What is the strongest argument for Rawls' theory of justice as put forward in A Theory of Justice?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The strongest argument for this theory is that it brings social justice to a broader range of people than utilitarian theory does.  In utilitarian theory, people should be concerned with creating the greatest total happiness for the members of a society.  But this does not address issues of equality.  It is possible for an action to be just for utilitarians even if it helps only the elites and hurts everyone else.  For Rawls, this would not be true.  Rawls argues that all actions taken by a society must at least help the lowest members of society to some extent (even if they help other members more).  This attention to providing for a more even distribution of happiness is the strongest argument for Rawls' theory.


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