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Rights and Ownership

Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?

Episode 04: “THIS LAND IS MY LAND”

The philosopher John Locke believes that individuals have certain rights so fundamental that no government can ever take them away. These rights—to life, liberty and property—were given to us as human beings in the the state of nature, a time before government and laws were created. According to Locke, our natural rights are governed by the law of nature, known by reason, which says that we can neither give them up nor take them away from anyone else. Sandel wraps up the lecture by raising a question: what happens to our natural rights once we enter society and consent to a system of laws?

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Hired Guns

Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? Episode 05: “HIRED GUNS”

PART ONE: HIRED GUNS

During the US Civil War, men drafted into war had the option of hiring substitutes to fight in their place. Professor Sandel asks students whether they consider this policy just. Many do not, arguing that it is unfair to allow the affluent to avoid serving and risking their lives by paying less privileged citizens to fight in their place. This leads to a classroom debate about war and conscription. Is today’s voluntary army open to the same objection? Should military service be allocated by the labor market or by conscription? What role should patriotism play, and what are the obligations of citizenship? Is there a

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Price of Life

What’s The Right Thing To Do?

Thanks to modern medical technology we are enabling people to live longer yet many of those lives are compromised and the people whose lives have been prolonged require continual social and medical support.

This raises questions like how long should we keep people alive? In some countries voluntary euthanasia has been legalised giving people who still have their mental faculties intact can choose to move on yet all around the world there are a great many people being kept alive even though they have very little cognizance of life and that maintenance of their lives is more to do with the emotional attachments of family members.

Michael Sandel in the video below raises this

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The Moral Side of Murder

Is any killing moral or justified?

This debate has come to the fore as extremists blow up people simply to make a point because they are not being heard and other military organisations assassinate those considered a threat to life or industry while the US administration is routinely assassinating people and communities around the world in addition to having caused the death of thousands of its own people in the Twin Towers atrocity like the drone strikes that kill entire families,

Episode 01 “THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER”

In part one of the lecture by Michael Sandel at Harvard University entitled ‘Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? The question is debated.

If you had to choose between (1) killing

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Free to Choose

Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? Episode 03: “FREE TO CHOOSE”

Part One

Michael Sandel introduces the libertarian conception of individual rights, according to which only a minimal state is justified. Libertarians argue that government shouldn’t have the power to enact laws that 1) protect people from themselves, such as seat belt laws, 2) impose some peoples moral values on society as a whole, or 3) redistribute income from the rich to the poor. Sandel explains the libertarian notion that redistributive taxation is akin to forced labor with references to Bill Gates and Michael Jordan.

Part two

Libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick makes the case that taxing the wealthy—to pay for housing, health care, and education for the poor—is

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