Consider this … You are beamed up to a space ship above planet earth, and told that on re-entry to earth, you will be a member of a brand new society. You have been given the opportunity to devise some basic principles that will govern this society in the best way possible. But you don’t know what your physical capabilities or characteristics will be, nor your social position, your gender, level of wealth, relationships, religious beliefs, and so on. In such a position of neutrality or ignorance, which governing principles or laws would you choose to govern your society? This is a version of the thought experiment that the political philosopher John Rawls proposed (see later in the chapter) in order to make us think about justice and fairness. He thought that if we can 244somehow bracket out our own interests and partisan perspective, we might be able to agree on what justice should look like, in ideal terms at any rate. Can you perform this thought experiment? Does it help you think about justice? How about equality, rights, or freedom?