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Science proves Louis C.K. is right!

Science proves Louis C K is right Salon com


The comedian Louis C.K. has a routine in which he talks about his daughter’s understanding of fairness. He begins, “My five-year-old, the other day, one of her toys broke, and she demanded that I break her sister’s toy to make it fair.” This would make the sisters equal but the joke here is that something here doesn’t feel right: “And I did. I was like crying. And I look at her. She’s got this creepy smile on her face.”

Other intuitions about fairness are simpler. Imagine you have two toys and two children, and you give both toys to one child. If the other child is old enough to speak, she will object. She might say “That’s not fair!” and she’d be correct. An even split would maximize the overall happiness of the children — give each child one toy and they’re both happy; divide them unevenly, and the child who gets nothing is miserable, her sadness outweighing the extra pleasure of the child who gets two. But more to the point, it’s just wrong to establish an inequity when you don’t have to.

Things quickly get more complicated. Questions about equality and fairness are among the most pressing moral issues in the real world. For instance, most everyone agrees that a just society promotes equality among its citizens, but blood is spilled over what sort of equality is morally preferable: equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. Is it fair for the most productive people to possess more than everyone else, so long as they had equal opportunities to start with? Is it fair for a government to take money from the rich to give to the poor — and does the answer change if the goal of such redistribution is not to help the poor in a tangible sense, but just to make people more equal, as in Louis C.K.’s story of breaking his other daughter’s toy?

The psychologist William Damon, in a series of influential studies in the 1970s, used interviews to explore what children think about fairness. He found that they focus on equality of outcome, and ignore other considerations. 

Stashed in: Decisions, Children, Awesome, Ethics, @louisck, Psychology!, Parents, Psychology

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Focus on equality of the outcome. That's good advice.

There is a statement that says fair does not mean everyone gets the same thing. They get what they need. 

I actually read this because Louis films and has an office in the building I live in.Random I know

You're right, that's random but interesting: Fair is people get what they need.

I like that. 

Does science prove that Louis CK is funny?

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