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  #1    
Old January 28th, 2014, 08:47 AM
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It seems like this famous saying coming from one of our Founding Fathers would be something that holds true. However, with all these different classifications of people. Disabled, mentally handicap, black, racists, sexists, feminists do you think this really holds true? Society seems to have to put a name on everything. We bash the same people we look up to, we hate the same groups of people who inspired so many other people.

Do you believe everyone was created equal? And do you believe people actually treat everyone as equals?

Sorry if I had troubles wording this post.
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  #2    
Old January 28th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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I believe everyone was created equal. I don't think everyone treats others as equals.
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  #3    
Old January 28th, 2014, 03:42 PM
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I think that we hold similar potential, but through variations in everything from biology to upbringing we stray from each other a lot. The dirty homeless man who stands on the corner asking for money because he lost his job and is hungry isn't the same as the fortune 500 CEO with a yacht and four summer homes.

Does the homeless man have the potential to be the CEO? If the circumstances of his life were different, would he be able to get there too? Had he been born into a rich family who could afford education, who knows?

Maybe growing up, the homeless man was told by his parents that he would never amount to anything, that he was useless and dumb and would never make it. Maybe because he was told that, he never decided to try, and will never have the confidence to try.

But at the end of the day when we're talking practicality, the difference between these two men is drive, isn't it? If the homeless man were to work hard enough, he could probably find a job to pay for a home. What makes them different is that the CEO tries hard, the homeless man doesn't try hard enough.

Maybe. I dunno. I think at the end of the day the most different we all are from each other is how hard we're willing to work and how much we're willing to try. Anything can be learned, right? Some people learn some things more quickly, but that doesn't mean if the others are willing to work harder, they can't learn too.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 12:28 AM
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I think there's a very important distinction between everybody having equal rights, and treating everybody equally. Some people are born with different abilities and circumstances regarding everything from length, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender, and the list goes on - things that you have no control over. On the other hand, some things you do have control over to different degrees, political opinion, religion etc (even though on a theoretical level everybody can make choices here, strong influences such as upbringing or culture can't be disregarded). Even though in the latter case of self consciously (however you want to define that) chosen opinions, there is greater room for criticism (after all, you should always be able to give arguments for your opinions) than for conditions you didn't chose, regardless of our different circumstances in life, these should never be a reason to discriminate.

With this established, it's tempting to conclude that we shall all treat each other equally. This however I think is wrong because of two reasons: 1) Because we all have different things we need, are good at or have a problem with, it's very "robotic" to make no distinction between two persons. You won't demand that a child shall preform as well as an adult on a test for example - you have to acknowledge the differences and "abilities" of a person. Some people need more help with some activities and some need less support. This isn't wrong or "unfair"; handicap is an outcome of society's inabilities to adapt to the needs of its citizens and not the other way around. 2) There is another trap (if you will) that one might fall into regarding equality, and that is the temptation to seek homogenization. If we conclude that the foundation for treating each other nice is because "we are all humans and at the end of the day, there are more things that bind us than separate us" then it's not totally illogical to say that people should strive be part of that big collective and people that are "too different" will be considered "misfits". What I'm aiming at is that we should strive to embrace the differences between us and learn to appreciate and marvel at the diversity of culture etc., rather than to try are best to erase differences to emphasize our "equality" and "sameness".

So, to sum it up. Yes, I do believe that the general declaration of human rights is a good thing, and with regards to rights there should be no distinction between people. However, we must also acknowledge that there are differences between us, and that true equality doesn't mean that everybody should be the same - but instead that we should learn to treat each other well regardless of our differences.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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I'm looking at this a little differently than you guys I think.
I feel to be "better off" than someone else is really rather relative to the community you live in. I don't have any specifically great examples but imagine being born with a natural aptitude for something that was banned or frowned upon by the community you live in. You have this talent that essentially makes you better than everyone else in that specific field, but in the grand scheme of things you are worse off than those because their talents are more suitable for their environment.

I feel like the natural 'evenness' is skewed by our society and not having every skill recognised equally. And this relates back to our education think, the same metaphor that's something like; All the animals in the zoo must take a test of survival but the test is who can get to the top of a tall tree the fastest. Now you've actually got monkeys, donkeys, crocodiles, giraffes, a huge amount of creatures but very few are going to pass the test.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:25 AM
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Yes, I believe it. Keep in mind that "created equal" doesn't mean "created the same". No person is better than another in any meaningful way. There's people of different beliefs, different skills, different beliefs, different backgrounds, and different races. Either way they should all be treated equally under the law.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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I view everyone as my equal, regardless of rank, stature, or life. Why? Because in the end, I am no better nor worse than those around me. Cut me, I bleed, as everyone else does. Mortality is what we all truly share, and that is all that matters, knowing that one day, we will die. It doesn't matter how long you can extend your life, or how much money you have, everyone dies.

I also have an odd view of the world. To me, we are all kin. We all share the same world, and all struggle in our lives for meaning and purpose. I would take a bullet for someone I had just met, simply because that is how I am, although I do tend to avoid those types of situations.

So, when I see blatant discrimination happening against other people, whether they are gay, straight, lesbian, African, Asian, I tend to feel ashamed of the discriminator, because I see that they are letting something petty get in the way of building a world where we all can live together, share our struggles, and not have to worry about any of us being treated as second class citizens.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 01:38 PM
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I see each others as equal to the extent that we are human beings. Which to me isn't worth a lot. We are made equal by laws and certain "moral" standards, but I don't subscribe to all of them. People being "better" or "worse" is a really value-laden term and it doesn't mean much to me. However, people are different and for the most part I would treat different people differently. I don't have a problem with judging people different from me. Some people are just better than others.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 02:21 PM
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Sad to say, but human civilization is founded upon inequality; inequality is inherent and has been the de-facto hierarchical system for much of human history. Even the men that wrote those words - "all men are created equal" - owned slaves themselves. In all fairness, they were a bit limited for their times. That's the real beauty behind documents like the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence - they were meant to change with the times, to adapt to progress and human development, so that when the time was right, future generations could complete their work. I do think however that we are a little more evolved than our ancestors and that I would hope that humanity has reached a point to where we can start to leave such antiquated ways of thinking behind.
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  #10    
Old January 29th, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orogenes
However, we must also acknowledge that there are differences between us, and that true equality doesn't mean that everybody should be the same - but instead that we should learn to treat each other well regardless of our differences.
This sums up my opinion quite nicely.

As to the Founding Fathers, it's funny how people revere them as if they were any more than what we are now: bungling people trying to figure out what's best for society through guesswork. Why we adhere to the Declaration like it's scripture, I'll never know.
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  #11    
Old January 31st, 2014, 10:04 AM
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I actually just wrote an essay last night and touched on this subject. I was using this part of Atticus Finch's speech in To Kill a Mockingbird:
Quote:
Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the government is fond of hurling at us. There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use that phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. We know that all men are not created equal in the sense that some people would have us believe. Some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they are born with it, some men have more money than others, and some people are more gifted than others.
Equality essentially does not exist. As Finch mentions, people are created with many differences, that being intelligence, opportunity, talents, or money. Humans are not naturally beings of equality. We fight, rob, slander, lie, envy, love, and kill. These actions are all fueled because of our differences. In modern times, we fight for our individuality. It's interesting how we want to be equal with one another but we also all want our own little worlds, isn't it? We want to be seen as simply humans as opposed to black or white, or man or woman, though, at the same time, we want to take pride in the things that make us different from others as well. This does not mean that we shouldn't treat each other as human beings, or that we shouldn't show respect and honor to one another, but that we should stop pretending that we can be equal.
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  #12    
Old February 1st, 2014, 10:47 AM
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I'm going to go with the opinion that people are inherently different from one another and thus are naturally inequal to one another. However, that isn't an excuse to violate individual rights.
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  #13    
Old February 7th, 2014, 03:46 PM
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It's quite obvious that despite what we would like to imagine, there are individuals out there who discriminate against others because of your mentioned traits. Whether we were created equal is another question. The definition of "equal," could mean equality or inferring that human beings are biologically the same. Either way, I don't believe human kind was created equal. Like BlahISuck mentioned, it is the laws and rules that society places that attempt to keep everyone "equal," in terms of social status. And we know by DNA that we are not biologically copies of each other.
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  #14    
Old February 7th, 2014, 06:25 PM
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Discrimination occurs because, people of different thinking live different lifestyles and think they are different.
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Old February 7th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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While I do think all people are created equal, not all people are equal. When people are born they all have the same amount of value. Then, as we go through life, our decisions either add or detract from that value. Whether a decision is good or bad varies depending on an individuals moral viewpoint, and thus the same person may have a different value to different people. The moral viewpoint through which a government determines a persons value is its legal system. While some for some actions being good or bad, there are some decisions and people which are standard for the sane portion of society to consider good or bad. For example, Hitler is generally considered bad and donating money to a charity for orphaned children is generally considered bad.
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