Monday, July 16, 2012

aequitas equitas

hey evolutionary anthropologists, i have a question- why does it seem that people are wired to seek fairness?  there doesn't seem to be any "fairness" in the universe: quite the opposite in fact, chaos and entropy do not transpire into anything close to fairness. fairness seems to be a human construct. we gauge things by it, seek ultimate truths about it, find great pleasure in enforcing it. usually someone benefits from a projected fairness, in fact, i almost always feel something is more fair when i gain from an outcome- fairness looks selfish to me in that way. 

a short list of common and silly fairness judgements: 
"it isn't fair that i am poor." 
"it is not fair that i don't have a free ride to college."
"it isn't fair that i have to buy health insurance!"
"it isn't fair that i make $x an hour and the waltons make $x."
"it isn't fair that others don't do things for me."

in all of these instances, fairness equates to personal gain. they are all selfish (we are all selfish, to some degree). not everyone can be well off. not everyone will make the choices that will lead them to happiness. not all children will live into adulthood. not all people will be cured of their diseases. not all parents are good providers. that's the thing- you are doing yourself harm by not accepting the raw truth of the universe, most things are out of your/human control. by leaving life's happenings up to fairness you rob yourself of choice, consequence and the understanding that most of the human condition is fleeting and uncontrollable... and that's fucking neat and worth admiring, intellectually.

my most irrational plea for fairness lies in the social contract of driving in the us of a. i detest when people cheat, cut, or act in only their interest. i feel that it is unfair for someone to cut in line! or when i put my turn signal on for five or more seconds and someone doesn't let me get over. where does this irrational "fairness" quality come into my conscious mind!? also, it is only unfair to me because i am not the beneficiary of that action. breaking the social contract is acting unfairly, to me or other members of society. so i get it. fairness exists as a social construct.

fairness is equivalent of control of the uncontrollable; or the belief that there is an ultimate being rationing fairness. because you know, it is only fair that that 7.6 million children under 5 died in 2010, and of course that you didn't get that raise at work. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a very serious issue, isn't it?
    Yes,'issue'. I know it's too big a word, but so is this problem.

    I think proper education and common sense is the solution for this conundrum. In fact proper education and common sense is the solution for almost every problem we are facing today, but the thing is that only few people have the guts to implement them.

    Let's hope things get better in the days to come.

    Lastly, I want to thank you for shedding light on such a serious, yet often neglected 'issue'.