The Blogger SAT Challenge

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A common logical fallacy is that of the false dilemma: the proposal of two apparently opposed ideas, with the reader or listener expected to reject one and thus acceptance of the other. The thesis that ‘struggle is a more important measure of success than accomplishment’ is an example of such a fallacy; a subtle and non-directed one, to be sure, but a fallacy nonetheless.

The achievements of somebody who struggles to overcome huge obstacles to achieve modest goals are simply of a different, and not comparable, nature to those of the well-prepared, ably-assisted, and naturally-gifted individual who achieves the truly exceptional. Both are admirable; both serve as inspirational examples.

The example of the struggle to overcome obstacles to achieve is a staple of fables both ancient and modern; certainly, it is a staple of American film, from ‘The Mighty Ducks’ to ‘A Beautiful Mind’ amongst innumerable others. But the implication that we should ignore the truly exceptional, if achieved from an already privileged position, is something I cannot support.

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Comments

  1. #1 Carl Lumma
    October 3, 2006

    This is approaching the quality I would hope to center a bell grading curve for these essays on.

  2. #2 Wilbur
    October 3, 2006

    A rather mediocre and unimaginative essay.

  3. #3 Jason Thomas
    October 4, 2006

    Short, and exactly to the point. I see essay after essay accepting the false logical pretense that success is not malleable in definition, or relative. You can be successful relative to the rest of society, if you start out from a privileged position. Or you could be successful in an entirely different way, for instance having overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.

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