The American philosopher, John Rawls, addressed this dilemma in an innovative way. He thought of a hypothetical situation that would help guide our ethical principles of fairness. He described a situation where all of us would be in a pre-mortal state, behind a “veil of ignorance,” where we none of us would know what circumstances we would be born into. We could just as easily be born into a wealthy family as we could be born into the slums. With these assumptions, what principles would we all agree are fair principles upon which to build a society?
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