Complete in class,
Activity 4.1 - More on
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
Rawls suggested an interesting exercise for working out just rules for a
society. Imagine that there are several classes in society: for example,
people on social security benefits, employers, politicians, home owners,
speculators on the stock market, school students and people looking after
the family at home. You know that you will belong to one of these classes
in society, but you do not know which one. Comment on all the statements
(laws) below. Which of these laws would you agree to be just or unjust?
- Social security recipients
should be given special training, where possible, to equip them for
jobs for which there are not enough qualified people.
- Married women are only
entitled to a job when there are no men or single women who want it.
- Employers should have to
give available jobs to the qualified applicant who has been out of work
- No one should be entitled
to own a home which has more bedrooms than the number of people who
will live in it.
- No one who is in the business
of buying and selling shares may claim a tax deduction for money borrowed
to finance this business.
Before giving an opinion on
this next law, try and find out the salary of the manager of a large business.
Ask me in class if you need help searching:
- Politicians should be paid
at the same rate as the managers of very large businesses.
Activity 4.2 - What is Fairness
The Shorter Oxford English
Dictionary gives "free from bias, fraud or injustice" as one
of the meanings of fair.
Fair is a more general word than Justice, more colloquial and less precise.
- Give your opinion on what
is or is not fair about the case with Bill and his friends (Module 4).
Name each character and comment of what happened what they did and the
resulting action that was taken when they were caught.
- How do you think the court
uses fairness in these cases?
- Think of examples that you
feel may or may not be fair (remember your essay on Bangkok Hilton).
Use the internet and read some stories about cases that you find interesting.
Give your comments about fairness regarding your example. Please put
the internet site/s you use as a reference at the end of your answer.
Below is an example to help
you think about how to answer number 3, but don't use this, please find
We may think that it is fair to have a law that no one may steal another's
property. However, if the thief is someone who is acting for a starving
family who cannot be fed in any other way, it may seem less fair to punish
that person under this law.
What if the thief believed that he or she was needy, simply because other
people were richer?
What if the starving thief took food from someone who could not spare
The judge must use what is called discretion when confronted
with these issues so that justice can be served.
rubric for online discussions | Nicenet
| B | C |
D | E | Portfolio