Rawls’ principles of justice also take individual wellbeing into account. The competing theory of the day – utilitarianism, summarized in the slogan ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’, did not consider the good of individuals in society. Rawls’ theory, however, caters not only to individuals, but also to minorities who might suffer at the hands of utilitarianism. A Utilitarian might argue that Rawls’ assured individual liberties are not conducive to the betterment of society as a whole, in that individual welfare may sometimes conflict with communal welfare. This argument is somewhat negated on consideration of the annulment of disparities, which is not only beneficial to individuals, who could potentially possess some handicap either socially, economically or physically, but also to society, as it is the meritorious individuals who induce economic and social growth. Relative wealth, health and social position are mitigated in the interests of fairness. It stands to reason that the society in question will prosper from a system of formal equality, as it encourages excellence within the community. It also stimulates competition – rational individuals will naturally want more primary goods for themselves , and will be willing to compete for these. This is vital to a healthy economy because it prevents stagnating monopolization by individuals.
Rawls strive to determine how we can make a society as just as possible. Rawls derives two principles; liberty principle and the difference principle. He also gives a theoretical device that he calls “the original position” and “the veil of ignorance” this device is meant to help us in the way that we picture our self behind a veil. We do not know the basic things about ourselves like our sex, age, financial status etc. This device is to help us be totally neutral in the sense that we do not know our status in society. After putting our self in a status quo if you will, we can now decide on what us just for the whole society. Rawls derives then the difference principle. To put this is Rawls own words, the difference principle is: “Then the difference principle is a strongly egalitarian conception in the sense that unless there is a distribution that makes both persons better off an equal distribution is to be preferred
To illustrate the meaning behind “liberty upsets patterns,” I will closely examine the Chamberlain’s example. This example demonstrates that free exchange, which rises from the idea of self-ownership, will upset the patterned distribution. Basically, if people have the right to dispose their legitimately earned wealth as they see fit.
John Rawls a political theorist engages in various political theories and arguments that contradict, support, and scrutinizes others theories made by other notable political theorist. Rawls contemplates usage of theories such as The Theory of Justice, Veil of Ignorance and Nozick’s Entitlement Theory which will be discussed within this analysis for their relation to society and what benefits or aliments they hold if any on society’s effective function.
Rawls assumes that these hypothetical people would be conservative risk takers and in a situation of uncertainty would opt for the least disadvantageous outcome in any choice presented to them and they would choose those principles that would maximize the position of the worst off, for just in case they should be the worst off. The two principles of justice that such people choose are:- 1. Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive liberty compatible with a similar liberty to others. 2. Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantages b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality and opportunity.
When talking about Rawls, Nozick, and Walzer, three political philosophers in their own right, each has a theory regarding one 's freedoms and equality. In each one 's assumptions they conclude differently as to what a just or fair government should look like. Rawls ' theory when discussing freedom and equality falls into two principles of justice, of which follow the “veil of ignorance” which is to say that everyone is unknown to their unique differences like ethnicity, sex, personal convictions and the like. Everything, according to Rawls, should be equal for everyone in an ideal society. With Nozick, his response mainly bounces off Rawls ' claim of equality and comes to his own line of principles as well. Nozick 's assumptions are that inequalities are fine so as much that rights are not being violated. Nozick wants inequalities because those are what makes a balance in society, also people are entitled to things that fall into three principles. Walzer points to spheres of justice in his assumptions, in which each sphere, being economical, political, social, educational and so forth, has their own space and the people should look to keep them from intervening with each other. Walzer uses dominance to show what can occur should one sphere connect with another, where one person with high standings in, say, an educational sphere shouldn 't have, albeit it sometimes happens, a beneficial effect in the political sphere. Walzer also comes up with some three principles that, as
Nozick’s entitlement theory, “a person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding.” While I believe that everyone should have the right to live comfortably, I also think that we should share our excesses with those who are not able to fulfil their needs. Nevertheless, I believe that humans as an entity are more likely to agree with Nozick’s view, and I see how it could be better implemented into a preexisting society, whereas Rawls’s concept almost needs a complete blank slate to be fully implemented in the purest way possible. While Rawls argues that, “the idea of an overlapping consensus is introduced to make the idea of a well-ordered society more realistic and to adjust it to the historical and social conditions of democratic societies,” I believe that the “conflicting religious, philosophical, and moral views” held collectively by people vary too much to implement Rawls’s ideas in an effective way. Rawls definitely predicted this criticism, as he justifies that “through opposing religious, philosophical, and moral doctrines that gain a significant body of adherents and endure over time from one generation to the next.” If this was truly the case, then sign me up for Rawls’s plan, but even Rawls himself admits that, “no such
Nozick argues, is about respecting people’s rights in particular their rights to property and their rights to self-ownership. He thinks we need to allow people the freedom to decide what they want to do with what they own and do as they wish with it. Nozick shares a more understanding of human desire and having your rights and freedom. For Rawls, “He feels that from the original position or all members of society are equal. In practice Rawls’ justice ensures that all members share the same freedoms and that holding advantageous office or position is a prospect open to all”. The veil of ignorance Rawls thinks that the only way that persons can formulate laws that are fair is to be avoid any knowledge of their individual characteristics. This rule restricts the introduction of personal advantage. Being blind to one’s situation gives the generation of laws benefit one man over another. If I had to choose side I would go with Nozick I think he has a better understanding of what he talking about then with Rawls thinks and argues that the state should have whatever powers are necessary to make sure that those citizens who are least well-off are as well-off as they can be and Nozick has a different approach to it Nozick assumes that everyone possesses the natural rights to life, liberty, and property , including the right to claim as property the fruits or products of one’s labor and the right to dispose of one’s property as one sees fit which I totally agree with since I
The debate between Rawls and Nozick is one that can still be seen today. The solution to the problem depends on whether a person is a libertarian or a liberal. Though Rawls makes a compelling argument, Nozick’s words cannot be ignored. Rawls argument claims that justice should be fair and this fairness is achieved by strong government restraints. Rawls believes that justice should be able to be achieved by all, not only the privileged. Nozick claims that justice comes from a minimal state, one where people can achieve justice through their natural rights. Justice is redistributive; it is not solely in the hands of one person. There is a clear debate and the obvious choice is Nozick solely based on the fact that Rawls’ theory is an impractical one. In order for Rawls theory to be put into effect there needs to be no self-interest. This is not the case with human nature; society is naturally inclined to protect the self.
Rawls theory was the original position, an experiment which contains the veil of ignorance “the main distinguishing feature of the original position is the veil of ignorance, to ensure impartiality judgment the parties are deprived of all knowledge of their personal characteristics and social and historical circumstances” (Stafford). Rawls elaborates on citizens being able they own goals and interest. He also explains about the fairness of the conditions. He establishes that first, there must be a reasonable condition for replication about what is rational, then you can decide and follow it. He stated how people will accept the original position because they will not that they are in the lowermost level of society or not. Hobbs on another hand feels it better to follow an effective sovereign and more so act only fair to citizens who obey the conclusion rather than personal lead. “To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust, the notion of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no power, there is no law; where no law no injustice” (Hobbs). He reaffirms the appropriate way of acting reasonably is without a government. Hobbs theory clashes with Rawls conception of rights, the reason for government and the nature of a person. Hobbs is basically saying that there are no legal or moral boundaries to anything and that every citizen has rights to others lives and everything “In followeth that in such condition every man has right to everything, even to one another’s body’s” (Hobbs). My opinion, Rawls has a better Theory and argument.
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
John Rawls was an America philosopher whose idea was to develop an experiment for individuals to seek a fair notion of justice. Rawls experiment was a hypothetical one that engaged the individual to look at society and fairness from another perceptive. Individuals were to use their imagination and pretend that they were born into different lives, for example, if their mother was a single parent that worked two jobs just to put food on the table vs. the lavish life style one lives today. Society isn’t just, but if the individuals didn’t know their position or their background it could eliminate discrimination and give rise for equal opportunity for all. Rawls believed in the notion of the social contract theory, if everyone was in agreement they could form a sustainable society. Rawls proposed the government could possibly work for everyone, under these pretenses. Rawls had two key principles which focused on
Justice applied to a society successfully plays a harmonious balance between the individuals within the society, and the society a a whole. Henceforth a basis of neutrality, objectivity, and impartiality are needed lay the groundwork for developing a just system to govern societies distribution of rights and liberties. However justice also encounters the dilemma of proper distribution of wealth, status, power, and individual needs within the society. Philosophers John Rawls and Robert Nozick both have competing theories that attempt to theorize how an ideal society can combat these intricacies of justice to create a just society for all members that places everyone on the same playing field. While both philosophers Rawls and Nozick offer
Rawls theory is known as the original position. He proposes that if we were in a position where we had to design a set of social, political and economic institutions from scratch, what kind of society would we have reason to want? (D’Arcy 2016, Lecture 2). Even though Rawls does not discuss discrimination and injustice head on, he briefly mentions a well-ordered society wouldn’t run into this social harm if they were to distribute fundamental rights, liberties and social goods behind a veil of ignorance. Rawls message ‘behind the veil of ignorance’ is he wants us to worry most about “the least advantaged” so he designs the original position in such a way that we imagine that the least advantaged could be us (D’Arcy 2016, Lecture 1 and 2). In the original position, Rawls stipulates when designing a fair society, we should be impartial to one’s own race, gender, etc. and consider everyone equal when determining basic political, social and economic institutions (D’Arcy 2016, Lecture 2). His idea assumes
Rawls starts out by describing the role of justice in a social cooperation and the basic structure of a society. Justice is said to be the first virtue of social institutions like the way truth is for a belief. Just as theories are rejected or revised if it’s not true, laws and institutions must be improved or abolished if it’s unjust regardless of how well arranged and efficient they may appear. Every individual is too important to be ignored with disrespect and all of us possess something that secures us from violation in justice that even the well being of society cannot influence it. Thus, justice cannot treat a small group of people unfairly for a greater good shared by a larger group. In a just society, political bargaining or social interests do not influence secured rights. The only time an injustice is accepted is when it’s used to prevent even greater injustice. Justice cannot be compromised.