In a previous post, I was confused by what was apparently an attempt at satire on another blog. The blog owner came and attempted to clarify her point, but I became confused even further. Fortunately, someone named Dave stepped in to clarify the position.
Confusing terminology because of a confusion of premises in the original question -- what is meant by opporutnity? There should be equal opportunity before the law, of course, because the government is supposed to be of and for all the people equally, otherwise it is indefensible. As far as other opporunities go, of course they are not equal. A is not obligated to share his opportunities and B is not obligated to expropriate them through the intermediary of the law -- this would destroy equality before the law, after which equality of opportunity becomes meaningless. This is the obvious target of Lisa's post -- all these groups demand in one way or another equality of some opportunity they are not ethically entitled to and simultaneously subvert the only equality of opportunity that is worth defending.
Fair enough. This makes aspects of Lisa's confusing original post and subsequent remarks a little more clear. It appears that she believes that some shrieking harpies are going around encoding special statuses and advantages for...a privileged few?
So presumably before these vicious, envious meanies started their evil works, we had some modicum of greater "equality before the law", no? So, this still leaves me with some areas of confusion:
- What, according to Dave and Lisa, does it mean to be "equal before the law"? I mean, the law could say (giving an extreme example for the sake of argument---I hope you aren't allergic to hypotheticals), "From 2pm to 3pm, everyone using the sidewalk in downtown is subject to pelting with diluted peanut butter." "Everyone" here, refers literally to what it says, everyone, equally. So we can say that everyone is still equal under the law, no? Now, let's say that the peanut-butter-anaphylactic lobby succeeds in inserting the clause "except for people with peanut butter allergies"---are they institutionalizing "special status" as you and Lisa define it? The answer will go a long way to clarifying what you mean.
- Who wrote the law, anyway---before those silly Reds got their hands on it? How were they able to write the law so that everyone is equal under it? Did everyone have equal opportunity to write these laws?
- Lastly, and my biggest point of confusion, how does B's appropriation of A's greater opportunities destroy "equality before the law"? After all, if B and A were reversed in the characters that gave them opportunities, the law would work the same way, no?