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Justice as Fairness The late John Rawls in Justice as Fairness acknowledges that society exists for the mutual benefit of all its members Nuttall 2002223 They should be better off living in a society than not However he also indicates that there is a conflict of interest between members within the society as each tries to accumulate a larger share of wealth and goods available Rawls theory of justice is seen as the solution to the conflict of interests in society and revolves around the adaptation of two fundamental principles of justice which would in turn guarantee a just and morally acceptable society The first principle guarantees the right of each person to have the most extensive basic liberty compatible with the liberty of others The second principle states that social and economic positions are to be firstly to everyones advantage and secondly open to all Rawl believes that the first principle the liberty principle should take precedence over his second the difference principle The liberty principle entails that each citizen should have the right to political liberty ie to vote and stand for election liberty of conscience and freedom of thought the right to hold personal property freedom of speech and assembly and freedom from arbitrary arrest and seizure Rawl wishes to see all these freedoms distributed equally as he asserts that this is the basis of a just society The first part of Rawls second principle of justice states that social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are reasonably expected to be everyones advantage Rawls refers to this portion as the difference principle The difference principle implies two things First that those who posses fewer natural assets such as wealth or education deserve special consideration and compensation Second Rawls implies that the rich should willingly give up a portion of their wealth to the poor since they would gain more than they gave up by
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