What is fair?

Whether socially, politicaly, in games, business, or whatever. I’m curious to see how other people view this term. I’ve got a fairly strong grasp of how I view the concept across all the spectrums, and would like to hear yours.

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7 Responses to Question

  1. isengdoang says:

    On the broadest terms, I think a political/gaming/business/whatever transaction is fair where the reward for participating (the output) is larger than the resources contributed (the input) and where the output is always directly proportional to the input (barring a tolerable amount of extra inducement for larger or smaller inputs).

    The output must be larger than (or at least equal to) the input for two reasons: the concept of equivalent exchange and as an inducement to participate.

    The relative value of output versus input is, of course, subjective to the participants (level of enjoyment versus level of boredom, for example).

    The output and the input must be directly proportional to one another so that equal effort/resources/skill results in an equal reward. However, the previous statement is tempered somewhat be the general recognition that quantity has a quality all of it’s own and that some extra inducement or disinducement would be permissible that would make large inputs more profitable than smaller inputs or vice versa.

    For example: 10c per gallon of orange juice would be ‘fair’ if the participants value a gallon of orange juice more than the value of 10c. However, it is recognised that the orange juice vendor would have an easier time selling the juice in 10 gallon bottles rather than 1 gallon bottles because it would be less fiddly for the same amount of work. To an extent, the orange juice vendor can offer a discount for 10 gallon bottles compared to 1 gallon bottles or charge extra for 1 gallon bottles.

    However, the amount of the discount or extra-charge MUST ALSO be viewed via the principle that the output is at the very least equivalent to the input. If the vendor’s extra charge for 1 gallon is significantly more than the additional costs/effort/resources required for conducting 1 gallon transactions compared to 10 gallon transactions, then this is unfair.

    There’s more to this, but your question was so vague that I will not delve into further specifics.

  2. isengdoang says:

    “less fiddly for the same amount of work” should be “less fiddly for the same amount of juice”

  3. Dril says:

    Here are the two key concepts that I assume fair to be:

    1) There is an equal, unbiased and objective starting point from which all candidates for something are placed upon, and they are then assessed based on their performances from that starting point. Rewards, achievement and results are thus based on merit rather than anything else. (i.e. this is the exact opposite of the current world)

    2) This is similar to the first one, but: those who put more in get more out. For instance, I oppose welfare epics, because they’re inherently unfair and stick a finger up to those who would rather work for their items than wait for them to be handed to them. (I also oppose prolonged and unnecessarily lenient welfare IRL as well, despite aligning with partied that would like to increase it.)

  4. Erbse says:

    Only absolute equality will ever be fair. A state that’s fairly impossible to ever obtain, though, let alone maintain.

  5. Mr. Meh says:

    A broad spectrum definition of ‘Fair’?

    I think can only be described as having an objective with unbiased limits.

    That would mean in games, all is fair though. So long as the game does not have out of game advantages. Purchasable items, currency or gain.

  6. hordemaster says:

    fair is well defined, if you don’t know what it means, you ain’t being fair.

  7. Pingback: Lull « Shadow-war

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