Would It Be Moral to Grade Exams Such That Each Student Received a C?

If Not, Is It Moral for the State to Redistribute Income?



From: "Business Course I" by Gary North
Lesson 100


The problem statement in the title virtually answers itself.

This is a simple exercise - provided the terms are clearly defined.

What is Moral?

Definition: Morality is the difference between Right and Wrong.

This definition is both sufficient - for a thinking person - and insufficient as a tautology.

To clarify, morality is the following.

In other words, morality is the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you (and the Platinum Rule: Don't do unto others what you don't want done unto you).

What are "Grades"?

For Me

Grades in school were a measure of merit, and clearly defined. On a scale of 0 to 100

90-100  A
80-89   B
70-79   C
60-69   D
50-59   F

Alternatively, grades were issued "on a curve." That is, test scores tended to follow a Gaussian distribution, and C was average, while As and Fs were assigned in roughly equal quantities to the tails of the bell curve.

For "Trophy Kids"

A friend of mine teaches Philosophy in a state university. His personal policy is to give As in most cases, and fail none. He does not even give a final exam.

In this case, a C or better is like a "gold star." That is, when I finished a fill-in-the-blank assignment in first grade, I would receive a gold star on the top of the page as long as I did not leave anything blank.

Redistribute Income

This phrase is self-explanatory. But let's make a distinction.

Voluntary Redistribution

When, for example, parishioners tithe at church and some portion of tithings goes to the needy, this is voluntary redistribution of income.

When family and neighbors help others in the community with a new baby, or say, damage from disaster, this is voluntary redistribution.


Involuntary Redistribution

If I decide a favored acquaintance of mine deserves your gold more than you, and I put a gun to your head to coerce you to give up your gold, I have committed an act of violence. This is immoral.

If the state demands a portion of my wages and sends men with guns to lock me in a cage if I do not consent, is this moral for any reason?


Let's review the problem statement.

Would It Be Moral to Grade Exams So That Each Student Received a C?

If Not, Is It Moral for the State to Redistribute Income?

There is no solution to this problem if "morality," "grades," and "redistribution" mean different things to different people.

However, for most people - or at least for me personally - the answer is clear on the face of it.

Ultimately, neither supposition is moral.

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