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What Is Social Justice

In: Social Issues

Submitted By bcuyler10
Words 691
Pages 3
Brad Connor
2/5/14
SOC 350
Professor DeWitt
What is Social Justice?
In today’s society, people use the phrase “social justice” to form a basis of how individuals should act with one another. However, there is really no clear definition of the right “social justice”. People depending on diverse circumstances look social justice differently; for example race, economic status and gender can come into play. Michael Novak defines social justice as “the capacity to organize with others to accomplish ends that benefit the whole community. (Social Justice: Not What You Think It Is)” The definition of social justice seems to always circle around a few key words: fairness, equality, common good, merit and morals (What Is Justice?). These words form a foundation to allow society to function properly with free will and choice without totally controlling the people. As stated before, every person may have a different meaning to what social justice is and who deserves social justice, which presents issues around the world.
The death penalty is a major issue that is problematic to the question of “what is social justice?” Society looks at criminals as outsiders, uncivilized and dangerous. So society decided to form the procedure of the death penalty, which sentences a person to death who has committed a capital crime. Some people find the death penalty just while others do not. Some individuals feel that the death penalty helps society. By killing the criminal you eliminate any further opportunity to commit any more crimes and keep safe the greater good. Also individuals support the idea of merit or “an eye for an eye”, that if a person kills somebody then they also should be killed. On the other hand, people who do not believe in the death penalty use morals to define their social justice. They believe that no person deserves to die by the hand of no man other than God, no matter what that individual has done in his/her life. The death penalty goes against the definition of social justice because murder should never be socially acceptable rather its an innocent person or criminal.
Poverty is another major issue for social justice in the world. Millions in the world today are struggling with not being able to survive in the world because they lack the necessities; like food, water and shelter. Equality is a huge part of equality being considered an issue of social justice. Equality is “being given the same treatment and access to goods”. Poverty is definitely unjust and there are many different factors to poverty. Some factors are lack of receiving an education, lack of resources and people taking resources away. Not all countries have the access and ability to allow individuals to receive an education. In this day in society, it is difficult for people to make a living and survive without an education and people feel that other “established” countries are not making a good enough effort to help other countries become equal in that aspect because the more evolved countries can use the other countries for their resources. The issue of countries taking other countries resources gets into another social dilemma of global commodity. Companies tend to go to countries that have many resources but are not as advanced. The companies know that they can take the resources cheaper and use the people as workers because the people have no other way to survive. This allows them to give the people unjust work hours for cheap wages so they can receive more revenue from their products. Poverty and global commodity goes against the definition of social justice because it is a violation in equal opportunity.
I view these three issues as violations to social justice because they do not uphold the standards of fairness, equality, common good and morals. In conclusion, I believe the definition of true social justice is the ability to treat others the way you would want to be treated. I feel this phrase can be used for all no matter the religious denominations or beliefs because it is universal to the fact that it protects the rights of each individual in society.

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