What makes a society fair? Back in the day, merit was determined by parentage, and the world lived in a class-based society. It was either impossible or extremely hard to move vertically. Of course, we’re more civilized now, and we’ve moved past that, right? It’s no longer fair to award somebody based on something as simple as his parent’s position. People now are judged based on merit; smart and hard-working people are ones most valued by society, and most often the ones rewarded.
But what makes that any more fair? What’s the difference between telling somebody “I am going to give you this job because of who your parents are, even though you had nothing to do with that,” and telling somebody “I am going to give you this job because you’re lucky enough to have been born smarter than all the other applicants?” Or a predisposition to working hard? Why reward somebody for having an upbringing that encourages hard work? Is he less deserving that one who comes from a lazy background?
Of course, if we took that argument to its natural conclusion, we’d all end up like Harrison Bergeron.