Headline, June 25 2022/ ETHICISTS : ''' '' THE PHILOSOPHERS TAP '' '''



 TAP '' '''

IN HIS BOOK - A THEORY OF JUSTICE, THE PHILOSOPHER John Rawls presents a framework to create institutions of more equal society.

Institutions in any society, as we know, are created by people. People bring their biases, due to their social status, experience and circumstances, which in turn affect the institutions they create.

So how can we agree on a social contract that is more just? Rawls suggests that we should operate behind a veil of ignorance' i.e. a situation where we assume no knowledge about ourselves [gender, race, income, interests, social standing].

The argument here is that we often set rules that explicitly or implicitly befit us, our tribes, or those who are like us.

The veil would ensure that would not happen. The veil also assumes that one does not know specific facts about others, thereby stopping us from constructing laws or rules that are biased against people, professions or views that we do not like.

If we make those assumptions, what kind of laws and rules would we construct? Would we still have laws that marginalise some ethnicities, prioritise men over women, or harass those whose views we do not share?

RAWLS was a distinguished philosopher of the twentieth century, and is cited routinely not just by political theorists and philosophers but also by courts of law in Canada, US and elsewhere.

But Rawls was not the only person of tremendous intellect and a sharp mind within the last century to ask questions that help us think of who we are, and what kind of society we want to live in.

Others, including many philosophers who had lived in pre WWII Germany and Italy questioned the foundations of a society that could bring Nazism and Fascism to power and unleash the forces of evil.

Those words are still relevant today. Hannah Arendt's work was not just relevant for Stalin and Hitler, but also a guiding force for many who were deeply troubled by Trump's America. 

In the early part of Trump's presidency, Hannah Arendt's book Origins of Totalitarianism became a best seller - 56 years after its first publication.

We live in times that are both unique in many ways, but also similar to others in the past where there was injustice, inequality and failure of so many institutions. At times it is risky to ask questions.

But there are other questions as well, about our collective system of values, our identity and what kind of a society we should  build.

At this time we need not just doctors and nurses, economists and entrepreneurs, scholars of science and engineering, historians and authors, but also philosophers and ethicists.

We need thinkers who are able to reflect and analyse beyond the day-to-day political events, or move away from mundane predictions of geopolitics. However, we seem to be going in exactly the opposite direction. Philosophy as a subject and philosophers as individuals are viewed with an utter disdain in society.

JUST ONE EXAMPLE THEN : The Indian judiciary has abandoned its relatively neutral position in favour of becoming a close ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling BJP, green lighting or giving legal cover to all sorts of anti-minority crimes and human rights violations.

While lower courts were never immune to political pressure, even under the Congress party, the last two years have seen unprecedented agreement between the BJP's position and the higher judiciary's  judgements, regardless of the issues and existing laws.

In this light, it is also unsurprising that several controversial retiring have quickly been inducted into the BJP and been given tickets or important appointments within days of their joining.

Days ago, the Supreme Court of India refused to stop razing of Muslim houses, ordered by several state governments in response to protests against BJP leaders making sacrilegious remarks about Prophet Muhammed [PBUH].

Other insulting observations and judgements by the Supreme Court of India and state high courts include finding that 'a mosque was not essential to Muslim mode of worship', that headscarves are 'not essential' for Muslim women, and approving the destruction of mosques and other Muslim sites based on suspect 'proof' presented by Hindutva groups.

The dearth of philosophers, and the disdain towards this discipline is all the more alarming when a country associates itself with the thought of the finest philosophers of the last century : Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Times & Tides, Questions and Thinking, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Muhammad Hamid Zaman, Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Editorial Board The Express Tribune.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, The Global Founder Framers, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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