What is Justice?

In the dictionary, justice is defined as “just behavior or treatment”. But how do we know what is just and unjust?

According to the Utilitarian approach, to act just is solely maximizing our utility, typically for our own gain. It suggests that the consequences of the action, laws, or policies is what determines them right or wrong. Basically, even in cases where Utilitarianism seems to give the veracious answer, justice-wise, it often does so for the dishonest reasons, or at least partially irrelevant ones: also known as the Utilitarian view consisting of how one is affected by their own actions.  So is this truly the accurate definition for an act of justice? In my perspective, doing something just to have good consequences, isn’t exactly the correct way of justice. What is the good consequence after giving money away to a charity? I’m just left with less money, but was my action just?

Rawls insinuates justice is more humane; he suggests the concept of Original Position. This theory implies that we must view everyone as nothing but a human. We must disregard genders, races, ages, and see everyone as human and act cohesively with them; we must wear the veil of ignorance in order to eliminate judgement and prejudice. So is this the correct way to act with justice? If I’m helping out another human being, I must forget their gender and their race and treat them as plainly a human. But with this theory, shouldn’t other things come into play? Should we be treating a terrible human being as equal to a saintly nun? The question then becomes, is everyone equal?

We are continuously told that we must act justly, however, in what way do we accomplish that? Should it take other factors into consideration? If so, what ones?

What do you think?


By Emily Korkowski

Image Source: http://combiboilersleeds.com/image.php?pic=/images/courts/courts-1.jpg

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