Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pop: Philosophy through Minecraft - Creepers aren't allowed to complain


Equality is where everyone has equal rights. Even people who don’t agree with equality are usually forced into the position of saying they do, because the narrative of the world is that inequality is morally redundant. Equality is integral to the principle of modern day democracy, we are all born equal (ignore the queen, she doesn’t count. Also ignore all the people in her family. Ignore all the people around the queen with lots of money who get special treatment. We’re all equal.) and because we were all born equal we deserve an equal say in the society in which we live. That sounds good.
Minecraft Blip and Minecraft Pop aren’t the Queen and their creator doesn’t know the queen. So Minecraft Blip and Minecraft Pop are born equal.










But if they were truly equal, their life would have to be spent in the same position. If Minecraft Blip listened to a song by Blur, Minecraft Pop would have to do the same whether she liked Blur or not. The same would apply the other way round if Minecraft Pop wanted to listen to Oasis. This could, of course, lead to arguments and fights. But if they were truly equal they would both have to lose the fight, seeing as both winning is impossible. Both would have to sustain the same amount of injuries.
Even this is not far enough for true equality. They would have to have the same job and wear the same clothes. If we wanted to be able to call it equality then we would surely have to engineer all people to look the same, we would have to convince them to hold the same opinions and when one person said something, everyone else would have to say the same thing. This would leave the entire society as one dysfunctional society resembling a factory where the people did only allowed movements and fulfilled a life of repitiion.

This state could not last. The natural disparity in intelligence would eventually lead to the disillusionment of some people over others, it is impossible to engineer a person to think the same as the person next to them to such a degree that nobody would ever consider the pointlessness of such repression. Eventually one of these people considering their situation would act and then it would fall apart. Not only that, but if we attempt complete equality who would regulate the behaviour of the people? If nobody is allowed to deviate from the actions of other people, not only could nobody have a child but the factory would not be able to be broken for that child to be engineered in the correct way, or to be brought up in such a way that they could take their place in the society. Not to mention the fact that when someone is born they are a different age to the people around them, an inequality. Even a second difference in birth would destroy the perfect equality. Along this same line, we would have to abolish gender. Because there is no third gender, we would have to pick one out of the two to engineer, marring the perfect society with the genocide of an entire group of people.
Even if we could get over that, how do we pick which person all others should be modelled on? An average is all well and good but again society would be marred with the genocide of an entire spectrum of skin colour, an entire spectrum of eye colour, hair colour and so on.
We would have to enact the genocide of Minecraft Blip in order for the minecraft world to be equal.

Clearly this is unfair and biased anyway, because it is creating equality by discrimination. But that is the reality in society today where we ‘positively discriminate’ against certain genders in shortlists for jobs in the name of equality, or where we allow certain people the right to bully others because of past atrocities.
So we allow equality of opportunity. We are born equal and are all given the opportunity to do whatever we want in society. Minecraft Blip and Minecraft Pop start on an equal footing and are left to do what they like.
But what happens when Minecraft Pop starts listening to Die ärtze? In English society they aren’t very well known and on its own that doesn’t matter. But when Minecraft Blip listens to (Insert popular band here because I don’t know what ‘the kids are listening to’ nowadays) lets say, Pulp, he fits in a majority group with everyone else. People around him understand his position because they like Pulp as well and so he is elevated slightly because of the choice he made. Meanwhile Minecraft Pop with her ‘music that doesn’t make sense’ is pushed further down in society because she doesn’t like Pulp and so people think there’s something wrong with her. This might not be as obvious as outright bullying Minecraft Pop but because she doesn’t have similar interests they don’t have much in common with her and so she is left out of certain situations. She can’t, for example, go with everyone else to a Pulp concert, because she can’t sing all the words to 'Common people' or 'Pencil skirt' or whatever. 

More seriously, the moment anyone chooses to use skills to become in charge of a country or becomes a consultant as opposed to a regular doctor, they have been put in a position above other people. Not everyone can be a leader so there has to be a hierarchy. If someone is higher up than other people, their children will be born into a better situation, a position with better money and a better opportunity to be intelligent because their parents can give them a better education. This entrenches the hierarchy their parents chose to put themselves into, and although it doesn’t prevent the people at the bottom of the hierarchy from moving, it does make their life harder. If it is harder for one person to do what they want, then they aren’t born equal.

Another problem is space. If I want to be a consultant at a hospital, but there is already a consultant oncologist there, I don’t have the opportunity to have the job I want. Therefore I don’t have equality of opportunity. Killing off the old generation to make space for the new would not be giving the same opportunity to every age group, thereby destroying equality. Put more simply, if Pop wants the opportunity to stand on the dirt block, Blip loses that opportunity and a hierarchy is born.

Maybe they could share but then someone would go first and that presents the same problem.
When it comes to the obvious groups in society, how do we allow them equality? If a shop is staffed entirely by women, men may not be being given the same opportunities in that job as women. But surely the employer has the opportunity to hire whoever they want, and if they don’t then how can we consider the situation equal? Maybe the men aren’t as good at the job as the women, but even if the woman is a man-hater then surely she has the equal right to discriminate if a man in the same situation would also be allowed to discriminate. This would be fine in isolated cases but if Minecraft Pop would only employ creepers and didn’t want to employ Minecraft Blip, there would be nobody left to employ him and he would slip down the hierarchy without any choice of his own.
Every examination of equality seems to lead to a clash between the mass and the individual. Everyone, especially the people who want equality, shout loudly about our human rights and our individual freedoms. It is Minecraft Blip’s right to hold an axe. That’s fine but if Minecraft Blip can hold an axe, surely Minecraft Pop should have the same right. Equality of opportunity would suggest they both have the right to either not have an axe or have an axe but when axes become popular, popular enough that it is considered a Minecraft right, how can we allow Minecraft Pop to not have one? Surely not wanting a Minecraft right means that there’s something wrong with her. If she doesn’t have one, she must be being suppressed. Minecraft Pop should therefore have an axe forced on her.

Does this not violate her individual right to freedom? She should have the freedom to not want an axe and therefore not have any of the things that come with access to wood. When does a popular right become a Minecraft right and when do individual freedoms become superseded by what everyone else expects a Minecraft character to want? By entrenching it in the law that people can have something, does this not violate the individual rights of people who do not want them to? Does allowing equality to men not violate the rights of feminists to not want that?

Minecraft Pop becomes so taken with her axe, she doesn’t believe Minecraft Blip has the right to have one. That is her individual right to be possessive over the axe but it isn’t equal, equality is given to the person whose life is affected by the issue, as in, if Pop doesn’t want Blip to have the axe then she is physically stopping him from doing something he wants, whereas if Blip wants everyone to have the choice to have something, it doesn’t physically affect Pop if she chooses not to have something.
 Individual rights to freedom can then only mean the right to freedom of thought. Because if we prioritise those people who believe in equality over those who don’t we are discriminating against all the people who don’t believe in equality. This is circular because it means we are allowing some people to have their individual rights expressed as long as they agree with the overriding narrative and that isn’t equality. So by declaring we want equality, we can never attain it.
The wish for equality is an example of choosing one individual right over another. We are so afraid as a society of admitting our own selfishness that nobody dares look close enough at the issue of equality to realise it is just another example of certain groups trying to attain power over others. Those in power will always want to keep it and those without will always want to attain it. We accept it in the animal kingdom, 'survival of the fittest' is accepted as a driver of evolution and yet we can't seem to see in ourselves. Feminists claim that what they do is in the name of equality for women but all they’ve done is perceived men to have more power than them and so they are fighting to take it off them. The people who get the most power are the ones who fight the hardest – the fittest – and the moment they achieve the power they want they suppress anyone they can who might fight to take it off them, - survival - like the alpha male in a pride of lions. The reason women are now in the position they are is that they aren’t subject to the same requirement for physical prowess as they would be in nature and so they are trying to get to the top with other means and the old, tired man is struggling to fight them off. We even put discrimination itself into a hierarchy. In Minecraft terms, if the creeper wants power over Minecraft Blip, the creeper will blow him up. If Minecraft Blip wants power, he claims the creeper is discriminating against him and puts laws in place to stop the creeper from being allowed to attack him.

When the creeper complains to the skeleton that he is being discriminated against, the skeleton promptly informs him that his suffering is irrelevant because he’s the face of Minecraft and therefore in no position to complain because he’s famous.
I think that equality of opportunity is a wonderful idea if we could implement it properly. I would love everyone in society to live without fear of discrimination and without fear to express themselves. The problem is that everyone is born equal, but some are born more equal than others.

Pop *signature placeholder (actually, finally, nearly done now)

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