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Are we all equal? #philosophy

We are all different, some of us are smarter and some of us are stronger. We all have positive attributes and negative attributes. There is a tendency to infer that some people are inferior because they haven’t yet found what their attribute is. Some people are regarded as inferior because of the social class they were born into, some people are even regarded as inferior because of the colour of their skin. Shouldn’t we all be treated as equal?

Are we all equal?

Right from wrong

We all know right from wrong and at least part of those beliefs about what is acceptable and what isn’t comes from religion. Behaviour can determine whether we are treated equally or looked down on as a lower form of humanity. In the Black Country, where I live, we have a problem with so-called ‘travellers’. The latest accusation against them is that their children are defecating in the children’s playground and then wiping themselves with their own socks. I think that could be a slight exaggeration, but the travellers aren’t being treated as well as some migrants from other countries. They are being discriminated against. Does their anti-social behaviour warrant that discrimination?

Middle classes

Britain’s middle classes speak properly, they listen to classical music, visit art galleries and understand culture. They are not as primitive as the working classes whose grasp of basic English often confines them to using Anglo-Saxon expletives in every sentence. Is it acceptable that the middle and upper classes treat these primitives as an inferior species? I hear people from the working class talking about travellers and people of different cultures as inferior and so it would seem it is quite acceptable to discriminate based on culture and behaviour.

Criminals

Are criminals a lower form of life, that do not deserve a break. Should paedophiles be given proper toilet facilities in prison or given a bucket and introduced to the age-old slopping out procedure each morning to humiliate them as a punishment? If the provision of decent toilets for everyone is a basic human right then surely the children of those travellers should have toilet facilities too? Shouldn’t people be treated as equal when it comes to basic human rights?

Equal?

It seems to me that no one really believes in equality. There are those who preach equality when they have been the victim of discrimination or someone close to them has been unfairly treated. The problem is we are too quick to judge the behaviour of others and don’t really make enough effort to understand why people behave differently to us.

Overcoming barriers

Over a decade ago I talked to a young girl in an online chat room and  was criticised for it. I was even called a paedophile. She was thousands of miles away in another country, what harm was there? I helped her with English and her homework. We overcome our differences and found things we had in common. I went on to help her as she went through university and she still asks for my advice. Her friend even stayed as my house guest last year and met all my family. It’s her birthday today and we are still very different and there is still a 40 year age gap, but the difference is perhaps what makes our friendship work. We are of course equal the  despite differences.

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