No one is equal, yet everyone is

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 28, 2019

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Submitted: May 28, 2019

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I finished a book called Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari a few days ago. It's been a while since I've read any book that isn't chemistry or biology and for school, but now that I finally have time, I read that book, and wow. It absolutely blew my mind.

There was an interesting part about the equality and inequality of people and how it's all imagined. If you've read the book, you know that quite early in it, the Peugeot idea is explained, and how it affects technically everything. Without being too boring, let me explain it briefly.

In order for humans to operate in large numbers and cooperate, there has to be an imagined order; a faith, a law, a state. If all the people in the world stopped believing that Canada is a country, Canada wouldn't exist anymore. If all the Muslims stopped believeing that Allah is the God and Muhammed his profet, then Islam would stop existing. 

A simple way of explaining how everyone is technically equal and at the same time not, is the Code of Hammurabi, and the US Declaration of Independence. You most likely know those two very famous pieces of history, at least you should. The Code of Hammurabi dates back about 4000 years, to ancient Mesopotamia. The Code is a text including legislation and punishments for felonies, that Hammurabi sees just, as their gods have set these norms and therefore the laws as well. The Declartion of Independence is a little more recent, dating back only 250-ish years. If you've ever heard of these, you know the Hammurabi's Code is the "eye for an eye" thing, while the Declaration of Independence is about, well the US declaring its independence and stating basic human rights, among other things.

The problem is that human rights don't exist. They do, but they really don't, kind of like the Canada example. It exists, but if people abandon what usually are seen as human rights, for example the UN version, then they stop existing too. Human rights aren't like humans. Humans are made of molecules and cells and so on. Human rights, they are not something you can see, hear, feel or taste. They have no body, as they are just imagined orders we take as rights. It's not our fault we do, because most of us have lived our lives believing so. 

Same is with laws. There is nothing in this universe that says murding people is wrong, yet most of us accept that it is. Someone placed that law and people agreed, whether by force or by their own will. Same with faith. There is nothing in this world that proves there is a god or gods, of any religion. People of certain religions still believe so, even though it's all an illusion, as it's something humans made up. Again, it's not a bad thing, as religions are a big part of culture and can be a positive experience in many people's lives. 

The US Declaration states that "all men are created equal". Many of us take that as a given. We are created equal, probably even women. But we shouldn't, for several reasons. I know a lot of you are going to be mad at me for this, but I don't care. I'm not American, and the Finnish Declaration of Independence doesn't spell that kind of bullshit, so you can't label me as a communist Putin lover or something. Anyway. 

We aren't created, first of all. We have evolved. It's wrong to think we are the only humans as well, because we are merely a species of humans. Just like there are different kind of apes, our close relatives, there have been different humans, like us sapiens, the neanderthalis and many more. And no, those humans weren't created either, because life wasn't created. Life happened, and it evolved. Humans are often seen as humans, not animals, but that's not right. We are animals, just like apes, cats, rats, butterflies or dinosaurs. That can be easily proven by biology. First off, we have animal cells, just like all animals, and we have evolved from different animals that may have then died out. So, we aren't created. We are born, and before the cells that unite and then lead us to being born, our genetic material has caused humans to evolve, and still do.

Again, there is nothing that states we are equal. We take that as a fact, which is technically good, because equality is often seen as a positive thing. All humans should have the same rights to live, speak their mind and be something. But again, those are just things other humans before us have said to be true. The universe won't collapse if people aren't equal. People aren't created, and certainly not evolved, equal.

Not everyone is born and evolved to be equal, and that's life. We each have different combos of bases that then pair up with other bases, and that is how DNA works. Different combos mean different genes, which mean different hair color, different health issues and different everything. Not even twins are equal, even if they have the same genetic code, because the environment they are exposed to by the second they are an egg and sperm unting, are different. One gets more food, one less. It gets worse once they are born. One might be outside a lot and have a good immunity, the other subjects themselves to sanitary environments. 

The Code of Hammurabi was, and still is, the basis for legislation in some countries, and it has subjected millions of people under itself over the years. While the common saying "eye for an eye" might sound equal, the code is nothing but. It is based on hierarchy, where men are better, or more equal, than women, and there are three classes in the society. Children aren't equal either, as they are their parents' property, so to speak. 

In the Code, it states that if a superior man blinds one eye of another superior man, then he shall lose one eye. It the same man blinds the eye of a commoner or a slave, he has to pay a certain amount of money, which is not as bad as losing your eye. The kids are also subject to this, in a way they can't affect. If a superior man kills a superior woman, then the man doesn't suffer, but his daughter is killed. This sounds horrible, as technically you as a daughter have to die because your dad fucked up. To millions of people, this was not odd, because this was how their gods had created this world and social order. 

These two are just examples the book used and I think they are used pretty well. People aren't equal, although we say they are. Let's look at one example, which puts "equal" people at an unequal place. A good way to explain this is a superior-subordinate relationship, wherever it may be. If you're a new employee at a company, most likely you're less worthy than the CEO. The CEO might expect you to talk to him or her respectfully and you comply. You get paid less, but this is because you are doing a different job.

Another example I have to witness a lot is from the military, because of where I live. While on duty, you're expected to do as told by the people of higher rank, while they have the "right" to give you orders that might even be questionable at times. Technically, you're given a different value, although you are human beings. The funny thing is that once you step into a sauna (in Finland, all military bases must have a sauna, even overseas, and rank doesn't matter there) you can call your commanding officer a shitbag and they will laugh it off. Or once you're in the civilian world and happen to see your instructor in a bar, you have a normal conversation with them as just random people of about the same age (since here you are in the military for less than a year as a young adult so everyone is about your age) and happen to know each other. And everyone knows that when you're drunk, you can talk to even people you barely know and might not even like.

Society isn't equal, in any place, at least on the whole level. People can be given the same rights, but that's not equality. That's okay though, as equality isn't something we must have. More often than not, complete equality in a society would crush is, as thosands of people can't all have a say in things or be CEOs. You need people who are ready to do the less nice jobs and people who aren't going to be politicians but rather vote for those politicians. Complete equality doesn't work and some kind of inequality in certain fields of society is required in order the field to function. The fields of society aren't equal with each other either, but each can be important. No human is biologically or socially equal, we just make ourselves believe we are, when equality is just human imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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