I subscribe to Socrates’ notion that, knowledge is the only virtue.
Unlike Rawl’s theories, especially VoI, Socrates position is simple and lacks nuances. Which, I think, leaves us with two possibilities:
- The father of Philosophy was incredibly naive
- His position stems from deep insights into human nature — the insights that Rawl was lacking.
I think 2) makes more sense, aside from the obvious reason, because we all know what makes ignorance preferable — it often is when the knowledge is incomplete.
“The only thing worse than the outright lies is a half-truth”, and in Rawl’s theories half-truth is abundant. E.g. he defined rationality not by stating what it is, but by offering vague accounts of how it would manifest itself in some circumstances.
So that’s my objection to VoI — it’s a band-aid meant to adjust for... lacking key bits of knowledge — like the role of happiness in our lives (it’s not a reward, but our first moral duty before ourselves and others).
Or being clear about the dynamics of a fight, when you and your opponent always fight on the same side against fear, your common enemy — their fear, as well as your own. There are tons of similarly important insights, which, if taken into account, would make the whole idea of justice and the social contract simply irrelevant. With enough knowledge of how things really work between us, simply acting out of enlightened self-interest would produce morally perfect behavior.
Or in Socrates' words, “Once a man knows good from evil, nothing on earth can compel him to act against that knowledge.”
The ultimate goal, therefore, is to uncover the whole truth, to keep asking why and looking for explanations until you see the whole picture, knowing yourself, others, the meaning of life and the word we share.