Q1

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A political philosophy built upon the concept of equality, egalitarians believe that people should be treated equally in all respects. Specifically, people “should be treated as equals, should treat one another as equals, and should relate as equals, or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort.” While at first this idea may seem like a panacea, there are both positive and negative implications of this philosophy. Considering the benefits of a society based on equality, discrimination and unfair practices that favored (or privileged) one group of people over another group would be eliminated (especially in regard to the distribution of wealth and income). All people, regardless of their background or abilities/disabilities, would garner the same respect and hold the same social status in society and this aspect people would be completely free to pursue their passions without being concerned about financial matters (intrinsically motivating factors). For example, a doctor would earn the same salary and hold the same standing as a trash collector. However, it is this very idea of complete equality that presents the greatest challenge for egalitarianism—without the incentives of greater financial rewards and prestige, there would be little inducement for people to seek more challenging and demanding careers. While there may be a few people who genuinely find manually emptying latrines enjoyable, it is unlikely the average person would voluntarily choose such unpleasant work. Thus, if the task is essential to the functioning of society, there must be some reward or “bonus” to encourage people to perform this vital but necessary job—otherwise the society may crumble. In thinking about how Lukes may have described Egalitaria ... ... middle of paper ... ... The medication was costly to manufacture the government did not produce it because there were not enough people who had the rare disease that Emily’s mother suffered from. Emily pleaded with the government official at the distribution center but was told that it would not be possible to obtain the medicine because not everyone needed it. Disheartened, Emily and her family carried their groceries to the car drove home. Returning home with Emily and her family, Nicholas retired for the evening and quickly fell into a deep sleep. He dreamt of how wonderful it would be to live in a society in which everyone was treated fairly and equally, but awoke in a nightmarish state after dreaming of his “reconditioning” at the equality center after he had inadvertently wore his favorite red bowtie in public. He fell back asleep and looked forward to the next stop in his journey.
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