Essay On Justice By John Rawls

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John Rawls begins Justice as fairness, by identifying the fundamental purpose of society as to provide justice through a social contract; to achieve justice is to attenuate any social and economic inequalities throughout the course of citizens’ lives and achieve equal opportunities for all member of a society despite predispositions such as gender and race. To bring this normative idea into perspective, Rawls asks individuals forming a society to adopt a “veil of ignorance,” an attitude in which no one knows what place he or she would occupy in the society to be created, when it comes to choosing policies for a society so as to make sure that the rules would hold highest considerations for those in the most unfortunate positions of society. In the course of articulation, Rawls identifies two principles: “Each person has the same indefeasible claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties, which scheme is compatible with the scheme of liberties for all; and [and the second principle being] social and economic inequalities are to satisfy two conditions; first, they are to be attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity; and second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society (the difference principle)” (Rawls pg. 42). One of Rawls' critics argues that Rawls' approach assumes that the resources to be (re-) distributed to implement his principles of justice are treated as if they are not already owned by the current holders and, consequently, disregards the effect redistribution would have on those persons' lives. Hitherto, this claim has no basis to stand or even damage Rawls’ overall arguments. The two aforementioned principles essent... ... middle of paper ... ...e main goal for a society should be to develop a fair system over time in which social cooperation is maximized overall from one generation to the next. Stemming from that goal, the most important claim in the work posits that the equal distribution of resources leads to the most desirable state and that inequality can only be justified by benefits for the least advantaged. In making that claim, Rawls retroactively pointed out to the fact that people have inherent rights to the things that they produce as this is only natural (from the first principle). Thus the critique made about Rawls’ points fails to do harm for the reason that attempts to improve the condition of the least advantaged through redistribution is unjust because they make people work involuntarily for others and deprive people of the goods and opportunities they have created through time and effort.
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