What is a just society? 3 – How much priority for the worse off? by IPSP | Jul 7, 2016 | Forum | 0 comments Opening Statement IPSP on July 7, 2016 at 9:57 am Philosophers disagree about what makes a society just or unjust. Is it a matter of freedom, equality, status, resources, happiness, opportunities, dignity, recognition…? Here is one “hot” question about characterizing social justice: How much priority should we give to the disadvantaged members of society? The philosophers disagree: John Rawls famously argued that we should give absolute priority to the worst-off; Friedrich Nietsche preferred to favor the most successful; in between, Jeremy Bentham proposed to look at total welfare rather than care about the distribution; Robert Nozick argued that inequalities do not matter provided everyone’s basic freedoms are guaranteed. This is an important question, not just for philosophers. How much social welfare provision, how much government taxation, how much encouragement to charities should we have: all of these questions depend on the relative importance of helping the worse off. It is not just a political question, it is primarily a moral question: do we feel a special concern for the worse off, and should we organize society to express such a special concern? Bring your voice to this forum and share your own perspective on social justice! Please log in or register to add a reply.