The Principles of Justice

1528 WordsJun 16, 20187 Pages
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). The principles are expected to represent the moral basis of political government. These principles indicate that humankind needs liberty and…show more content…
Rawls suggests three general principles of justice. The first is the principle of greatest equal liberty. This principle states that each person has an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others. This principle determines the basic rights that should be retained like the political liberties to vote, run for office, own property and to have freedom of speech (Rawls, 1971). These liberties have to be protected to guarantee the development and prosperity of the individuals. The second is the principle of fair equality of wealth and opportunity. According to this principle everyone should the same opportunities to make wealth, work or govern in a public office. The only requirement is the knowledge and skills of the individual. While the distribution of wealth and income need not be equal, it must be to everyone’s advantage and at the same time positions of authority must be accessible to all. He considers economic barriers as one of the major sources of social injustice (Barry, 2000). The third principle indicates that the social and economic inequalities should be arranged so that they are to the greatest benefit to the least advantaged individuals in the society. This principle indicates that for any effective change that can be considered as an improvement should affect the least privileged individual. In the case of the principles being in conflict they are to be ranked in lexical order meaning that a less
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