Most of us have a God given belief that all human beings are born equal, which means that everyone has equal qualities and equal attributes and gets equal opportunities to excel in life. Yet today we see people who are a genius in doing some things and not even mediocre in doing other things. It is argued that every human being has a different set of qualities and his success depends on identifying and utilizing those qualities. But it is my belief that equality is a man made term used only to satisfy the pseudo intellectuals. It is said that there are three general types of equalities; religious and spiritual, mental and physical and economic equality. When practically analyzed, the term “types of equalities” becomes ironic as equality at any level is nonexistent.
Religion asserts equality. Most of the religions including Christianity, Judaism and Islam declare that all humans are created equal regardless of their color, race and status. However the concept of heaven and hell in these very same religions contradicts their concept of equality. If all humans were equal then it would be impossible to differentiate them into good and bad and hence would be impossible to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Proponents of the concept of equality argue that all humans are equal in the sense that they are given equal opportunities of worship to earn their place in heaven. For example it has been stated in Quran that people of the earlier ages used to live for six to seven hundred years, so they had much more opportunities to gain higher rank in heaven however it has also been stated that now as people have much shorter lives, their good deeds will be rewarded much more so as to give them an equal opportunity of gaining higher rank in heaven. However, my question to the people who believe that equality exists is : How come a rich person gets an opportunity to perform Hajj, which is considered to be the most rewarding act in Islam, several times in his life and a poor person cannot even dream of performing it because of its expenses? Similarly, a person born in a far corner of the world may never be enlightened with light of faith let alone get an opportunity to worship. Is not life like a game of chance rather than something based on the principles of equality?
There is also the case of mental and physical equality. Every person may not be mentally and physically equal, some are mentally sharper than others and some live physically better lives than others. It is argued that people are given equal potential to excel in something and their success depends on identifying and utilizing that potential. Yet, most of the people with disabilities cannot be equal to others because they cannot equip themselves to fully recognize their potential and compete with other people. Unfortunately, they do not have a real chance of educating themselves as they require specially trained teachers and a specific environment which is either very expensive to provide or not provided at all. Even if disabled people educate themselves, employers would be unwilling to employ them because in that case they would have to provide special facilities for the disabled people, which would increase the cost and lower profits of the organization. One may point out that it is the duty of the government not only to educate such people but also to ensure that they get employment opportunities, but in reality the best quality of education and employment opportunities are provided by the private sector. Similarly a person who is mentally weaker than others will find it difficult to excel in anything and even hard work would only allow him to lead a mediocre life. Therefore attaining equality on mental and physical level becomes almost impossible.
Today one of the major emphases of the world community is on promoting racial and gender equality and ensuring equal opportunity to everyone. The world’s most influential and developed nation, America, boasts of these qualities. Yet, according to a Washington based Justice Policy Institute, the number of Black men in jail or prison is greater than the number of black men in college. Furthermore, a report issued by the Justice Department of America states that “Black men born in the United States in 2001 will have a one in three chance of going to prison during their lifetime if current trends continue” (Younge). Also a study released on July 18th 2007, by the criminal justice policy group in America states that “Blacks in the United States are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and Hispanics are locked up at nearly double the white rate” (Http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,289835,00.html. Rep. Sentencing Project, July & Aug. 2007. Web.). Clearly these facts not only provide evidence of racial discrimination but also imply that Blacks and Hispanics do not get as much opportunities as Whites in America. Black people are not violent by birth but it is the circumstances that make them behave in such a way. Racial discrimination, lack of employment opportunities creates unrest and frustration in their society. As a result such people resort to crime and drugs. Had there been racial equality and everyone was given equal opportunity, such issues would never have risen.
Gender equality is also debatable. According to the theological concept of Complementarianism, found especially in Christianity, men and women are given different set of qualities so as to equip them to play their unique role in the society. Basically men and women are referred to as two halves of the same body, each has a specific role to play and each compliments the other. Therefore it might be deduced that both sexes are equal and have specific roles to play but historically women have been deprived of equal rights with men. Even the Pope Joan Paul II denied the priestly ordination on women. In Islam, women are not given equal property rights as compared with the property rights given to men and a woman’s testimony is given half weight age to that of a man.
The communist economic and social system is based on creating an Egalitarian society. Despite the fact that two of the most powerful nations of the world namely China and Russia followed it, Communism failed to make its mark and crumbled under pressure from Capitalism. It is nature’s law that only the fittest will survive. The stronger baby inside the shark’s womb kills its own weaker siblings so that it can get better nutrition, when the koyal bird’s baby hatches; the baby pushes the other eggs over the nest so as to ensure better nourishment for itself. Similar is the case for humans as well, only the toughest have been able to make their mark. So any system based on equality will not be sustainable as people under that system can never be equal. On the other hand the Capitalist system, which is criticized for causing unfair distribution of wealth and power, is being followed all over the world. And unfortunately this system has created huge economic disparities. According to the CIA World Fact Book of 2010, Togo with a population of over six million people has gross domestic product of 2.771 billion dollars and 32 percent of its population lives below poverty line. In contrast, as stated in Forbes magazine, the net worth of Bill Gates Empire is 50 billion dollars, meaning that the wealth of a single person is more than twenty times the income of a whole nation.
On religious and spiritual level, belief in equality is a misconception as God Himself has made Heaven and Hell to differentiate good people from bad ones. Diversity is a natural phenomenon. We do not possess the mental capacity to control nature, and hence any attempt by scientists to alter our genes in order to create a mentally and physically equal human being is deemed to fail. Equality on an economic level is possible under an ideal system but practically it is almost impossible to introduce such a system. But in all these cases, two features can be gleaned which prove equality as a myth. The first feature concerns the fact that we as a society make conscious attempts to create or impose equality. This is significant because any change to the status quo is usually to counter some existing aspect of it. In this case, an attempt at equality suggests that the natural order is one of inequality. This proves that equality is an artificial construct, the equivalent of a myth. The second feature concerns the current state of affairs, and how, despite attempts at equality, we are still within a system where inequality is prevalent. This shows that equality is not a reality, and is by necessity a myth.
- Malik, Yasmin.Islam Beliefs and Practices. Rawalpindi: Army, 2003. Print.
- Younge, Gary. “30% of Black Men in US Will Go to Jail.” The Guardian (New York) 19 Aug. 2003. Print.
- “The World’s Billionaires.” Forbes Magazine3 Nov. 2009. Print.
- Central Intelligence Agency, United States.The CIA World Factbook 2009. New York: Skyhorse, 2009. Print.
- Sentencing Project.Blacks Imprisoned 5 Times the Rate of Whites in U.S.Rep. 18 July. 2007. Print.
While an attempt is being made to bring equality in our society, that attempt is not good enough, and because of very fact that an attempt is being made is proof of the fact that inequality existed already and we are actively admitting its existence.
There is equality to an extent that everyone is given an opportunity to worship God and earn his place in Heaven. However,
Life is like a game of chance rather than something based on the principles of equality. For example, if a person is born in a rich family, he will most probably get the best education and ample opportunities to succeed in life while an average person would spend his whole life competing with others to earn his share of bread.
Trying current status quo
- (Http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,289835,00.html. Rep. Sentencing Project, July & Aug. 2007. Web.)