From the original position, I would not choose a society where what one ought to do is act only from one’s self-interest. Although the initial thought of acting for one’s self-interest seems like a positive thing for one’s goals and happiness, one must consider that everyone else is also living without regard for others as well, including you. A society in which its leaders are creating laws and making decisions that are for personal benefit, as opposed to the benefit of those living under their leadership is concerning.
The paradox of ethical egoism, that if you only focus on yourself, it will eventually be self-destroying because others may regard you as selfish and will not eke you or want you around leads me to believe that I may risk hurting myself in a world where my interest is my only concern. A society based on self-interest seems unstable, that people would frequently turn on leaders, that friends may betray you for personal gain. Therefore, from the idealized situation of the original position, I rationally choose to reject this society.
Although Singer’s ideal society seems to be modified from pure utilitarianism due to his belief that one should give as much as they can to eliminate suffering “without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. ” I feel that “comparable moral importance” is a blurry statement. Singer seems to believe that one should give as much as possible to everyone, no matter how far away, Just until one is above poor, that they only have what one needs to live and eat.
The veil of ignorance, that from the original state I have no knowledge of who in society I’m going to be, leads me to reject Singer’s ideal society. Although it would be nice to have some support from others if I happened to be a less-fortunate member of society, I would be very unsatisfied if I was a wealthy member of society who was deemed obligated by society to give as much as I could of my earned money to others.
I would not want to be a part of the smaller group that must sacrifice for the greater good of the larger population. I believe that John Arthur offers a middle ground between societies based on ethical egoism and utilitarianism. He recognizes the entitlements of my moral intuition yet also doesn’t deem Singer’s case for the elimination of suffering wrong. He recognizes my rights to my own body as well as my property and privacy. He also rows on the point that one needs to help people in need as well as respect their own rights.
Although he does encourage giving to those who are in need, he makes the point that if we didn’t promise to help and we are not responsible for their situation, we don’t need to ignore our rights and give away money to help strangers. “A Theory of Justice” By Stanhope simply until there is a substantial cost to them. From the original position, I rationally believe that I would choose to live in a society in which giving is encouraged, but not considered a moral obligation that would sacrifice my entitlements.