by their ability to climb the ladder of influence and control others. The future of enhancements will continue to be accessed in an extremely unequal manner as they are today. Those with wealth will have the most access, and unless there is some government regulation that comes into play, poorer people will be left without the ability to attain these enhancements. I think the conversation should be shifted away from equality, a term which I find to be dangerous if applied to society. I want to focus on justice and what is fair, specifically on human actions and choices that we can control. Would it be fair to take an extremely rich person’s money who used to be poor himself, a person who earned it, and then give to others just for the sake of equality? Should we, however, examine the factors that enabled this person to achieve wealth, and then examine the factors that are preventing others from reaching it, and draw conclusions there? I think that would be the more thoughtful approach, rather than adhering to a blind desire for equality, an aspiration that I think a lot of people pursue mindlessly because it sounds good when in reality it simplifies issues.

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