Assignment D (5%)
Complete in class,
Activity 4.1 - More on Justice
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.
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 the longest.
- No one should be entitled to own
a home which has more bedrooms than the number of people who will live in
- 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
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 your own:
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
What if the thief believed that he or she was needy, simply because other people
What if the starving thief took food from someone who could not spare it?
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
to Module 4