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there are two main philosophies in life

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  1. That all men are equal and deserve equal pay for equal work and equal punishment for equal crimes
  2. That some people are superior to others and deserve more money, honor, and power than the "inferior people" or "inferior races" even if they do the same work
 

rousseau

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I've thought about making a similar thread before. I think your question is better phrased as:

Should genetic differences play a key role in our status and opportunity in any given community, or should we be working toward equality for all regardless of genetic differences

The tricky part is that the former is literally what it means to be alive, while the latter lends itself to a better playing field. I'd suggest that maybe a blend of the two ideas is what leads to a well-functioning society.
 

abaddon

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Are their really any genetic differences of significance within humanity?
 

Politesse

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Are their really any genetic differences of significance within humanity?

Oh yes! But not in the way that racists/sexists/classists imagine. I note that such folks often know very little about the real science of human genomic diversity.
 

rousseau

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Are their really any genetic differences of significance within humanity?

I'll put it another way:

The same parents with five children of wildly different ability - with varying ability to exploit niches in their environment to make an income. One of the children makes a lot of money, another is very poor. Does the rich child deserve what he earned?
 
Joined
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Location
California
Basic Beliefs
Civilizationist
Are their really any genetic differences of significance within humanity?

I'll put it another way:

The same parents with five children of wildly different ability - with varying ability to exploit niches in their environment to make an income. One of the children makes a lot of money, another is very poor. Does the rich child deserve what he earned?

If they do more work then they deserve more pay

Equal pay for equal work
 

Swammerdami

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(I think I agree with rousseau's implied meaning here.)
... One of the children makes a lot of money, another is very poor. Does the rich child deserve what he earned?

Does the wolf deserve to kill and eat the lamb it just outraced?

Discussion of an economics issue often goes astray as soon as a word like "deserve" is introduced.
 

Treedbear

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(I think I agree with rousseau's implied meaning here.)
... One of the children makes a lot of money, another is very poor. Does the rich child deserve what he earned?

Does the wolf deserve to kill and eat the lamb it just outraced?

Discussion of an economics issue often goes astray as soon as a word like "deserve" is introduced.

As with all moral issues it depends on the context. There are no moral absolutes (well there is only one in my book, but that gets us off on a tangent). In the context of the most prevalent current economic system commonly referred to as capitalism yes it is deserved. It would be unethical for what is earned to be denied. But the system isn't purely capitalistic. If it was every citizen would have access to capital. That is, they would have enough wealth that they could survive with a surplus sufficient to invest in personal development and to take advantage of opportunities when they appear. So we provide government and some private programs for the redistribution of wealth that are partially socialistic. Personally I think there should be a better term to describe this hybrid system. So my answer is yes that they deserve what they earned but not all of it. The system wouldn't work. And since they benefit from the system they are obliged to share some portion of their wealth with those less advantaged. And if you really want to call it capitalism that portion has to be enough to provide everyone with that minimum required so that they can participate as capitalists. At least a reasonable chance, rather than becoming trapped in a system that becomes dependent on their remaining in a state of poverty.

But there are other contexts out there. Looking for something with a more objectively moral basis many people look to religion. Many religions believe that a God or other creation force defines a higher or purer measure of individual human value. Often though that value is determined by arcane requirements that serve to divide people more than unite them. And many philosophically derived ethical systems are limited by either the ability to apply them universally or by their lack of adaptability in terms of fostering human advancement. So the system we have now, while secular, requires some adjustment in order to become truly humanistic.
 
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