Athletic Meritocracy

Topics: Management, Psychology, Sociology, Morality, Mind, Thought / Pages: 5 (1181 words) / Published: Sep 20th, 2015
Giftedness and Compensation for Talent

One of the assumptions that the meritocracy holds is the idea of innate talent - that people’s merit are mostly genetically inherited skill. Michael Sandel calls this idea “giftedness,” or an appreciation of our limitations and our willingness to accept “the unbidden” - what we cannot control. To alter a person’s natural abilities, then, would be seen as an unfair advantage, as it was not given to him or her genetically, and demonstrates a lack of gratefulness for what they have. Sandel’s perspective is dangerously conservative - such acceptance of boundaries and limitations is almost nihilistic. It would be irrational, in Sandel’s opinion, to attempt to change anything, even to better one’s self. Yet
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This athletic meritocracy reflects the system we see in place of society - those who exemplify certain qualities, such as teamwork, problem solving, and communication, are more likely to be rewarded with employment or promotions. If certain applicants were to use other advantages to obtain these positions, it would be seen as cheating the system and unfair to other vying for the job. Therefore, enhancements to improve capability would be frowned upon or discriminated against, to encourage …show more content…
The argument claims that as skill is mostly genetic, athletes who would use PEDs would then gain a “false victory,” as it would not be their skill that allowed them to win. If this assumption is true, those who are not lucky enough to be born with the proper genes to be a naturally successful athlete are at a disadvantage. Dixon brings this up as well - instead of it being “natural” skill, it would result in people being able to process the PEDs more effectively being the ones that win, and that’s still not fair. Eventually, we see it boils down to a terrible amount of luck - being lucky to be born to parents who have the proper genes to create the perfect child. The people who wrote “May the Best Man Win” suggests that this idea is the “talentocracy” - where “... the pride and praise should go to those who put in the most intentional effort to realize the potential provided by natural talent.” The believers of the talentocracy are focused on the physical potential of an athlete rather than effort he may exert. However, they argue, if doping was allowed in sport, it could provide a similar level of potential as those naturally gifted. PEDs, then, could be used to make the situation more equal - restricted PED use could allow those who are below the physical average to compete on a fairer ground with their more

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