Principles of Ethics

Principles of Ethics

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This discussion focuses on justice.


Justice is about respect. It is also about fairness (Ruggiero, 2012). Justice is also used in laws and politics and occasionally justice is about getting what one deserves. According to Cugero-Escofet and Fortin (2014), ethicists and philosophers alike, consider this a normative requirement in societal relationships. Likewise, justice can be quite helpful when dealing with conflicting interests. According to Martin (2019), laws are put in place to prevent discrimination as well as legal hierarchies that are unjust.

Moreover, justice is about the world. It is about making it a better place for people to live and interact with one another. Plato is one of the first philosophers to recognize the significance of justice in society. For instance, in Socrates’ dialogs in the Republic, Plato believed that in order for a person to achieve goodness he or she must consider justice as an important criteria in its determination. Plato considered justice a moral virtue. It was a virtue that should be exercised and reflected upon as part of the human soul (Cugero-Escofet & Fortin, 2014).

Saint Thomas Aquinas discussed justice and evil. The example of Job was used as an application to illustrate his point-of-view. “Aquinas adds that he ‘teaches the perfect wisdom of man. For since temporal and corporeal goods are not to be loved except for the sake of spiritual and eternal goods . . . one ought not to be down cast if he should be deprived of the former, nor upraised if he should abound in them. Job, Aquinas advances, is a teacher in virtuous ‘constancy of spirit’ in so far as he is not overly prideful when prosperous nor overly cast down when afflicted (Nutt, 2015, p. 51). Furthermore, Saint Thomas Aquinas shared the importance of the Job story to help readers understand that suffering does not deny providence in human affairs (Nutt, 2015).

Another great philosopher who wrote on justice was John Rawls. “One of John Rawls major aims, when he wrote A Theory of Justice, was to present a superior alternative to utilitarianism” (Chung, 2018, p. 1). According to utilitarianism, “One ought to do whatever will lead to the most happiness” (Rachels & Rachels, 2019, p. 170). Rawls believed that people deserved to be treated with respect. Likewise, he believed that people should have liberties. Economic equality and fairness were some of the goals of his philosophy. This is the reason why Rawls believed in distributive justice (Liang, 2017). Hence, Rawls believed that the distribution of resources was one central key of importance if income inequality was to end among people of lower status in society.

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