Justice and Good Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1420 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Law


" (p. 146) He further adds that all basic rules are influenced by moral standards: "... [I]t cannot be seriously disputed that the development of law, at all times and places, has in fact been profoundly influenced both by conventional morality and ideals of particular social groups, and also by forms of enlightened moral criticism urged by individuals, whose moral horizon has transcended the morality currently accepted." (p. 185) Thus justice is not connected with morality exactly but is not devoid of the same as well. Hart through his book puts forth a unique concept concerning the way the legal system as well as the concept of justice operate in the contemporary world where laws are comprehended and rules are obeyed not only based on moral grounds but also have other factors playing their vital roles.

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Hart's concept of what constitutes good is not clear but his theory of justice definitely is. For him rules were important at their face value and did not really have to be moral in nature to be considered rules. So for him, it did not really matter if a rule was based on concept of good, and thus his justice theory doesn't even take into account good but merely believes that following the rules should result in a better society. And questioning the moral aspect of rule was an exercise in futility. Rawls challenged this view when he came up with his own theory of justice and clear conception of good in his book The Theory of Justice first published in 1971. He divided goods into primary and secondary goods and felt that justice is achieved if:

All social values -- liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the [social] bases of self-respect -- are to be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values is to everyone's advantage. (p. 54)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Justice and Good the Concept Assignment

It was not easy for Rawls to explain why he felt that all social values could be divided into three broad categories. It was then that Rawls chose to refer to them as the social primary goods. He writes that these goods are "things that every rational man is presumed to want." Secondary primary good which are also referred to as the natural primary goods included such things as health, vigor, intelligence, and imagination. Rawls' theory of justice was deeply rooted in what he called man's 'two moral powers'. The first power is their capacity to develop a clear idea of the good life. And the second is people's 'capacity for a sense of justice', which allows them to offer and respect fairness if others would also do the same. Rawls maintained that our democratic system was just that it facilitated the process of fairness. It allowed everyone a fair chance to country's resources. People were treated fairly as far as social cooperation and distribution of resources were concerned and this was accom0plished regardless of people's social status or beliefs. While liberal theory of justice cannot come up with a detailed idea of good, it can borrow from what Rawls called 'thin liberal theory of the good', which states that people are interested in retaining and creating social conditions that would allow them to exercise their two moral powers.

However in order for people to choose a social contract, they must be aware of their positions and identities. But this knowledge is denied to them in the original position and hence Rawls theory gets buried down under heaps of ambiguities and unexplained concepts. But if details can be ignored, we can safely say that Rawls theory of justice is based on fairness which transcends color, race and social status.

In a world that is plagued by varying ideas of what is good, Rawls theory of justice in its raw form makes sense. People must be provided with justice that doesn't take into regard their social position. Unlike Hart's idea of law which removed morality from rules, Rawls theory is more closely linked with conception of good that most people would agree with.

Works Cited

Hart H.L.A. 1997.The Concept of Law. Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997

Rawls, John. 1973. A Theory of Justice. Oxford… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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