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Are we all equal? Should we be treated as equals? Is that fair?

  1. Brett.Tesol profile image77
    Brett.Tesolposted 5 years ago

    Dear hubbers, I am looking for your feedback...

    In this modern world (well, in the west mainly), we are all told that we are equal and that everyone MUST be treated as being equal. However, although I am not sexist, nor racist, I do not believe that we are all equal. Many people, races and sexes have unique characteristics that make them excel in some areas and flunk in others.

    This is a topic I would like to write a hub about. I have lived for 5 years as "The Foreigner", literally being referred to as that (which I completely accept, as to the local people, I am a foreigner). They tell me I'm white, which is also clearly true. I would not trade my time with them for anything! and feel truly welcomed into their community.

    Have we become too 'politically correct'? Are we all so sensitive, as to feel insulted when we are called white, black, Christian or Buddhist ... when that is what we are? Should we not be proud of what we are? Acknowledging differences and different needs. Maybe we have all lost our pride, as to be offended by that which we are ...

    Please, let me know your views ... but, please please be respectful to others.

    1. secularist10 profile image91
      secularist10posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      No of course not all people are equal. Some are born with physical disabilities or mental problems.

      Most normal people have the potential to do many great things. What empowers them or holds them back is their environment or culture. The brain is an extremely malleable instrument--psychology and neuroscience have shown this. Anthropology confirms it.

      On "races," there is no such thing as a "race" per se. A race is a figment of the human imagination. There is no scientific basis for races. The concept of races is left over from the olden days. What we have is inherited qualities like hair color, eye color and skin color that predominate in a certain population.

      Do races have different capabilities? Insofar as they are cultural units that people self-identify with, yes. If you are born into a black household in a black community and you are told--implicitly and explicitly--that black people are better dancers, then chances are, you will grow to be a pretty good dancer. Your parents will encourage you to dance as a child, you will be exposed to dance amongst your family and friends. You will be exposed to professional dancers and performances more than average, etc.

      So you see, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People believe they can excel at X, and so they eventually excel at X. It is a function of culture and environment. It is not inherent. Give a white child the same kind of upbringing, and he will turn out the same. But if everybody--black and white--implicitly assumes that blacks are better dancers than whites, then this is what will happen.

      The son or daughter of a rich person will be told their whole life they were born to be a leader. They will believe it, carry that mentality and outlook with them their whole life, and may very well attain some kind of leadership position.

      Here's another example: latin people are often considered to be good dancers, by themselves and by non-latinos. Well, guess what? Latin Americans are heavily influenced by white European genetic stock. Culture, not race.

      Things are not always what they seem.

      Oh, BTW, it makes no sense to be "proud" of something you cannot control, such as your skin color or gender.

      1. Brett.Tesol profile image77
        Brett.Tesolposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        A great response to start the discussion!  and very well written. This is the kind of debate that I am looking for.

        My honest opinion is that 'programming' as such, is what really defines us (outside of DNA and disabilities/diseases). However, we are often boxed into groups, races, sexes etc ... hence my phrasing of the question in that way (I apologize if this caused any offense).

        Culture, community, laws, family and friends all play an extremely strong part in determining our sense of self identity - who we are as a person, what our beliefs are, how we think and what/who we choose to associate with.

        I guess what I am trying to understand is why people nowadays seem to find statements of characteristics so offensive?

        As for the 'pride' part, I meant that people should be 'happy/satisfied' with being who they are. Regardless of the different features, wealth, position, or abilities (good or bad). Do you agree that we should be more accepting of ourselves and who we are? Have we got caught up in a culture/society where no situation or level of achievement is satisfactory, with people constantly feeling unsatisfied and driven to push harder?

        The society I was in would bluntly tell someone they were fat, thin, tall, short, cute, sexy, white or dark ... their culture was far more accepting. It was a strange, but an equally refreshing experience to be in a country that openly commented on facts/viewpoints and where the observations were not taken in a negative way at all (unlike the UK, where lawsuits could ensue). The people seemed far more content with their lives and who they were ... hence ... this thread.

        1. secularist10 profile image91
          secularist10posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not sure what you mean by programming--it is nature or nurture? Usually when people say "programming" it refers to DNA.

          I agree in general people should be more accepting of who they are and not hate themselves. However, truly loving yourself and wanting the best for yourself means wanting to push yourself to be your best, so there is an innate drive for growth there. Unfortunately many people seem to go off the deep end and throw everything out of whack, so they think they need to alter themselves at a much more fundamental level in order to achieve someone else's idea of "normal" or "perfection."

          You know, I don't think people are as sensitive as you think. Many are, to be sure. But they grab all the attention with their lawsuits. Most people appreciate genuine compliments. The problem is that many people don't know how to communicate with others in an honest and genuine way, in a way that empowers them and makes them feel good.

          Also many people can't seem to talk intelligently about characteristics without stereotyping or oversimplifying large groups of people they are not familiar with--that causes offense.

          So are you going to tell us which society this was that you were in, or keep it mysterious? smile

      2. 60
        C.J. Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        "On "races," there is no such thing as a "race" per se. A race is a figment of the human imagination. There is no scientific basis for races. The concept of races is left over from the olden days. What we have is inherited qualities like hair color, eye color and skin color that predominate in a certain population."

        Great point! This is one of the most intresting things brought forward by DNA research. However most are still intent on ignoring it.

    2. BRIAN SLATER profile image86
      BRIAN SLATERposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My dad used to tell me that we are all born equal, it's that some people are born more equal than others.

      1. Brett.Tesol profile image77
        Brett.Tesolposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks for the comment ... I had to LOL when I read it, as I'm sure I've heard that from my dad too!

  2. 0
    Emile Rposted 5 years ago

    Reading through your question, I am struck with the obvious fact that you are attributing the wrong definition to the word equal.  When you think of people being equal, it should mean that we have the same privileges, status, or rights. We should be judged by what we do with those rights, not by the color of our skin or the country of our origin.

    You talk about broad groups of people and refer to yourself as white.  There aren't mass factories producing whites, blacks, latinos, and asians.  It's like you read the Coles notes on a race and are attributing everything written to the individual.

    Every person is, in the end, simply a product of a little mom and pop bakery that put a 'bun in the oven'. I'm not the product of some Limited Liability corporation that started a micro factory and began mass producing stock from a vineyard that resulted from the grafting of a French branch to an American vine.  You can't look at me and judge me by the cover. If you do, then political correctness is all you have to go on in dealing with me.

    Political correctness has more to do with ensuring people feel that they have equality under the law.  If we would take the time to understand the individual, and stop assuming white men can't jump and blacks have more rythm and asians are better at math, we wouldn't need it.  For now, it appears we are still judging people without bothering to get to know them first.

  3. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    The concept is one of moral equality, not literal equivalence.  Each person counts as one and only one.

  4. Reality Bytes profile image93
    Reality Bytesposted 5 years ago

    I think the basic equality lies in the fact that each of us is a living, breathing human being.

    All other labels are used as divisions to separate us from ourselves.

  5. 0
    Muldanianmanposted 5 years ago

    By equality, I assume we are talking about Western ideals.   Much of the world,does not share these ideals.  For instance some countries are dictatorships, where no one has the right to vote.  In others, only the men have that right.  In many countries, the practise of any religion other than that of the majority is illegal.  In much of the world, gay people can be put to death.  So this idea of a politically correct equal society is really only evident in some parts of the world.

    Even in Western countries, which have laws to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality or disability, there are many, who do not share their society's ideals, whether based upon their own religious or political views.  Laws do not always change people's minds.  There is still racism, relgious intolerance, homophobia and misogyny, and I believe there always will be.  As to whether there should be equality for all, yes of course there should, but the world is a long way from achieving this, and based upon human nature, I doubt it ever will.

    1. Druid Dude profile image59
      Druid Dudeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That is why it has to stop. The evidence is, is that we have been watched, from the beginning...the question is...who is watching?

  6. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago

    We aren't identical but many religions say we are equal in ultimate value. This is reflected in "one person, one vote,"
    "equality before the law," and in other norms of behavior in the US and other democracies. A professor I once had, Henry Alonzo Meyers, pointed to the impossibility of getting agreement on the qualities that might make some more equal than others--is it kindness, intelligence, generosity, physical or mental prowess, beauty, artistic or musical genius, athletic ability, wealth and so forth? How does one compare Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Joe Louis, Queen Elizabeth or the most generous philanthropist? The inability to agree on the relative importance of these qualities leaves us with the conclusion that we are equal in ultimate value.