Orginial Postion Essay

Orginial Postion Essay

Length: 1259 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

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The Original Position thought experiment devised by John Rawls, requires one to argue for a client behind a veil of ignorance. Not knowing anything about the advantageous or disadvantageous position of said client within society, one has to resolve the issue presented in a way that does not discount the interests of any member of society. The Original Position invokes the social contract in which all members of society are seen as rational agents who consent to principles from a self-interested stance. It concedes that rational agents will agree that something is right if and only if it is seen as treating them as equal participants in that self-regarding decision. It requires an egalitarian approach to moral dilemmas in that all members of society are rationally consenting individuals with an equal right to basic liberties. Those in the Original Position must use all natural facts known to them in order to make their decision, and must also be concerned with those most likely to be exploited by such a decision—the safest bet being one that prevents the worst possible scenario. There is also no conception of the Good or of any moral hierarchy. In this way, the Original Position acts as a kind of fast-track test in assessing the validity of universalized maxims or laws by hypothetically applying them to an idealized, egalitarian model of the world. In applying the Original Position to the contentious issue of abortion this would mean that my gender neutral client would be operating in a world devoid of gender oppression. While a world of free, and equal people would presumably not partake in objectifying acts and therefore not produce unwanted offspring there are still natural facts that necessitate the abortion procedure in secur...


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... intrinsic value. She cannot be used instrumentally to bring about another life at the detriment of her own. Whether the fetus has intrinsic value depends on its maturation into a person, which is wholly dependent (as of yet) on the health of the mother. Abortions for reasons other than the health of the mother, are not applicable to this scenario because they are symptomatic of societal inequalities in which the mother chooses to undergo the abortion procedure in order to attain some other goal—education, economic mobility, a career—that is distributed unequally. Whereas in the egalitarian vision of society, a woman will not see herself as merely instrumental to the bringing about of children or to the production of wealth even, but rather as a person who with or without children and/or wealth is not denied equal opportunity to live a free, fulfilling life.



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