I do not care whether the group of surgeons operating on me reflect racial or gender balance, but I do care that they are highly qualified. Neither do most football or basketball fans care whether their team reflects ethnic and gender diversity, but whether they are the best combination of players available. And likewise with airplane pilots, military leaders, business executives, and, may I say it, teachers and university professors.. There may be times when diversity may seem to be "crucial" to the well-being of a diverse community, such as a diverse police force.
Suppose that White policemen overreact to young Black males and the latter group distrust White policemen. Hiring more less qualified Black policemen, who would relate better to these youth, may have overall utilitarian value. But such a move, while we might make it as a lesser evil, could have serious consequences in allowing the demographic prejudices to dictate social policy.
A better strategy would be to hire the best police, that is, those who can perform in disciplined, intelligent manner, regardless of their race.
A White policeman must be able to arrest a Black burglar, even as a Black policeman must be able to arrest a White rapist. The quality of the police man or woman, not their race or gender is what counts. On the other hand, if the Black policeman, though lacking formal skills of the White policeman, really is able to do a better job in the Black community, this might constitute a case of merit, not Affirmative Action.
This is similar to the legitimacy of hiring Chinese men to act as undercover agents in Chinatown. Some philosophers and social scientists hold that human nature is roughly identical, so that on a fair playing field the same proportion from every race and ethnic group and both genders would attain to the highest positions in every area of endeavor.
It would follow that any inequality of results itself is evidence for inequality of opportunity. History is important when considering governmental rules like Test 21 because low scores by blacks can be traced in large measure to the legacy of slavery and racism: Unless one assumes that blacks are naturally less able to pass the test, the conclusion must be that the results are themselves socially and legally constructed, not a mere given for which law and society can claim no responsibility.
The conclusion seems to be that genuine equality eventually requires equal results. Obviously blacks have been treated unequally throughout US history, and just as obviously the economic and psychological effects of that inequality linger to this day, showing up in lower income and poorer performance in school and on tests than whites achieve.
Since we have no reason to believe that differences in performance can be explained by factors other than history, equal results are a good benchmark by which to measure progress made toward genuine equality John Arthur, The Unfinished Constitution Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co, , p. Sterling Harwood seems to support a similar theory when he writes, "When will [AA] end?
When will affirmative action stop compensating blacks? As soon as the unfair advantage is gone, affirmative action will stop. The elimination of the unfair advantage can be determined by showing that the percentage of blacks hired and admitted at least roughly equaled the percentage of blacks in the population.
Mosley develops a similar argument. Rather, given the impossibility of determining what level of representation Blacks would have achieved were it not for racial discrimination, the assumption of proportional representation is the only fair assumption to make. This is not to argue that Blacks should be maintained in such positions, but their contrived exclusion merits equally contrived rectification.
However, Arthur, Mosley, and Harwood fail even to consider studies that suggest that there are innate differences between races, sexes, and groups. If there are genetic differences in intelligence and temperament within families, why should we not expect such differences between racial groups and the two genders? Why should the evidence for this be completely discounted? So we should presume that if we were living in a just society, there would be roughly proportionate representation in every field e.
Hence, it is only fair - productive of justice - to aim at proportionate representation in these fields. But the logic is flawed. It is neutral between them. Suppose that you were the owner of a National Basketball Association team. When you respond to our charges that you and your owners are just responding to individual merit, we respond that the discrimination is a function of deep prejudice against White athletes, especially basketball players, who are discouraged in every way from competing on fair terms with Blacks who dominate the NBA.
You would probably wish that the matter of unequal results was not brought up in the first place, but once it has been, would you not be in your rights to defend yourself by producing evidence, showing that average physiological differences exist between Blacks and Whites and Asians, so that we should not presume unjust discrimination?
Similarly, the proponents of the doctrine of equal results open the door to a debate over average ability in ethnic, racial and gender groups. The proponent of equal or fair opportunity would just as soon down play this feature in favor of judging people as individuals by their merit hard though that may be.
But if the proponent of AA insists on the Equal Results Thesis, we are obliged to examine the Equal Abilities Thesis, on which it is based - the thesis that various ethnic and gender groups all have the same distribution of talent on the relevant characteristic. With regard to cognitive skills we must consult the best evidence we have on average group differences.
We need to compare average IQ scores, SAT scores, standard personality testing, success in academic and professional areas and the like. If the evidence shows that group differences are nonexistent, the AA proponent may win, but if the evidence turns out to be against the Equal Abilities Thesis, the AA proponent loses. Consider for a start that the average white and Asian scores points higher on the SAT tests and that on virtually all IQ tests for the past seven or eight decades the average Black IQ is 85 as opposed to the average White and Asian IQ at over , or that males and females differ significantly on cognitive ability tests.
Females out perform males in reading comprehension, perceptual speed, and associative memory ratios of 1. There are brilliant and retarded people in each group. When such statistics are discussed many people feel uncomfortable and want to drop the subject. Perhaps these statistics are misleading, but then we need to look carefully at the total evidence.
The proponent of equal opportunity would urges us to get beyond racial and gender criteria in assignment of offices and opportunities and treat each person, not as an average white or Black or female or male, but as a person judge on his or her own merits.
Furthermore, on the logic of Mosley and company, we should take aggressive AA against Asians and Jews since they are over-represented in science, technology, and medicine, and we should presume that Asians and Jews are no more talented than average.
But why does society have to enter into this results game in the first place? Why do we have to decide whether all difference is environmental or genetic? Perhaps we should simply admit that we lack sufficient evidence to pronounce on these issues with any certainty - but if so, should we not be more modest in insisting on equal results? Here's a thought experiment. Take two families of different racial groups, Green and Blue. The Greens decide to have only two children, to spend all their resources on them, and to give them the best education.
The two Green kids respond well and end up with achievement test scores in the 99th percentile. The Blues fail to practice family planning and have 15 children.
They can only afford 2 children, but lack of ability or whatever prevents them from keeping their family size down. Now they need help for their large family. Why does society have to step in and help them? Society did not force them to have 15 children.
Suppose that the achievement test scores of the 15 children fall below the 25th percentile. They cannot compete with the Greens.
But now enters AA. It says that it is society's fault that the Blue children are not as able as the Greens and that the Greens must pay extra taxes to enable the Blues to compete. No restraints are put on the Blues regarding family size. This seems unfair to the Greens.
Should the Green children be made to bear responsibility for the consequences of the Blues' voluntary behavior? My point is simply that philosophers like Arthur, Harwood, and Mosley need to cast their net wider and recognize that demographics and childbearing and -rearing practices are crucial factors in achievement.
People have to take some responsibility for their actions. The equal results argument or axiom misses a greater part of the picture. According to this argument, the competent do not deserve their intelligence, their superior character, their industriousness, or their discipline; therefore they have no right to the best positions in society; therefore it is not unjust to give these positions to less but still minimally qualified blacks and women.
In one form this argument holds that since no one deserves anything, society may use any criteria it pleases to distribute goods. The criterion most often designated is social utility. Rawls writes, "No one deserves his place in the distribution of native endowments, any more than one deserves one's initial starting place in society.
The assertion that a man deserves the superior character that enables him to make the effort to cultivate his abilities is equally problematic; for his character depends in large part upon fortunate family and social circumstances for which he can claim no credit.
The notion of desert seems not to apply to these cases. Opponents of affirmative action are hung up on a distinction that seems more profoundly irrelevant: What is the moral difference between dispensing favors to people on their "merits" as individuals and passing out society's benefits on the basis of group identification? Group identifications like race and sex are, of course, immutable.
They have nothing to do with a person's moral worth. But the same is true of most of what comes under the label "merit. The notion that people somehow "deserve" the advantages of these characteristics in a way they don't "deserve" the advantage of their race is powerful, but illogical. It will help to put the argument in outline form. Society may award jobs and positions as it sees fit as long as individuals have no claim to these positions.
To have a claim to something means that one has earned it or deserves it. But no one has earned or deserves his intelligence, talent, education or cultural values which produce superior qualifications. If a person does not deserve what produces something, he does not deserve its products. Therefore, society may override their qualifications in awarding jobs and positions as it sees fit for social utility or to compensate for previous wrongs.
So it is permissible if a minimally qualified black or woman is admitted to law or medical school ahead of a white male with excellent credentials or if a less qualified person from an "underutilized" group gets a professorship ahead of an eminently better qualified white male. Sufficiency and underutilization together outweigh excellence. Premise 4 is false. To see this, reflect that just because I do not deserve the money that I have been given as a gift for instance does not mean that I am not entitled to what I get with that money.
If we accept the notion of responsibility at all, we must hold that persons deserve the fruits of their labor and conscious choices. Of course, we might want to distinguish moral from legal desert and argue that, morally speaking, effort is more important than outcome, whereas, legally speaking, outcome may be more important. Nevertheless, there are good reasons in terms of efficiency, motivation, and rough justice for holding a strong prima facie principle of giving scarce high positions to those most competent.
The attack on moral desert is perhaps the most radical move that egalitarians like Rawls and company have made against meritocracy, and the ramifications of their attack are far reaching.
Here are some implications: Since I do not deserve my two good eyes or two good kidneys, the social engineers may take one of each from me to give to those needing an eye or a kidney - even if they have damaged their organs by their own voluntary actions; Since no one deserves anything, we do not deserve pay for our labors or praise for a job well done or first prize in the race we win.
The notion of moral responsibility vanishes in a system of levelling. But there is no good reason to accept the argument against desert.
We do act freely and, as such, we are responsible for our actions. We deserve the fruits of our labor, reward for our noble feats and punishment for our misbehavior.
We have considered seven arguments for Affirmative Action and have found no compelling case for Strong AA and only one plausible argument a version of the compensation argument for Weak AA. We must now turn to the arguments against Affirmative Action to see whether they fare any better. Arguments Against Affirmative Action. Weak Affirmative Action weakly discriminates against new minorities, mostly innocent young white males, and Strong Affirmative Action strongly discriminates against these new minorities.
As I argued in I. Recently I had this experience. I knew a brilliant philosopher, with outstanding publications in first level journals, who was having difficulty getting a tenure-track position.
For the first time in my life I offered to make a phone call on his behalf to a university to which he had applied. When I got the Chair of the Search Committee, he offered that the committee was under instructions from the Administration to hire a woman or a Black. In fact, it is poor white youth who become the new pariahs on the job market.
The children of the wealthy have no trouble getting into the best private grammar schools and, on the basis of superior early education, into the best universities, graduate schools, managerial and professional positions. Affirmative Action simply shifts injustice, setting Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and women against young white males, especially ethnic and poor white males. It makes no more sense to discriminate in favor of a rich Black or female who had the opportunity of the best family and education available against a poor White, than it does to discriminate in favor of White males against Blacks or women.
It does little to rectify the goal of providing equal opportunity to all. At the end of his essay supporting Affirmative Action, Albert Mosley points out that other groups besides Blacks have been benefitted by Affirmative Action, "women, the disabled, the elderly.
Might this not be a reason to reconsider Affirmative Action? Consider the sheer rough percentages of those who qualify for Affirmative Action programs. Adults over 60 9. The elderly can sue on the grounds of Agism, receive entitlements in terms of Social Security and Medicare, and have the AARP lobbying on their behalf. Recently, it has been proposed that homosexuals be included in oppressed groups deserving Affirmative Action. How many more percentage points would this add? Several authors have advocated putting all poor people on the list.
The only group not the list is that of White males. Are they, especially healthy, middle class young White males, becoming the new "oppressed class"? Should we add them to our list? Respect for persons entails that we treat each person as an end in him or herself, not simply as a means to be used for social purposes.
What is wrong about discrimination against Blacks is that it fails to treat Black people as individuals, judging them instead by their skin color not their merit. What is wrong about discrimination against women is that it fails to treat them as individuals, judging them by their gender, not their merit. What is equally wrong about Affirmative Action is that it fails to treat White males with dignity as individuals, judging them by both their race and gender, instead of their merit.
Present Affirmative Action is both racist and sexist. Clark's standard of choosing the best qualified person for the job as "Cultural anemia. At several universities, the administration has forced departments to hire members of minorities even when far superior candidates were available. Shortly after obtaining my Ph D in the late 70's I was mistakenly identified as a black philosopher I had a civil rights record and was once a black studies major and was flown to a major university, only to be rejected for a more qualified candidate when it discovered that I was white.
Stories of the bad effects of Affirmative Action abound. They were told that a reading of knowledge of Hebrew and Greek was presupposed. Whereupon the representatives of HEW advised orally: And start up programs on relevant things which minority group students can study without learning languages.
Nicholas Capaldi notes that the staff of HEW itself was one-half women, three-fifths members of minorities, and one-half black - a clear case of racial over representation. In officials at Stanford University discovered a proposal for the government to monitor curriculum in higher education: Sex Discrimination Proposed HEW Regulation to Effectuate Title IX of the Education Amendment of " to "establish and use internal procedure for reviewing curricula, designed both to ensure that they do not reflect discrimination on the basis of sex and to resolve complaints concerning allegations of such discrimination, pursuant to procedural standards to be prescribed by the Director of the office of Civil Rights.
Government programs of enforced preferential treatment tend to appeal to the lowest possible common denominator. Furthermore, no test may be given to candidates unless it is proved to be relevant to the job. No standard or criteria which have, by intent or effect, worked to exclude women or minorities as a class can be utilized, unless the institution can demonstrate the necessity of such standard to the performance of the job in question.
Whenever a validity study is called for Whenever the user is shown an alternative selection procedure with evidence of less adverse impact and substantial evidence of validity for the same job in similar circumstances, the user should investigate it to determine the appropriateness of using or validating it in accord with these guidelines.
Affirmative Action with its twin idols, Sufficiency and Diversity, is the enemy of excellence. I will develop this thought in the next section. An Argument from the Principle of Merit Traditionally, we have believed that the highest positions in society should be awarded to those who are best qualified. The Koran states that "A ruler who appoints any man to an office, when there is in his dominion another man better qualified for it, sins against God and against the State".
Rewarding excellence both seems just to the individuals in the competition and makes for efficiency. If Robinson had been brought into the major league as a mediocre player or had batted. As I mentioned earlier, merit is not an absolute value, but there is are strong prima facie reasons for awarding positions on its basis, and it should enjoy a weighty presumption in our social practices. In a celebrated article Ronald Dworkin says that "Bakke had no case" because society did not owe Bakke anything.
That may be, but then why does it owe anyone anything? We generally want the best to have the best positions, the best qualified candidate to win the political office, the most brilliant and competent scientist to be chosen for the most challenging research project, the best qualified pilots to become commercial pilots, only the best soldiers to become generals.
Only when little is at stake do we weaken the standards and content ourselves with sufficiency rather than excellence - there are plenty of jobs where "sufficiency" rather than excellence is required. Perhaps we have even come to feel that medicine or law or university professorships are so routine that they can be performed by minimally qualified people - in which case AA has a place.
But, surely, if merit and merit alone reigns in sports, should it not be valued at least as much in education and industry? The case for meritocracy has two pillars. One pillar is a deontological argument which holds that we ought to treat people as ends and not merely means.
By giving people what they deserve as individuals, rather than as members of groups we show respect for their inherent worth. Although I have heard cases where teachers have been instructed to "race norm" in grading giving Blacks and Hispanics higher grades for the same numerical scores , most proponents of Affirmative Action stop short of advocating such a practice.
The second pillar for meritocracy is utilitarian. In the end, we will be better off by honoring excellence. We want the best leaders, teachers, policemen, physicians, generals, lawyers, and airplane pilots that we can possibly produce in society. So our program should be to promote equal opportunity, as much as is feasible in a free market economy, and reward people according to their individual merit.
I am against affirmative action because it denies the person who deserves to go to their first pick college and allows a less educated person to go because of their race, and not their accomplishments. Affirmative action not only causes segregation, but it also has caused minorities to become compromised. At one time, it may have lessened the severity of discrimination, but now there is no need for it because affirmative action is making discrimination worse.
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Free Affirmative Action Essays - Affirmative Action is Against the Bible - Affirmative Action is Against the Bible America was known as the Land of Opportunity. Then it became evident that "opportunity" was only available to white men. Later, laws were passed to ensure equal opportunity regardless of race, sex, or religion.
Affirmative action is a program based on ending discrimination, but in realty, it has only made discrimination worse. It has caused segregated dorms and many minorities to be compromised. Since.
Essay on Against Affirmative Action Words | 3 Pages. Affirmative action was created to assist minority groups against discrimination, but affirmative action does more harm than what it . The Case Against Affirmative Action Louis P. Pojman. In this essay I set forth nine arguments against Strong Affirmative Action, which I define as preferential treatment, discriminating in favor of members of under-represented groups, which have been treated unjustly in the past, against innocent people.
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