• Jamesk
    314
    Rawls or Scanlon?

    I find Rawls' Original position to be implausible, the veil of ignorance sounds great in theory but how can it be practically achieved? Also I am not sure that the difference principle isn't actually mitigated utilitarianism.

    Scanlon calls for acts that cannot be reasonably rejected which I find also fails on the subjective nature of what different people find 'reasonable'.

    Any thoughts? Please try to keep the replies short, my ADHD makes it hard for me to read anything with more than 250 words. Thanks
  • IntolerantSocialist
    3
    I'd have to get pdfs of them.

    I tend to be a Cultural Relativist, one who bases Ethics of a given society pertaining to the culture.

    I don't really think it should be up to a personal choice on who or what they find reasonable, esp. if it pooled among a group democratically and those who find it unreasonable are screwed. I'm no utilitarian, but those who create the contract should be of higher value than those subject to it.
  • Jamesk
    314
    Are you aware of the 'tolerance objection' by Williams? Cultural relativism isn't relativism before it meets another culture and after it meets another culture is merely showing moral tolerance of the other culture, not actual relativism. Also relativism in general was robustly attacked by Stevenson with Emotivism.

    Anyway read the pdf's and get back to me.
  • IntolerantSocialist
    3
    I don't think that moral tolerance of other cultures should be shown, but that's just my opinion.
  • Echarmion
    191


    Couldn't one argue that it's not necessary for the "veil of ignorance" to be perfectly applied? One could instead consider the veil a form of argument, a process to use to arrive at policy decisions. Rather than proscribing a specific outcome, it proscribes a mode of thinking.
  • Jamesk
    314
    I think that the veil makes people think impartially, any weakening of it allows some form of personal bias to enter the equation.
  • Mww
    277


    I might think the “veil of ignorance” is manifest in the American ideal, set out by a few guys sitting around a table in a very small part of a very huge territory with basically negligible population. These guys had their own principles from which to work, but had no real idea to whom their declarations would apply in the future, the present for them being a scant representation of it. The result being, of course, the social contract in the form of the Constitution.

    On the other hand, some interpretations of Rawl’s original position stipulate the law-givers don’t know their own moral principles on which is to be built a system of civil liberties, while some other interpretations suggest what is unknown is the moral disposition of the population to which the liberties are prescribed upon integration into some particular social structure. The former is unrealistic but the latter is, I think, reasonable.

    There are no pdf’s listed. What pdf’s are being talked about?
  • Jamesk
    314
    I like that opinion. The pdf's are for Theory of Justce by Rawls and Utilitarianism and Contractualism by Scanlon.
  • Mww
    277


    Thanks. Got it.

    Rawls...A- because he’s obviously Kantian.

    Scanlon....D, because I think this is contradictory: “....So we have the contractualist formula: an action is wrong if any principle that permitted it would be one that some affected person could reasonably reject....”

    I admit to not having properly studied these two guys, just a quick synoptic understanding.
  • Jamesk
    314
    And what's wrong with being a Kantian? Anyway with Scanlon I wonder how he accommodates for what we can accept as 'reasonable'. The criteria seem too subjective to work as a universal code.
  • Mww
    277


    Oh, you can’t ask a Kantian what’s wrong with being a Kantian. You’ll get a answer laden with highly prejudicial bias and a hint of confusion.

    Personally, I find no measure in which “reasonableness” in one associates with “agreeableness” in another. A true moral theory requires one’s reasonableness, his subjective principles, to ground his actions, and the only permissible universality given from that is for each subject to have identical, or at least similar, principles from which congruent actions would necessarily follow. Here, it is “reasonableness” in accord with “reasonableness”, in one and another, rather than reasonableness in one and agreeableness in the other.

    The only way subjective criteria to work is for all similar moral agents to have similar moral agendas. Then there would be a universal code.
  • Jamesk
    314
    The only way subjective criteria to work is for all similar moral agents to have similar moral agendas. Then there would be a universal code.Mww

    That's what Rawls is trying to achieve with his original position. Complete ignorance of how we will be effected by the laws we make is supposed to provide a similar agenda.
  • Mww
    277


    Yeah, I guess I get that. Still, laws are founded on a necessity, which presupposes those making the laws cannot be immune to knowledge of their effects.
  • Jamesk
    314
    The agents involved behind the veil of ignorance are perfectly aware of necessity and how laws will effect society. They just don't know what their position in that society will be and so cannot know how the laws will effect them personally.
  • Mww
    277


    Cool. I was hoping that was the case.
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