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Is Equality of Opportunity Desirable?



 At the beginning of a race at a San Luis Obispo High School track meet, the runners are lined up at the starting line. If one student begins before the sound of a gunshot marking the signal to start, they would be automatically disqualified. However, this is not applicable to the unique natural factors humans are born with which drastically affect their opportunities and treatment.

 A quick Google search reveals that equality is “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.” This widely used definition is flawed in its ideal that all people should be presented with the same opportunities. In other words, having everyone begin from the metaphorical starting line, with absolutely no headstarts or setbacks.

  Both environmental and genetic variables affect one’s human experience. Each person would have to be genetically engineered to be born with no defects or illnesses in order to avoid any potential leverage or disadvantages. Environmental balance would entail social engineering. All children would have to be raised in a controlled and neutral atmosphere where they are educated and learn precisely the same information.

 Yet, just as every human is unique in some aspect, no two are exactly identical. Therefore, equality cannot exist when the subjects of the concept are different themselves. In order to achieve this, each individual would have to eliminate all diversity or signs of distinction.

 Reducing the gap between knowledge and ignorance is enticing. However, this means suppressing the intelligent, and being held back at the level of the least bright population.

 Even if everyone was granted the same opportunities, inequalities would arise due to individuals who work harder and achieve more than others. It’s a classic case of the tortoise and the hare. Both are faced with equal circumstances, and end up at completely different places due to their innate abilities or opposing mindsets.  


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