The paper "Merit - Why Do We Value It?" is an engrossing example of an essay on philosophy. This paper discusses a philosophical problem touched by L.Pojman: Why do we to value merit? Since my childhood, I have always heard this phrase: “What goes around comes around.” The way I have always understood it, is that be cautious how you act in life because any action is likely to pay back. After getting acquainted with “Merit”, by Louis Pojman, this statement sounds even more truthful and reasonable when I am old enough to realize it. The author gives a formal explanation and backing of the saying, moreover, he gives sound arguments why this is true.
In nowadays world, there are a lot of men, women, and children who have an excuse for the fact they cannot succeed in certain plans or in life in general. They would complain that their parents did were busy with their careers instead of caring about them, or moreover, they would claim that their life situation is a result of the social influence. They think that their own destinies will repeat their parents’ ones, so what for to endeavor to change something. Someone may console with such people when they hear this, though I believe that we are architects of our own fortunes.
“Institutional desert, a kind of deserving that society creates and grants those who play by the rules legitimate expectations of goods” (Rawls, 1988). In my opinion, Rawls is completely right. I consider we are all endowed with gifts when born and it depends on a person whether to use it or neglect. It hardly matters whether our parents cared well about us or focused on themselves, it is in our power to change everything by acting in a proper way. We are actually a generation of pessimism and negativity. Humans are willing to generate critical situations in our lives and the more difficult the better. It may seem true when we see the life-stories of famous people. It has never attracted attention, when a celebrity is awfully positive, has no scandals in life and acts as a salt of the earth. The negative ending charms us and makes us get interested in this very person.
The only way to cope with a negative attitude is to begin searching for the positive sides of destiny. As an alternative to searching for everything bad in our life, we must make ourselves feel positive. One possible alternative to do it is to “reward good works, which in return will encourage further good works” (L. Pojman, 1999)... We can see both from history and from our own lives that it is true. Have you ever been given the wrong change (I mean more than you were to get)? And in most cases, we keep silent and never give money back to a salesman. And what happens when – you are bound to be robbed, to lose the wallet or to have some unexpected expenses. The result is terrible: you have negative emotions and a salesman too because the sum of his mistake will be subtracted from his wage.
Louis Pojman claims that “the virtuous are rewarded and the vicious punished in proportion to their relative deserts” (Pojman, 1999). Then he continues: “the idea of rewarding the good and punishing the bad is a basis for every culture in the world to approach certain situations and consequences of these situations” (Pojman, 1999). Nevertheless, there are other thinkers, Atkins, Kant, and Rawls, who are of different opinions on this topic. Personally, I believe that we must estimate merit. I suppose that it is vital to the world we live in, to employ merit and to equalize merits and evil actions, particularly in those places where the latter dominates.
It is important to realize that every negative act in life influences the universe balance and the only thing we have in the end is the deepening misbalance in life. I prefer to keep to such rule in my life: Do as you would be done by. Is there anyone who wants to be mistreated, lied to or abused? I can definitely say that all our bad acts come back to us, sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it happens soon, but the fact is that a pay-off is usually even more menacing than an initial negative act.
In conclusion, I would like to notice that I am in favor of Mr. Pojman’s viewpoint and I think his philosophy does not only represent mental and ethical problems but draws the real picture of our evil world.