Theory of justice

Theory of justice

 

 

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Introduction

Often times, the terms justice and fairness are used interchangeably. As Maiese, (2003) suggests that the term justice taken in its broader sense may mean an action that follows the specifications of a particular law or a set of laws. Some schools argue that justice is inherent from the inception of man, others contend that justice comes from God’s command or will, while others believes that justice entails rules that are universal among all human beings and are adopted in some kind of agreement. In those instances therefore, any action that appears to violate the rules of conduct that are universal such an action may be termed as an unjust act. The term justice in its narrow sense is simply fairness. Thus, justice is action that puts into consideration the interests that are appropriate as well as safety of other individuals.

The principles of justice theories are the doctrines that establish a fair resolution of disputes and conflicting interests of different individual in the social order, sometimes referred as the rules of fair play. These principles of justice therefore seek to regulate the fundamental structure of the society, in other words, the means through which fundamental rights duties are distributed by major social institutions as well as the way in which they determine social cooperation from the division of advantages. In the words of Thomas Aquinas, a just law is the one that distribute burden fairly, serves the common good, promote religion. The principles of justice spells out the apt distribution of burdens as well as the benefits of social cooperation and in the same vein present a way through which duties and rights may be assigned in the fundamental institutions of the general public.

According to Rawls, (2003) these principles of justice whether context bases or even based on universal laws forms the basis upon which different form of justice are carried out. A clear illustration of the foregoing statement can be found in the principle of restorative (retributive) justice. This principle outlines our reaction to activities that infringes the rules fair play in the society. Another example on how the principles of justice forms the basis upon which different form of justice are carried out can be seen in the principle of distributive justice, which principle determines the amount of public assets that  may be regarded as a fair share. In social justice, there is a requirement that individuals in the society should play by the set rules, and such rules should be fair. It is pertinent to note that these benefits that are distributed by justice include only those goods that everyone in the society would want. Such benefits may include; opportunities, rights, powers, income, liberty, self-respect, wealth, among others.

Equality, need, and equity principles may play a significant part in various issues of social justice even though; these three principles are more applicable in relation to distributive justice. This means that individuals in the society ought to be treated equally, castigated for their wrongdoing, have their essential needs met, rewarded for their productivity and effort. Nonetheless, it is often difficult to attain all the aforementioned goals at the same time since there might be a conflict among these principles.

According to the principle of need, individuals should work hard to achieve an outcome that is equal and as such the needs of every group member of the society will be achieved. Consequently, the richer individuals would get less, while the poor individuals would acquire more. Some critics of this principle contend that the principle of need fails differentiate between manifested needs and real needs as well as fails to put into consideration the disparity in productive contribution.

In addition, the principle of equity suggests that an economic system that is fair allocates goods proportionate to individual input. The role of talent and ability cannot be ignored in this principle. It therefore follows that; those individuals who are more talented or work harder should get more (Maiese, 2003). In light of the above argument, the needs of every society member may not be achieved in that kind of distribution.

The principle of equity suggests that the fairest distribution is the one that allocates burdens as well as benefits in an equal measure to all individuals among group members of the society. Equity therefore suggests that in a company with 20 individuals and a profit of $400,000 the principle would require that every member should be given $20,000. Critics of this principle argue that it does not put into consideration the difference in productivity, effort, as well as talent.

It has also been argued that the principles of equality, need, and equity are adopted to press forward particular social goals and not for their own sake per se. for instance, while the principles of need and equality puts more emphasis on a sense of belonging and constructive interpersonal connection among the group members of a given social order, the principle of equity tends to promote productivity.

In contrast with the aforementioned principles of equity, equality, and need, utilitarianism suggest that a society is just where the institutions and laws of that society are formulated in such a way that they foster the average happiness or greatest overall of the persons in that society. The principle of utility forms the basis of Utilitarianism theory of justice. Thus this theory disapproves any kind of action that reduces human happiness and approves every action that promotes the happiness of human kind. According to the views of utilitarianism, the purpose of justice is to alleviate the greatest happiness of the society at large. In this regard, utilitarianism is of the opinion that a law is if at very just if the effect of such a law brings happiness to the majority, even if such a law is unfavorable to the minority in the society. Such a principle may be disadvantageous particularly in a society that is pluralist (Rawls, 2003).

The most unique characteristic of utilitarianism is the fact that it is a secular theory which does not make references to abstract principles of religion or even natural rights. Consequently, maximization of total happiness in the society is achieved and it is often applied in the run of the mill transactions among acquaintances as well as on the country wide political plane. The primary subject of justice is way in which social institutions as well as the main political institutions of the social order join to form a single system of cooperation and regulate the divisions of benefits that emanate from cooperation of humanity over a period of time. It also involves the way in which duties and rights are distributed.

Justice can be differentiated for security in the sense that, justice entails a fair resolution of disputes and conflicting interests of different individual in the social order, sometimes referred as the rules of fair play. These principles of justice therefore seek to regulate the fundamental structure of the society, in other words, the means through which fundamental rights duties are distributed by major social institutions as well as the way in which they determine social cooperation from the division of advantages (Kolm, 2002). In other words, the most important subject of justice is way in which social institutions as well as the main political institutions of the social order join to form a single system of cooperation and regulate the divisions of benefits that emanate from cooperation of humanity over a period of time. Justice focuses on actions that follow the specifications of a particular law or a set of laws. Security on the other hand, focuses mainly on promoting peace and protecting members of the society while at the same time assure development in the society that is continuous and sustainable. Security addresses issues such as criminal violence and organized crime, mass crimes and genocide, intervention and armed conflicts, among others.

Principles of justice theories spells out the apt distribution of burdens as well as the benefits of social cooperation and in the same vein present a way through which duties and rights may be assigned in the fundamental institutions of the general public. It should therefore be noted that these principles are the doctrines that establish a fair resolution of disputes and conflicting interests of different individual in the social order, sometimes referred as the rules of fair play. Some of the principles of justice theories include equity, need, and equality as aforementioned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Kolm, C. (2002). Modern Theories of Justice. Washington:  MIT Press.

Maiese, M . (2003). Principles of Justice and Fairness. Retrieved from        http://www.beyondintractability.org/bi-essay/principles-of-justice.

Rawls, J. (2003). Principles of justice I. London: Routledge.

 

 

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