John Rawls Theory of Societal Justice

1782 words 8 pages
Have you ever wondered what would be required in order to create a just society? Let us think from the perspective of societal ground zero. We have not been in existence for the past few thousand years. We have no ancestors to direct us, no rules to follow, and no experience to guide us. Imagine that we have not even come to be yet. Consider for a moment that society has yet to be established. Assume there are hypothetical homunculi with the sole task of devising the goals, the guiding light, for society. How would societal goals be designed so they are fair and just for all?
In what follows, I will attempt to portray the philosophy of John Rawls with regard to the theory of societal justice. My aim is convey Rawls’ conception of justice.
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504). This is referred to as the difference principle. Social and economic differences are probable, if not necessary, in society. These differences would only be acceptable and just if they satisfied two criteria. First, inequalities ought to be beneficial for all people, especially those who are the least advantaged. This means that social and economic inequalities are acceptable as long as everyone receives some benefit from the inequities. Concentration is placed on the least advantaged people in society. Those who are the most vulnerable ought to benefit from inequalities at least as much, if not more, than others in society. The second criterion holds that social and economic positions must be attainable by all people. If social and economic inequalities are to exist, as they probably would, everyone ought to have the opportunity to obtain any position in the grand scheme of society. Rawls’ difference principle maximizes the minimum situation for the least advantaged by ensuring a better outcome as a result of inequalities. It also offers opportunities for some individuals to prosper in the economic society, as long as their achievements also bring greater benefits to others.
From the original position, Rawls believes the homunculi would prefer this second principle to utilitarian views. Since they do not know what their eventual social or economic situation would be, they would want to ensure that inequalities would lead to an acceptable and beneficial end result


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