2 comments on “The Hard Work Fallacy, Merit, and Entitlement

  1. Some very interesting perspectives/philosophies. However, this “essay” or “article” is not only pedantic it’s didactic and laden with indoctrination & preachy gobbledygook. I’m not a right winged republican, nor am I entitled. Hard work DOES pay off when applied/implemented in the proper format. Luck or “dumb luck” is for those poor souls at the race track, Las Vegas and/or standing in line playing the lotto at the special convient store where it’s said that multiple winners have played. The poor who depend on luck to win the lotto and play ten, twenty or more quick picks instead of groceries for their starving children… what’s that about? It would appear that the author doesn’t really care for white males born in america. Awwwww well too bad! Not all of us are entitled jerks!

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    • Hello SantaClaus,

      I understand your hesitation in not wanting to call it an essay or article; it certainly doesn’t meet any academic standards that a proper published philosophy essay would have. Given how long ago I wrote it, I don’t even want to read it because of how cringe worthy it likely is. I also write passionately when I strongly disagree with something, which may come across as preachy. With that said, I generally try to get the point across without much rewriting.

      You are right that dumb luck is what gamblers rely on, and I would not advise that anyone willingly rely on just luck. Gambling is an irresponsible and usually illogical waste of money, especially when that money can be put to better use. I hope I did not give the impression that I disregard hard work; I do value hard work and promote that anyone who wants to achieve anything should work as hard as necessary, or at least as hard as is healthy, to make that happen. As I stated in the essay, hard work is one of the conditions for success, and indeed I would say the most important part, and often a necessary condition. I am not advocating laziness, or tolerance of laziness, or a state in which the lazy take advantage of the hard working.

      However, the point I was trying to discuss was the extreme view that hard work is -always- a necessary condition for success, and that any attempt to claim otherwise is simply self entitlement. As I hope the multiple examples I listed showed, hard work is absolutely not always necessary, most notably when nepotism or favours are involved. I hope you will agree, even the hardest working people can find repeated failure due to circumstances beyond their control. A racist employer might reject them based on their appearance or just their name, a hard working white male might be laid off because their job has become obsolete or just because their company has had to cut costs. This isn’t to say all African Americans are discriminated against, or that all Caucasian employers are racist, it simply means that these cases do occur, and for some people it happens enough that they suffer immensely due to no fault of their own.I don’t think there’s anything controversial in saying that murder and disease victims did not deserve their fate and could not have ever worked hard enough to avoid it.

      One of the major influences for me writing this piece was this mistaken view that hard work is the only condition required to attain anything, and this idea consequently leads people to believe that any form of helping others is just laziness and entitlement. This is a dangerous and harmful view, hence why I referred to it as a fallacy, knowing that it might not technically be classified as one. My aim was not to promote socialism or communism, just to point out that a purely meritocratic society would be too ruthless, focusing on a misguided view of desert while sacrificing any empathy or compassion. Such an amoral, or perhaps even immoral view is espoused by many of the vocal right wing in the United States, and elsewhere.

      As for your comment on white males born in America, I am indifferent to what race, sex, or nationality people are, because it is inconsequential for any of the purposes of the essay. I am not a libtard SJW and I don’t think minorities should have more rights or be taken care of more than majorities. I do think that Fox News claiming that the food stamp program is “leeching” is disingenuous and harmful to the working class. While some races and one of the sexes may be more relevant to these situations, I do not promote discriminated policies to favour them. Anyone who works hard and still has trouble getting by should be helped to survive. To simply let them suffer or even die is morally unacceptable. I cannot provide any objective evidence for this moral claim, but, anyone who thinks it’s OK to let hard working Americans die is likely too different from me to appreciate any moral argument I could give. In case you would like such an argument, I would recommend Kant’s categorical imperative.

      I am sorry if my writing has made you think of me as an entitled jerk. I hope this explanation will reassure you that I am not trying to argue that lazy people deserve free hand outs and shouldn’t have to work at all. If I have misunderstood your comment, please feel free to correct me.

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