No Christianity, No Equality

1793 Equality anagoriaYuval Harari in Impossible People:

“According to the science of biology, people were not “created.” They have evolved. And they certainly did not evolve to be “equal.” The idea of equality is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creation. The Americans got the idea of equality from Christianity, which argues that every person has a directly created soul, and that all people are equal before God. However if we do not believe in the Christian myths about God, creation, souls, what does it mean that all people are created “equal”? Evolution is based on difference, not on equality. Every person carries a somewhat different genetic code, and is exposed from birth to different environmental influences. This leads to the development of different qualities that carry with them different chances of survival. “Created equal” should therefore be translated “evolved differently.”” [Read more of the quote in context here.]

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2 thoughts on “No Christianity, No Equality

  1. I find that the “created equal” aspect of creation is only in this spiritual sense; but when applied to day to day life – women in the Old Testament were concubines, married to a man who had more than one wife, could be kicked out of the house for not having children, could be kicked out of the house for speaking with strangers, could be kicked out of the house for not having their heads covered, women couldn’t do what men did, they couldn’t sit at the city gates and make ruling decisions on legal matters brought before them – and even when Jesus’ teachings came on the scene, it paved the way for men to have authority over women, for women to be told to be silent, for women to be forbidden from teaching. So it feels as if for all the spiritual equality, there’s actual inequality in practice.

    • We have to be careful to distinguish between the actual teachings of scripture and what people actually did in historical accounts, ie. between the prescriptive and the descriptive. Also, we must remember that a difference in role does not necessarily imply a lack of equality in worth, standing, or value. For instance, a Director fulfills a different role than a Producer in the film industry. Both roles are vital and neither is more important than the other. Yet, each have a different job. Similarly, God created men and women with equal worth and value, but he does give us different jobs to do in certain contexts. That way, we avoid the “too many cooks in the kitchen” phenomenon and can maximize our productivity, etc.

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