Sunday, 15 January 2012

The conservation of fairness


A comment by Kristor at:

Everyone is unfairly rewarded, and punished, by the accidents of their births, and of their lives. 

The world is not fair. That’s just the way it is. 

Trying to make the world less unfair can only be accomplished by making it unfair in some other way.

There is conservation of fairness; it is a corollary of the conservation laws of physics.


This just strikes me as true. 


We can move fairness around but we cannot make the world more fair.

But we are not supposed to move fairness around - that is a meaning of the injunction not to 'judge'. 

Maybe fairness is like energy - it is conserved, it cannot be destroyed, but when fairness is deployed it is dissipated into slightly raising the background heat.


Perhaps when fairness is moved around it is dissipated into useless low level rhetoric, which can do no work. 


A society addicted to moving fairness around is perhaps depleting the system of its ability to achieve anything by means of justice. 

The fairness death of the universe...