Friday, April 1, 2011

2+2=5: The Case for Number Equality

by John Horvat II

There are so many politically correct causes out there that it would not surprise me that even the most basic truths might be called into question.

For example, I was taught in my arithmetic class in primary school that 2+3=5 and any other answer would defeat the arithmetic purpose of counting. However, I could imagine confronting an activist that would contest this primary truth and proudly proclaim that 2+2=5.

The activist would affirm that in the name of “number equality” there is no real reason why 2 and 2 cannot add up to 5. All numbers are equal and they can pretty much add up to what we want them to mean. As long as we can add them together, why not allow them to equal 5?

Of course, my reply would be that 2+2 is simply not 5 no matter how much you wish it to be so. If you do this, you will destroy arithmetic. As soon as I say this, I already expect to hear the indignant response of the number equality activist almost shouting at me:

Why can’t 2+2=5? How concretely does my believing this hurt you? You are free to believe 2+3=5. Why do you hate those who proclaim the contrary? How does this destroy arithmetic?

Of course, the fact that my activist opponent believes that 2+2=5 does not really concretely hurt me. It will not directly destroy arithmetic. There are plenty of individuals out there who believe crazy things and this one would merely join the crowd of flat earthers.

However, the problem starts when the activist’s ideas start gaining acceptance and spreading around. Suddenly, merchants will be confronted by number equality activists who insist upon paying $4 for five dollar purchases. If the merchant refuses, he finds himself surrounded by activists screaming discrimination and insisting upon receiving five-dollar goods.

While even this might not destroy arithmetic, it certainly would cause major mathematical problems and agitation inside all areas of society where numbers have importance. As time goes on it would start to wear upon society.

The next phase, however, is where the real problems start. Suffering from the discrimination of merchants and other number-intensive trades (engineers for example), the activists will seek to have their cause recognized by the state. For too long, 2+3=5 has dominated arithmetic. In the name of equality and diversity, the 2+2 crowd will demand recognition and acceptance for number equality and arithmetic rights. They might even put some provisions in the law to punish those mathematically incorrect who refuse this recognition.

Even at this point, the activist will insist that the 2+3 people have nothing to fear. They are still free to believe in their cause as a kind of parallel universe where numbers don’t merely add up but serve a function in society.

Then we reach the final phase of the number equality agenda and here we return full circle to where it all begins. With state recognition of 2+2=5, the primary schools would be forced to teach that both 2+2 AND 2+3 are equal to 5. The children are free to choose which option or options they feel more comfortable with. And here, yes, arithmetic is destroyed since it can no longer fulfill its function of counting.

I am reminded of the number equality activists in the same-sex “marriage” debate. One man and one woman equal marriage. It has a specific function in society of procreation, the mutual affection of spouses and the education of children. The minute you introduce another formation which features a naturally contraceptive union, it is not marriage no matter how much marriage “equality” activists insist that it is. The minute you get state recognition for this new formula and insist that it be equally taught to children as marriage, marriage is destroyed.

It is something that should be as obvious as 2+3=5.

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