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I find that a number of people seem to believe there can be a meaningful definition of equality. I find this surprising, since the only valid form of equality I find conceivable (at least theoretically) is in this really nice story by Kurt Vonnegut. If it scares you it should, that’s what equality looks like.

Let us critically dissect this idea

Equality: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities

Careful reasoning allows us to conclude that status and opportunities are functions of random variables. I find difficulty in even admitting that status should be a criteria since status is again not something that can be defined in any meaningful way. There is no way to decide that two people can be equal if two of the three criteria are random to begin with. Fun fact, in a continuous random distribution the chance of the value you draw from it being equal to the value you had in mind, is 0.

This being the case it is difficult to imagine an egalitarian utopia. But what of approximate equality. Surely there is something as approximate equality. I’m sure one can define a form of approximate equality but is that really desirable?

The story I’ve linked to fully appreciates the consequences of living in a society where everyone is approximately equal. It’s a nightmare. Consider for a moment that if you show a skill set which even slightly puts you at an advantage (such as the ability to compute an arithmetic sum faster than your peers), this automatically makes you unequal. Outrageous! How dare your biology allow you to do such a thing. You have unfairly disadvantaged others and the only way to rectify this breach of the social contract is to ensure you can never use your ability again.

The absurdity of restricting someone’s ability to do math a little quicker is simply to highlight an underlying notion. Too many things cannot be controlled for, and therefore human society will always be unequal. Using force is the only way to make humans equal. Who will wield this force, and what guarantees that it will be wielded for the right purposes?

One may ask if this arrangement of inherent inequality is good or bad. I fail to see this as a moral question. Nature is cruel, she cares not for your feelings or for your morality. It is what it is.

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