In contemporary Western culture we take it for granted that discrimination is always unacceptable and often abhorrent.   Yet we discriminate on the basis of personality, appearance and intelligence when choosing a partner.  Factors which are largely immutable.  We expect authorities to discriminate on the basis of skill and experience, when choosing to appoint a surgeon or an airline pilot.  We certainly don't expect these individuals to be chosen at random.  

Should we view a society free from all discrimination as an illusion, or a vital political goal?  Should we see intelligence, skill and experience as acceptable forms of discrimination and deserving of merit, or are they unacceptable being the product of background, education and opportunity?  Should we strive to create a level playing field while knowing that this is unattainable, or is the very idea of equality a mistake?

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