Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Men Are Created Equal Not

My apologies, but Thomas Jefferson was wrong, perhaps just this once.  Not [all men are created equal].

(I won't split hair over whether it should be all men are not created equal or all men are created not equal.)

You must have heard of this anecdote before: if every possession in the world today were confiscated and then divided out equally among every living person, after ten minutes, the whole world will be unequal again, assuming everyone acts rationally.  There will be the Bill Gates'es who would successfully trade their bottle caps for medals.  There will be others who would give away their farms for something trivial, trivial as in trivial to you and me.

The ugly and yet beautiful fact is that the world functions because of inequality.  If all men are equal, the world grinds to a complete halt.  Life freezes, and, if the equality is really maintained, everyone drops dead.

Society works because everyone places a different value on the same thing.  It all started with the first kids.  When Cain wanted a beef steak to break the monotony of his vegetarian menu, he exchanged some of his onions to Abel for a part of a cow.  Cain must have reasoned that that part of a cow was worth his onions, and similarly Abel thought that the onions was worth that part of his cow.  If Cain and Abel had come to the same evaluation of the onions and the same evaluation of that part of a cow, both would have died of some food poisoning and there won't be you and I to discuss this subject today.

If David and Goliath were equal, their fight would have ended in a stalemate.  But as history has recorded, David slayed Goliath.  That is a confirmed inequality.

... to be continued later ...

Related: My three heresies.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its not really a heresy its how u look at it. As Jesus talked in parables not everything he said could be taken literally either and he always talked in parables. As he Said having eyes they shall see but be blind and having ears they shall hear but be deaf.
Thomas Jefferson didnt invent the term anyhow. Thomas Jefferson first used the phrase in the Declaration of Independence as a rebuttal to the going political theory of the day: the Divine Right of Kings.

Thomas Hobbes also proposed an early variant of equality among men in his treatise The Leviathan:


Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself. And as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon general and infallible rules, called science, which very few have and but in few things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as prudence, while we look after somewhat else, I find yet a greater equality amongst men than that of strength. For prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they equally apply themselves unto.In the above passage Hobbes proposes a rough equivalence among men, based on the idea that the strongest man is not so strong that he is protected from the strength of the weakest and is thus not strong enough to be considered greater Here, Hobbes stands upon his presumptions over the state of nature, within which he describes the hypothetical condition that preceded governments and details that within natural world, life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"