The beginning of the novel captured my attention with the mention of Hurricane Charley and price gouging. Being a victim of Katrina, I understand what it is like to have to deal with price gouging after hurricanes. When Sandel mentions the exuberant pries after Hurricane Charley, I could relate. After a hurricane, you will pay just about anything to get your house fixed. Therefore, I oppose price gouging because I have been in the position of the buyer, and I know what it feels like to be obliged to pay inflated prices. I believe price gouging is injust. I feel as though a nation should come together during a time of stress rather than exploit the people by raising prices. However, after reading this chapter, I really questioned what is just and what is not. I thought all along that whatever was moral was also just. Then, Sandel brings in the example of the trolley.
In this example, I struggled to find the just solution. Killing one man to save five lives seems a better option than letting all five men die, but it is unjust to take a man’s life. Pushing another innocent bystander by hand or by way of lever seems easy, but it also poses the question as to whether it is unjust or not. In chapter two, they bring up the story of “The Ones Who Walked Away” by Ursula Guin. Is it wrong to leave one girl in utter isolation for the sake of town-wide happiness? I honestly struggled with finding my perspective on these concepts. Everything I thought I had figured out about justice and morality was questioned when I brought it up on a large scale dealing with happiness and life-saving events.
Additionally, another part of the book that made me question peoples’ reasoning with justice is Bentham’s theory of utilitarianism—the fact that we like pleasure and dislike pain. I agree that we all enjoy pleasure, but sometimes the pleasurable thing to do is not the right thing to do. We usually have to endure pain in order to get pleasure. Therefore, I think that one’s decision...
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