In our daily life, we may sometimes have the situation to judge that which one is the most fair choice. To be honest, I have to say it isn't very simple for me to decide it even though I have listened two lessons from the professor Michael J. Sandel from the Harvard University on the
In his first lesson, he told us a story in
sumption which has two versions. One version
is that if you were driving a broken bus towards
which were running five workers. Of course, if
you continued to drive it, the five workers
would die. But you had another choice that you could make the bus turn left for the simple reason that there was only one worker. And also, if you made it, the one would die. What would you do? And another vision is that there was a very fat man standing next to you on the bridge, and you were just a looker. If you push that fat man down to the road, he would die but the broken bus could be stopped and all the six workers would alive. What would you do?
In the first vision, the majority chose to kill that single worker in order to save the five. But in the next vision, they thought it was unfair to push that fat man down, because he was guiltless. Why the same situation could cause two different results, I wondered.
In fact, this is a classic example of the
justice---- what should we do to make the
thing more fair? In the story of the first
vision, the majority considered the result
itself and the action was thought over in
the second vision. This is the reason that they came to a different view in the second vision. The story belongs to the philosophy of the
utilitarianism which were put forward by Bentham, an English
philosopher. He thought that the right thing, the just thing to do is to maximize utility. It could balance the pleasure and the pain.
In our society, our life are controlled by both the pleasure and the pain. But we can not consider all the rights and interests to every citizen. So that's the time to decide which one we should choose. The principle is that the greatest good for the greatest number. And to maximize the general welfare, or the collective happiness. So we need to find the
balance between the benefits and the costs. But there comes another
question that could every value be analysed by the costs? If so, what's the real value of a human being? Can dollars exchange the lives? And if we only considered the value of the majority, what about the minority? Can we aggregate all values and preferences? ......
And now, almost every problems come to one aspect that when we were deciding one thing, how we could to balance the majority and the
minority. If we only consider the majority, some people may think the policy you make is unfair to the minority. But as is known to all, it's impossible to consider every detail and to make everyone feel that it is fair. So that's really a hard nut to crack.
Wow, so many problems need to be solved. And now, I can know from the experience of the leaders in my county clearly. It is too difficult for me to analyse that what we should do and which one is the better. But in these lessons, I learned about some questions in the philosophy and learned to analyse one question in different ways. In my opinion, when we need to make a policy, we ought to know that the greatest good for the
China, an old and modern county, has too many social aspects to be balanced. With the economy developing rapidly, more and more social problems come out, such as the gap between the wealthy and poor. As far
as I am concerned, as the leaders in China, perhaps you cannot consider every aspect, but you should think which method is the better one to satisfied the more people.
I'd like to end my passage in some of my feelings about the education in the American university. It is really different from the one I thought in the past. From the video, I didn't see the teacher talking all the time. On the contrary, the students were discussing the questions given by the teacher energetically and most of them seemed to be honored to raise
their hands to answer it---- too different from the one in China. Maybe these are caused by the culture and the situation.