CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS-- AMONG THESE LIFE AND LIBERTY
The essential truth about man, in the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, is that all men are created, that is, inherently, equal. All subordination of one man to another is humanly instituted: it cannot be derived from the nature of man or from the condition of man in a state of nature, that is, in a nonartificial condition.
In general, the doctrine of the natural equality of men can mean either of two things: 1) that all inequalities among men are artificial, having their origin in social and economic accidents;1 or 2) that although certain natural inequalities of strength or wisdom may exist among men, these entitle no one to any political powers or privileges above another. Equality in the former sense demands conformity, in the latter, uniform evaluation and a balance of differences in relation to law.