detrimental to the welfare of everyone affected by them

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
Failed to get the logical relationship between "The moment we conceive of justice as being fully separable from human well-being" and "detrimental to the welfare of everyone affected by them."

Would you like to give an example so that I can understand it if you think you are clear about the relationship?

Thanks in advance
**************************
The moment we conceive of
justice as being fully separable from human well-bein
g, we are faced with the prospect of
there being morally “right” actions and social systems that are, on balance, detrimental to
the welfare of everyone affected by them
. To simply bite the bullet on this point, as
Rawls seemed to do, saying “there is no reason to think that just institutions will
maximize the good” seems a mere embrace of moral and philosophical defeat.

-Sam Harris
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    It means that if you don't tie your conception of justice to the well-being of people, then you get results that are detrimental to everybody (even though they fulfill your abstract theory of "justice").

    To give an example, let's say that your conception of justice implies that a person who commits armed robbery should be punished with at least five years in jail. Sounds reasonable, right? Bill Jones commits a robbery at age 19 with a knife (nobody is injured) because it is the only way he can think of to get money to pay for his sister's leukemia treatment. Jones escapes justice and is never caught, going on to live an honest and productive life for the next thirty years as a high-school biology teacher and advocate for people with leukemia. He marries and has three young children, then his wife dies and leaves Jones as their sole caretaker. At this point, Jones confesses the decades-old robbery, which has always plagued his conscience.

    Should he be separated from his family and the community for five years for a decades-old crime to which he has confessed?
     
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