John Rawls’ theory of justice says that the premise of a society is a set of tacit agreed-upon principles. There are 2 principles under the theory of justice.
The principle of equal liberty stresses that it protects people from infringement of our rights and provide us equal rights so that we are able to be a person in the society. The first part of the second principle, the difference principle says that we are morally obligated to improve the worst off unless it is going to harm everyone. Principle of fair equality of opportunity refers to the idea of every mankind deserves to get equal opportunity regardless of their strong or weak abilities. John viewed that the ‘accidents’ that brings inequalities should be minimise.
Malaysia’s government institution, Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) provides loan for every undergraduate student to further study. Compare to students who are from a well-off family and students who got good results, those who got average results and from poor family have higher chances to get the loan. Students who got excellent results can get scholarship while PTPTN loan is provided for others who get average high results as a reward and help. It is important that students who born in a poor family be given the same education opportunities to succeed as those well-off family kids.
In order to achieve the equal liberty in the society, society has to be thought of as social contract, to use some of the society’s wealth to ensure that the less abilities get equal opportunities and welfare as the high abilities. Every member of the society should agree to the social contract in order to live peacefully. However, to agree with the social contract, people should practice the veil of ignorance and to be in the original position. Veil of ignorance is people should ignore the differences which can divide the people into different group. Although Malaysia has three difference races, but applicant should stand at the original position whereby they are Malaysian without considering their races or religion. We, as a whole should all agree that the chances of getting the loan are based on their family financial situation and the least opportunity for them to get scholarships with poor or average results. The reflective equilibrium allows us to put ourselves in others’ shoes and agree to the social contract.
In a nutshell, we are ethically responsible to improve the worst off and set up to lessen the inequalities caused by unlucky ‘accidents’.