Justice: The Different Yet Equal Outcome

Take equality of opportunity, assume people with different preferences and abilities. Then different results for these people will arise, a different distribution of goods. That’s mediated through preference orders and trade-offs, as well as through allocation based on ability.

It’s remarkable that such an outcome is still commonly called”inequality”; note usage of the phrase “equality of opportunity” as the opposite of “equality of outcome/result”. In truth, any different outcome under the rule of equality of opportunity is not an “unequal” outcome. As far as justice is concerned, and that’s what this is about, it’s a different yet equal outcome.

Am finstersten Tage

Mein Name Sei MAMA

Es war Zeit zu gehen, du warst schon so müd’,

die Worte versiegt, der Blick verschlossen und trüb.

Dieser Abschied war für immer,

er hat dich von allen Schmerzen befreit.

So einen herzlichen Menschen find’ ich nimmer!

Vielleicht sehen wir uns in der  Ewigkeit.

Wir bleiben noch hier, müssen so vieles erst erfahren.

Was wohl noch kommt?

Eine offene Frage.

Dein Lachen möchte ich in mir bewahren,

es leuchtet so hell, auch am finstersten Tage.

Irgendwann gehe auch ich,

zum Glück weiß ich nicht wann.

Deine strahlende Liebe wird es sein,

woran ich dich dann erkennen kann.

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Good, Better, All the Same.

[F]or it is the essence of virtue to exercise choice among the things in accordance with nature; so that philosophers who make all things absolutely equal, rendering them indistinguishable, either as better or worse, and leaving no room for selection among them, have abolished virtue itself. 229

At the same time Goodness is absolute, and is not a question of degree; the good is recognized and pronounced to be good from its own inherent properties and not by comparison with other things.  Just as honey, though extremely sweet, is yet perceived to be sweet by its own peculiar kind of flavour and not be being compared with something else, so this Good which we are discussing is indeed superlatively valuable, yet its value depends on kind and not on quantity. 253 – Cicero, De Finibus (Rackham).

A Little Honey

Xerxes led forth his huge fleets and armies of horse and foot, bridged the Hellepont, cut through Athos, marched over sea and sailed over land – suppose on his reaching Greece with his great armada some one asked him the reason for all this enormous apparatus of warfare, and he were to reply that he had wanted to procure some honey from Hymettus! surely he would be thought to have had no adequate motive for so vast an undertaking. So with our Wise Man, equipped and adorned with all the noblest accomplishments and virtues, not like Xerxes traversing the seas on foot and the mountains on shipboard, but mentally embracing sky and earth and sea in their entirety – to say that this man’s aim is pleasure is to say that all his high endeavour is for the sake of a little honey. – Cicero, De Finibus (H. Rackham).