The point I would like to make here is that an egalitarian moral theorist ( like yourself) who asserts the fundamental moral equality of all human persons cannot deny that in various ways some people do intentionally act in such a manner as to as to be more deserving, more creditable than others. For example, if we agree that all individuals have, say, Lockean rights, then individuals can forfeit their rights through bad conduct. In short, it seems very clear to me that some human lives AS THEY ARE ACTUALLY (INTENTIONALLY) LIVED are more worthy than others.
Your response to this would be, I expect, that the fact individuals vary in their earned worth is perfectly compatible with asserting that they all still possess (regardless) an equal , unearned (innate) worth in virtue of their status as human PERSONS.
First, let me say that I write too much. YOU write 5 page papers. I can't go into all of this; I'll get nappy.
At any rate, "more deserving" is question begging, as is "creditable". If you refer to their actions, then the matter can rest. It goes to so called "agent /action morality". Actions produce, are a benefit, or can be. I am saying that agents are morally equal, yes; but their actions, not at all. Forfeiting rights due to bad actions is a pragmatic necessity, only. A legal system could not survive, I think, if there were no consequences to behaving badly. The desert lies, however, exclusively in this. Beyond this is metaphysics, plain and simple.
My reply to this would be that all human beings are, as I have already pointed out in my last post, different in every conceivable respect that one could ever possibly imagine; namely that each individual is unique and no two are ever equal,( in any way), in the Aristotelian sense of being the "Same". Just as human beings differ in terms of , say: their genetic make-up (their DNA); their ethnicity; their level of intelligence; their physiology; their personality traits; the social, political, cultural and family backgrounds into which they were "thrown" at birth and so on, they will also differ by degree in terms of the measure of inherent, unearned worth, or, if you like, the fundamental ( i.e. "default"/ "unearned") amount of intrinsic dignity they possess at any given time purely by virtue of the fact they are homo sapiens.
A very confusing thing to say. What is the difference between"inherent, unearned worth" and DNA ad the rest? You draw a distinction and I don't see it as these are all unearned. Being homo sapien has nothing to do with this, or, if it does, it would be about all of the above you mention and the anthropological term adds nothing.
Anyway, "different in every conceivable way" and the rest is already clear.
In short, It seems to me that when we refer to the proposed notion of an innate unearned worth (or "dignity") that all human being possesses, what we are actually talking about is a collection of morally-relevant psychological features, or, if you like, the set of all the particular human psychological capacities and abilities that actually play a crucial role in determining a individual's raw, unearned moral personality. I listed what I felt were very likely to be some examples these implicit, unearned "worth-determining" psychological capacities/abilities in my last post, namely:
Yes, your list of unearned advantages is fine. And noting, as has been the case throughout this discussion, that unearned disadvantages is absent. When one starts, I would suggest, thinking of these, the unearned being thrown into wretchedness, one begins to think with compassion. Did, I have asked more than once, the poor afflicted with poverty at birth, earn this?? What are these unearned DISadvantages about? How do justify allowing these, as they present themselves in clear social and economic disfunction, to be the exclusive master of our moral assessments?
The next point I would like to make is that mainstream Western neuropsychologists would all concur that each and every one of the different psychological capacities and abilities ( whatever they happen to be) that play a crucial role in constituting the total basic measure of inherent unearned moral worth/( "dignity") any individual human being is said to possess at any given time in his/her life, will have corresponding neurobiological substrates in the brain; that is, they will each be mediated through a particular neuroanatomical region of the living human brain. To give an example, the psychological feature known as short-term Working Memory would no doubt make a crucial contribution to whatever an individual human being's total measure of innate, unearned (moral) worth/ ("dignity") happened to be at any particular time in their lives, and short-term Working Memory is known to be anatomically localised in a region of the human brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC).
But why bother about this at all? It is not the argument, it is just a fattening of the already overstated point. It is crystal clear already what you mean by unearned advantage. Get on with it.
As you have mentioned John Rawls ( the prominent, 20th- century moral philosopher), let me use an example of a basic (moral) "worth-determining" psychological feature he identifies in his influential thesis "A Theory of Justice" to continue.
In "A Theory of Justice",Rawls argues that there are two core psychological features constitutive of a human being's "moral personality" ( I take Rawl's term "moral personality" to refer to the moral dimension/component of a individual human being's overall psychological make-up), these are: (A) a capacity for a conception of the good and (B) the capacity for "a sense of justice".
Let's just consider (B), the capacity for a sense of justice. Rawl's defines this capacity as having two components: (1) the ability to conceptualise candidates for what one takes to be the basic norms of fairness, to deliberate about them and then to successfully select the best norms; (2) the capacity for creating and maintaining a steady disposition to conform one's conduct to what one takes to be the best basic norms of fairness. Let's take a closer look now at capacity (1)..
I told explicitly you I didn't agree with Rawl's, and not to argue about this. But you do this anyway. It is a politician's tactic. I occurs to me that you THINK like a politician.
Look, the reason I don't defend Rawls is because I don't ground the principle of equal rights in society on self interest. For me, the sense of justice, and the capacity creating and maintaining a steady disposition have nothing to do with the basis of the Original Rights I brought up. Rawls provides the simple model of an original situation that I think is right. Prior to, as I say, being thrown into this world ( I get it from Heidegger's geworfenheit, which is a striking and apt characterization of the ethical vacuum PRIOR to being born) there is nothing OF this world in the coming into it. If you are born, you are thrown from nowhere into your poverty, your down syndrome, your stubborness, our brilliance, your ability to multitask; are you getting this at all? It is not even an argument, it is a fact. I argue it because there is so much misconstrual and offense at the idea that a person does not deserve her circumstances inn the world. The best you could argue is that once a person is HERE, then behavior can be meansured accordingly, but then, the actual conditions made real by one's throwness have to be distinguished from the acts done in their influence, and this is impossible to even conceive.
To continue. From the moment a human being is born ("thrown") into the world, the prefrontal (PFC) cortex of their brain begins to (physically) grow and develop. In the average individual this process of development/growth continues until aboutthe age of around 25 years , which is typically when when the human PFC reaches full structural and functional maturity. AS to HOW the PFC develops over this period of time ( 25 years), this is determined by complex gene-environment interactions . For example, If one is born with "bad genes" ( e.g. Down's Syndrome or some other kind of Intellectual Deficiency disorder or say some form of neurodevelopmental disorder etc.) and predominantly subjected to negative ( i.e. toxic/traumatic/harmful) external environmental factors ( violent/abusive/ malnurturative parenting, poverty, poor education, social disadvantage, cultural deprivation, problems with substance abuse/addiction, and so on) the PFC may very well develop an abnormal, pathological manner, i.e; with substantial structural and functional deficits, deficiencies and impairments; these, in turn, will result in the afflicted individual having a relatively low capacity for Rawl's "sense of justice". Alternatively, if an individual's PFC develops in a robust, healthy manner in consequence of consistently positive/advantageous gene-environment interactions, then s/he will likely possess a well - developed "sense of justice". The essential point I wish to emphasise is that because each individual human being is "thrown" into the world with different DNA ( genetic material), and "thrown" in into different environmental circumstances, no two individuals will ever have - at any point in time - the SAME ( i.e. biologically/physiologically IDENTICAL brains); thus, no two human beings will ever -( at any point in time) - have the SAME ( biologically /physiologically IDENTICAL) PFC, and thus they will never at any point in time possess the SAME Rawlsian psychological capacity for "a sense of justice". This, in turn, means, by extension, that no two human individuals will, at any time, ever have the SAME basic "moral personality" ( i.e. the SAME measure of innate , unearned moral worth or "dignity). Hierarchy will always be the rule. In short, the measure of fundamental, inherent, unearned moral worth that is possessed will ALWAYS differ in degree from one individual human being to another along a natural (vertical) hierarchy that stretches from the most morally lacking and inferior human specimens at the base, upwards through the intermediate orders of innate moral worth/dignity to the most morally well-endowed, morally superior ( i.e. the most noble, virtuous, honourable, righteous human beings at the very top.
First, I would have to go back to read about what Rawls ways about the moral personality and so forth; but you have to take a more genuine look
at the original position. There is nothing of a moral sense involved. It is the principle of self interest that makes for his support of bringing assistance to the least advantaged by those lucky enough to be rewarded by the draw. Now, once here, having a moral sense is to be figured into the package of rewards, not part of the determination as to who gets what.
By my argument, there are pragmatic rights and these are not equal, nor should they be in the practical world. I said precisely this many times now. How is all this above, which you designate as the " measure of innate , unearned moral worth or "dignity" relevant. Unearned? It's like you're not reading at all.
There is no such thing as the SAME in nature; nature is fundamentally and essentially hierarchical. (Aristotle recognised this in his idea of the Scala Naturae according to which all matter and life - all being - is structured in a strict, hierarchical manner along a single continuum. Aristotle was correct, and the hierarchical nature of being is expressed in the fact that each individual human being naturally differs by degree in the measure (amount) of inherent unearned (moral) worth they possess. This, however creates rather a big problem, to say the very least, for moral egalitarian theorists like our muddle-headed friend Mr HAN. To show you what I mean, I will again use Mr HAN "Ethical Hero" ( he will, BTW, deny this, but it's actually true
), the celebrated moral egalitarian theorist, John Rawls to illustrate.
( NB: Poor Mr HAN, his heart really is in the right place, you know! He's a kind of grown-up version of a fearless, teenage SJW who thinks that we can and must make the world a better, fairer, more just place, only for MR HAN it's not so much through insisting on everyone being PC that he believes we will achieve this goal, but rather by bt implementing political policies for redistributing society's resources. Mr HAN, in short, thinks that we must take away some of the surfeit of
desirable resources possessed by the undeserving wealthy "haves" of society in order to give them to unlucky "have nots" - i.e; those poor souls who were simply dealt a bad hand of cards by fate. Mr HAN is basically just like Robin Hood, or should I say, Karl Marx, in that he is convinced we are duty bound to even everything out fairly in society, and the only way we can be completely fair and just is by taking from the privileged (and undeserving) rich and giving to the needy, unfortunate poor, and doing this systematically until everyone ends up sharing precisely the same level of well-being. What Mr HAN keeps forgetting is that ( * Ahem !*) when this idea - which sounds very decent and noble and rational - was trialled for real in the 20th century, hundreds of millions of people ended up being murdered and tortured by their own governments, in Russia, China and Cambodia !)
all of this is superfluous, juvenial sh**. Learn to read.