Rawls‘ „A Theory of Justice“ und Abtreibung

Ein schöner Artikel von Jonah Goldberg: Wer Rawls‘ Verfassungsspiel ernstnimmt, muß gegen Abtreibung sein.

Before his death in 2002, Rawls was arguably the foremost proponent of “distributive justice.” In A Theory of Justice, he offered a thought experiment. Imagine you and a group of other people were in a kind of metaphysical limbo, tasked with designing a Society from scratch. But you exist behind what Rawls called a “veil of ignorance.” You will be “born” — “placed” is probably a better word — into that society, but you don’t know where on the socio-economic ladder you will land.

How would you, and others in this “original position,” want society to be arranged? The answer, according to Rawls: as fairly as possible. Since you don’t know where you’ll land, you’d want to reduce the chances that you’d be born with a disadvantage.

Das ist die Strategie „Mildere den schlechtesten Fall“. Andere Strategien sind denkbar. Das ist ein ernstes Problem für Rawls‘ Theorie; doch bleibe es hier dahingestellt.

Rawls proposed this thought experiment to help illuminate how we might better think about justice. Many political liberals embrace Rawlsianism — and claim President Obama as a member of their philosophical tribe — because it lends a powerful argument for distributing resources to the least well-off.

A better approach, consistent with the spirit of Rawlsianism, would focus on fair rules for everyone, not government spoils. Where the Rawlsian “original position” really falls apart for me is on the question of abortion. Practically, the only true “original position” isn’t in some hypothetical realm, but in the womb. And the first choice we would all have from behind the veil of ignorance is to be born in the first place.

Mit einem Wort: Rawlsianer können nicht gleichzeitig für eine Sozialpolitik sein, die die ökonomisch Schwachen unterstützt, und mit den Ungeborenen die in jeglicher Hinsicht Schwächsten ans Messer liefern.

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