Additional Exercise - What is Equality and Justice?
Our society tolerates many inequalities. Our economic system is built on a notion of greater reward for greater effort, at least in theory. In practice, the skilled manipulator of financial markets will be far better rewarded than the hard-working labourer.
It may be argued following Rawls, that the financial dealer has more potential to benefit the disadvantaged in society. However, it is equally true that he or she is just as likely to cause harm to the many working people who suffer in economic depressions through no fault of their own. Free enterprise markets reward the behaviour that pleases them in the short-term, but these are not necessarily the behaviours that are of the greatest social utility. For example, tobacco production is a profitable activity for those involved in it.
Activity 5 was to get you thinking about equality and what it generally means. Now that you have discussed issues regarding equality, you will need to narrow it down to issues you read about in Modules 3, 4 and 5 and the assignments associated with these modules. Each group has to Prepare 10 questions regarding Equality and Justice.
1. Each group will need to come up with 10 questions about equality. This is based on the topics listed below, which are the same as what you covered in assignment B. These are the original topics you brought up in our brainstorming session in the first class when had.
2. Use your previous collage assignments to spark ideas about what questions you want to ask concerning equality. Each group has to submit your questions in class; it has to be neatly printed.
3. I have been kind enough J to provide you with some starting questions, I will also be available to help you complete all 10 questions in class, remember look at your collages to help inspire you.
4. Have a look at the resources section for information these topics.
Topic for Group 1 (Police interview): Alcohol and Drugs
· Can you describe the strengths of the processes and procedures for of criminal charges or simple police intervention, when it comes to alcohol and drugs?
· Do these procedures truly representing justice and equality?
· Can you give examples of police intervention contributing to equality and justice, concerning alcohol and drugs?
Topic for Group 2 (Court house interview): Alcohol and drug abuse, a crime or community problem?
· What does hierarchy mean in our court system?
· How can hierarchy help contribute to the concept of equality and Justice?
· Can hierarchy benefit the individual, family or community when it comes to the problems of alcohol and drug abuse?
· What about other examples of how the court can help treat people equally and justly when it comes to Alcohol and drug abuse?
Topic for Group 3 (Lawyer interview): Deaths in Custody
Some quotes to remember:
It wouldn’t hurt to have this with you in the interviews.
1. One of the theoreticians about justice is John Rawls. He has defined two basic principles of justice:
· each person has a right to the maximum amount of liberty which is compatible with a similar amount of liberty for everyone else;
· any inequalities should work out for the benefit of the most disadvantaged, and there should be equality of opportunity among all people who wish to occupy a privileged position.
2. Aristotle referred to the importance of equality in describing justice. The two concepts are intimately related. However, there are many types or definitions of equality, and on occasion, one type of equality may even conflict with another. Equality may mean equal treatment for everyone, or it may mean that the treatment should be varied, according to the person's merits, needs, rank or other personal characteristics.