Main Values In The Human Society: Equity, Equality, Liberty, And Privacy

I believe there are four values the new AI system of Techie has to consider in its assessment process for any policy in order to have a meaningful perspective on human rights. I will present these four values then go through the most relevant views among the philosophers studied throughout the semester. The values are categorized according to their priority to the human society as follows: Equity, Equality, Liberty, and Privacy. This order does not mean that one is more important than others, but one is founding and complementing to the other.

Consequently, all of them have to be considered and integrated within the reasoning process of the new AI system.

I will take fairness as the main standard in selecting the four mentioned values and categorizing them in that order. I perceive fairness in the central position among all other values because it is the one that enables co-operation which is the main advantage that social species have over non-social ones.

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It is essential for the human society in its universal meaning because it preserves for that society its structure. In other words, fairness is the main reason for individuals to get engaged in the social structure, then the absence of this fairness breaks down this structure. On another note, the human rights in their essence as a set of values are consequential to the social structure and have no existence out of it; they are mainly intangible entities that exist to keep this social structure aligned with the human interest.

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Thus, fairness is the main standard that gives human rights their functionality and value.

Among all values, I believe the integration in maintaining Equity, Equality, Liberty, and privacy is the four ones that give fairness its existence and consequently allowing a space for all other human rights value. First equity is to exclude biased policies and reaffirm that all individuals are in the equivalent situation regarding their duties and rights. It maintains fairness by providing a starting point for equality by granting everyone a position at which they can have the same access to privileges and the same affection by harms. In a perfect policy of equity, everyone is granted the potentiality of getting the same good presented by that policy. For example, it is not enough to enact laws that put serious restrictions on discriminatory processes of admissions to educational institutions as long as a specific group of citizens is not economically empowered to afford the minimum level of that education. The equity is about granting everyone the same starting point of utilization before providing them the same utilities. Second, the equality starts at the ending point of equity.

After we have granted all members of one society equivalent positions at which they are all empowered to make use of the good provided in a given policy, we can focus on their equal access to the good of that policy. In this meaning, equality has to be integrated with and built on a well-established equity in order to be meaningful for achieving fairness. Third, the two values of equity and equality cannot survive in the absence of liberty. It is the essential protection for the equality because no one can have access to some right while being hindered from acting, thinking or speaking in one way or another. Fourth, in a perfect situation when everyone is in the same position at which he or she has the same privilege and free to utilize it, the privacy arises as the main manifestation of liberty. Privacy as the freedom from being hindered by public attention serves as the guarantee for everyone that the three other values of equity, equality, and liberty remain preserved. In this way, the four values are integrated to achieve fairness which is the main product for the social structure to survive.

However, also, the four values do not always reconcile with each other. For example, practicing liberty would in many cases proceed the limits of equality when it goes beyond the essential rights. The main reason for organizing the four values in this order is to reflect which one should prevail over the other in case of contradiction. This is not to say these four values are all about human rights or even the founding basis for every possible right that every human society would see important to be preserved. Rather, these four values in the order and with the integration mentioned, I believe, are the ones that can provide a starting point for a meaningful evaluation process of policies in terms of human rights. Accordingly, in the following paragraphs, I will try to elaborate more on how this approach should work through reviewing the most relevant ideas among different philosophies in our course material.

Rawls perception for the liberty does not reconcile with the approach I have presented above because he posits liberty over equity. I understand Rawls as taking liberty as an objective in itself. According to him, we have to maximize liberty for the sake of it and it does not matter what kind of consequences do we get. He is not seeking happiness, fairness or any other definite outcome beyond liberty itself. The main goal for Rawls is to get the least advantageous person involved in the scheme of liberty. As such, definite constraints for liberty such as poverty and ignorance are not actually constraints for Rawls because he perceives them as a means of measurement, not a definition. Rawls main idea is the democratic equality which is to guarantee all citizens equal basic liberties regardless of the differences between them.

This approach allows the equality of opportunity or liberal equality which is affected by basic problems related to social and natural contingencies that hinder fairness. These problems emanate from the equal opportunities that are based on talents and abilities, such as merit-based opportunities. In both kinds of contingencies, the problem is that people are not equal in their abilities and talents and this inequality has no moral foundation. In social contingencies, the inequality results from the family background; Families with better financial situations are more able to improve and groom their kids and maximize their abilities. Consequently, the disparity in abilities among different persons is not in their own hands and providing opportunities that are based on these abilities is not fair. Rawls does not really provide a workable solution for this problem within adopting the idea of democratic equality. In the natural contingencies, the difference in abilities between persons is natural and Rawls solution for this problem is to tax the naturally advantaged persons. I believe this solution is workable because it harms fairness from another side. That harm is represented in making a person bear the consequences of a situation he did not establish at first place.

Accordingly, Rawls philosophy would not reconcile with the approach I present in this paper because he turns it upside down. While I put the equity on the top of the values, prioritize it in case of contradiction and posit fairness in the central focus of my approach, he prefers equality as a starting point and posits liberty in the central focus of his approach. Thus, the example that I have mentioned in the third paragraph about the equal access to education does not provide a meaningful human rights approach for Rawls because it does not posit the equality of opportunities in the heart of human rights.

Moving from Rawls to Kant, some of his ideas might form a more supportive background for my suggested approach. According to Kant, the main purpose of government is not to make people happy but rather to cause them to have a goodwill. Thus, government policies should be pushing people to develop self-driven limitations. For him, the absolute freedom is not the key, but the proper reasoning is a most important point for individuals. The categorical imperative for Kant is the rule that one can do onto others what he wants them to do onto him. Consequently, Kant would be in favor of equity over liberty in case this latter overrides one’s limits without a valid reasoning. Accordingly, I can expand on Kant’s philosophy to negotiate the situation of contradiction between equity and liberty for the sake of my argument to prioritize the first over the latter.

Kant’s philosophy takes the individual entity and autonomy seriously but in a way that may reconcile with the societal entity more than other individualistic philosophers due to his consideration of duties. He defines autonomy as the use of reason to understand one’s real will. Therefore, Kant recognizes the individual entity only within the community. This view reconciles with the approach I present here in defining the survival of the social structure as the ultimate goal. The main standard for me in electing the four values of equity, equality, liberty, and privacy then categorizing them in this order is to achieve the fairness that would save the social structure. Hence, my central focus is to perceive human rights in a communal way. I believe that Kant is on the same page by his approach that focused mainly on the duties and individual limitations within the big society.

On another note, Although Kant reconciles with my ultimate goal, he is not in a complete alignment with my presented approach. He does not allow freedom out of the context of self-limitation. According to him, it is not necessary for restricting the individuals’ freedoms to have a contradiction between these freedoms and any other value; the amount of freedom is proportionate to the amount needed to develop self-limitation. As such, he accepts the restrictions on civic freedoms, rejects the right to revolute and allow a restricted of participation. However, this should not be the case my presented approach because it does seek to completely abolish one value by another. It is actually about securing a space for the four values to function in an integrated way. Hence, the restriction on liberty for the sake of equality or on equality for the sake of equity would not be desired in cases when any kind of reconciliation is possible.

As for Mill and his search for happiness, I believe that he reconciles with my suggestion as a matter of ultimate goal but disagrees as a matter of approach. In other words, Mill targets a macro conclusion of a perfect society while I do not believe that his approach would really lead to that end. Mill’s goal is to achieve happiness for all humans and he believes this happiness is in utilitarianism because it maximizes utility and that produces the greatest well-being of the greatest number of people. He believes that search for happiness leads to individualism because it does not only make everyone happy but also is the best way towards utilitarianism. Accordingly, for Mill, actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote overall human happiness. In his approach, the central focus of liberty is on choice and not being restricted by the government. He connected that to some social structure that led his approach to utilitarianism. In that structure, the overall social happiness comes from the individual happiness, so everyone has to pursue his own happiness in his own way.

At this point, I believe that Mill’s philosophy is not helpful for the approach of reasoning that I present here because he would posit liberty before and as a foundation of equity. The main standard of distinction here is that Mill presents an approach based on autonomy for a perfect society while I believe that society has to be based on communal values. Mill starts with freedom in the meaning that getting rid of social shackles which will lead to improved self which implies a pursuit of micro individual happiness and if everyone got this individual happiness then we could have a social happiness. My disagreement with this sequence is that Mill does not provide a workable suggestion for how that pursuit of individual happiness remains the best option for everyone. In other words, there is no solution by Mill for the conflict that arises when individual freedoms contradict each other. Although Mill provides the limit for freedom by causing harm, he does not provide a clear definition of that harm and what should it include. On contrary, I start with equity as the main basis for all then equality as a guarantee for that main basis then liberty comes within the space that will be available after maintaining equality. In this sequence, individual happiness is considered within the sake of overall humanity, not as the founding units of it. I believe that the kind of happiness pursuit by Mill is destructive for the overall social survival because it does not guarantee any protection against the unfairness of maintaining variable amounts of freedom for the society members. The building brick of the human social structure is, I suggest, the human co-operation not happiness. That co-operation has no guarantee to continue other than fairness, otherwise, the society would collapse, and humanity has no existence outside that society. I reject Mill’s philosophy because it is not possible to argue that some society can be perfect with an approach breaks down the most necessary feature of that society to function and survive.

Moving on to Terrel, I believe my approach is built on a ground that cannot be compliant with his reasoning process. I understand Terrel’s reasoning as posited under the umbrella of the liberalism and from this position I perceive his reasoning as providing a structure of philosophies more than adopting or defending the views of a specific philosophy. According to him, we need to deny the paradox of certain values such as liberty against equality because we will never figure it out, and all we want to do is to manage the debate. Simply, the paradox needs to be tolerant of competing ideas because there will always be innate pluralism. In that innate pluralism, we have multiple views on the same matter and our mission is to get them all involved in the process of reasoning. The Utopia is where the paradox of certain things, such as liberty and equality, is denied. Consequently, my approach to putting four values in a specific sequence and stick to it does not provide a workable reasoning for Terrel. According to him, we should not focus on figuring out which view should prevail over the other but rather to be able to manage the debate within the innate pluralism on a given matter. This ability can be attained through getting all hypotheses about a given matter involved in discussing that matter without granting any authority for one hypothesis over another other than rationality for all.

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Main Values In The Human Society: Equity, Equality, Liberty, And Privacy. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from

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