On the Equality of Minds (Prolegomena Fragment)

The West views the body as the cause of inequality among men: discrimination based upon strength, age, ethnicity, sex and physical dexterity. To correct these inequalities the following steps were taken:

1. Abortions: Women can now enjoy the pleasure of sex without the responsibilities of pregnancy, and can thereby act as promiscuously as any man.

2. Debt financing:
a. Which made conspicuous consumption available to everyone regardless of work ethic, ability, or income.
b. Which moved manufacturing jobs to poorer countries and replaced them with knowledge worker jobs. Such jobs leveled the career and economic playing field between men and women as physical strength and coordination are not necessary for success. (One might even argue that women are better equipped than men for the work of management, communication, and organization.)

3. Government subsidies and legal protections to assist underperforming or underrepresented groups: ethnic minorities, the handicapped, etc.

4. Language purged of physically identifying adjectives: Politically correct speech. It became derogatory, immoral, even illegal, to identify a person by his physical characteristics. (The body is not considered to be the person.)

5. Science created ways to extend the lives of the sick and decrepit, to keep their minds alive inside their dying bodies.

In these ways the mind was thought to be finally separated from the body--a great triumph of Cartesian philosophy. Disembodied minds can be equals.

Supplementary Note: Abortion is justified on the grounds that the unborn baby is not yet a person. Said differently, the unborn child is a body that does not yet have a mind. It is in no way the equal of a child who has just emerged from the vagina and been granted legal protection as a person. The mind appears to be defined as a pool of memories and demonstrated intentionality in the world, excluding one's experience inside the uterus. (The idea that women carry a ‘world-less place’ inside them called the uterus is a puzzling one.)

At the other extreme, a tremendous effort and expenditure is made to keep alive the aging and the sick. Certainly the fear of death and desire for immortality guide the expenditure of resources in this regard, but the argument is also made that the elderly and infirm are equals of the healthy and that they (their minds) have a right to carry on. Yet there is little outrage that the West has chosen to accept the destruction of unborn children, while expending countless resources to extend the lives of the dying. This is perhaps one of the greater ironies of the hegemony of Cartesian thinking.

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