In his book A Theory of Justice, John Rawls
In his book A Theory of Justice, John Rawls claims that the primary purpose of justice is to establish rights and then a way of sharing the common good. For the establishment of justice, a starting point is necessary. This point must assume that all people are equal. From this original point, there is the establishment of two principles. One of them is about rights. The rights of all individuals in society must be equal. The second principle is about sharing the merits that accrue from living in a society. He argues that, unlike rights, gains such as wealth are not necessarily equal among all individuals. According to him, the kind of situation where circumstances reward some people in society more than others must be in such a way that those rewards will eventually benefit everyone.
Rawls further argues that “justice as fairness” is a two-prong contract (16). The first part of the contract is about reaching an agreement on how to come up with an original point, which is about rights. The second part of the contract is concerned with achieving a consensus on how to share the common good. The two parts of the agreement must go in that order starting with rights followed by sharing of the merits. If this is the case, the writer argues, then no one will be willing to give up his/her right to bring a more significant benefit to others. A right cannot be foregone in the hope that it will bring particular more considerable merit to society. Consequently, Rawls concludes, all values should be allocated equally unless ” unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values, is to everyone’s advantage” (62).