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).
For one to exhibit justice, one must portray the quality of being fair and reasonable in all situations. While egalitarians evaluate justice based on equality, utilitarians are only interested in justice as a means to an end. Smart advocates the principle of utility, which defines the morally action as whatever produces the greatest net happiness for everyone affected by that act. To identify an act as ‘just,’ Rawls employs the theory of justice as fairness. This theory stresses the principle of equal rights, and that an act is ‘just’ if equality is realized by everyone affected by the act.
Social justice is fairness, an act that shows regard and looks after the safety and rights of our fellow human beings. Social justice requires that the rules of society are fair for all and that all people abide by these rules. Equality is a major context in social justice and plays an important part in social fairness issues, for example fair treatment given to people and treated as equal persons by having their basic needs met (Buettner-Schmidt & Lobo, 2011, p. 948-952). However these principles usually come into conflict making it difficult to have these objectives met. Social justice is related to individual’s being respected, being treated fairly and given dignity without showing bias.
Rawls, however, sets out to revive the social contract to create a realistic utopia that embodies the fair principles of justice. This approach holds that the society is in some sense an agreement among all those within the society on what constitutes a just society. Rawls believes that the fairest society would agree on his two principles of justice. Through his work, Rawls illustrates how and why a fair society would come to agree on these fair principles of justice, and at exactly what restrictions and presuppositions. Rawls begins his work by defining the role of the principles of justice “to specify the fair terms of social cooperation.
In John Rawls’ “Theory of Justice,” he describes important aspects of justice that are often times overlooked when trying to contain the controversy of justice. The main contribution that Rawls has to offer for equality and justice is his two principles of justice. The two principles of justice apply to the basic structure of society and govern rights and duties and attempt to help regulate the distribution of social and economic advantages. The first principle says that each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive scheme of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar scheme of liberties for others. This first principle has the ability to make the basic liberties of Americans equal, due to its emphasize on the topic of equality
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.
To realize the aforementioned thesis it is important to first define equality of opportunity. Within the definition, many reasonable objections will surface, but through disputing common theories on distributive justice, it will be relatively simple to recognize the following: EOP is the most rational form of distributive justice given the inherent nature of society, it eliminates a vast number of inherent inequalities, and is the most efficient form of distributive justice if equality of opportunity can be granted. The task then is to adequately define Socialist EOP. This in itself, like defining most distributive justice schemes, is a complex matter. However, it may he... ... middle of paper ... ...n my opinion, the nature of society includes a communal ideal that does not let those less fortunate suffer irrationally.
Whilst on the other hand Rawl’s theory of justice is derived from his interpretation of the social contract, where he defines the conception of justice as fairness. Rawls argues that justice consists of the basic principles of governance, where free and rational beings are individuals who should theoretical agree on some census of a perfect equality. His theory of justice is seen to revolve around two main principles, which he believes would create a just as well a moral society. These fundamental principles are to him a guarantee social order as well maintains social justice. The first principle is about ensuring that everyone individual is given the most basic resources to ensure the compatibility with others of the society.
Justice is seen as a concept that is balanced between law and morality. The laws that support social harmony are considered just. Rawls states that justice is the first virtue of social institutions; this means that a good society is one structured according to principles of justice. The significance of principles of justice is to provide a way of assigning rights and duties in the basic institutions of the society and defining the appropriate distribution of the benefits and burdens of the society. According to Rawls, justice is best understood by a grasp of the principles of justice (Rawls, 1971).
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.