The Natural Lottery Argument

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The Natural Lottery Argument John Rawls, American moral and political philosopher, whose major work, A Theory of Justice, states that society will favour individuals whose natural abilities and talents allow them to succeed over those who fail. In his opinion this is just provided they use these abilities and talents to help others. I shall argue that one does not deserve to benefit from the use of their natural talents and abilities, but from the hard work one achieves.

Rawls' "difference principle" states that socio-economical inequalities are acceptable in so far as they benefit the least advantaged (Rawls, 1999, p.70). This is a radical alternative to the "principle of equal opportunity," in which people, having the same talents and a similar willingness to use them, enjoy the same degrees of success. According to Rawls (1999), our worth should not be determined by our class or education opportunities, and that our position should not be determined by our abilities and talents.

These, just as much as the class positions of our parents are the outcome of what he describes as a natural lottery. Rawls' natural lottery argument involves the natural talents and abilities that one possesses from the time of birth. Rawls claims that if one does not employ their talents for personal prosperity than they should be deserving of those talents in that they have shown they did not use their advantage to disadvantage someone else, one must deserve their talent. But if one's talents are derived from the result of genetics or environment, one does not deserve them, because they are a result of luck, one does not deserve to prosper from their use.

Now, the natural lottery argument may seem just to the equal opportunist, but it is not just to suggest that no one is deserving of his...



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