What Justice Means to Me
In social institutions, justice is the very first virtue. On the other hand, truth would be considered to be of systems of thought. In the case of theories, certain revisions could be done if it is found to be untrue. Even if the theory seems to sound elegantly, changes would be required on it. The same thing applies to laws and institutions. If these laws and institutions are untrue, they would be reformed, or worst, they would be abolished. Utilitarianism states that a moral action is the “greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Mill, 1863).
But each and every individual has the ability to discern based on justice that the wellbeing of a whole society does not often overrule the wellbeing of its citizen. Justice rejects the idea that an individual could lose his freedom for the benefit of the other individuals. In a society, justice must provide the equality which the citizen or the people should receive. Their rights should be protected by justice and that inequalities are reduced, if not totally removed (Rawls, 1999). Justice for me is fairness.
It is a way to give the things that is due to a person or an individual who experiences unjust treatment. Each and every individual should experience equality especially with regards to rights and liberty, comparable to that which is experienced by other people. In addition to this, if there is the presence of social and economic inequalities, it should be reformed. The inequalities should be arranged in a manner as to be rationally anticipated to be to everyone’s advantage. Also, it should be fixed as to make positions or offices open to everybody, and not only to a specific individual or group of individuals.
In a case stated by Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez, an individual named Beatrice Norton who was fourteen years old worked in a cotton mill just like her mother. Few years after, she had stopped from working due to problems with regards to her health. Exposure to the cotton dust in the cotton mill had resulted to a disease called “brown lung”. “Brown lung” can is a chronic disease, and if it gets out of hand, it could be fatal. The symptoms of brown lung are similar to asthma and emphysema. Due to this disease, she was not able to work anymore and provide money for herself and to her family.
As such, she asks for the government’s help in giving justice to what she had experienced. More specifically, she wanted to receive stability compensations from the government. Another case talks about Mrs. Vinnie Ellison’s husband who also worked in a cotton mill. Her husband had experienced difficulties in breathing and her husband’s health was in serious problem fulfilling his job due to this. Mrs. Ellison’s husband was fired because of this. Aside from being jobless, Mrs. Ellison’s husband had no pension, as such, they had difficulty living (Andre and Velasquez, Spring 1990).
In these two incidents or cases, both Beatrice Norton and Mrs. Vinnie Elison, only wanted what is due to them or to their loved one. They wanted to be treated equally or fairly as to what they had experienced. They had worked for the cotton mill for years and morally speaking, the victims should be given compensations or financial help. In this way, their efforts, labor and loyalty to the company could be rewarded. In a just society, they should not be treated indifferently and that justice should protect them as well, just like how it protects other laborers or workers experiencing other diseases.
As a Criminal Justice professional, I would see to it that they would be given what’s due to them. I would try to investigate and check if there’s any fault, mistake, neglects or shortcomings done by either Beatrice Norton and Mrs. Vinnie Elison or the cotton mill. I could readily give help or assistance to the victims of the “brown lung” in receiving at least a small compensation to pay for their medications. The improvement of their health could also be pushed through as deliberations and investigations go on.
I would also help in granting pension to these victims if it is found that they had not committed any shortcomings as to endanger their own selves to the disease. In the case of the cotton mill, I could assist them in finding a suitable compensation or pension for the victims without incurring much loss to the mill. Their policies could also be revised in order to adapt to these problems in the future. Certain safety regulations can be pushed through the court for the cotton mill to create or improve existing health or safety regulations so that the well-being of the workers could be addressed.
If the court finds that the victims did not follow such regulations then, they may not receive what they want fully since it is not due to them. Distributing wealth and good things in life that is equally deserved by one could be thought through common sense be given based on moral desert. Justice is happiness according to virtue. While it is recognized that this ideal can never be fully carried out, it is the appropriate conception of distributive justice, at least as a prima facie.
As a Criminal Justice professional that considers that justice is fairness, this conception is already eliminated or disregarded. Identifying the necessary criteria in this situation seems to be impossible. In addition to this, from the point of view of distributing according to virtue, moral desert and legitimate expectations are neither eminent nor identifiable. Therefore, it can be a fact that individuals who take part in certain arrangements receive claims from one another because of the existing agreements which were made.
In the case of the “brown lung” cancer, certain agreements could be arranged in order to come up with a fair decision that would not push one side to the losing end. By creating an agreement between the two conflicting identities, they could receive claims and equality or fairness can be served. Furthermore, the principles of justice as fairness that maintains a fundamental structure do not pertain to moral desert. Through justice as fairness, there would be no predisposition of share distribution that would keep up a correspondence with it.