“Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group.”
Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Firstly, it is vital to reiterate that a woman is distinguished from a man only by the essential difference of their genotype consisting of only the X chromosome, which leads in a reproductively capable female to the ability to gestate children inside specialised organs unique to females. The possession or lack of these organs contributes to an individual’s value only so far as the reproductive potential is accounted for in prioritisation. Namely only that those individuals (male or female) who are not reproductively fit have a lower priority due to their lower potential than other similar individuals. This conclusion means that women have not got a higher or lower priority than men or vice versa. This being the case, it must follow that women must have the same rights and responsibilities as men ameliorated only in relation to individual differences in capability (which are not primarily sex-related).
Women should, as a logical necessity of their equality of individual value, be able to do any task, fill any role, and hold any position that their personal and individual abilities suit them for. This equality of value between the sexes means that standards, qualifications, and requirements for any role should be uniform and based on the nature of the essential nature of the task or tasks commonly carried out. Just as it is logical for a person of either sex to be required to pass a legal knowledge examination before working as a lawyer, so should a person of either sex be required to pass a physical fitness examination tailored to the requirements of the job before they can be hired as a labourer. Or a prospective florist be required to demonstrate colour perception ability or other minimum requisites of that trade.
The fact that, in the aggregate, some roles may end up with more women than men or vice versa, is not an indication of the existence of an artificial inequality any more than the observation that boilermakers tend to be larger and more muscular than the average person or that salespeople tend to be more engaging than the average. Provided that the entry requirements are truly based only on the candidate’s relevant personal qualities, the differentials will tend to be due to the natural injustice of nature. This natural injustice is the same injustice that dooms some to dullness and others to genius, more people to plainness and less to beauty, some to exceptional size and others to shortness. We cannot change this natural injustice, as such, we should seek after our own unique advantages no matter the cards we are dealt. Any discrimination not based on the essential nature of the role should be considered an evil that harms our communities, families, and selves and should be extirpated from our laws, culture, and selves. In the same way as sex differences are specious grounds for discrimination, so too is discrimination based on other non-relevant traits such as race, ancestry, or class.
Race has no place in our thinking; it does not exist as it is popularly conceived and serves merely to distract from what is truly important. Race or an individual’s phenotypic traits are irrelevant and misleading markers of an individual’s character traits. While we as humans are quite naturally drawn to those who we perceive as being like us, an individual’s complexion, eye colour, nose shape, etc. are poor indicators of similarity or difference. If one doubts this, one needs only to look around their friendship group at the differences between those who would be considered to be of the same race. How many of those, who are supposedly White, Black, Asian or Hispanic, have the same skin tone? What about hair colour, hair type, eye colour? When we start seriously looking at the multitude of differences between each of us, we quickly see the absurdity of what we call race.
To quote Martin Luther King, a ‘person should be judged on the content of their character, not on the colour of their skin’. Skin colour or any other phenotypic feature of an individual is not an indicator of character or an individual’s relation to you in the community. As such, we should ignore it, always asking only what relation the individual has to you and your Individual Purpose’s achievement. If they are a citizen or not, if they will reciprocate the help you give to them or not. These are the variables that matter as such race should be consigned to the dustbin of history where it belongs.
Of course, this is not to ignore the real discrepancies in education, health, history, and life outcomes which plague many groups previously identified with particular races in our societies. Simply not recognising race anymore will no more by itself rectify these disadvantages than any other symbolic act such as apologies or constitutional recognition will. However, what it will do is end the self-reinforcing and erroneous distinction that people can be differentiated by the colour of their skin or other phenotypic features—allowing for the differentiating individuals by their abilities and character.
All the well-meant race-focused programs that have been implemented in the western world to alleviate disadvantage (if they have merit) could just as easily achieve their outcomes if they were focused on the individual citizens who are actually disadvantaged instead of the innately heterogeneous groupings that raced-based differentiation yields. After all, if you reject the hypothesis that an individual’s racial/phenotypic attributes significantly affect their abilities, then what argument can be advanced to justify dividing people by these traits?
Surely, a child who struggles with math will need similar help if they have brown eyes, blue eyes, or any other eye colour. Similarly, surely an adult who struggles to read will benefit from reading programs irrespective of their hair colour. The same implicitly follows for all other disadvantages or challenges faced by those in our society. The core variable which dictates the efficacy of any help needed is never their phenotype, except where artificial constraints are imposed. Instead, the help required is influenced primarily by non-phenotypic attributes such as culture, attitude, and individual character. Therefore, by these variables and by need, we should focus our efforts and resources so that we can more effectively help those who need it.
Similarly, as in our discussion of sex, it follows logically that a person’s phenotype does not impact their individual value. As such, they should be free to peruse any or all roles, positions, or occupations which they are individually suited to, being determined only based on the essential requirement of the role. Failing to do this, we will harm our communities, families, and selves, needlessly limiting our collective opportunities and reducing our collective welfare. If we are the discriminator, we will lose through the ill will engendered by the harm caused by phenotypic discrimination, the loss of productive benefits which will be forgone by favouring a less suitable candidate due to similar phenotype over a better one with a dissimilar phenotype. If we are discriminated against, we lose through the loss of opportunity and the direct detriment to achieving our Individual Purpose from poverty, loss of self-worth, and hopelessness. Either way, if we allow non-relevant considerations to colour our judgements, we lose no matter which side of the divide we are on.
As with race, ancestry has no place in the estimation of a person’s value, rights, or character. We hold that a person’s worth is demonstrated through consistent action and is not in any way dependant on lineage. While parents are responsible for the education and socialisation of their children, and as such should be judged in part by the actions of their children; being that it is assumed that they have, through the exertion of influence in the child’s formative years, played a role in shaping the child, the child is quite distinct from the parents once they have achieved their majority. The child should gain no claim to rights above that of other citizens on behalf of their parent’s or ancestor’s actions, nor should they be deprived of rights less than that of other citizens based on their parent’s or ancestor’s actions.
This position is, in effect, a rejection of the pre-enlightenment ideas of the importance and value of birth. I.e., a rejection that a person’s value is in any way associated with their birth. Just as we reject segregation or differentiation of individuals by their sex or phenotypic traits, we also categorically reject individuals’ segregation or differentiation by their ancestry. Once a person has reached maturity, who their father or mother is or who they may have been related to is of no importance. Where your ancestors lived and how long they lived there for is again irrelevant. What god or gods they worshipped, what language they spoke, what education they had, what titles or deeds, good or bad, they did are again irrelevant to the valuation of the individual. The only differentiation between individuals should be based on the individual’s own actions. I.e. If they earnt their citizenship, if they are good parents, spouses, citizens, etc. We discriminate between individuals on these factors as they are the factors that matter. They are the elements of a person that tell us of their character. They inform us if the person can be trusted to help us to fulfil our Individual Purpose, just as they can tell them if we can be trusted to do the same. These are all the things which ancestry, race, class, and all other non-character-based differentiation cannot tell us.
Class like sex, race, and ancestry should not be considered relevant to the differentiation between individuals. Class, as it is meant here is, as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, ‘A group of people within society who have the same economic and social position’. In the western world, class is less important than it once was yet its influence is still apparent in the attitudes which those of different professions or socioeconomic situations consider each other. Those in prestigious professions may look down on those in less prestigious professions as being less valuable than they. Those with university educations may think they are smarter than those without. We, humans, are exceptionally creative in inventing stories to make ourselves feel superior. We claim superiority over the nations near us (especially if they are similar), see Scotland and England, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Between the administrative divisions in our countries, see the North-South divide in England or the US or the East-West divide in Australia or Canada. We even find ways to divide ourselves inside our cities, suburbs, or even streets. The truth is, while they or we may do some things better or worse or we may prefer to live here or there or do one job or the other, the individuals whom you disparage are not that different from you.
The cleaner may be more intelligent than the CEO. The Canadian may spurn the stereotype and be a rude jerk while the stereotypically brash American may be a retiring type. The person from the bad part of town may be more civilised and cultured than the person from the more exclusive suburb. None of us can know, so instead of falling prey to these divisions that rely on prejudice rather than fact, let us instead seek to withhold judgement of others until they provide us with grounds to judge.
Class distinctions should then be like race and sexual discrimination be forgotten. As with other non-relevant classes of division, we should studiously ignore the distinctions of class or profession and instead judge a person by their ability and character alone.
As the primary Purpose of life is held to be achieved through reproduction, it is crucial that we devote some time to discussing those individuals who do not have children either by choice, through infertility, or due to the effects of misfortune. It is worth reiterating that the Individual Purpose is achieved in three ways. Through successful reproduction, secondly, through your siblings’ successful reproduction, and thirdly, if all else fails, through the survival of the species. If an individual does or cannot for whatever reason have children of their own, they can still achieve their Individual Purpose through the other two paths.
Their inability or choice to not reproduce does not excuse them from the duties of family or community and nor should it be seen as a ground for censure. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have children know the joy they bring. Imagine being denied this joy for whatever reason. While it is, of course, laudable to share the joy, which is found in the achievement of the individual Purpose to reduce the mistaken decision to abstain from the primary path voluntarily. Those individuals who cannot or will not, should not be discriminated against, and as in all other cases, they should be judged on their actions and characters alone. If they lose out on joy or their line fails, they and their families suffer, not you and yours. As such, with all other differences that are not relevant to assessing a person’s character, withhold your judgment.
No discussion of discrimination would be complete without a discussion of same-sex attracted individuals. By ‘same-sex attracted individuals’, we mean those individuals who feel a strong and persistent attraction to those of their biological sex, either exclusively or primarily. If, as is commonly held, this same-sex attraction is involuntary and unchangeable, then viewed from the perspective of the Purpose of life, these individuals must be considered as akin to the infertile and not suffer any discrimination due to their sexual orientation. As with all other people, the same-sex attracted should be judged based upon their individual abilities, actions, and character.
Character and Actions
Character and the actions by which it is revealed is the sole measure other than task-specific competence by which it is appropriate to discriminate between individuals. By character, we mean the moral or ethical qualities that a person holds and consistently manifests. By this, I do not mean to advocate discrimination as often practised by religions between adherents or non-adherents. But, instead, to suggest that if we aim to promote the survival and welfare of our families and communities, then it is a logical necessity that we reward and hold to those who act in ways which we judge as being beneficial to this aim and censure and avoid those whose actions we judge as harmful. This truth is logically inescapable as if we remember the framework for moral decision-making; we are barred from making decisions that harm our families or communities and compelled to act in ways that promote the welfare of the same.
If we can choose a new friend, employee, citizen, etc., which person is more likely to harm us our families or our communities? An individual who is careful with the truth, demonstrates care for those around them, and carries out their duties to their families and communities. Or an individual who lies regularly and is inconsistent with fulfilling their duties to their family or community, putting their enjoyment first. It is evident that the honest and reliable individual holds less risk here than the dishonest and unreliable one. Consequentially, the logic is inescapable that the individual with these positive character traits is the better choice, in the same way as the person with greater ability in a core element of the proffered role is a better choice than that of a person with lesser ability.
Considering the above and the conclusions of the previous sections, it is evident that as we aim to bring our actions into accordance with that which will promote the individual Purpose, as a general rule, we will seek to judge others only by the attributes that are relevant to their reliability or ability in assisting us to achieve the individual Purpose. On investigation, we find that these attributes are limited to ability and character. Traits have nothing to do with the common biases utilised in the past to divide and discriminate between people such as sex, race, ancestry, class and profession, sexual orientation, or if a person is fertile or not.
The two discriminable factors that we recognise, being “Ability” and “Character”, require a more thorough treatment to remove any grounds for misunderstanding. Therefore, in the next chapters, we will discuss both of these and their respective elements in greater detail. We will begin with the simpler of the two—ability.