Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Throughout our lives from childhood to adulthood, we are always presented with scenarios and situations where we have to make a decision. Whether it is something as simple as deciding which restaurant we would like to go to for dinner or something more delicate and serious such as deciding whether we should end the life of one individual to save a few, or end the lives of a few individuals to save the life of one. We are presented with so many different situations during our lifetime and making the right decisions in all of our situations can be more difficult during some than in others and at the end of the day, it all boils down to what the right thing to do is. The famous American philosopher, also known as the professor of government theory at the Harvard University of Law, Michael Sandel presents us with one of his most famous books Justice: Whats the Right Thing to Do? which puts into perspective for us what the definitions of justice are, what creates a just society, and illustrates concepts that create a society and what its members believe the just or right things to do are.
Michael Sandel uses the research and teachings of well-known philosophers to explain and back up his arguments on what he believes a society should be built on. He identifies that the two most important concepts to create a fair and just society include utilitarianism and libertarianism. In addition to creating a just society through utilitarianism and libertarianism, Sandel also explains that we can create a justified society by maximizing welfare, respecting freedom, and promoting virtue. He explains that by understanding and following these three key aspects, members of a society can learn to allocate the good and right actions from the ones that are deemed to be wrong and harmful. Every time we make a decision, we can often find ourselves choosing something confidently because we know from past experiences of making a decision what the outcome will be and how this will affect us and/ or others around us.
The real issue that we are presented with as conscious human beings is when we have to make a decision where we are unfamiliar with the results and the circumstances, or when we know it will have a big effect regardless of which decision we go with. In his book, Sandel does not teach or tell the reader what the right thing to do is; but instead, he presents the reader with various scenarios and situations along with moral reflections and reasonings that encourages the reader to think critically about what the right or wrong thing to do is. This allows the reader to take a look at his or her own upbringing and past or current experiences that have shaped their minds to influence their actions, why they think the way they do and what they act the ways that they do. Furthermore, he makes the reader realize that we are all similar as human bei...