According to the Declaration of Independence, we’re all created equal. But Professor Aeon Skoble is not as rich as Bill Gates, as tough as Vin Diesel, or as sexy as Hugh Jackman. To Professor Skoble, the Declaration intends for us all to be treated equal before the law. Put another way, we should all have equal freedom to choose our own respective paths to happiness as long as we do not infringe on the freedoms of others.
Treating people as equals means that we should show equal respect for the choices they make. That means that, although we may disagree with others, we should respect their preferences for jobs, tv shows, music, etc… The legal system should show equal respect for persons by respecting their rights equally, not by interfering with the outcomes of people’s choices. If we try to produce equality in some other fashion, we will necessarily violate people’s freedom to choose.