Assignment D (5%)

Complete in class, 9 Sep

Activity 4.1 - More on Justice

One of the theoreticians about justice is John Rawls. He has defined two basic principles of justice:

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?
  1. Social security recipients should be given special training, where possible, to equip them for jobs for which there are not enough qualified people.
  2. Married women are only entitled to a job when there are no men or single women who want it.
  3. Employers should have to give available jobs to the qualified applicant who has been out of work the longest.
  4. No one should be entitled to own a home which has more bedrooms than the number of people who will live in it.
  5. 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:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. How do you think the court uses fairness in these cases?
  3. 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 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 it?

The judge must use what is called discretion when confronted with these issues so that justice can be served.

Grading rubric for online discussions | Nicenet Site

Assignment A | B | C | D | E | Portfolio

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