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Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is equality

‘Equality’ is a contested concept:

The terms “equality” (Gr. isotes, Lat. aequitas, aequalitas, Fr. égalité, Ger. Gleichheit), “equal,” and “equally” signify a qualitative relationship.

‘Equality’ (or ‘equal’) signifies correspondence between a group of different objects, persons, processes or circumstances that have the same qualities in at least one respect, but not all respects, i.e., regarding one specific feature, with differences in other features.

‘Equality’ needs to thus be distinguished from ‘identity’ —

this concept signifying that one and the same object corresponds to itself in all its features:

an object that can be referred to through various individual terms, proper names, or descriptions. For the same reason, it needs to be distinguished from ‘similarity’ — the concept of merely approximate correspondence (Dann 1975, p. 997; Menne 1962, p. 44 ff.; Westen 1990, pp. 39, 120).

Thus, to say e.g. that men are equal is not to say that they are identical.

Equality implies similarity rather than ‘sameness.’

Equality is about ‘creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential’ (DH, 2004). It is about identifying patterns of experience based on group identity, and the challenging processes that limit individual’s ‘potential’ health and life chances.

Equality is about respect and not treating an individual or group of people unfairly. It is about giving people an equality of opportunity to access services and to fulfil their potential. Equality is therefore based on the idea of fairness while recognising everyone is different.


Formal Equality

When two persons have equal status in at least one normatively relevant respect, they must be treated equally with regard to this respect.This is the generally accepted formal equality principle that Aristotle formulated in reference to Plato: “treat like cases as like” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, V.3. 1131a10-b15; Politics, III.9.1280 a8-15, III. 12. 1282b18-23).

Proportional equality

a form of treatment of others or distribution is proportional or relatively equal when it treats all relevant persons in relation to their due.

Moral Equality

Until the eighteenth century, it was assumed that human beings are unequal by nature — i.e., that there was a natural human hierarchy. This postulate collapsed with the advent of the idea of natural right and its assumption of an equality of natural order among all human beings. Against Plato and Aristotle, the classical formula for justice according to which an action is just when it offers each individual his or her due took on a substantively egalitarian meaning in the course of time, viz. everyone deserved the same dignity and the same respect. This is now the widely held conception of substantive, universal, moral equality. It developed among the Stoics, who emphasized the natural equality of all rational beings, and in early New Testament Christianity, which elevated the equality of human beings before God to a principle: one to be sure not always adhered to later by the Christian church.

Social equality

is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the extent of property rights. However, it also includes access to education, health care and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society.

Social equality requires the lack of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the lack of unjustified discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. For example, gender, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.

Social equality refers to social, rather than economic, or income equality. "Equal opportunities" is interpreted as being judged by ability, which is compatible with a free-market economy. A problem is horizontal inequality, the inequality of two persons of same origin and ability.

Perfect social equality is an ideal situation that, for various reasons, does not exist in any society in the world today. The reasons for this are widely debated. Reasons cited for social inequality commonly include economics, immigration/emigration, foreign politics and national politics. Also, in complexity economics, it has been found that horizontal inequality arises in complex systems.

A counterexample to social equality was the social inequality of medieval Europe, where a person's estate, which was usually inherited, determined the legal and social rights the person had. For example, clergy could claim the benefit of clergy to receive a more lenient punishment for a crime. Likewise, women have historically been and still are in some countries formally denied access to higher education—even if they could pay the tuition. In 19th century Europe, if female enrollment was even permitted, women had to apply for an "exemption from gender" to enroll in a university.

In apartheid-era South Africa, both blacks and whites had formal access to health care and similar public services. However, the segregated health care arranged for blacks did not meet the same standards as those for whites. That is, there was enforced social inequality. Currently, in North Korea, certain groups are officially considered "disloyal" to the regime; the "disloyalty" is inherited, prevents advancement in society, and results in harsher punishments for crimes

Poltical equality

Closely tied to the concept of individual equality is the concept of political equality, in which each person has the right to participate in politics on equal terms.

By political equality we refer to the extent to which citizens have an equal voice over governmental decisions. One of the bedrock principles in a democracy is the equal consideration of the preferences and interests of all citizens. This is expressed in such principles as one-person/one-vote, equality before the law, and equal rights of free speech. Equal consideration of the preferences and needs of all citizens is fostered by equal political activity among citizens; not only equal voting turnout across significant categories of citizens but equality in other\ forms of activity. These activities include work in a political campaign, campaign contributions, activity within one’s local community, direct contact with officials, and protest. Equal activity is crucial for equal consideration since political activity is the means by which citizens inform governing elites of their needs and preferences and induce them to be responsive. Citizen participation is, thus, at the heart of political equality. Through their activity citizens in a democracy seek to control who will hold public office and to influence what the government does. Political participation provides the mechanism by which citizens can communicate information about their interests, preferences, and needs and generate pressure to respond.

Political equality builds community

Political equality is a valued good

Political participation creates legitimacy

Political participation is educative

Equal protection of interests

The Principle of Political Equality asserts that even though no two citizens are biologically equal all have equal authority to vote on every law and policy of their society. Only those who have this equality live by their own decisions - and are free. When all citizens have equal authority to make laws, they can legislate other equalities. They can decide all laws of society, including other equalities. PPE must be applied to any group, couple, family, tribe, nation, army, place of work, school, and to society itself. PPE asserts the right of every member of a group to propose, debate and vote on every decision of the group.

Political equality of citizens in a given country referrer the equal participation of citizens to decide on the affair of the community or the society.The central idea of political e quality is;

1,all citizens who are adult status have the right to elect and to be elected.

2,all citizens vote have equal weight and

3/the right to opinion.

Political Equality means granting equal citizenship to all members of the state,and also, to ensure conditions that allow the citizens to participate in the affairs of the state.Political equality brings along with it certain rights such as right to vote, right to contest elections,right to criticize the government etc.

Political equality is based on the idea of Universal Adult Franchise.

Political equality means equality of authority. It means that no person has the right to rule another person. That's what Jefferson meant by equality when he referred to it in the Declaration of Independence.

Economic equality

Varied are its meaning,different people have different and contradicting opinions about economic eqaulity

It is rare to find a society in which everyone is in the same economic class, meaning every person has equal amounts of financial and material resources. It is common, however, to find that there are people with wealth and income differences that result in some living in abject poverty while others live in extreme luxury. This is often the subject of debate because the effects may extend into areas of life that should not be impacted by economic status.

If an assessment is done of most societies, it will be found that some people are poor, others are rich, and there are numerous classes in between. When assessing peoples' finances, it is commonly discovered that not only is there a disparity between classes, but the top class has significantly more than each of the other classes, especially the lowest. This entire situation is referred to as economic inequality

There are usually two primary focuses when considering economic inequality. First, there is wealth, which is a measure of the money and material possessions people already have. Wealth has the potential to greatly impact the manner in which people live because it can determine what they are able to purchase and what they are able to do at present. Those considered wealthy, therefore, tend to have much better standards of living than those in lower economic classes.

The second important financial indicator assessed when considering economic inequality is income. Some people have little or no wealth because they have little or no income. Although it is not always the case, it common to find that those with the most wealth and the best standards of living are also those with substantial inflows of money.

It sys plenty of principles

-Removal of disparity

-Right to equal opportunity

-It refers to financial parity

-prevention of accumulation of wealth

-equal distribution of resources and wealth

Social equality

Social equality is a concept seldom fully achieved, whereby all members of a society have completely equal treatment, opportunity and access to resources. There would be few separating strata, such as differentiations between genders, races, religious groups, or income that give some people more opportunities than others. This is different than socialism, where everyone has approximately the same amount of resources. Instead, true social equality means that no matter what society members have or who they are, they are treated equally and have equal opportunities.

The idea of social equality is often intimately tied to concepts of egalitarianism in both of its forms. This concept either represents the sense, from a political standpoint, that all people deserve equal rights and treatment, or it is a movement that proposes a society should specifically direct its resources toward promoting equality of wealth. The latter stance is more of a socialistic approach, and the former is something adopted by many countries. It’s argued that the two definitions are related, because in so many societies, wealth confers additional power, and without addressing income inequities, there can be no true social equality.

Many sociologists suggest that few societies achieve total social equality because there are so many ways that societies separate into different groups. Income level is a dividing factor, but other things that create some form of social inequality include discrimination against gender, race, religion, or ethnicity. Some governments actively promote social equality by guaranteeing basic rights to all citizens, such as rights to free speech, to vote, to jury trial, and to freedom from discrimination. Even with these guarantees, all members of a society may not be equal. Inequities such as quality of education, even if public and free, can create differences in how much citizens are able to avail themselves of basic rights.

As mentioned, economic standing represents a huge dividing factor in a variety of societies. Many countries work hard to correct this inequity to a degree by providing financial support to those citizens most in need. This isn’t always enough and may keep people in a cycle of poverty, instead of giving them ways to move up through society’s strata.

An example of social inequality, in countries like the US, occurs when people are charged with a serious crime. Impoverished defendants are given legal representation by public defenders, who are often struggling to provide support to many clients and may not have adequate time to prepare a case. The person with wealth can simply hire a criminal defense attorney. The latter defendant has a better chance of defeating a charge or getting a reduced sentence level, and also is more likely to successfully defend against a charge if they're Caucasian. The large numbers of African American prisoners as opposed to Caucasians in US jails points to a possible social inequality that has not yet been remedied, suggesting that both race and monetary standing lead to unequal treatment in a system that is supposed to be fully fair.

The most pessimistic reviewers of human society call social equality a myth, something that can never be truly achieved, no matter the intent of a society’s government, framers, or participants. Others take a more optimistic view, and suggest that while full equality isn’t always possible, societies can still chip away at the inequities. A committed society can continue to work at all times to create more equitable circumstances for all of its citizens.

Affirmative action

Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education to public contracting and health programs.

The term "affirmative action" originated in the United States, and first appeared in President John F. Kennedy's Executive Order 10925. The term was used to refer to measures to achieve non-discrimination. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 which required federal contractors to take "affirmative action" to hire without regard to race, religion and national origin. In 1968, gender was added to the anti-discrimination list. Matching procedures in other countries are also known as reservation in India, positive discrimination in the United Kingdom and employment equity in Canada.

“Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. When those steps involve preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy.

Controversy over preferential treattment

Instead of doing justice, preferential treatment

  1. violates rights:
    • the right of an applicant “to equal consideration” (Thomson 1973, 377; Simon 1974, 312),
    • the right of the maximally competent to an open position (Goldman 1976, 191; Goldman 1979, 24–8), and
    • the right of everyone to equal opportunity (Gross 1977a, 382; Gross 1978, 97),
  2. confounds desert:
    • by severing reward from a “person's character, talents, choices and abilities” (Simon 1979, 96),
    • by “subordinating merit, conduct, and character to race” (Eastland & Bennett 1979, 144), and
    • by disconnecting outcomes from actual liability and damage (Gross 1978, 125–42).

Freedom and equality

These two words are often linked when it comes to discussions of democracy and they are often seen as contradictory one with the other. Liberty creates the opportunity to become unequal.

Equality andf freedom are perennial debate in political discourse

The relationship between freedom and equality is a complicated one, as it is something people have struggled for since the beginning of time and to continue to struggle for today. These two terms are closely connected, though not inseparable. Equality has a fairly simple meaning. It is likeness or sameness in quality, power, status, or degree. In simpler terms, it is being the exact same as others.

Freedom, on the other hand, is the condition of being able to act and think however you want, without being controlled or limited. The relationship between these two first begins by obtaining freedom. Without freedom one does not have the ability to be equal to others, as he cannot do what he wants. As Tocqueville said, “Men cannot become absolutely equal unless they are entirely free” (p.352). One who is not free has a master who makes his choices for him. The only way to rid himself of the master and gain political freedom is to successfully revolt against the state. With this revolution, all people now have the ability to act however they want and because of this they are considered equal. Once they are free from their human masters they are able to lead a life direc

Freedom is self-determinance; it is the condition of minimal constraint.

The relationship

Freedom is the opprotunity to own your own destiny, within the limits of reason and morality. One has the power to make their own priorities and to act upon them accordingly. However, freedom has to be balanced with order. When one’s freedom constricts another’s freedom it has gone too far and there will undoubtedly be consequences. Sometimes harsh consequences. Examples of this would be murder and rape, for which persecution would later ensue. Everyone has the freedom to control their own thoughts, which can never be taken away. (Unless they’re crazy, in which case nevermind. And I’m not being funny about this.) Even in societies where freedom is limited, thought and emotions are untouched by these restrictions.

What exactly is freedom? Doesn’t it mean that you could do whatever you want. It can’t because then people would be killing their selves and other people with out getting in trouble and the world would be a wreck!!

Freedom is a mental condition-a condition of the spirit. All of us are free, if we but choose to acknowledge it. The essence of your “self” is your mind, soul, and spirit. We all are always free to change our thoughts, improve our knowledge and understanding, change our attitudes and beliefs-the inner part of each of us. We all are free in our minds. Even if we are held captive or imprisoned we are free. Although it is in our mind, we can do what we wish in there. All of life is a thought, the mind recognizes when you are physically free or not its work of instincts.

Freedom doesnt exist, just as nothing doesnt exist. To be free is to be nothing. No ties no boundaries, no barriers. Freedom is to not exist. Freedom as a human being is to be born. When you are created you are free as a human being no matter where or what situation you are in. You will always be human.

Freedom has a lot of meanings, as we can see, a lot of people say a lot of things, and they just wanna add something to what the other person said above him.
someone said that freedom is when your thoughs are free
and than come another person and says, but if you were a prisioner and for make your living less painfull, in your mind, you make it free??

It will be a freedom when you look at the sky and don’t see bombs being launched to somebody else, someones nation.
It will be freedom when U’ll be able to sit under a tree and listen to the birds singing, and the sun rising.
It will be freedom when you just stop in a street and try to listening the sounds around you, and no one you’ll be loocking at you as if you are some kind of crazy
It will be freedom when U’ll be able to take a deep breath, and after the deep breath you have absolut no worries..
When your mind is in peace, there, …, you’ll be free!

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