Good to see you have given up on your appeal to authority. What does Harvard have compared to Notre Dame anyway?
But now I am a little puzzled. In your appeal-to-authority days, you asked: Why should we go with Notre Dame’s Sterba and his deep egalitarianism, when we can have Harvard’s Rawls with his acceptance of some inegalitarianism?
In reply, I happily made you aware of your deeper anti-authoritarian sentiments and also pointed out that Rawls’s lesser inegalitarianism is only provisional, and that when his view is extended, like mine, to meet squarely issues of distant peoples and future generations, his view too would probably become as deeply egalitarian as mine it.
But now you seem to be shifting gear 360 degrees. Before you seemed happy with Rawls but unhappy with Sterba. Now your worry about what the rich might find reasonable seems to go against both our views. Of course, both of us have arguments for a “preferential option for the poor.” You presumably know Rawls’s argument. Mine is given in the APA address and briefly in my earlier comment “Reply to Ed.” What is it that you now don’t find convincing about either Rawls’s or my arguments?
Neither of us endorse property rights as they are. How would Rawls achieve his ideal of equal opportunity that gives each person in a society the same opportunities for success as anyone else with the same native abilities. Imagine the redistribution of educational resources necessary to achieve that! So do you think that the rich have a good moral argument against the redistributive policies that both Rawls and I endorse? The way I address my argument to libertarians, using their premises, makes it difficult from them to reject my conclusions. So were do you see a problem with Rawls’s or my moral arguments against the rich?