David Miller Claims That the Distributive Justice Argument

Free «David Miller Claims That the Distributive Justice Argument» Essay Sample


The issue of immigration is surrounded by many issues of morality. Some of the issues that come up is the definition of the word refugee and whether it is a moral status of humanity. Analysts also disagree on circumstances that justify the presence of guest workers and the obligations that developed countries incur when they hire skilled workers from developing countries. The other issues of immigration include the criteria that countries should use when selecting persons to allow into their country. This essay looks at David Miller, a philosopher, and his claim that the distributive justice argument for a policy of open borders is flawed.

According to David Miller, the distributive justice argument for a policy of open borders is flawed. He argues that culture should be preserved by all means. In his view, public culture should be controlled in order for the community to shape the way their nation develops. Preserving culture also allows them to control the values that are passed down from one generation to the next. Miller points out that they may not always succeed but that should not stop them from trying. Cultural continuity, Miller explains, would give generations to come a sense of pride in the knowledge that they are custodians of a culture that is identified and stretches back historically (Milne, 23).

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Miller also says that the other disadvantage of opening borders to immigrants an influx of foreigners tend to hurt the economy and does not improve it as proposed by proponents of open borders.  The most serious shortcoming of this argument is the assumption that a particular economy is only able to support a given number of workers and not more. The domestic economy may be harmed. This is not necessarily true because in most instances the domestic economy tends to benefit. This is because domestic firms are able to hire cheaper labor and also, the goods that are manufactures have a ready market as there is a higher demand for them (Joann, 45)

A very distinct argument by Miller for the closing of boarders is that distributive state benefit including health insurance and social welfare. The idea is that developed countries that provide state benefits should close their boarders and limit immigration in order to continue providing social welfare for citizens. If developed countries that provide social welfare for citizens opened their boarders, then persons from poor war torn countries would immigrate to these countries in order to benefit from such services. 


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There would be so many immigrants that such countries would not be able to provide social welfare anymore. Therefore, Governments have to choose between opening their boarders and allowing people to move in and out of the country or guaranteeing its population of security and proper health care. The argument however does not support all countries designing their own criteria for selecting immigrants. The argument only supports the closing of boarders by wealthy states that have good social welfare and health insurance (Bohm, 56).

Finally, Miller states that boarders should not be open for states to function properly. Political functioning of countries is important and the influx of foreigners interferes with the proper functioning of the country. The argument is based on the fact that flourishing democracies only flourish because the citizens of these countries sacrifice a lot to make it a democracy. Immigrants may not make the same sacrifice and as such they state may not function as well as it would.

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Section B

Louis Pojman’s Two-Pronged Justification of the Death Penalty


Louis Pojman was an American philosopher who wrote over a hundred philosophy texts which he red to several university scholars. Louis Pojman presented very balanced arguments about some of the most controversial issues of his time. Some of the controversial issues he wrote and spoke about included abortion, the death penalty and affirmative action. This essay focuses on his two-pronged justification of the death penalty. Like in his other philosophical works, Louis sought to why people disagreed with the death penalty, before giving his ideas especially about why he believed the death penalty is justifiable.

The death penalty dates back many centuries to the ancient philosophers such as Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mills and Thomas Jefferson. All these philosophers had one thing in common; they all believed that the best punishment for a murderer is his or her execution. These philosophers believe that while all humans have the right to life, they are rational beings capable of making informed decisions. As such, any human who takes the life of another forfeits his or her right to life and should therefore die. The death penalty also treats the defendant as a rational being who has the ability to choose between right and wrong (Rao, 18).

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Louis Pojman is one such a philosopher who has written extensively concerning the death penalty. In an attempt to justify the death penalty, Louis Pojman states that everyone that is guilty deserves to be punished and that the punishment must match the crime committed in severity. The other theory that defends the death penalty is one that is fairly modern; that of deterrence. This theory holds that when would be murders view other murderers being executed they will be deterred from committing the same crimes. Whether or not deterrence really works still remains a topic for extensive debate (Milne, 72).

The most serious problem with Louis Pojman’s two-pronged justification of the death penalty is that it assumes that capital punishment is severe enough for a murderer. When society decides to end someone’s life on the basis that he or she has committed murder, then the society also stoops to the level of the murderer. Louis Pojman argues that the death penalty is justified by the amount of crime that one has committed. Also, the person who is executed for committing murder is deterred from murdering anyone else.

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About the possibility of an innocent being executed for a crime he or she has not committed and not getting the chance to appeal, Louis Pojman argues that a transparent and efficient justice system should eliminate this possibility. He argues that just because such mistakes may happen or could have happened in the past is not enough justification to eradicate the death penalty. He adds that the possibility of a slip in the justice system does not negate the fact that the death can be justified both on policy and moral grounds. Louis argues that when criminals are executed publicly, criminals everywhere are reminded that crime does not pay (Rao, 47).

 The two-pronged approach involves a consideration for societal views when it comes to determining whether an offense warrants the death penalty. In the view of Louis Pojman the professional and public opinion as well as the judgments passed by the jury should be taken into consideration. Courts should therefore ensure that the death penalty is not a needless and purposeless pain that criminals are subjected to but should match the crime committed in severity.

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