Rawls' Principles Of Justice Essay

1361 words - 5 pages

Given the opportunity to determine the basic structure of society, I would try to come up with a structure that would benefit everyone not just those at the top of the ladder. Today, mainly because of how our society is shaped, those at the bottom are almost literally stuck at the bottom against a double edged sword. They try to climb out of the pit of poverty only to be held back by the pit of poverty. We have people who are famous for being famous, while people like teachers and doctors, who actually benefit society, have a much smaller salary and standing in society. A society in which our rights could be exercised up until the point when two people’s rights would clash would be the most beneficial. Examining society Rawls principles of justice are the best structure for society.
To use Rawls principles of justice one must first enter the original position. The original position according to Rawls is “the appropriate initial status quo which insures that the fundamental agreements reached in it are fair.” (Rawls: Justice as Fairness, From a Theory of Justice. pg. 489) What Rawls is trying to do is create a position in which a person removes themselves from all forms of bias. Potential forms of bias are race, color, gender, social status, and things such as our own theory of the good; are what need to be removed from the original position and placed outside the “Veil of Ignorance”. One would be removing bias from themselves, or stripping away the layers that could form a judgment based on something that would favor one group from another. Potential sources of bias are also known as what are not allowed behind “veil of Ignorance”. However, to make a valid and sound conclusion on something one must be knowledgeable enough to make an intelligent decision. What is allowed behind the veil of ignorance or in the original position is the knowledge of generic facts, sociology, economic, psychology, and political science. These are allowed behind the veil of ignorance in order to allow one to make an educated decision without any form of bias to cloud judgment, which is an ideal situation for any judgment to be made.
After entering Rawls “original position”, behind the “Veil of Ignorance” one can truly act on his jrinciples of justice. Rawls first principle of justice is that “First 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. Second: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to every ones advantage, and (b) attached to the position and offices open to all.” (Rawls: Justice as Fairness, From a Theory of Justice. pg. 487) In other words Rawls first principle says that each person is allowed to have an equal right to the most extensive liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others, allowing everyone to have the same opportunities without infringing on the rights of others. An...

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