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Should people be judged based on ability, or merit?

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Started: 12/15/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 388 times Debate No: 98111
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ABILITY: possession of the means or skill to do something.
talent, skill, or proficiency in a particular area.

MERIT: The quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward. Deserve or be worthy of (something, especially reward, punishment, or attention).

From what I understand, Ability is more of an objective measure of someone's utility, as a resource but not necessarily of their character. Merit is more important than ability, because one's subjective value to society may come from a variety of factors other than raw ability or talent. A society is uplifted by talented individuals, but it is greater than the sum of it's parts.

Merit is a better judge of a person as it includes the intangible.


Ability > Merit by far.

Like you said, a person's Merit score is completely subjective (meaning it's not scientific), and things like integrity, honor, and moral upbringing really don't count for much -or even exist- outside of human society where nature's game is otherwise kill or be killed, evolutionary theory, and survival of the fittest.

Man did not become the most dominant species on the planet because he was the most deserving, but because he had the most ability.

Ability too (unlike Merit) is a lot harder to fake. It generally takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert in any given field. These experts then go on to set world-records, make new scientific discoveries, or spur new cultural and technological inventions.
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