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Do We Really Get What We Deserve?

  • Date Submitted: 07/01/2010 05:40 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.6 
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Do We Really Get What We Deserve?

      Tera Bazanka

      Carol Parker
      May 25, 2010

      We all live by a set of rules, and laws.   We expect these laws to take care of us in the sense that they will bring goodness and justice.   In our society, we value hard work and in return, we expect the benefits that are due.   In the paper “Merit: Why do we value it?” written by Louis Pojman, he argues that we deserve what we earn.   Others might argue that we should not benefit from our success because of our intelligence or social standings.   However, there is a double standard, such as when people are rewarded in situations when they clearly should not be.   That is not justice, and it is not bringing goodness when unfair actions, such as that are being rewarded

      As Pojman argues for a world in which, “the virtuous are rewarded and the vicious punished in proportion to their relative deserts,” I agree with him.   Pojman explains that desert is “typically or paradigmatically connected with action, since it rests on what we voluntarily do or produce” (Pojman, 1999).   The actions of the person are neither influenced by rules, duties, or determinations of how to act in a specific situation. A person who practices virtuous acts, those that help rather than hurt human flourishing, deserves to be rewarded for their efforts.

      In Pojman’s example of Mickey Mantle and the kidney transplant, the idea of citizens who were on the donor lists long before he became a candidate being overlooked in order for him to receive a kidney first is appalling.   Being the victim of any disease is awful, yet Mickey Mantle put himself in the position to develop liver problems through the actions he chose to partake in.   The people ahead of him originally on the donor list, the ones who had liver problems through no fault of their own, deserved the right to be treated and given a chance to live their lives.   Celebrity status should not automatically...


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