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John Rawls' book: 'A theory of justice'. - Essay Example
Equality of opportunity provides individuals to compete against each other on equivalent terms to achieve their place in a social setup. Compared to caste system where the assumption is that society contains hierarchy, and superior and inferior status is determined by birth, equality of opportunity is a unique theory, which promises competition on equal terms.
He questions, is there any system to arrange society, which can keep these issues within tolerable limits And can a social system be organized on just and fair standard that it becomes acceptable to the bulk of population.
According to Rawls, we all agree to have a just social contract with our free will without knowing (ignorance) the ultimate consequences of our decision which he names as "original position". According to the original position, "no-one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength and the like" (Rawls, p 12). Thus behind this "veil of ignorance" different groups will hound their own benefits.
Rawl's explains that all the factions in this hypothetical society will adopt two basic principals: the principal of rights and duties, and the fair distribution of social and economic compensation in a society. The first principal is absolute "each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others (Rawls, p 60), which provides basic rights, such as freedom of speech and expression, and the right to owe property. The first principle is more or less absolute, and may not be violated, however it can be traded for obtaining other rights.