JohnRawls was arguably one of the most prominent American politicalphilosopher in the liberal tradition. His understanding of Justiceas fairnessenvisages a society made of free citizens enjoying equal fundamentalrights in conjunction with an equal economic system. Rawls workentails a possible contribution towards solving the long-standingengagement in democratic perceptions between liberty and equality(Rawls, 1971). He provides the society with insights on ways to viewthemselves as equal and free citizens within a just and democraticpolity. This essay will seek to discuss Rawls original position andveil of ignorance as well as his principles of justice that ensuredthere was equality in all elements.
Rawls’sunderstanding of the original position is based on his interpretationof the moral point of view derived from the matters of justice. Theoriginal position is a theoretical viewpoint that can be applied inour moral perceptive concerning the utmost elementary ethics ofpolitical and social justice (Rawls, 1971). Rawls perspectives areconsidered communally as a collective consensus by the supporters ofan ongoing society. Rawls calls for all individuals to beself-interested rational people and support the “veil ofignorance.” This implies that members of society should bemotivated to choose in a conversant and rational manner that is ofbeneficial to all individuals.
Theact of being behind the “veil of ignorance” means that they haveno understanding of whether they belong to a gender or race or evensexual orientation that in the end turns out to be discriminatedagainst (Graham, 2006). Such an individual would not choose to behandicapped in the society since disabled people are treated with alack of respect hence the need to adopt principles that opposediscrimination. Therefore, each generation should be allocated withequal resources. The principle of justice is selected based on the“veil of ignorance” which deprives the parties of all theunderstanding of particular facts concerning themselves, one anotheras well as their society and its history.
Inthe principles of justice, Rawls claims that the understanding ofequality and freedom are not jointly exclusive. His valuation of thejustice system causes to conclude that for justice to be truly fair,each should be provided with the same rights under the law. Rawlsargues that coherent persons will solidly adopt his principles ofjustice if their perceptive is derived from general considerationssince they won’t be knowing anything in regards to their ownpersonal situation (Rawls, 1971). Such personal knowledge mightentice them to choose principles of justice that provided them withthe unfair advantage. Therefore, the only logic choice is to select asystem that ensures people are treated equally regardless of personalconsiderations.
Tosum it up, Rawls argument is to come up with principles for a fairsystem for distributing wealth in a just way. The only challenge isthat persons would select principles guided by their ownself-interest. A wealthy person wouldn’t settle for aredistribution of wealth since he doesn’t want to lose his wealth.Therefore, Rawls came up with a theoretical approach known as“original position.” This approach signifies that a personconsciousness is derived before one is born. In this scenario, aperson is behind “veil of ignorance” which means that you have noknowledge whether you’ll be born in poverty or wealth, whether youwill be black or white, intelligent or not, etc. According to Rawls,in the original position, people should select the fundamentals for ajust system or rather a system that increases the means of those whohave the least.
Rawls,J. (1971). Atheory of justice.Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Graham,Paul. (2006). Rawls:The Principles of Justice Are Chosen Behind a Veil of Ignorance.Oneworld Publications.