Quantcast
About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
 
CHRISTIANITY
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Persons
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Denominations
 
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

Non-theistic...
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Doubt/security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality/ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Abortion
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Nudism
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

SHARED BELIEF IN THE
EQUALITY OF HUMAN WORTH


Sponsored link.


Beliefs of both religious groups and non-theistic ethical systems, like Humanism, differ greatly in their concepts of deity, other beliefs and practices. But one principle is accepted by almost everyone. It is the Ethic of Reciprocity: the concept that we should treat others as we would wish them to treat us. One expression of this Ethic is the Christianity's Golden Rule.

A logical development of the Ethic is the principle that each individual is of equal worth, simply because they are human. People may come in three main genders (female, intersexual, and male), all sizes and shapes, many races, three sexual orientations (bisexual, heterosexual, and homosexual), and with a range of talents and abilities. But, there is a growing belief that every human should be considered of equal value.


Sponsored link:


Secular documents which promote equality:

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is one example of this developing consensus: 1,2

  • Preamble of the UDHR:
    • It starts by referring to the rights of all humans: "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world..."
    • It ends by stating that the UDHR is "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms."
  • Article 1: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
  • Article 2: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
  • Article 7: "All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Religious texts which favor equality:

Almost all religious and ethical groups have passages in their holy texts, or writings of their leaders, which promote the belief that all humans are of equal worth.

  • Bahá'í Faith: "No difference or preference has been made by God for its human inhabitants; but man has laid the foundation of prejudice, hatred and discord with his fellowman by considering nationalities separate in importance and races different in rights and privileges."  Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page 232
  • Buddhism: "So what of all these titles, names, and races? They are mere worldly conventions." Sutta Nipata 648
  • Christianity: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3.28
  • Confucianism: "By nature men are pretty much alike; it is learning and practice that set them apart." Analects 17.2
  • Hinduism: "I look upon all creatures equally; none are less dear to me and none more dear." Bhagavad Gita 9.29
  • Islam: "For the white to lord it over the black, the Arab over the non-Arab, the rich over the poor, the strong over the weak or men over women is out of place and wrong." Hadith of Ibn Majah
  • Jainism: "The Law is that which leads to welfare and salvation. It forms conduct and character distinguished by the sense of equality among all beings." Somadeva, Nitivakyamrita 1.1
  • Judaism: "...a single man was created for the sake of peace among mankind, that none should say to his fellow, 'My father was greater than your father.' Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4.5
  • Native American Spirituality: *
  • Shinto: *
  • Sikhism: "Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone." Guru Arjan Devji 259
  • Taoism: *
  • Zoroastrianism: *

* We are searching for suitable quotations. Any help would be appreciated.


Laws, practices and traditions which oppose equality:

  • Slaves are considered property to be bought, sold and exploited. Slavery is generally outlawed throughout the world. However, it is still practiced in some countries. Indentured servitude and child exploitation is even more common.
  • Women have low status in many areas of the world. In North America, the two remaining major career areas that are not open to women are certain combat assignments in the Armed Forces, and positions of power within some conservative denominations and religions. The two largest Christian denominations, the Roman Catholic church and the Southern Baptist Convention do not allow women to be considered for ordination. Other denominations excluding women as clergy include those affiliated with the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC). Church exclusion from positions of power are often based upon the low status of women in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), where they were often looked upon as property. Certain epistles of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament), which conservative Christians attribute to Paul and liberal Christians believe were written in the second century CE also relegated them to submissive status.
  • Gays and lesbians are not a protected class. That is, a person who is discriminated against in employment, accommodation, etc. because of their gender, race, nationality, age, degree of ability, etc are protected against discrimination in most jurisdictions of North America. But homosexuals can be freely fired from their jobs or refused accommodation without any recourse in law. Heterosexuals have access to over 1,000 special benefits as a result of marrying. Homosexuals are not permitted to marry and thus are denied these privileges. The state of Vermont will allow gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions, starting 2000-JUL-1. These unions do grant all of the state-mandated privileges previously reserved to married couples. However, it is doubtful that Vermont civil unions will be recognized in other states without a legal battle. Also, no federal benefits will be given to gays and lesbians who enter into civil unions.
  • Religious persecution is rampant throughout the world. Major civil disturbances and civil wars are fueled by religious intolerance. Followers of minority religions are often considered as sub-human and oppressed, raped and murdered almost at will. Even countries with excellent human rights records, like France and Germany oppress certain religions. Greece, the cradle of democracy, does not allow believers to proselytize. 
  • Although the caste system has been outlawed in India, old traditions die hard. "Untouchables" and people from other lower castes are still heavily discriminated against.
  • Bigots still consider certain groups of people to be sub-human on the basis of their race, nationality, country of origin, degree of ability, etc.

References:

  1. The English text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is at: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
  2. The text is available in other languages is at: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/1/univdec1.htm 
  3. "World Scripture: Equality" contains additional quotations at: http://service-net.org/ws/theme030.cfm 

Go to the previous page, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.