John Rawls: “Original Position”

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The general concept of Rawls “original position” is that all social “Primary Good” should be distributed equally to individuals in a society, unless an unequal distribution favors those less fortunate. Rawls call “the situation of ignorance about your own place in society the “original position (242).” Rawls’ theory is in direct response to John Lock’s principles on social contract which states that people in a free society need to set rules on how to live with one another in peace. Rawls’ principles were designed to guards against injustices, which was inflicted upon society, with the help of John Stuart Mills Utilitarianism principle that individuals should act so as to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number. Mills principle justified Nazi Germany's mistreatment of the Jews and the United States' mistreatment of African- Americans. Rawls’ argues that a person’s good is that which is needed for the successful execution of a rational long-term goal of life given reasonably favorable circumstances. He described the definition of good as the satisfaction of rational desires and identifies goods as liberty, opportunity, income, wealth and self-respect. Rawls creates a hypothetical society, via a thought experiment known as the “Veil of Ignorance,” in which all that you knew of yourself is eliminated from your mind to allow you to come to a rational decision on how you would like your society to be organized. Rawls principle is that under a social contract what is right must be the same for everyone. The essence of Rawls' “veil of ignorance” is that it is designed to be a representation of persons purely in their capacity as free and equal moral persons. Out of this experiment Rawls provides us with two basic p... ... middle of paper ... ...alist society, because it necessitates that a few people hold the positions at the top of the ladder and control the resources of the country while the majority people are increasingly exploited for their labor power. I would opt against some other economic society, not knowing whether or not it would satisfy the conditions of providing the best opportunity for the lest in my society. After all, America was founded on being the best solution to a free society. However, Capitalism would still afford me the best opportunity to advance my station in life no matter what position I may find myself slotted. If I select, as Rawls suggest that I should, choosing Capitalism gives the best opportunity for the worst case in our society to advance. Works Cited Warburton, Nigel. "Philospphy: the Classics." 3rd. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2006. 241-248.
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