Jason PolenPLSC 432 Ethic of Social Justice10/12/09
´A Nation·s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.µ
My primary social principle
is a deontological statement that describes the obligatoryrole society has to everyone, not just ´the individualµ.
Society·s primary goal should be raising theminimum standard of living for everyone
. This primary principle assumes societies are capable ofmeeting peoples·
needs and people are willing to make sacrifices. This principle is derivedfrom the Kantian sense of ´Dutyµ, but instead of describing the duty of individuals, I amreferring to the collective duty society should have to
its members. This type of duty isutilitarian because it aims to generate the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount ofpeople. However, my idea of society·s duty is different than utilitarianism because it rejects theimplication of and excluded minority. Utilitarianism creates a false dilemma; while
maybe forced to make extreme utilitarian choices, society as a whole is not subject to these sameharsh realities. There are enough resources for everyone·s basic needs to be met, and evenenough for everyone to live very well. With technology and progressive allocation of resources,I believe
should have access to nutrition, healthcare, a job, education, time for leisure,the means to raise a healthy family, and a life free from worry about how to acquire these basicneeds. The subsequent three principles are teleological targets that more specifically express
society should reach a minimum standard of living and continue to raise that standard.The term ´minimum living standardsµ is culturally and historically relative, andtherefore dynamic. My second principle addresses this relativity by further defining the idealrelationship between rich and poor.
As society progresses, living standards of the poor should increase