[Portrait order] – Vartan Ghazarian

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Portrait of middle age man in black jacket with white shirt. Glasses, moustache victorian tall hat and icon of crown on collar. Background with diamonds.

ORIGINAL PAINTING FOR SELL

 

Dimensions:50 × 3 × 60 cm
SKU: VG050 Category: Tag:

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Ruling the State – Authority, Power, and Equality

Political Authority48 describes any of the moral principles legitimizing differences between individuals’ rights and duties by virtue of their relationship with the state. Political authority grants members of a government the right to rule over citizens using coercion if necessary (i.e., political legitimacy), while imposing an obligation for the citizens to obey government orders (i.e., political obligation).

A central question in political philosophy is “To what extent is political authority legitimate?” Views range from political authority having no legitimacy (philosophical anarchism) to political authority being virtually unlimited in scope (totalitarianism).

Political (or Social) Equality49 is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects, including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights and equal access to certain social goods and services. However, it also includes concepts of health equity, economic equality and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person’s identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.

“Equal opportunities” is interpreted as being judged by ability, which is compatible with a free-market economy. Relevant problems are horizontal inequality − the inequality of two persons of same origin and ability and differing opportunities given to individuals − such as in education or by inherited capital.

Conceivements of social equality may vary per philosophy and individual and other than egalitarianism it does not necessarily require all social inequalities to be eliminated by artificial means but instead often recognizes and respects natural differences between people.

Ontological

The standard of equality that states everyone is created equal at birth is called ontological equality. This type of equality can be seen in many different places like the Declaration of Independence. This early document, which states many of the values of the United States of America, has this idea of equality embedded in it. It clearly states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. The statement reflects the philosophy of John Locke and his idea that we are all equal in certain natural rights. Although this standard of equality is seen in documents as important as the Declaration of Independence, it is “one not often invoked in policy debates these days”. However this notion of equality is often used to justify inequalities such as material inequality. Dalton Conley claims that ontological equality is used to justify material inequality by putting a spotlight on the fact, legitimated by theology, that “the distribution of power and resources here on earth does not matter, because all of us are equally children of God and will have to face our maker upon dying”. Dalton Conley, the author of You May Ask Yourself, claims that ontological equality can also be used to put forth the notion that poverty is virtue. Luciano Floridi, author of a book about information, wrote about what he calls the ontological equality principle. His work on information ethics raises the importance of equality when presenting information. Here is a short sample of his work:

Information ethics is impartial and universal because it brings to ultimate completion the process of enlargement of the concept of what may count as a centre of a (no matter how minimal) moral claim, which now includes every instance of being understood informationally, no matter whether physically implemented or not. In this respect information ethics holds that every entity as an expression of being, has a dignity constituted by its mode of existence and essence (the collection of all the elementary properties that constitute it for what it is), which deserve to be respected (at least in a minimal and overridable sense), and hence place moral claims on the interacting agent and ought to contribute to the constraint and guidance of his ethical decisions and behaviour.

Floridi goes onto claim that this “ontological equality principle means that any form of reality (any instance of information/being), simply for the fact of being what it is, enjoys a minimal, initial, overridable, equal right to exist and develop in a way which is appropriate to its nature.” Values in his claims correlate to those shown in the sociological textbook You May Ask Yourself by Dalton Conley. The notion of “ontological equality” describes equality by saying everything is equal by nature. Everyone is created equal at birth. Everything has equal right to exist and develop by its nature.

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Weight2 kg
Dimensions50 × 3 × 60 cm
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