Whenever we come across critical questions such as ‘Are We All Equal’ or ‘Should We be Equal? One ambiguous term emerge from the conscious element of our human minds: ‘equality!’ Consequently, such a contentious topic of equality in turn awakens our curiosity which gradually develops into a craving desire to search for fundamental facts that can define equality comprehensively. Indeed, we do not have a clear or distinct definition of equality. We are in abject need of a universal understanding on the basic principles of equality. Equality which simply means ‘the state of being equal’ in ordinary definition: encompasses great ambiguity and social controversy in a human social nature. Based on a popular debate on equality issue, it can be argued that we have never been equal since exist of mankind. However, since the emergence of divergent views from different perspectives based on clearly understood aspects of human nature: equality can now be defined appropriately only with respect to the preferred perspective in sense of basic principles of humanity.
Despite all possible perspectives from which equality can be explained, questions such as ‘Are We All Equal? How can we be equal? Is Equality Real or it just a term? may never fade away from human minds. Therefore intensive debate over equality issue based on a true sense of being holds the promise to a unanimous conclusion whether we are all equal and if indeed the absolute answer is ‘NO’, then we can precisely predict if equality is going to be attained in a foreseeable future. Equality as well as its debate approaches share similarity in the nature of ambiguity: it appears impossible to view it from a unidirectional perspective. Nevertheless, this issue can be constructively debated based on the fundamental social concepts. That way, the ambiguity is clearly removed thus making it relatively simpler to approach it. In fact, the issue becomes debatable with relatively high anticipation of an uncompromised outcome.
Our sincere hope of finding genuine answers to equality aspect of humans lies solely on discussion over the key social concepts. These social concepts include; racial equality, social equality, gender equality, egalitarianism, economic equality, and equal opportunity. In addition, equality of outcome or rather equality of condition also falls under social concepts (Patrick & Anthony, 2005).
Racial equality! Are we really equal with regard to our genetic diversity? Absolutely no! Racial equality which implies equal regard to all human races is actually an old-age belief that all human beings are the same or rather equal. Blatantly, human beings can never be biologically equal as long as the consistent laws of genetics remain true. Human races arose as a result of genetic factors such as gene inheritance from parental ancestors up the genetic family tree to the current descendants. According to the universally acceptable theory of evolution which was postulated by Charles Robert Darwin (British scientist, 1809-1882), genetic characteristics usually observed in parents are passed over to their off-springs through a process known as genetic recombination. He explained how off-springs acquire genetic characteristics from both the male and female parents in various proportions. He farther claimed that during genetic recombination, genes from both parents mix in a complex way which he referred to as gene assortment resulting to variants within siblings. This biological aspect of distinct genetic characteristic variations is what is called genetic diversity in modern science. Emergence of races was therefore as a result of genetic diversity thus there is a clear cut difference between races. The most conspicuous genetic characteristic expressed by human races is the skin pigmentation. Human races can be grouped into two broad categories based on skin pigmentation (Russell, 2006). That is, white race or black race with white and black skin color respectively. A large group of research scientists has proven that these distinct genetic variations are irreversible hence observed biological differences remains as long as man lives. Evidently, racial or biological equality will never be attained forever: instead, racial inequalities persist indefinitely. An outstanding example of social inequality was recently witnessed in South Africa during the apartheid era. In this case, access to basic social services such as health care and education were based on racial grounds. Although both whites (Europeans and Indians) and blacks (Africans) could get access to the basic amenities, their standards varied. Health as well as education facilities for the whites were developed to offer high quality services compared to poor quality services provided in the same facilities for black race. The principles of the apartheid regime encouraged enforcement of social inequality.
Contrary to the biological perspective into human races, it can also be focused from a social perspective where racial equality entails equal treatment to individuals of all races, creed or ethnicity. These forms of racial equality rely basically on human social psychology. However, it is achieved and maintained only if effective universal laws and regulations are lied down through legislation or consensus agreement between racial groups. Where such legal regulations are put in place, social justice is attainable. As a result, racial discriminations are amicably abated but other social aspects which favor racism remain unresolved. Therefore, racial equality with regard to social justice is achieved under great constrains to a very narrow scope. Nevertheless, racial equality holds true under this aspect most likely due to the legal philosophy that ‘all people are equal before the law’. Despite endless efforts by human activists to address all forms of racial discriminations, racial segregation and prejudice are social aspects which do not seem to depart from human behavior.
Another social concept under which equality can be explained is social equality. The precepts of social equality hold that a social state of affairs should exist within a specific society whereby individuals are entitled to the social same status in a certain manner. Although achievement of the same social status in a certain respect, it is hardly evidenced to prevail. In fact, social equality can be achieved only if certain conditions occur.
- Quote paper
- Caroline Mutuku (Author), 2018, Social Equality or Economic Equality. Should We be Equal?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/433489