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All men created equal

  1. Jun 20, 2006 #1
    When Jefferson wrote the words... we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...what did he mean ?
     
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  3. Jun 21, 2006 #2

    arildno

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    He meant that all propertied, white males were created equal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  4. Jun 21, 2006 #3
    what about blacks
     
  5. Jun 21, 2006 #4

    Pengwuino

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    That penguins are being descriminated against.

    Actually what was the story behind that? Didn't they want to say "white men" originally?
     
  6. Jun 21, 2006 #5

    arildno

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    Well, they were slaves, so they could hardly count as men, could they?
     
  7. Jun 21, 2006 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    I don't think Jefferson restricted himself to propertied males; he did value the poor and craftsmen. For this he was pilloried as a jacobin radical by people like Hamilton and Adams.

    Of course Jefferson's views on women, blacks, and indians wouldn't pass muster today, but insofar as white men were concerned he was a democrat.
     
  8. Jun 21, 2006 #7

    loseyourname

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    He meant that each had an equally inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
     
  9. Jun 21, 2006 #8
    In other words, human rights are an absolute (self-evidently so) granted by creator equally to all men, e.g., morality is an absolute -- this is the ethical position of Jefferson ?
     
  10. Jun 21, 2006 #9

    selfAdjoint

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    Yup. His creator was more of a deist's idea of the Architect of Creation than the Christian god. Jefferson was not a christian. Although he was a vestryman at his local church! But that was not at all unusual in those days.
     
  11. Jun 22, 2006 #10

    arildno

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    Not really, since you needed property qualifications in order to have the right to vote and/or hold offices.

    In this, of course, Jefferson was holding the same view as just about any other progressive, democratically minded person of his time. (Immanuel Kant, for example, had the same view).

    It should be said in their defense that most democrats wanted the property qualification not as much out of a desire to keep the common people down; rather, what they first and foremost wanted to avoid was that some aristocrat with a large following of dependants could overthrow the democratic government.
     
  12. Jun 22, 2006 #11
    it just means all men should be considered equal, and not discriminated

    of course all men aren't truly born equal, not to the same class, intelligence, physical considition, etc.

    yes you can argue the semantics of the word "man" but understand up until very recently "man" was an asexual term referring to both genders

    also the hypocrisy of slavery was acknowledged very early on, the abolitionist movement was quite healthy even back then. But that's a whole other complicated issue.
     
  13. Dec 16, 2006 #12

    DaveC426913

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    Is it rather odd that you would include 'class' in that list, as that's the very kind of discrimination that the phrase was targeting.
     
  14. Dec 16, 2006 #13
    Blue blood

    Jefferson meant that all men were created with red blood. Nature did not create anyone with 'blue blood'. The Creater did not create anyone with natural superiority such as the aristocracy, or give anyone the divine right to be King.
     
  15. Dec 27, 2006 #14
    is it
    i dont believe that
    even though we should give everyone a fair chance and have human rights and all
    but i still dont believe all men are equal
    i aint no hitler or anything but thats what i learn from nature
     
  16. Dec 28, 2006 #15

    DaveC426913

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    You take your marching orders from nature then? An animal, hm?

    Humankind's ability to make moral judgements and act appropriately is the very thing that separates us from the beasts.
     
  17. Dec 28, 2006 #16
    no no i dont think you understood what i meant to say
    i was saying that all human beings arent equal
    thats just my opinion
    fine everyone being given equal oppurtunities and everything but not all men are equal
     
  18. Dec 28, 2006 #17

    DaveC426913

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    You do realize that the sayting is actually "all men are created equal"?

    The point is that you do not come into this world with strikes against you (such as being lower class or a blue-blood or a slave).
     
  19. Dec 30, 2006 #18
    All men 'created' equal does not necessarily mean they, then, remain equal or must remain equal. Things change.
     
  20. Dec 31, 2006 #19

    DaveC426913

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    Yes. I whole point is that we are judged on the things we CAN change and whether we DO or not, not on the things we CAN'T change.

    Things we can't change are beyond judgement when assessing the merits of a person.
     
  21. Dec 31, 2006 #20
    its not that all people are \either born as slaves or high class and all
    its just that some are born with more intellect and better genes and some not
     
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