Posted by Eladar on the other thread:
I don't see what we are doing here as debate. In a debate you can pick either side. People here do not do that. They are simply spewing their own beliefs, picking authorities that agree with them to support their beliefs and shout down anyone who disagrees. It is nothing more than saying "hey, this is what I believe and this is why". It isn't debating at all.
Okay; let's try arguing the opposite sides of those that we normally take.
It's plain that the free market does not work to the benefit of the common people. the natural tendency of people is to cooperate with each other. All social Darwinism does it encourage people to abandon this natural tendency and unleash their basest more reprehensible tendencies: greed, cruelty and heartlessness.
If, as a society, the best we can do ascribe zero value to helping one another, then our intelligence is useless. We would and could be just as greedy and self-centered without it.
The only way to use our intelligence properly is to ensure that all people are afforded equal opportunity and as close to equal standard of living as possible. This plainly requires whatever measures are necessary to ensure approximately equal distribution of wealth throughout the World.
On a moral note as well, nobody can be said to "deserve" a better life simple because his or her ancestors ended up with greater wealth by combination of hard work, luck, chance, theft from others, etc. (the impact of these various factors being impossible to translate to the status of one individual in any case). Plainly, the only moral approach is to do what is necessary to re-distribute the World's wealth on a per capita basis as expeditiously as possible.
I'll expect rejoinders from rwingett and Adam Warlock ASAP.