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Fairness is the concept in sociology, law and generally in society, that something should be equal and not be a contradiction to accepted standards. It's related to justice in both the legal and sociological sense. Fairness is also treating others equally or in a way that is considered right or reasonable.[1] Fairness can mean sameness where everything is kept equal by being the same.[2] Fairness can also mean "deservedness" meaning a person gets what they deserve.[2] People who are successful by working hard get what they deserve. People who are lazy and do not work hard get less.[2] Fairness can also be based on need.[2] Those who have more should give more to help others. This is based on the concept that people have obligations to each other.[2] Judges, lawmakers, referees and teachers are among those expected to be fair in their decisions.[3] Fairness is keeping decisions free from any form of discrimination.[3]

In the United States fairness has long been a battle between equality and equity.[4] Equality is the idea everyone should have an equal opportunity.[4] If all the horses in a race start from the same point, the horse that wins is the fastest. Equity is the idea that adjustments need to be made to make things fair for both entities.[4] One should get more than the other because that would be fair in this sense. For example, in the game of golf, when playing a skilled golfer, a less skilled golfer may be given a "handicap" (extra points) at the start of the game.[5] This is to help make the final score fair for both players.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. "fairness". Cambridge University Press. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/fairness. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Arthur Dobrin (11 May 2012). "It's Not Fair! But What Is Fairness?". Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/am-i-right/201205/its-not-fair-what-is-fairness. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "fairness". Vocabulary.com. https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/fairness. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "What is “fairness”?". Medium.com. https://medium.com/message/what-is-fairness-73940071840#.tpsic5kje. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jennifer Gregory. "What Is a Golf Handicap?". Golf Link. http://www.golflink.com/facts_8067_what-golf-handicap.html. Retrieved 14 February 2016.