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Why exactly does it create conflict for someone to believe that equality is of supreme importance, but enforcing equally shitty lives on a populace would be a bad thing?
It's like if I asked a person if they liked money. After they say yes, I offer them five dollars if they let me shoot them in the foot. THEN, when they say "no, that's retarded" I go "AHA! So you DON'T like money!"
Do systems where people are treated equally in the eyes of the law flourish more than systems that are not?
You're blurring two different definitions of equality. There is the equality we strive for, and then there is the equality that is. On one level, we recognise that some people's circumstances are inhumane relative to the rest of our society and we want to do what we can to close that gap.
My personal belief is that there doesn't have to be a conflict there if we simply remember that those judgements do not have an objective status and are purely personal
You're trying to migrate the absolute fact of moral equality.
if you don’t think of political equality as inherently valuable it’s because you think that some other social or political good is more valuable. Political equality is then just a means to some further end.
What matters is how your goods compare to everyone else’s goods.
I find it strange that you argue against moral absolutism and moral objectivity and then claim that there is an absolute fact about moral equality. How are these views consistent?
benign dictatorship could be more beneficial to its populous in both these terms than a top down representative democracy that is bloated and overtly corrupt