John Rawls Thought Model

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In this essay, I will detail the thought experiment of John Rawls known as “the original position,” the two principles of justice he believes this thought experiment results in, and, lastly, consider one objection to his claims. I argue that Rawls’ thought experiment offers a decent starting point to consider matters of justice and/or good and bad in society, but becomes compromised when we are asked to presume members behind the “veil of ignorance” do not know their conceptions of good. In A Theory of Justice, John Rawls considers the role of justice in society and posits a simple conception of just society. In Rawls’ view, justice depends upon a “scheme of cooperation” that enables all in society to achieve an agreeable existence, or the …show more content…
In A Theory of Justice Rawls states regarding the supposed conditions under the “veil of ignorance,” “I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities.” Though, if persons of society under the “veil of ignorance” do not know their concept of good, how will these persons be able to further good via agreed principles of justice? Perhaps, Rawls would like us to assume that these persons need only understand that they are striving to achieve good and “justice as fairness” within society without knowing what their own conception of good is. Relatively speaking, under the “veil of ignorance,” all may maintain some self-interest such as not dying and having basic needs met such as food, water, and shelter. Though, some other interests may include desiring their society be safe as to protect themselves, their possible kin, and the rest of the equal society. To agree upon principles that would enable a safe society, the rational persons under the “veil of ignorance” would need to have knowledge of behavior or aspects of existence/society that are disagreeable or bad. Further, individual perceptions of what is unpleasant or constitute a just, good society may be dissonant. For example, when making principles of justice under the “veil of ignorance” some may argue that producing and consuming alcohol does not enable a safe society as it may lead to deviant, aggressive behavior or fatality, whilst others may contend it is benign. These views may be based on factors like personal experience, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. Yet, if rational persons must forsake these influences and their own notions of good under the “veil of ignorance,” how would they be able to determine whether a purported undesirable, like alcohol, should be eliminated or kept when constructing a just society? In Rawls case, it very well may be that rational persons

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