Australian Consumer Law Applies In South Australia

The Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Consumer Law or ACL is made to apply nationally and across South Australia. It deals with all matters involving safe products; fair contracts dealings and safe sales practices that must be observed by all Australian states and territories covered by national laws on Consumer Protection and Fair Trading.

The law took effect on 1 January 2011. The law covers national legislations which provide uniform regulations with regards to unfair terms of contract; provides standard form of consumer contracts; guarantees consumer rights when buying goods and services; ensures product safety and enforcement systems; provides rules for lay-by agreements and the rules in the exercise of the authority and the enforcement of consumer remedial rights.

The law also provides for the uniform standards of conduct, protection, obligations and responsibilities to all consumers over the business community in Australia. The Productivity Commission believed that the ACL reforms could bring about benefits to Australian community between $1.5 billion to $4.5 billion a year.

The ACL is expected to replace about 20 consumer legislations in Australia. In South Australia, it will have impact particularly on laws relating to fair trading and consumer protection laws like:

· Fair Trading Act 1987 (SA)

· Consumer Transactions Act 1972 (SA)

· Manufacturers Warranties Act 1974 (SA)

· Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth): Parts IVA, V, VA and VC

It is enforced and administered by the following agencies:

· Consumer and Business Services or CBS. Consumer and Business Services he new name for the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs. It is a division of the Attorney General’s Department within the South Australian Government’s Justice Portfolio. The CBS will assist consumers with their complaints involving goods and services which are advertised and purchased in South Australia.

· Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It helps in the promotion of business and trade competition and fair trade practices in the market place to benefit consumers, business and the community.

· Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Act as a support to financial markets and financial services providing for fair and transparent practices for well-informed investors and consumers.

The benefits of ACL

The enforcement of a single legislation will bring harmony, unity and simplicity in the enforcement of consumer rights in Australia. It would be easier for the administering agencies to take action and implement the provisions of the law eliminating complex and obscure interpretations. In addition, the Courts and Tribunals can adopt uniform rules and procedure in the enforcement of consumer laws and provisions protecting consumer rights.

Law Book Review: Land Laws Under Single Shadow

Book’s Title: Lectures on Land Law
Author: Dr. Mohammad Towhidul Islam
Publisher: Northern University Bangladesh (NUB)
First Published: June 2013
Price shown: 500 Taka
Pages: 546

There exists a common perception in our country that laws relating to land are complex and it is expert job to understand and apply the law. Indeed, it is true that the method of land measurement system requires expert knowledge. Moreover, units to measure land are quite peculiar and not universal across the country. On the contrary, because of high growth of population and scarcity of land, land related disputes are increased day by day, which possessed about 80% of our total civil litigation.

However, apart from these scenarios, there is also real scarcity of a single academic book, which contains all aspects of current land laws. Because the area of our land law is gigantic and these subject matters are discuss individually in numerous books. When I started my carrier at an university, I was assigned to conduct classes on land laws. I can remember those days when I felt unaided because of my failure to discover an useful sole book on land laws. Consequently, I suggested a lot of books to my students, which ultimately fall them in a worthless deep ocean, where they just found mostly repealed, scattered, intricate and to some extent valueless laws. I want to give thanks to Dr. M Towhidul Islam, who takes initiative to rescue the students from that bottomless marine by his new book titled “Lectures on Land Law”.

Our customary scholastic land law books typically contain history; the State Acquisition & Tenancy Act, 1950; the Non-Agricultural & Tenancy Act, 1949; provisions of pre-emption; alluvion-diluvion, acquisition-requisition and some other portion of land law individually while this book covers creation, transfer and extermination of land rights in single cover. This discussed book introduces immutable facets of land law under a single shadow, which includes provisions relating to registration, easement, public demand recovery, trust, lease, mortgage, transfer of immoveable property and other inalienable materials concerning real property; though precisely. Normally we studied these topics separately whereas global students follow this pattern to study real estate law all over the earth.

This distinct book also discusses on almost all indissoluble parts of land law i.e. land administration, settlement of Khas land, Khatiyan, mutation, land taxes etc. Author mainly formulates this book by his class lectures, which also reflects in the name of his book. Consequently, the book will be more accessible for the teachers and students to realize multifaceted issues of land law in easy and class friendly way. More importantly, Dr. Islam release them form buying topic wise books. Another reason behind intricacy of land law is use of obscure words and foggy languages even in Bangla books whereas Towhidul Islam constructs every sentence intelligibly. Now students will obtain dual benefit from this single book; one is purely academic knowledge and rest on is practical aspects like dispute, which is more important for a to-be lawyer.

Lectures on Land Law is inimitable because it creates scopes for further discussion and I believe that the author will be able to arise question in readers’ mind and it will help them to increase their curiosity to unveil the untouched corner of land management instead of reluctance and complexity to land matters. In addition, this Asso. Prof. of law also writes his book in such a lucid manner where his prospective readers can find a scope to think from practitioners’ perspective.

First chapter of the mentioned book deals with importance of studying land laws and introductory issues. In next chapters (2-4) the writer enumerates historical development, ownership and land administration in Bangladesh. Chapter five of this book handles with acquisition of Zamindary system and its impact. The next following chapters (6-9) elucidate tenancy rights, record of rights, transfer, consolidation, amalgamation & sub-division of land. Then in chapter ten & eleven, Dr. Islam narrates about registration and procedure of mutation. Subsequently, he inscribes about pre-emption, sub-letting, alluvion-diluvion, easement and prescription in chapter 12-15 respectively. After that, in chapter 16-18 the book illustrates provisions regarding acquisition & requisition of land, abandoned and vested properties. Later, Towhidul explains land taxes, certificate cases and management & settlement of Khas lands in chapter 19-21. At last, in chapter 22 this faculty member of DU articulates process of land reforms that can aid the community to ensure economic and social justice by providing painless and equal access to land and land administration in Bangladesh.

The book is not comprehensive one rather a beginning for further thinking. However, the piece could be a good instrument for the students to cope with current land laws. I trust, it will also be able enough to inspire them to explore untouched corners of land matters and land related injustice of the country. I hope author will insert more illustrations, maps, images, charts, forms & case laws in its upcoming version to make the book more easy for the lay man also. The book is mainly aimed for law students; nevertheless, I expect it will also be a supportive material for academicians, lawyers, judges, researchers, NOGs and interested readers to diminish their inquisitiveness.

The Pope And The President – A Glimpse Of The Future

For those who observed it closely, the recent perfunctory meeting of Pope Benedict XVI and President Bush at the Vatican offered a glimpse at what future relations between the United States and the Holy See will be like. In most respects, it appeared to be a typical rendezvous between two heads of state. The pontiff welcomed Bush cordially, setting the tone for a relaxed thirty-five minute discussion that was nearly as cordial. The two dignitaries discussed areas of mutual interest and concern including religious freedom, human rights, and the deteriorating political and economic situation in Africa and the Middle East. When they had finished talking, the Pope and president followed the usual diplomatic custom of exchanging gifts: Bush offered Benedict a walking stick carved with the Ten Commandments, while Benedict presented Bush with an engraving of St. Peter’s Basilica and a gold medallion representing his pontificate.

But the very typical nature of this meeting between two such different leaders ought to make observers suspicious. Indeed, when I read articles from various media outlets describing it, I immediately had a sense that it was an attractive veneer, a mere formality lacking substance. This is not to question the sincerity of either President Bush or Pope Benedict; I believe that both men have tried to do their best given their respective abilities and circumstances. Rather, it was evident that underneath their civility, occasional pleasant humor, and agreement on fundamental moral issues, a cauldron of definite mutual uneasiness-generated by the fire of major disagreement-was simmering.

To most people around the world, it is well known that Pope Benedict and President Bush have taken opposing stands on a wide range of matters. Benedict has firmly opposed the war in Iraq which Bush has insisted on continuing. Benedict has called for universal nuclear disarmament, while Bush has maintained the importance of strengthening his nation’s arsenal. Benedict has called for aid to the Palestinian people, while Bush has refused such aid citing allegations that the Hamas government has been involved in terrorism. Benedict has stressed the importance of international law, multilateralism, and the United Nations in conducting international affairs, whereas Bush has insisted that the United States must take whatever actions necessary to preserve its own security and that of Israel. Benedict has warned against the perversion of free-market capitalism-especially on its global scale-into a vehicle for unlimited selfishness, while Bush has consistently implied that all leaders who regulate their national economies or who completely oppose the entrance of this laissez-faire system into their countries are enemies of the United States.

However, these differences are not impossible to reconcile. After all, both the US president and His Holiness have arrived at these views on the basis of the same moral concepts. What they differ on is in understanding and correct application of those ideas. For example, President Bush supports the Iraq war as a means of combating terrorism and ultimately ensuring the freedom of the Iraqi people; Pope Benedict opposes the same war as being severely destructive to the Iraqi people and nation, a violation of international law, and a futile attempt to rein in “Islamic” terrorism. Similarly, Benedict has emphasized the urgency of economic development aid for Africa and other poverty-stricken regions as a duty of justice that will further world peace, whereas Bush has placed military spending for national security far ahead of foreign aid on the ground that the duty to protect his own people from terrorism comes before helping foreigners out. Both leaders acknowledge the concepts of freedom, justice, the rule of law, security, solidarity, and peace; their disagreements revolve around the issue of how to implement those concepts-as well as the even stickier question of how to keep them all in proper balance.

A chief goal of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate is unity-but not a superficial kind of unity in which serious disagreements are forced below the surface. Rather, the Pope is helping to build worldwide unity of internal convictions and external objectives on the basis of the true, fundamental moral values that all peoples hold in common. His gentle personality and towering intellectual status render him amply suited to this challenging task.

Meanwhile, the overriding goal of President Bush’s administration is to eradicate the international “Islamic” terrorist movement. The president has striven for unity among the nations of the world in confronting this menace with a “War on Terrorism”, but instead his policies have led to a worsening of divisions in the international community and a global quadrupling of the terrorism rate since 2001.

Differing levels of personal respect arising from the actions and policies of both the president and the Pope also contributed to the uneasy atmosphere of their tête-à-tête. The pontiff is well aware that Bush has been accused of and is responsible for hundreds of war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, from cluster-bombing innocent villages to torturing and abusing prisoners to dropping missiles on mosques and hospitals to assassinating scores of journalists. Though President Bush has unequivocally invoked the extreme circumstances of a “War on Terrorism” to justify these acts, Pope Benedict has been just as unequivocal in his condemnation of them. At the same time, Bush seems to hold an enormous respect for, as well as attraction to, the Successor of Saint Peter. At a press conference after the meeting, the American head of state said he was “in awe” at the Holy Father, whom he described as “a very smart, loving man”. Furthermore, prior to the meeting, Bush had expressed his decision not to argue with the pontiff, telling reporters he would be in a “listening mode”-a rare attitude for this particular president to adopt.

All of these factors combined to shape the high-level diplomatic exchange. Discussing the G-8 summit he had just attended, Bush remarked that it was “successful”. Pope Benedict replied, “Successful? You had some decisions? It’s not so easy.” The dignitaries were referring to the summit of leaders of the eight powerful nations-the US, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Japan-held in Germany the previous week. The assembly had failed to reach agreement on a plan to reduce world poverty, at least in some measure because of opposition from the United States. Then the Pope stated that it was important for the good of humanity that such meetings produce decisions. In his own gentle way, the Pope was disagreeing with the president that the summit was successful and exhorting him to compromise where possible for the benefit of the world as a whole.

Moving on to discuss the worsening problem of world poverty, Bush and Benedict agreed that more aid is needed, especially to Africa. Bush mentioned that the US is doubling its global commitment to fight AIDS from $15 to $30 billion. Nevertheless, in many other areas the US has either cut foreign aid or continues to dole out far less than what the poorest countries need to survive and develop. The leaders recalled with particular concern the humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region, where for four years the state-sponsored Janjaweed terrorists of an oil-hungry regime have been systematically murdering and displacing the black population. Less than two weeks before his visit with the Pope, Bush announced that the US would apply targeted economic sanctions to the government of Omar al-Bashir in an effort to halt the violence. The Vatican, the African Union, the UN, and grassroots organizations around the world including the Save Darfur Coalition in the United States have all urged the stationing of a multilateral peacekeeping force in Sudan, but the US has maintained a cool attitude toward this proposal.

Another item on the office-bearers’ agenda was the desperate position of Christians in Iraq and the Holy Land. In Iraq, “Muslim” terrorists have kidnapped a number of Christian residents, even killing a priest-journalist-Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni-on June 3. Efforts to rebuild the country have been impeded by escalating terrorism and corruption. War and sectarian violence between coalition troops and Muslims have conspired with endemic poverty to put enormous pressure on Iraq’s Christian minority. Since the war started in 2003, most Iraqi Christians-700,000 to date-have reluctantly fled the country. The situation of the even more ancient Holy Land Christian community is less dire than that in Iraq but no less worrying for the long term. Caught in the middle of a lengthy struggle between Jews and Muslims for political, economic and military control of the region, and lacking sufficient aid from the outside world, Christians have been slowly fleeing the Palestinian Territories and Israel for more peaceful and secure countries. Pope Benedict is deeply and rightly concerned that these Biblical lands will someday be depleted of living witnesses to Christ. While President Bush assured the pontiff that he shared these concerns, he did not specify what he was doing or could do about the situation either during their meeting or in the presidential press conference which followed.

Benedict expressed to Bush his often-stated hope for “regional” and “negotiated” solutions to the many conflicts now wrenching the Middle East. This was a key point on which the leaders have continually disagreed. The Vatican did not mention President Bush’s response to this statement or what discussion, if any, occurred on this topic. Nevertheless, it is well known that Bush has relied heavily on the use of force, fearing that diplomatic engagement gives terrorists an edge in the struggle.

Finally, according to a Vatican statement released soon afterward, the meeting included “an examination of moral and religious questions, including those related to human rights and religious freedom, the defense and promotion of life, marriage and the family, education of new generations and sustainable development.”

The issue on which Benedict and Bush have experienced least disagreement is the right to life of every human being. In fact, the Holy See’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone went out of his way to praise the president for his stance on abortion as well as his “positive initiatives in favor of the defense of life from conception”, presumably referring to his tireless efforts to prevent embryonic stem-cell research involving the destruction of human embryos. It seems that Bush’s clear opposition to the court-ordered euthanasia of the brain-damaged woman Terri Schiavo in 2005 might also have been remarked, since that controversy happened after Bush’s last visit with a Pope in 2004, but the Vatican did not mention this.

It is encouraging that Pope Benedict XVI and President Bush agree on the most fundamental human right of all. At the same time, it is unfortunate that they disagree on almost everything else. It is obvious that the uneasiness of their meeting was a result of time constraints forcing them to shove these important disagreements below the surface. Nonetheless, the two representatives could improve relations significantly if both of them were eager enough to do so. On virtually every foreign policy issue, Pope Benedict’s position has been markedly distinct from that of the United States-and drawn severe criticism from American neoconservatives.

Yet the Holy See deserves credit for its impartial drive toward unity and peace for all humankind. In a world where morality has been artificially divided into two incoherent camps-one emphasizing love of God without adequate concern for neighbor, the other emphasizing love of neighbor without reference to God-the Pope wishes to highlight the coherence of loving both God and our neighbor, which together constitute the entire moral law, as the basis for unity and peace among peoples. His magnificent encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love) was written to convey this pertinent message.

While President Bush may be sincere, his advisers have filled his brain with the colossal deception that “Islamic” terrorism is an act of war and can only be defeated through all-out war. The extremist mindset produced by this neoconservative deception is uncompromising; it warns that Bush cannot negotiate with anti-American leaders or address the grievances of terrorists lest he jeopardize American security. Unfounded fear lies at the bottom of such notions. According to the pontiff, the only thing that can break down the walls of mutual hostility and fear is a courageous unconditional love, at the heart of which lies concern for the good of the other-yes, even love of and concern for our actual and potential terrorist enemies. Listening to them, accepting the legitimacy of their problems and addressing them honestly would be a sure sign of this loving concern that would move terrorists to abandon their cruel and blasphemous violence “in the name of God”.

Bush’s advisers have also assured him that the rapid, unlimited growth of big business characterizing the post-Cold War world is favorable to all peoples in general and should be permitted to continue freely. However, this smooth lie was fabricated by Western entrepreneurs themselves to justify their massive concentration of global wealth and the resultant growing gap between rich and poor. The real reason for the Iraq war was to satisfy the petroleum lust of Western mega-corporations. Furthermore, the underlying reason for the “War on Terrorism” is to protect and enable the unjust gains of these big businesses in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere around the world. The Pope has reiterated that for the common good, the globalization system must be subject to regulation.

When President Bush and Pope Benedict stood side by side in the Vatican facing dozens of cameras and reporters, observers might have been tempted to characterize Bush as the leader displaying greater courage and more determination to confront evil. They might have detected Bush’s discomfort with being in the presence of a man whom some have called a cowardly “appeaser” of terrorists. But clearly it takes more courage to interpose oneself between terrorists and the American government and urge both, in the name of Jesus, to stop the violence. It requires particular courage for the Pope, who lacks the protection of a modern military force, to stand up for the whole truth about the moral law and God’s love when both sides are willing and able to slaughter and destroy for their own part of the truth.

As a primarily religious leader who is nevertheless an inescapably political figure in our modern time, the Pope has a vital role to play. He has become a mediator in an increasingly polarized world since the end of the Cold War and especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. During the run up to the Iraq war, Pope John Paul II called for Iraq’s full compliance with UN inspectors while urging the US and Great Britain to avoid the route of war. Pope Benedict’s two-year-long efforts on behalf of the people of Darfur may have helped shame the US government into slapping an embargo on the genocidal regime. In April of this year, Pope Benedict dissipated a territorial row between British naval officers and Iran in the Persian Gulf.

Pope Benedict XVI and President George Bush are the two most visible and powerful leaders on earth. The Pope is the religious and spiritual head of the Catholic Church, the wondrous institution established by Jesus Christ to bring salvation to all peoples. The American president is the political head of a geographically extensive country whose moral, cultural, economic, political, and military influence on the world has been monumental. Thus when these two dignitaries decide to come together, it is a significant event. However, it is to be wondered how many more times the president of the United States will accept invitations to meet with the Pope given the gradually more conflicting paths the US and the Holy See are taking. American policies are driven by the selfish interests of a few multimillionaire and billionaire moguls; Vatican policies are driven by unselfish concern for the good of all of earth’s inhabitants. If continuously pursued, these two policies-and the world leaders carrying them out-must collide at some point.

Did this thirty-five minute official meeting accomplish anything? Time will tell. It certainly gave us all an ample opportunity for reflection. Unfortunately, President Bush cannot see outside the box of his neoconservative logic to grasp the beautiful, coherent, reasonable, and realistic vision of Pope Benedict XVI. The president need not be a Catholic to understand the Pope’s rationale because it is not specifically a Catholic argument; it is based on the moral principles that all peoples recognize. Will the Bush administration and its allies “return to the path of reason”, lay down their arms, and commit to the good of all peoples, as the Vicar of Christ has asked, or will they allow the unstable conditions of growing poverty, festering grievances, mounting terrorism, insatiable greed, and unchecked militarism to worsen past the point of no return?

The extremist neoconservative ideology is a great pseudo-religious deception which has ensnared significant numbers of people, including President Bush. For this reason, we should expect relations between the American presidency and the papacy to deteriorate further in the years ahead. Certain wealthy, influential neoconservatives in the US, who stand for values diametrically opposite to those of the Catholic Church, are determined to make the world safe for unfettered big business, the petroleum industry, lawless warmongering, and war profiteering under the guise of-and at the expense of-freedom, justice, security, democracy, and peace. With the omnipresent excuse of national security, these major businesspeople and politicians will do whatever is necessary to achieve their dark goals. If that means corrupting the president and increasing military spending beyond its present ridiculous level, they will do it. At some moment in the future, the United States may make its evil aims clear by severing diplomatic relations with the Vatican. While Bush has inadvertently ignited and helped to fuel world tensions, subsequent presidents will openly denounce the Holy See and claim for themselves the sole moral authority to determine right from wrong. The Catholic Pope versus the President of the United States may well emerge as the defining struggle of the twenty-first century.

A Theory of Justice


John Rawls has published a book called “A theory of Justice” in 1971, he thinks the existing societies are rarely well ordered, what is just or unjust is usually in dispute. He thinks justice is the basic structure of society, in which the major social institutions (e.g. political constitution, the principle economic and social arrangements) distribute fundamental rights, duties, determine the division of advantages from social cooperation and because it define men’s rights and duties, influence their life prospects, so no matter how laws and institutions efficient and well arranged, it must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Also the structure contains various social positions and human are born into different positions have different expectations of life determined by economic, social circumstances, political system. Justice does not allow the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Rawls thinks a set of principles is required for choosing among the various social arrangements, which determine this division of advantages and for underwriting an agreement on the proper distribute shares. Principle of justice would regulate a well-ordered society and everyone is presumed to act justly and to do his part in upholding a just institutions.

How and what principles will be chosen to regulate a just society?

First of all, the way to think what would be a fair or just organization of society is to think what principles would be agreed by people who were denied knowledge of certain particular facts about themselves according to Rawls. When thinking about justice, people should be regarded as free and equal. In order to achieve that goal, people should be at the original position and behind the veil of ignorance. After that, a hypothetical contract or agreement would be arrived because people’s ignorance of particular aspects of their own beliefs and circumstances and it will not bias and affect the procedure when choosing a just principle. The principle of justice, which is to govern the assignments of rights and duties and to regulate the distribution of social and economic advantages, will be chosen to regulate a just society.

Original position is the appropriate initial status quo, which insures that the fundamental agreements reached in it are fair, it aims to model the sense in which it is appropriate, when thinking about justice, people should be regarded as free and equal and also some differences are or should be irrelevant to think about justice. Since justice requires a bargain make under fair conditions, that is why some knowledge of inequalities is ruled out, for example, John was born in a rich family and he is talented, but John is not responsible for that, since the social location and their natural endowments are “natural lottery”, so John cannot be said to deserve his talents, social location. This kind of natural distribution is neither just nor unjust, nor is it just that men are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. But this kind of inequalities in the real world might be thought to bias the distributive outcomes, so original position deny people’s knowledge about their social location, their natural endowments and try to model the sense that people are equal.

Since it is appropriate to regard us as free for the purposes of thinking about justice, original position’s ignorance of their own conceptions of the good is also intended to model the sense for these purposes. Conception of good is her set of belief about how she should lead her life and about what makes her life worthwhile. Since justice requires that no attention be paid to the different talents of different members of society as mentioned above, it also requires that no attention be paid to the particular conceptions of the good held by those members. The relationship between ignorance of conceptions of the good and freedom is that rather than being attributed particular conceptions of the good (e.g. someone who believes in the value of a life spent pursuing beauty, others may prefers alcohol) and seeking to reach an agreement as favorable as possible to those particular conceptions, people in the original position are taken to be motivated above all by an interest in protecting their capacity, something that lies behind such conceptions. In denying people in the original position knowledge of their beliefs about what make a life worthy or valuable and it can make a person free, not bound by a particular conception of good, rational enough to choose a fair and just principle to regulate their society.

Two principles of justice and difference principle

Now, people in the original position and not motivated by particular conception of the good and they are regarded as free, equal and rational. They would agree their society should be regulated by the following principles of justice according to Rawls.

First principle of justice: Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all. (Stephen and Adam, 1992) This principle requires equality in the assignment of basic rights and duties, there can be no exchange between those liberties and the other forms of advantage that come under the second principle and first principle is prior than the second principle.

Second principle of justice: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity (Stephen and Adam, 1992) (b) is the principle of fair equality of opportunity and it has priority over (a) the difference principle which says that inequalities must benefit the least advantaged.

The social contract argument

Rawls’s main argument is a “social contract” which would be arrived at by people ignorance of particular aspects of their own beliefs and circumstance, but the social contract argument are usually thought of as being weak because the social contract argument seem to rely on very implausible assumptions. The social contract arguments ask us to think about a state of nature before there is any political authority. Each person is on their own, without any higher authority with the power to command their obedience or the responsibility for protecting there interests or possession and sees if what kind of contract would such individuals agreed. The idea of a social contract seems either historically absurd or morally insignificant because there never was such a state of nature and contracts only create obligation, we are actually agreed to.

Social contract arguments can be interpreted in another way, which as a device for teasing out the implications of certain moral premises concerning people’s moral equality and model the idea of the moral equality of individuals. Firstly, moral equals is that none of us is inherently subordinate to the will of others, none of us come into the world as the property of another, or as their subject, but why people born free and equal can come to be governed? Rawls is adapting the idea that due to the uncertainties and scarcities of social life, individuals, without giving up their moral equality, would endorse ceding certain powers to the state but only if the state used these powers in trust to protect individuals from those uncertainties and scarcities.

Rawls also recognize the usual state of nature is not really an initial position of equality because some people have more bargaining power than others (which may be affected by their natural endowment, social location), and he thinks these natural advantages are undeserved, they should not privilege or disadvantage people in determining principle of justice, so people behind a veil of ignorance can prevents them from exploiting their natural advantages in the selection of principles of justice and it can tease out the implications of moral equality. The veil of ignorance is also a test of fairness because it ensures who might be able to influence the selection process in their favour, which due to the natural advantages are unable to do so. Because the premises of social contract argument is equality, not contract, so it is irrelevant to say neither the contract is historically inaccurate, original position is unrealistic, nor veil of ignorance is psychologically impossible.

Even if social contract embody a conception of equality, it is not clear what principles would actually be chosen in the original position? Firstly, we do not know what position we will occupy in society or what goals we will have, but some things we want or need in order to help us to lead good life. No matter how different the individuals’ plans of life, they all involve a basic element which is leading a life, so certain things are needed in order to pursue these commitments, whatever their more particular content. These things are called primary goods—-social and natural primary goods. People behind the veil of ignorance seek to ensure that they will have the best possible access to those primary goods distributed by social institutions that is social primary goods like opportunities, powers, rights, liberties. Because no one knows what position they will occupy, so asking people to decide what is best for them is the same as ask them to decide what is best for everyone considered impartially. It is because they are excluded the knowledge of personal tastes and no one know what position they will occupy. Rawls says that it is rational to adopt a “maximin” strategy, you maximize what you would get if you wound up in the minimum or worst off position, it is irrational to accept the chance that your only life (which is the basic element of leading a successful life) will be so unsatisfactory, so people in the original position would select the difference principle (which will enable inequalities only these inequalities benefit the least well-off).

Internal problems

No compensation for those who suffer undeserved natural disadvantages?

Rawls says health is as important as money in being able to lead a successful life, so a social arrangement should guarantees people will get the greatest amount of primary goods in the worst possible outcome because of the “maximin strategy” used under the influence of the veil of ignorance, but every person recognizes that he or she would be less well off if he or she suddenly became disabled because she use to pay for extra costs she faces due to some natural disadvantages (e.g. the costs of special equipment for some handicap), even if his or her bundle of social primary goods remained the same. According to Rawls, he defines the worst off position entirely in terms of people’s possession of social primary goods, like rights, opportunities, wealth, he does not look at people’s possession of natural primary goods like health, intelligence, natural talents in determining who is worst off, so he or she are equally well off if they have the same bundle of social primary goods as other people. But why should they not treat lack of health (natural primary goods) and lack of money (social primary goods) as equally cases of being less well off for the purposes of social distribution and why should the benchmark for assessing the justice of social institutions be the prospects of the least well off in terms of social goods? Difference principle may ensure that I have the same bundle of social primary goods as a handicapped person, but the handicapped person faces an undeserved burden like extra medical, special equipment and transportation costs in her ability to lead a satisfactory life, this burden caused by her circumstances and not her choices. The difference principle allows that burden, but this does not alleviate the effects of natural accident or social circumstances. Rawls excludes natural primary goods (health, intelligence, etc) from the index to determine who is least well off, there is in fact no compensation for those who suffer undeserved natural disadvantages because social institution will not transfer some money from others in order to equalize this inequalities.

Subsidizing people’s choices?

Difference principle emphasizes social and economic inequalities are allowed only if it benefits the least well off. Rawls emphasizes that we are responsible for the costs of our choices, that is why he explain justice is measured by people’s share of social primary goods (rights, liberties), not by their level of welfare, but the difference principle creates unfairness rather than removes it. Just like John and Mary have differences in choosing their lifestyle and their lifestyle are freely chosen. John and Mary began with equal shares of resources, natural talent, even the same social background, each person has started equally and their initial situation is fair. John prefer a non-income producing lifestyle and leisure (tennis playing), Mary uses her shares to generate a steadier and larger income through working as a gardener, which is an income producing lifestyle. After several years, John lacks much of an income (social primary goods which is an index to determine who is well off and worst well off) and Mary has generated a large income, Rawls emphasizes this inequality is allowed only if it benefits the least well off since John have lesser social primary goods (income and wealth) than Mary, the government should transfer some of the Mary’s income to John in order to equalize their inequalities. But in fact John preferred playing tennis rather than earning money by gardening like Mary. He preferred leisure when Mary preferred income, but they are treated unequally because Mary use to forgo her leisure in order to get more leisure as a gardener and she use to be taxed from the government to equalize the inequalities. John does not forgo his income in order to get more leisure, he get his preferred lifestyle (tennis playing) and get some income from Mary’s taxes because the government transfer some of her income to John in order to equalize their inequalities. Now Mary has to give up part of what makes her life valuable (money) in order that John can have more of what he find valuable (tennis playing). Although Rawls does not wish Mary subsidize John, the difference principle does not make any distinction between chosen (preferred lifestyle induced) inequalities and unchosen (talented, untalented, handicapped) inequalities. Also he often says that his conception of justice is concerned with regulating inequalities that affect people’s life chances, not the inequalities arise from people’s life choices which are the individual own responsibility, but as we can see above, difference principle requires that some people subsidize the costs of other people’s choices.


Although Rawls’s “A theory of Justice” got its internal problems, we can’t say it is totally useless. A theory of Justice gives us some insight of injustice, fairness, equal and a philosophical perspective to reflect our societal injustice phenomenon. It is because this importance, his book has been recognized as the most significant political philosophy publication in the 20th century.

Sacred Love He Three Poisons In Relationship And How To Overcome Them

Three Poisons to Relationship

There are high emotions, and there are low ones. The high emotions breed happiness in self and others. The low ones cause much suffering. Of the low emotions, jealousy, anger, and desire are three of the worst.

Jealousy – A small sense of self
Anger – A perfume that invades every corner of a life
Desire – The break between love and contentment

The first Poison – Jealousy

Jealousy is the higher toxin in love. Tearing at the heart, it breaks down dignity into tiny needles of worry, anxiety, judgment and suffering. Jealousy originates in the smallness of our sense of self, and grows to embrace our history of betrayal. Our guilt about our own past anomalies surfaces in our jealousy.

Jealousy comes from comparison. Comparison of what we expect to get from others, to what we are getting. This mindset, originates in the self obsession of measuring life by what we get, rather than what we give. The fearful person holds back, and waits for their beloved to give them what they want. In the absence of the beloved, they feed themselves. It is from this mind, lonely and isolated that jealousy arises.

Jealousy cannot exist in nature, for each plant, insect and animal is true only to it’s own instinct, which, from time to time, appears emotional and cruel, but in fact is a pure instinct for survival. The fearful person, becomes the jealous lover, and the jealous lover is operating as an animal would, instinctually defending its own sense of survival. The jealous lover, measures their existence in small bites of acceptance, they have no sense of self other than the small territorial one that comes from ownership and property. Hence their vulnerability.

Spirituality conquers jealousy, albeit temporarily, by the crucifixion of the small self, and the resurrection of the large self. The self that emerges is bigger than gratification and small territorial conquest. The spiritual self does not exist. It is everything and therefore “no thing” – the universe has no known boundary, no law and division, and this is the spiritual self. Unbounded and immense, intangible, it cannot be sold, displayed, proven nor accounted. It is simply love, and in love, there is no emotion, how can there be, there is no wall to push against, the essential requirement for all emotion.

The second Poison – Anger

What a beautiful and gifted emotion is anger. It drives change from the core, and lifts many people beyond their means. It can elevate the poor, motivate the downtrodden and inspire genius of invention through necessity. Anger lives in the soul as gun powder sits behind every bullet. And we have our finger on the trigger.

The most peaceful soul deserves anger. To feel the exhilaration and determination of anger is the sport crowd united in protest, the community determined to object, the starving African willing to live another day, the woman abused and committed to extracting justice. Yet, this anger, judged and depreciated can create its own life, deep under the pretence of religion and spirituality.

Masked, anger is the devil. It’s power can sweep the human cells to cancer, the hair to fall, the bones to decay and muscles bind up in arthritic torments. Anger penetrates the brain, and tears at sanity, causing depression, Parkinson’s and hypertension, it rips into the glandular system, thyroid, endocrine and a host of other homes where nature, eventually reveals the heat of anger, as disease.

Cramping of mind, body and spirit occurs due to stored anger. Whether that anger is the subject of a current awareness or an ancient inheritance from childhood, it permeates every cell of a persons being. Those most prone to hidden anger, lurking unaware but damaging the life within are those who obsess with self happiness, personal calm, tranquility and isolation from relationship.

Spiritual integrity requires that we sit in stillness and, rather than drive ourselves to a predetermined state that fulfills a philosophical ideal of who we should or could be (this is the obligation of religion – self improvement – global improvement) spirituality drives to the core of honesty in witnessing, without judgment, who we really are, what we really feel and the defiance of our own self imprisoning expectations of ourselves.

It is like dancing in the rain. We take religion as an umbrella to keep us dry, and spirituality to experience the true awareness of wetness. One protects us from the flu, the other dives deep into it.

In the vast majority of relationships, anger keeps lovers apart. Hidden beneath veils of sarcasm, control, possessiveness, criticism and sadness. Repressed anger rides below the waters like a shark, waiting for bait. Remember, that anger cannot arrive because of someone. Anger exists within people, it is carried like a loaded gun, and the world provokes that which already exists, to come forward and express itself. Like love, anger comes from us, not to us.

Likewise, the anger and bitterness of others comes to us as if there were a mirror shining deep within us. Nobody can do to us more than we do to ourselves. Then, if we are angered upon, instead of blame, we can invoke a change of heart. Religion cannot solve the cause of anger, only defer and prevent it’s expression. Spirituality on the other hand cannot defer or prevent anger, simply it brings us awareness of what hides within. Integrity is knowing the truth of our emotions. Duty is what we do with them.

The third Poison – Desire

Imagine a monster with a huge mouth, comparable of gobbling up everything in sight. It has a huge appetite and a distended stomach, ready and waiting to be filled. The sad thing for this monster is that it’s throat is too small to pass all that it eats. Therefore, called the hungry ghost in Buddhism, this monster is always hungry, never satisfied.

Such is the life of the average westerner. Taught to set goals, achieve anything we want, we become hungry ghosts, consuming food, people, spirituality, pleasures, sexuality, success, victory, and lovers. We are taught to become the hungry ghosts to get more out of life, to possess those we love, to wrap our arms around life and make the most of it.

Love and desire cannot coexist. Desire is an ambition to be more happy, more wealthy, more loved, more thin, more beautiful, more successful, more victorious. Desire compares what we have to what we want, it leaves no moment for peace, only moments for planning the future. This fine art of the hungry ghost is the mark of “western Success” but is also the mark of “eastern failure” – discontent, is the cause of great suffering.

Can I be happy with what I have, if I desire other things? The answer is in the art of consumption, “yes, I can be happy with what I’ve got, but only until something causes me to realize what else I could have or achieve. More enlightenment, a better yoga pose, and more. All this in the belief that one day, when I have consumed all, I will no longer be hungry for happiness.

In a relationship, emotions such as desire are often prized. One individual may translate the passion and romance of desire into love. Yet, they are unaware of the calamity such emotions carry. A person who desires, does not only desire the object of their love, their desire other loves, other fruits, other things. One’s emotional tendencies are never limited to the lover we choose, but are our pallet of colors for life. We must consider that a loving person is also loving when they are alone. An angry person is still angry when they are alone. Flowers do not emit a fragrance just because you are there. They are flowers and have perfume anyway.

In nature, the true essence of something permeates it’s entire being. Whether you want to believe it or not, if your partner can cheat in the purchase of a cup of coffee, a million dollar business deal, or just telling a family fib, they can cheat on you. If they desire you, they can desire others. What one is, one is. To love a person, spiritually, is to acknowledge this. To love a person conditionally is to demand the separation of their goodness and their mischief. Really, that separation is impossible, we are who we are, totally.

There are Three high Emotions considered to be the mark of a good person. Kindness, Compassion and gentleness. The laws of nature will argue that there are two sides to everyone. The more kind, the more cruel. The more compassion the more self absorption, the more gentleness the more aggression. High and low, mixed in one soup. The real question is: are you honest enough to admit, privately at least, that you have both?

This is authenticity. Self confession. And what is more important is that those traits you own, you can channel, express in a healthy productive way. However, spend your life in denial, imprisoned by perceptions of being high without low, and those negative traits will be expressed on you by others. Just to teach you to love.

Live with Spirit