Prima Facie and Rawls’ Justice Thoery

Topics: Justice, Prima facie, Ethics Pages: 2 (615 words) Published: February 24, 2013
I pretty agree with W.D. Ross’s idea of Prima Facie Obligations. Just like everything else in this world, there are different moral obligations, and some are weighed more than others. When we consider what we should do in the situation that several moral obligations conflicts, we should choose the one which is more important. Actually, this is a kind of consequentialism. To decide which moral obligation is more important is by comparing the severity of consequence of each obligation. For example, facing a series killer, should I tell the truth to the killer about where my friend is or should I lie to him to save my friend’s life? To decide what I should do , I will compare the consequences of these two obligations and choose to lie to killer and fulfill the more important obligations of saving my friend’s life. I can say Ross’s Prima Facie Obligation is the mixture of consequentialism and non-consequentialism.

I also think that Rawls’s theory of justice is a good one. But I doubt if this can be applied in reality. As everyone in our society has his/her own role or position. For example, I am a student, and you are a professor. As a student, I always want to do less work and have good grades; while as a professor, you would like students to study hard. So when come to the decision of what is justice, we will have different opinions. Same as when governor or some authorities define the concept of justice, they will have their own version of justice. As long as we people live in a society, we will have different status, and this will definitely affect our idea of justice and the regulation to govern the society. I also doubt if we really have the original position or how to realize this position. As long as people are conscious, they are always remember or know who they are and what they do and their position in the society, unless they lose their memories. Even the most fair person we believe cannot totally ignore his/her position when...
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