'What Makes Something Just Or Unjust?'

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What makes something “just” or “unjust?” Would it be possible for people to creating a “fair” society? Does the definition of just and unjust differ from country to country? Should it? What sort of steps must one take to insure that a society be equal? These are all questions to be considered when looking at political and social philosophy. John Rawls was born in Baltimore, Maryland in the year 1921. He attended first Cornell University and later Princeton and Oxford. In addition to this he served in the U.S. Army during World War II after which he returned to school and eventually began publishing as well as teaching. The work further discussed within this paper is, A Theory of Justice. Some claim this to be both Rawls’s life’s work as…show more content…
In his ideal society, “an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice.” Rawls wished to create a system of “justice as fairness” that would be based in equality and justice. This system of “justice as fairness” he claimed began with choosing a “conception of justice that is to regulate all subsequent criticism and reform of institutions.” This “conception of justice” is then, ideally, used as the basis on which an institution would build its constitution, legislature, and so forth.
How, one might ask, is this initial conception of justice guaranteed to be fair? Rawls accounts for this with his concept of the “veil of ignorance” and “original position.” The “veil of ignorance” is the idea that one puts aside all things that, in a sense, distinguishes one’s self from others (e.g. race, social status, gender, etc.). Once one has “entered” this state they would create rules following their original position (i.e. their selfish nature) thus leading them to set forth a society of equality since they could not reasonably discriminate for the risk of causing themselves
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