This theory stresses the principle of equal rights, and that an act is ‘just’ if equality is realized by everyone affected by the act. Before delving into John Rawls’ views on a ‘just’ society it is essential to understand his perception of the role of justice in society, as described in his book A Theory of Justice. Justice in society enforces individual’s rights and to “[deny] that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others”. When the notion of justice becomes shared by all citizens, and equality is achieved, civility between members of society will restrict the use of some individuals as means to personal ends. Overall, Rawls argues that the most distinctive role of justice in society is to equally distribute rights and duties to individuals.
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).
But the moral basis for the requirements of justice that should govern those states is universal in scope: it is a concern for the fairness of the terms on which we share the world with anyone (Nagel, 2005, 119-120). Nagel’s example of historical injustice of being born in poor rather than rich is considered as arbitrary determinant of one’s fate. Because, what determines a human being is their achievement to establish a well-developed society, not based on income and status.
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 second is a combination of the difference principle and the fair equality of opportunity principle, or FEOP (Rawls 1971, 53). Rawls argues that inequality will always be inevitable in any society (Rawls 1971, 7). For example, there will always be a varied distribution of social and economic advantages. Some people will be wealthier than others and some will hold places of greater importance in society. Rawls’s argument is that to ensure the stability of society the two principles of justice are needed to govern the assignment of rights and regulate the inequality (Rawls 1971, 53).
Justice has long been heralded as key to the creation and maintenance of a society, yet why this is has been harder to pinpoint. Pascal argued in Pensees that "force without justice is tyranny." Underlying this contention is the idea that equality amongst all people is inherently good and should be sought after. This is because he assumes that tyranny is a bad thing and that in order for force to be used to good ends it needs to be justified. How can any force be justified?
This establishes a precedent of equality for all and ensures a fair standard of living. One might argue that behind the Veil of Ignorance, society will be able to develop such fundamental rights and equalities naturally. Considering that modern society can be seen to have developed laws and cultural rules without the Veil of ignorance, it stands to reason that Rawls’ suggested principles are unnecessary. Looking at gender inequality, German Arianism and their sharp declines suggests that society is self-correcting – particularly if the society in question exists in the modern era where international pressure for the maintenance of fundamental liberties, equality of opportunity and support for the disadvantaged is exercised. The representative behind the Veil of Igno... ... middle of paper ... ...interested, so it is unreasonable in practicality to assume such altruism on their behalf.
It’s sometimes human nature to be a leader, or in some cases, a dictator. I believe that an organized society cannot exist without some form of class rank. So can equality ever be truly reached in this way? But hopefully, we can be equal in the opportunities and rights that we are given. So is equality worth the consequences and struggles we would pursue to reach it?
Rawls’ attempt to define justice as fairness within the confines of the original position in A Theory of Justice establishes a deontological ethic. Rawls’ theory prioritizes individual liberty with equality to illustrate the deficiencies of utilitarianism. Despite criticism from Sandel, Rawls’ justice as fairness theory adequately defends a redistributive system for the entire society while addressing the inequality of luck. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls attempts to provide an alternative to belief in utilitarianism and intuitionism with the justice as fairness theory. 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.
Two advantages of the difference principle will be discussed and analyzed; the first advantage is that it is morally right or fair. The difference principle represents justice and equality, even if a person receives lesser income than another person, the way they are treated in society and the compensation they receive is more than enough to regulate the inequalities that are present. Rawls defines justice as, “the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought” (3). The fact that it is just should be one of the first aspects that the people in the original position should consider when deliberating between the principles as it is uncompromising by being the first human