Justice Intro

Report
Justice
Injustice anywhere is a threat
to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King Jr.
What is Justice
• Moral principle that determines what is just, equitable,
and morally right based on ethical, political,
environmental, and religious beliefs and values.
– Just: guided by truth, reason, and fairness
• Promoting welfare, virtue, and freedom
• Keeping intact the foundations of our democracy
including upholding the law
• Securing natural rights
• According to Merriam Webster
Justice is the use of law and being fair
Sandel’s Theories of Justice
Michael Sandel is a professor of history and philosophy at Harvard University.
He is one of the most prominent thinkers and writers on the idea of justice
today.
Justice
Maximizing
Welfare
Promoting
Virtue
Respecting
Freedom
Maximizing Welfare
• Improving standard of living for society as a whole
• Bringing the “greatest happiness for the greatest
number” of people = UTILITARIAN
• This means that a persons theory of justice is based on
promoting prosperity or spurring economic growth, to
seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number of
people.
• Examples: Social Security, healthcare (Medicare and
Medicaid), public schools, criminal justice system with
prisons
Respecting Freedom
• This means that you have respect for individual rights
and universal human rights. E.g. the Bill of Rights
– Emphasis on respect for individual rights
• Laissez-faire camp (free-market libertarians)
– Policies that respect voluntary choices so minimal
government intervention in individual lives and choices.
• Fairness camp (egalitarian theorists)
– Policies that give everyone a fair chance at success so
government passes laws that ensure everyone has equal
opportunity.
Promoting Virtue
• This means that you look at justice by affirming certain
virtues and conceptions of the ‘good life’.
• These virtues must be defined by society by drawing
from moral or religious ideals.
“A just society affirms certain virtues”
– Policies and laws are made based on those virtues.
Other Philosophers
• Aristotle - justice means giving people
what they deserve.
• John Rawls – a fair society respects each
person’s freedom to decide what is virtue.
• Justice involves REAL issues that deal with the
equality and fair treatment of humanity and the
environment.
• Justice also involves the laws in a country or
nation, and the arrangement of how a
government will protect it’s values and maintain
order while preserving the rights of the people.
Essential Questions:
• How is justice defined?
• Can a free society ensure both justice and
liberty?
• Should justice be our first priority?

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