Overall, Rawls argues that the most distinctive role of justice in society is to equally distribute rights and duties to individuals. The underlying egalitarian viewpoint is that individuals do not possess any characteristics that would “justify inequalities in the distribution of social benefits and burdens”. The principles of justice, as depicted in Rawls book, are chosen by individuals an initial position of equality. These principles can be applied to solve structural issues in society such as the distribution of social and economic advantages, the distribution of basic rights and duties to citizens. Rawls argues that in order for the principles of justice to establish an ideal society, where equality between citizens is realized, several hypothetical ... ... middle of paper ... ... interest while in pursuit of maximizing happiness.
Rawls defines justice as fairness as the choices made in the original position, saying, “They are the principles that free and rational persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality defining the fundamental terms of their association...This way of regarding the principles of justice we shall call justice as fairness.”(10) By assuming people in the original position could only make rational, unbiased judgements, Rawls claims principles reached in this position would be the most just. Considering the veil of ignorance creates a lack of knowledge about individual positions and personal conceptions of the good, choices in the original position are limited in ability to unfairly distribute economic and political advantages. Although named justice as fairness, Rawls theory does not attempt to redistribute primary goods among all member of society, rather it only attempts to show how the principles chosen in the original principle would benefit all members of society. With the introduction of the original position, Rawls intends to show how justice as fairness is a more attractive choice than utilitarianism. In defin... ... middle of paper ... ... equality would be chosen under the original position.
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).
The principles of justice are in place to ensure that the “assignment of rights and duties” through the basic structure of society justly distribute both the “benefits and burdens” of social and economic advantages (Rawls, 47). Drawing from the difference principle, inequalities in wealth and income can be justified if all parties benefit as a result. In comparison to the alternative interpretations of natural liberty and liberal equality, a system of democratic equality holds to “pure procedural justice…[although] this still leaves too much to social and natural contingency” (Rawls, 69). Given this notion, however, the difference principle is fully “compatible with the principle of efficiency” (Rawls, 69). When tying the difference principle with fair equality of opportunity, it ensures that while individuals may have drastically different situations, the situations themselves are justified as long as the structure serves to “improve the expectations of the least advantaged... ... middle of paper ... ...uld be in Nozick’s framework (Rawls, 76).
However, the philosopher Rawls would not agree with his idea. This is because according to his first principle of justice, the idea is that everyone has an inherent right to live freely and have the basic necessities in life. This means that no person has fixed roles within the society and therefore, everybody deserves the benefits of life according to his or her talents. (Sandel M. J., 2009) In addition to the above, what can be seen is that after I read the complete idea of Aristotle and his notion on slavery, it can be seen that the slavery Aristotle supports simply does not and cannot exist. According to Aristotle, justice is achieved when people are accorded the roles they fit.
John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice holds that a rational, mutually disinterested individual in the Original Position and given the task of establishing societal rules to maximise their own happiness throughout life, is liable to choose as their principles of justice a) guaranteed fundamental liberties and b) the nullification of social and economic disparities by universal equality of opportunities, which are to be of greatest benefit to the least advantaged members of society , . Rawls’ system of societal creation has both strengths and weaknesses, but is ultimately sound. One strength is the inherent compulsion to look after the interests of the entire society through the Veil of Ignorance. One is unable to look after the interests of a single particular ethnic, political or social grouping because of uncertainty regarding which groups they will belong to within society, so they grant all individuals “freedom of thought, [religion], personal and political liberties” . This establishes a precedent of equality for all and ensures a fair standard of living.
To combat this bias, Rawls implements the “veil of ignorance” into his position and thinks that it would hypothetically make for a suitable and just world. The veil that he describes creates an unbiased opinion due to the fact that the rules would be made by people who did not know their future opinions or lifestyle. They would have no knowledge of who they were to become politically, economically, or in any other manner, but would have a common knowledge to base decisions on. There are two main components to upholding the theory of keeping rules just; they are having equality in rights, and if there is to be an inequality then it has to benefit people, especially the least well off. Living in a society such as the United States there seems to be a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality.
As stated above a world where everyone is right, is but a fairytale of inevitable chaos. The appealing yet misleading idea that we can live peacefully in a world full of moral relativist is undoubtedly nothing more than an illusion. When everyone is right in their actions no one will be held accountable for their behavior or anything that is a direct cause of their conduct. A community without wrong can never be right. Therefore moral relativity will never be a realistic moral position that can be applied to communities, nations or worldwide.
Without the right to prop... ... middle of paper ... ...egalitarian theory of justice? The main idea behind his theory is that all social primary goods of liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, must be distributed equally. The egalitarian way of thinking is simply that any situation must be equal, equally talented, equally motivated and therefore have equal life prospects. It requires a society that believes and lives by equality and more respect. That is exactly what Rawls has been attempting to demonstrate by using the veil of ignorance, the thought-experiment.
His 'veil of ignorance' can be a good way to interpret the justice of fairness but I can see no way to practical apply this principle. There is no meaningful way in which the people can strip themselves from their individual identities. Also, Rawls argues for to ‘maximize the minimum’ approach of distribution. It can be argued that if equal opportunities exist then why not try and maximize the overall wealth.