Author Topic: LHP and Rawls' Veil of Ignorance  (Read 361 times)


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LHP and Rawls' Veil of Ignorance
« on: May 22, 2019, 08:21:10 pm »

John Rawls created an ethical system based off of a "veil of ignorance", and I believe this fits with the ideas of the LHP. I'm going to stay away from the economic/political side of this and focus specifically on creating a basic moral system.

What Rawls says is we must create morals from behind this veil of ignorance. Basically we all sit at the table, and something mental happens where we do not know any of our own traits - our race, what disabilities we may have, what economic standing, who are parents are, location, etc - and create morals from there. In other words you only know you exist and live in this world you're making, and others exist as well. From that point, what would you want the morals to be?

This manages to avoid morals that benefit specific groups (ie "the rich"). Yet it also gives us basic rights and needs, identical to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. For instance everyone at that table wants shelter, food, health, protection from murder and rape and theft. But nobody wants racism because the don't know what race they'll be, nobody wants sexism as they don't know what sex they'll be, nobody wants anything but their own individual abilities to be factored in.

This is LHP because we also must see individuals for what is in their control, who they are. You can't judge someone on race because it's literally not a choice, in theism it's more of an assigned lable by dick god. Can't judge based on ones parents, or where they live as a kid, or if they were born high or disabled, it matters **what you do with it**. Holding what's out of control against us is very RHP,and is used to keep us trapped in failures most likely can never overcome.


Re: LHP and Rawls' Veil of Ignorance
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 03:11:29 pm »
The veil of ignorance is great for removing selfish considerations, which is valuable because in general man is unable to be objective in anything where his own interests are involved.

It’s a very humanist experiment - and it’s efficient usage could help to create cultures where each person is given a fair shot to thrive in its own way without undue persecution.

But is this necessarily LHP? Doesn’t LHP also allow one the freedom to make decisions that are knowingly motivated by his own self interest? To say “to hell with the general mass of people,” and “let the slaves serve”? (Not that I adhere to or approve of either of these positions.)

Where is the reconciliation between the uninhibited furtherance of self and vaguely utilitarian, humanitarian ethics? These things are not always in conflict - in fact I don’t think they are in the majority of LHPers I’ve spoken to. But since they can conflict, the question remains: which of these principles survives the battle?

Two more points for consideration:

Is it possible to make an argument for an elite ruling class from behind the veil of ignorance? (Similar to the arguments Plato makes for aristocracy in The Republic.)

Does the veil of ignorance use an individual’s selfish tendencies to undermine selfishness? (Forget all of your current advantages, now what kind of world do you want in order to maximize your personal chances in it upon rebirth [Making an optimization game out of moral and political theory]?) If so, what effect if any does the thought experiment have on a person whose moral/political ideas are already far removed from their own personal interests?
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley