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Interpretations of Social Justice
Religious doctrine, philosophy, law, and more formalized human rights initiatives influence how people interpret social justice. While early interpretations of social justice included concepts of fairness and dignity, what constitutes social justice today remains a source of debate. Basic freedoms that are considered keystones of human rights and social justice in one region may be considered only a privilege in another. For example, according to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,"* and yet, some countries justify the use of torture to protect national security and interests. Differing views of human rights reflect varying interpretations of social justice with no “correct” answers.
United Nations. (n. d.). The universal declaration of human rights. Retrieved December 9, 2010, from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the Course Introduction and think about ideas and concepts of social justice that are highlighted. Refer back to the Course Introduction throughout the course for reference.
- Review the article, “Social Justice in an Open World: Chapter 1: Dimensions of International Justice and Social Justice.” Consider various aspects of social justice.
- Review the book excerpts, “ Foreword,” “Preface,” and “Part I: Human rights as the bedrock of social justice.” Pay attention to the five core notions (concepts) of human rights. Consider how the various notions (concepts) of human rights shape the idea of social justice.
- Review the book excerpt, “ Before and Beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Reflect on the evolution of human rights prior to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consider how this impacts social justice.
- Review the Interactive Map, “Social Justice Issues,” focusing on the social justice outcomes. Select two regions on the map and think about the social justice outcomes for each. Consider how you might interpret the social justice outcomes.
- Think about your understanding of social justice.
- Consider various interpretations of social justice from your readings and from the Interactive Map, “Social Justice Issues.” Think about one interpretation with which you agree and one with which you do not agree.
With these thoughts in mind:
Due by Wednesday January 10, 2018, a 500-word brief description of your understanding of social justice. Briefly describe an interpretation of social justice with which you agree and the one with which you disagree. Then explain why you agree or disagree with each. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.