top-rated free essay

Social Justice

By thatoneguy100 Oct 29, 2013 939 Words
Essay #2 – Definition Argument – Social Justice
A socially just and equal society is arguably one of the most important things a community can hope to establish for itself, as every human being has a set of basic rights that demand to be valued and understood. However, the way those rights are interpreted is theoretically an objective concept which varies from religion to religion, from government to government, and from philosopher to philosopher. A select number of societies have either subverted, or in some instances, completely ignored, the practice altogether. As a result of this, the “true” meaning of social justice has become incredibly blurred. While a general understanding of the idea has been established in the minds of most individuals, a specific definition has yet been coined, with each definition perceived as being either too vague or leaving too much room for interpretation, allowing it to become misconstrued. Despite the term’s controverted nature, I can firmly say that the truest definition of social justice is the promotion of freedom, tolerance, and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation, social status, or the like.

As stated in the paragraph above, it should be made clear that most institutions approach social justice in a similar fashion, which can be generalized as a common understanding of human rights and valuing human dignity. Despite this, a vast number of advocacy groups have emerged in recent years in response to political discourse and human rights concerns. Their primary focus is not just in economically depressed parts of the world, but within their own borders as well. These groups actively promote innovative solutions to social challenges and new ways of thinking about such issues. The RSA, or the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, is currently one of the more popular social advocacy groups in the United Kingdom. Since their inception over 260 years ago, they have sought to bring awareness to the consequences of irresponsibly practiced capitalism (“Action and Research”). The RSA defines the concept of social justice as being the implication of fairness and a sense of mutual obligation within a society (“Our Impact and Influence”). The Center for Economic and Social Justice’s definition is not too far off from the former as stated in an article published by The article entitled simply enough, “Defining Economic and Social Justice”, states that “…social justice is the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we institutions. In turn, social institutions, when justly organized, provide us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our associations with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to work with others to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development” (Kelso, Adler, Miller).

Various religious groups have also touched on the idea of social justice, its application according to their respective scriptures being a key difference. In regards to Christianity, a Jesuit priest named Luigi Taparelli first coined the term “social justice” in 1840, basing the concept almost entirely on the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (“Social Justice”). Taparelli described social justice as being a distinctive blend of communitive and distributive justice, which placed great emphasis on the redistribution of wealth and charity (Zeigler). Christians perceive social justice as being a prime example of “Christ-like” behavior, treating it as a necessity of their faith. Those of the Jewish faith apply a similar approach. According to Proverbs 31:9, the Torah commands that not only must one give to the poor, but one must advocate for them on their behalf as well (“Jewish Views On Economic Justice”). However, the role that politics play in this matter tends to contradict religions indoctrination. While the key ideas of social justice behind Libertarianism and Egalitarianism are fairly similar in comparison to those of Christianity and Judaism, they possess multiple flaws. For instance, while Christianity places strong emphasis on charity and the redistribution of wealth, Richard Nozick claims in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia, that the state may not legally engage in the legislation of morals or the redistribution of income and wealth (Purest Café). Nozick, an outspoken Libertarian and American philosopher whose field of study was primarily utilitarianism, was concerned that an overwhelming focus on the least fortunate encouraged the downfall and weakening of the rest of a populace. While ethically well intentioned, the incorporation of these sorts of politics tends to greatly muddy the waters in regards to the application of social justice if there is constant clash between religious leaders and legislators.

All in all, it comes down to a strictly humanistic approach. To take influence from everything and work for betterment of all (this practice being out of the goodness of one’s heart), one must think of a life they would like to live and then place themselves into the shadow of the oppressed. Is a life absent of absolute freedom and the value of basic rights worth living? Under those circumstances, I believe the answer is quite clear.

Works Cited
"Action and Research." n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.
Cafe, Purest. "Social Justice: Two Very Different Views." Web log post. N.p., 20 May 2012. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Jewish Views On Economic Justice." n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. Kelso, Louis O., Mortimer J. Adler, and John H. Miller. "Defining Economic and Social Justice." n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. . "Our Impact and Influence." n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Social Justice." n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.

Zeigler, J.J. "What Is Social Justice?" 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Social Justice and Gender Justice

    ...INSTITUTION OF GENDER, DIVERSITY, PEACE, AND RIGHTS ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE COURSE 1) ESSAY) The Issues of Social Justice and Gender Justice in Sudan NAME: HANADI MOHAMED ABDELHALIM 02/‎15/‎2012‎ Introduction: Discussing the term gender justice is a complicated matter. because its part of a wider term which is social justic...

    Read More
  • Religion and Social Justice

    ...Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Social justice is a full and equal participation of all groups in a society, mutually shaped to meet their needs. Learning about different religions and their systems of beliefs have opened my eyes t...

    Read More
  • Social Justice

    ...Social Justice What is social justice and how does it relate to liberation theology? How do sin, love, grace, and human freedom affect social justice? What restricts freedom and social justice? And how does all of this play a role in the Kingdom of God? Social justice is a concept of a society in which every human being is treated justly, w...

    Read More
  • Distributive Justice

    ...INTRODUCTION Distributive justice is concerned with the fair allocation of resources among diverse members of a community. Fair allocation typically takes into account the total amount of goods to be distributed, the distributing procedure, and the pattern of distribution that result. The concept of social justice was initiated by Dr. Ambedka...

    Read More
  • Theories of Justice

    ...Theories of Justice Introduction The theme of justice is the most relevant in contemporary political philosophy. A political philosopher to deal with the theme of justice has to take into prior consideration what is usually called distributive justice (or social justice, hereafter dj). This choice depends on both conceptual and historic...

    Read More
  • The Application of Platos Justice in Contemporary Society

    ...The Application of Plato’s Justice in Contemporary Society “The result, then, is that more plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited, does it at the right time, and is released from having to do any of the others” (Sayers 21) Despite an existing definition o...

    Read More
  • social justice

    ...Concept of Social Justice in Political Thought with Special Focus on Gandhi and Ambedkar Concept of Social Justice in Political Thought with Special Focus on Gandhi and Ambedkar Ambikesh Kumar Tripathi 'Social-Justice' is the central issue of present day’s politics, economics, sociology, social philosophy, jurisprudence and the a...

    Read More
  • Mental Health Counseling: Integrating Consultation and Social Advocacy around them. In order to respond to the thesis questions presented in this paper, we must first define consultation and social justice advocacy within the counseling context. Typically, consultation means a general meeting or conference between parties. In the counseling context however, we can say that it “usually involves three ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.