The American philosopher John Rawls wrote a theory of justice. In his work he described what he called the Original Position. This is the fictive starting point where humanity was free to develop core principles for society from a greenfield point of view. To achieve that greenfield status, they had to sign a veil of ignorance contract . This contract was to make sure they wouldn’t get influenced or biased. They determined two core principles: liberty and equality. It was then also determined that stakeholders would prefer justice as fairness above utilitarianism. So they in fact preferred a balanced fairness above a maximized utilizing of happiness. Now if we map that to our world with all it’s crises, what would happen if we all followed the justice as fairness principle? Could this stop the endless utilitarianism strategies? Could it make us accept that endless growth is not sustainable? And that maximizing happiness could in fact just be an illusion? Could this be the key?
December 4, 2012