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I need some more ideas on trying to prove, the statement "all people are created...

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jb4life | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM via web

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I need some more ideas on trying to prove, the statement "all people are created equally" is not true.

I disagree with this statement and my main points were:

1. If equal means same, just a quick look around will tell you that we are not all humans. (& and i gave some examples)

2. Another concept that should be taken in is, we do have equal rights according to the Declaration of Independence but even though we do, some people are unfair and racist which doesnt give us equal rights

so therefore i disagree with this statement. All i need is some help saying something about one of those to points or a conclusion, or another good point with a good reason/example.

Thanks :)

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM (Answer #2)

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The statement is you want to disagree with is probably, "All men are created equal," not "All people are created equally."  Those are the word used in the Declaration of Independence.  Of course, it is quite reasonable to substitute the word "people" to express this idea.  I have a few points I would like to make regarding your disagreement, and I hope they are of use to you. 

First, the statement is part of a larger sentence that goes on to say peope are created equal and are endowed by their "Creator" with certain rights.  This implies, in my opinion, that people are created equal in the eyes of a divine power but does not necessarily imply that people are equal in the eyes of of their fellow humans. 

Second, "equal" does not mean "the same."  This means that your point about people being different is not all that effective. 

Third, the context in which the statement is written suggests only that all people are equal in terms of their rights to have "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  People's right to pursue happiness or success is often thought of as equal opportunity. 

Now, having said all that, your point about some people being racist is a good one.  There are many examples of people's racist behavior interfering with people's equal opportunity.  If a person is not hired for a position only because of his or her race, that person is certainly being deprived of equal oppportunity.  

Your mention of fairness is not necessily helpful, though.  For one thing, what seems fair to one person might not seem fair to another, and it is a very difficult term to define.  For another, much of what happens that is considered unfair is beyond the control of anyone.  Was Hurricane Katrina fair to all the people who endured it?  Does this show that the people in New Orleans were not equal to people anywhere else?  Probably not! 

In my opinion, your best means of support for your disagreement with the statement is evidence that people are deprived of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness because of racism, sexism, agism, and so on.  This does support the idea that people do not have equal opportunity. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 8, 2011 at 3:58 PM (Answer #3)

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Unlike the previous answer, I think that your Point #1 is valid.

I agree with her that you should be looking at equality in terms of the ability to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but we are not born equal in those terms either.  For example, a person who is born rich is ahead in the game -- they will have a better chance to pursue happiness than a person who is born poor.  The same goes for people who are born less intelligent than other people.

I think that you just need to be sure that your examples for Point 1 are valid.  Don't talk about tall or short, blond or redheaded.  Do talk about things that have an impact on people's ability to have liberty or to pursue their happiness.

 

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jojo56 | College Teacher | Honors

Posted February 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM (Answer #4)

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I think you might need to back up a bit and define happiness. The Mendez boys were certainly born rich and had a life of ease. Then they killed their parents which does not strike me as an act of happiness.

I think this is a very tricky subject and you deserve a lot of respect for tackling it. As I see it, no-one can define another's happiness.  But others can disrupt your with the potential for happiness and a sense of being equal. I think sometimes our inequitable society destroys it. Sometimes, it is taken away by those who are dysfunctional. Sometimes, just our journey through life can destroy your joy.

In other words, while others, society, or the world may make you feel unequal, you always have it within you the potential to feel equal again.

I think the best reference point might be Martin Luther King, Jr. He knew he was not equal but he held a vision of what that equality would be like. Come to think of it, that is why every civil rights movement we've experienced since WWII seems unique and yet the same.

The disability, be it race or sex or sexual preference or disability, it's all the same struggle. Perhaps an exploration of the differences and sameness of these movements could prove your point while still allowing you to retain own sense of self (aka, your agency). In turn, this would allow you to define your world, thereby leaving you empowered and capable of fighting for equality.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM (Answer #6)

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People are not equal. Some are smarter, some are taller, and some are more creative. Genetics can predispose us to certain characteristics. What we are not exposed to by genetics comes from the environment we are raised in. Someone who is born rich has many advantages over someone born poor.

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