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Merit Philosophy Essay

In the present society we value struggle and hard work that we owe. The paper “Merit: Why do we value it? ” the author, Louis Pojman, claims that in life we always get whatever we earn in life, what you deserve is what you get. But others have come with the counter argument that we cannot take advantage from our success because of our social standing or our intelligence. I agree to Pojman’s observation of things that “Good deeds must be followed by good outcomes and bad deeds by bad outcomes” (pg. 96).

And also “Each act in the world has an appropriate response”. In this essay I will give details on the situations where this fits and also discuss the events in which people feel hard done by when others are being rewarded in situations where they should not. Merit is a quality which determines the distribution of rewards, praises and prizes on the basis of good or quality work done. Merits should be served as the prime basis of handing out rewards and punishments. Any person who trains or works really hard deserves a better position.

For example, at the office one intern works really hard and shapes his qualities better then any other interns, deserves to get the job over the boss’s son, who spends less hours at the office and trains less, thinking that he has the job in the bag simply because he is the boss’s son. Pojman has stated in his study that “I have trained harder then anyone else so I deserve to win the race. I deserve reward or praise for my kind act as it came after an ethically good will thinking (pg. 87).

The author explains in his paper that praising good deeds will encourage a person to do good deeds in the future. Alternatively punishments are handed out to revise the bad actions. With this we can also form a system in which we can search out the best possible order of people who can perform the task efficiently. For example, I want the best engineers to build the particular bridge or I want the best performing employee to perform a task for me. Being at the top of performing a task gives a person a deserving praise and reward according to the level.

Some disagree to this and say that the person does not deserve to be rewarded for a job that has been done efficiently based on the lottery system. The lottery objection system says that “One does not deserve his natural talents, his determination and his society in which he his living” (pg. 99). It means that anyone having ability, like for example to run fast or to sing well, does not deserve it. So likewise they should not be awarded to sign contracts with different music companies or should not be awarded with prize money for winning a race on his talent.

The natural lottery objection is flawed in my opinion. People prefer to listen to the people who can sing well. The persons who cannot sing are being left out or not listened to fairly. The society chooses the persons for their place of involvement. This goes for the persons having their natural ability to construct things smoothly with the most ideal results. Society places a superior worth on the best of the best. It is natural to select the things this way. Every individual first learn and then develops his talents to serve the world.

But there are also people who lack the determination to generate good things. These people do not deserve merit for their non serious work attitude. An individual who train hard and have a good attitude deserves the best offered in life. Individuals who do well to others are also deserved to be treated well in return. Nothing like Mantle, whose name was on top of the transplant list just because he was a baseball player. He was admitted to the hospital because he had damaged his liver. He confessed that he has damaged his liver by the constant use of alcohol and drugs.

Because of his reputation he knocked off other who were in line and were suffering from liver damage by no fault on their own. Mickey Mantle did not deserve to get his new liver. As we are all human beings, when someone strips away someone’s talents they are believed to be equal. But in the case of Mickey Mantle it was not there and it spread injustice. He only deserved to get the liver but it was injustice to be placed top on the list. This specific occurrence is horrendous. It was an injustice to the humanity.

I have stated in favor of Pojman’s paper that high-quality work deserves merit and an equal reward or praise to the good work produced. Individuals get in life whatever they have put on it. It is very unfair to say that people with natural talents and abilities do not deserve good simply because they are born with it. One has to learn what he is good at and use his ability to do well. ? Reference: Pojman, L. (1999). Merit: Why Do We Value It? [Electronic version]. Journal of Social Philosophy, 30(1), 83-102.


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