- Self-Interest is not a legitimate basis for moral rules
- principle: Moral rules should apply to everyone equally
- The mechanism of the "veil of ignorance" reveals peoples moral preferences untainted by self- interest
- People behind the veil of ignorance would choose a society organized on the difference principle: " Social and economic inequalities are to .. be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society. "
Why it's stupid (assuming I'm not straw-manning):
Self interest is a legitimate basis for moral rules The mechanism of the "veil of ignorance" does not reveal peoples moral preferences untainted by self- interest
- People behind the VoI would not choose the difference principle:
- Not everyone deserves the same amount of goods. Some people, i,e: criminals, may deserve to be worse off and should not be made better off.
- Rawls Counter: Birth lottery (only do bad things to to web of causation) --> no individual moral accountability for good/evil actions = everyone should be treated equally
- Response 1: Horrific consequences (can't punish murderers) = unacceptable to the average person, even behind the veil of ignorance
- Response 2: Belief in free will/moral responsibility is an axiomatic belief. Not willing to trade it away despite lack of ability to justify it.
- Response 3: No free will --> no personhood --> everything breaks
- Greatest good of the greatest number > care only for worst of. i,e: Would rather leave one person to die of hunger if it meant making 10'000'000'000 poor but not starving people rich and happy
- Leveling down objection: If an inequality makes the good better off while not making the poor worse off, why is it bad?
- Counter: inequality has bad consequences/makes people unhappy
- Not in every case.
- Definition of argument = not making poor worse off in any significant way