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.
Nozick’s conception of “legitimate means” is manifested through his Entitlement Theory. The Entitlement Theory ... ... middle of paper ... ...e achieved when the Liberty and Difference Principle are enacted with the veil of ignorance. On the contrary, Nozick argues that Rawls’s theory is exactly the sort of patterned principle that infringes upon individual liberty. As an alternative, Nozick provides his unpatterned principle as the ideal distribution of goods in a society. To me, Rawls’s argues his theory in a manner where his principles of justice are not only difficult to achieve, but ultimately are exceedingly deficient in providing general utility.
Why is it that a person has to offset his initial gain for the betterment of others? Rawls proposes this idea as the criterion for his second principle, the difference principle. What I argue however, is that the difference principle proposes to remove inequality from society but fails in this endeavor due to retaining enough inequality to benefit the disadvantaged, leaving the principle defective in its nature. This will be the question analyzed in this essay where I will first explain the two principles proposed by Rawls as well as the lexical order or priority, which is a central feature within A Theory of Justice. I... ... middle of paper ... ...s that mean Rawls will account for skin color as a primary good?
Though birthed from the same utilitarian principle of maximising good, rule-utilitarianism and act-utilitarianism provide two very different accounts on how the maximising of good should be approached. This essay will compare these two approaches and try to ascertain whether rule-utilitarianism is indeed preferable to act-utilitarianism. Act-utilitarianism is a direct form of consequentialism in that its principles are applied directly to ones actions under particular circumstances and the action is then judged as morally permissible or impermissible based solely on whether your action achieved or failed to maximise pleasure. In contrast, rule-utilitarianism is considered indirect because your actions are carried out according to a set of accepted moral rules of which compliance with which would ensure maximum aggregate good. Whether an action is morally permissible or impermissible is judged on your adherence to the agreed set of moral rules as opposed to the direct outcome of your actions.
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.
Utilitarianism is a theory which states that the purpose of morality is to achieve maximal goodness in a society. It is consequentialist rather than deontological in that the moral value of ethical decisions are to be judged in terms of their effects, rather than the intrinsic properties of the acts themselves. Those effects are deemed good which generate the most pleasure or happiness, or which minimize overall pain. There are two classical types of utilitarianism which will be under our consideration: act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism. Two objections to utilitarianism will be examined, as well as Louis Pojman’s responses to those objections in Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong.
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.
If the world did not have goodwill, then one may argue that no good can exist. Because people would not be willing to do good things unless for their own purposes. Harrison claims that,“A Kantian follower would say that the maxims are important because it gives us all a foundation for the differences between being morally good or bad”. If one can do an action in some sort that can be put into a universal maxim. Therefore, you are acting ethically.
The concern with distributive justice is seen to compensate the misfortune in society. Some have more property than others by pure luck and is the responsibility of everyone to distribute the scarcity in life. Rawls’ theory of distributive justice introduces the “original position” associated with the “Reflective Equilibrium” (Rawls, 199), where individuals ... ... middle of paper ... ...nd offers an appealing argument of the acquisition of justly held goods, through his principles of acquisition, transfer and rectification he offers as a plausible method for why people should be entitled to the outcomes from their natural assets such as ability, talent and knowledge. It is unlikely that those who inherit large sums of property will question this entitlement, even if that person does not deserve it, or there were other people in society who would benefit from it more. Bibliography Rawls, John “A Theory of Justice” in Elizabeth Smith and H Gene Blocker (eds.)
Political philosopher John Rawls believed that in order for society to function properly, there needs to be a social contract, which defines ‘justice as fairness’. Rawls believed that the social contract be created from an original position in which everyone decides on the rules for society behind a veil of ignorance. In this essay, it will be argued that the veil of ignorance is an important feature of the original position. First, the essay will describe what the veil of ignorance is. Secondly, it will look at what Rawls means by the original position.