Sample Philosophy Essay on Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action policies are meant to correct past mistakes in gender relations and imbalances in access to opportunities; this means that compensation applies to alleviate losses from experiences. The article portrays Louis Pojman as one of the characters who believe that affirmative action is immoral because of various reasons. The first reason is that mistakes that were done in the past cannot be corrected. Actions that led to discrimination and other forms of undesirable acts are irreversible, and if they happened, then there is no need to oppress others in an attempt to find justice. The second reason is based on the fact that economic disparities among the whites and blacks or men and women bring about discrimination. If this disparity is addressed, then the problem will be solved, unlike in a situation where gender and racial differences form the focus for justice (Johnson and Green, 22-23). An example of the unjust measures taken by the government or any agency to compensate marginalized groups would be the denial of an employment opportunity to a qualified person so that the position is available for a marginalized person or group based on gender or race.

One of the author’s arguments about compensation states that whites should compensate the blacks for the harm committed in the past. This implies that whites offended all the blacks – an assumption that is far from reality. Thus, any attempt to bring justice to the minority group in such a case should involve a level playing field like having schools for both races. This would ensure that they get the same treatment in terms of education, which ensures that the future is in safe hands. In an attempt to apply affirmative action, the targeted audience will benefit at the expense of the unintended audience – a factor that contributes to discrimination. He also considers the difference between preferential and procedural affirmative action. Procedural affirmative action is where moral standing is observed, unlike in the case of preferential action, in which direct and strict action is applicable (King and Alexander, 11-14). It stipulates that the right procedure will be followed in the case of an employment opportunity; candidates will be selected based on their qualification in that particular field. If another decision is undertaken contrary to the qualification criterion, it means that moral justice is violated.

The most convincing answer concerns the fact that injustice cannot be compensated. This is very true because in the normal world, if an event has happened, it would be very difficult to avert the consequences; it would not be possible to adequately and effectively compensate the victims. As an example, the compensation of black women with incentives from the government due to the suffering they experienced in the past would not be effective since the damage was permanent and emotional damage that happened is deep rooted in their hearts. Providing jobs to the youth is a good action that brings happiness to many people, but in cases where other groups are denied job opportunities, it is regarded as an unjustified move.

Louis Pojman is able to convince people about the moral standing of the affirmative action that is undertaken by any organization to correct past injustices, arguing about its ineffectiveness. In addition, he stresses on a leveled playing field for all individuals no matter their background differences, so that the future is well determined. This implies that all are equal despite our social differences.



Works Cited

Johnson, Johnson, and Green, Riley. Affirmative action. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO. 2010.

King, David, and Alexander, Stevens. Legal education for the 21st century. Littleton, CO: F.B. Rothman. 2011.