Are Humans Equal?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-03-2013, 11:28 AM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Hey, Chaos.

It's not obvious to me. Do you care to elaborate?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 11:38 AM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(22-03-2013 10:39 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Cantor.

I don't know why, but something you said made me want to talk about rights. I mean, equality is about rights at its core. About everyone having the same rights and protections. So here's my spiel:

Rights are bullshit. Not even joking.

Rights should be something we have. But they aren't. They're something, in law at least, that we're given. The reality of the situation is that in law, we begin with ZERO rights. The law then grants them to us. If it is not in the law then we don't have the right.

It's bass ackwards.

If we were all truly equal and had inalienable rights, then we would BEGIN with full rights and freedoms. The law would then RESTRICT our rights; in terms of things like killing people, defrauding them, fucking camels. Then, if it wasn't explicitly restricted, then we would have the right.

That would be the way to do it.

But our system is designed to be as restrictive as possible whenever possible. So we have to fight to have our rights enshrined in law. The elite (shorthand word) benefit from keeping us disempowered because they have to make their decisions centrally, and the easier we go along, the easier their job is/the more power they have.

The relationship between the rulers and the ruled is a constant dance for power in which they are always trying to restrict/remove our rights while we are trying to increase/add our rights. When we are in the lead, it's harder for them to push us around and make unilateral decisions. When they're in the lead, well, you get North Korea.

They have the advantage though, because the default position, no rights, is in their favour.

Rights, as we know them, exist on a spectrum:

<---No rights-----------------------balance of power-----------------------Full rights--->

(If rights were inherent, we'd begin at full rights. But we unfortunately begin at no rights.)

So you can plot any hierarchical human system on that spectrum. The system doesn't have to land all the way at no rights to suck, it just has to be left of balance of power.

So yeah. Rights, as understood from the Enlightenment straight through to today, are an illusion.

But when all is said and done, I'd rather have illusory rights than none at all.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Nope, I have the right to my person. It begins there and it ends where your right begins.

If you try to harm my person, you will die in the attempt - no state required. By infringing on my right, you forsake your own.

It's that simple.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 11:40 AM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(22-03-2013 03:25 AM)Chris7049 Wrote:  I'm new here, but I've been pondering this question for a long time.

I live in the United States, and the American Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal".

America has really fallen in love with the idea behind this quote, thinking that everyone deserves to be taxed, everyone deserves to vote, etc.

However, if you've taken a United States History class, then you know that the US was founded by Christians. To my knowledge, their argument is that all men (and women) were created in God's image and therefore all possess a quality know as human dignity, which dictates that all humans are inherently equal. But I'm having trouble finding any reason why human beings are equal when religion is ignored.

What are your thoughts on this? Is there a moral principle that dictates that everyone is equal? Or are certain people just inherently better than others in some way?
My study of the constitutional law says, that people are equal in two things only:
- their rights
- their dignity
Other than that, they are not equal. They're all different. Some of these differences are quantifiable and some give out lesser numbers, some greater. The two areas in which we are equal are there, because without them the society falls apart. Not that it couldn't fall apart later.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
The Venus Project
FreeDomain Radio - The greatest philosophy show on the web!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 12:10 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(22-03-2013 11:28 AM)Ghost Wrote:  It's not obvious to me. Do you care to elaborate?

Well, we are not made of the same material, we don't receive the same education, we don't have the same reactions, we don't look the same, we don't have the same potential either.
So, where's the equality?

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 01:22 PM (This post was last modified: 22-03-2013 02:35 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Hey, Chas.

Uhhhhh, in what way are you disagreeing with what I wrote? Like, what you said is fine (seems a little too "don't tread on me" for my tastes, but hey, I'm a Canadian), I just have no idea why you began it with "nope" or why you quoted me because it is utterly unrelated to anything I wrote.

Hey, Chaos.

OK. That's what I figured. But like I said before, equality isn't a synonym for identical. No one has ever proposed that the words mean the same because only an absolute fool would contend that all humans are identical. It's an utterly unsupportable position. Hell, monozygotic twins aren't identical. Sexual dimorphism, variation and psychosocial development guarantees that humans are never, ever, identical.

Equality is a matter of treatment.

Same with egalitarianism. Egalitarianism does not assume that humans are identical. It is simply an equitable form of organising a human system.

All both ideas are proposing is that all humans have equal value and deserved to be treated the same.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 01:31 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(22-03-2013 10:39 AM)Ghost Wrote:  So yeah. Rights, as understood from the Enlightenment straight through to today, are an illusion.

It's not an illusion; it's social contract.

(22-03-2013 11:38 AM)Chas Wrote:  Nope, I have the right to my person. It begins there and it ends where your right begins.

If you try to harm my person, you will die in the attempt - no state required. By infringing on my right, you forsake your own.

It's that simple.

It's that simple, to you, until others disagree.

Sorry, you have no rights, only "temporary privileges".

Or are you claiming unlimited rights?

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 01:37 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Ok. So America was created by Deists, not Christian, and it sounds like equality is only equality under the law. Or at least, from what I've read, it looks like human beings are not equal. So then why does the US (try to) give everyone equality under the law? Is that a backwards concept from an older era, or is it a good thing?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 02:47 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Hey, Truly.

Read what I wrote. If you read what I wrote and cannot see that the implication is that yes, rights are a social contract, then <insert witty remark here>.

I clearly said "as understood from the Enlightenment straight through to today". That doesn't mean "any ol' definition you can think of". That's a very specific qualifier. The illusion is that rights are something we have. The reality is that rights are something we are given. Either way, it's a social contract.

Hey, Chris.

It's not just under the law. The law simply enshrines a philosophy; or at least tries to. The founders of the US wanted their country to espouse the belief that all men were equal. It's supposed to be a way of life.

Human beings ARE equal. It's just that equal does not mean identical. In math, yes. In the philosophy of human value, no.

You may have learned this in your American history class, but Americans have a pretty shitty human rights track record when it comes to non-whites.

It's undeniably a good thing, even with its shortcomings.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-03-2013, 02:49 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(22-03-2013 01:37 PM)Chris7049 Wrote:  Ok. So America was created by Deists, not Christian, and it sounds like equality is only equality under the law. Or at least, from what I've read, it looks like human beings are not equal. So then why does the US (try to) give everyone equality under the law? Is that a backwards concept from an older era, or is it a good thing?
It is a very good and modern thing. Instead of dividing people on worthy and unworthy, believers and unbelievers, right kind of believers, wrong kind of believers, and killing/torturing them accordingly, people are equal under law.

The deistic founding fathers actually just escaped Europe, torn apart by religious wars and churches persecuting one another and escaping from being persecuted. Some religious groups that escaped to America and found peace there, did not hesitate to cast out other kinds of believers from their idyllic "city on the hill". (I think some were even hanged, for repeated trespassing) All of them wanted the government to be owned by their own sect, but as it was impossible, they had to settle on the secular neutrality suggested by Deists. Thus the United states were founded, with secular constitution, yet lots of religious citizens.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
The Venus Project
FreeDomain Radio - The greatest philosophy show on the web!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Luminon's post
22-03-2013, 05:01 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(22-03-2013 02:47 PM)Ghost Wrote:  The illusion is that rights are something we have.

Yeah, that's what I was disagreeing with.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: