Justice, one more time

After our discussion about Justice recently, as part of our discussion about the Socratic Method, I received the following. Perhaps we need to delve more deeply!

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Justice. I looked up the word in German. Does Gerechtigkeit fit into what we were discussing, Gerhard? I was disappointed that we did not spend more time on issues beyond social fairness. For example, "cruel and unusual punishment," a frequently heard phrase. How do we know what that means without some idea of what justice is, i.e. not cruel and unusual. And when aggrieved friends and relatives of victims leave a court saying, "Justice was--or was not--done," what do they mean? And how about the death of Socrates himself? Was his fate justice? I guess we all conclude there may be none.

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  • jon b.

    Another favorite of mine from Emo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qegPkqs6rFw

    November 21, 2013

  • jon b.

    This comedy routine is relevant and worth a listen/watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDmeqSzvIFs

    November 17, 2013

    • jon b.

      After I posted the link, I realized that the connection was tangential. We were talking about how every religion has a different concept of justice, and I discussed the various "franchises", a term that I learned from Emo decades ago. I love insightful humor!

      November 18, 2013

    • Paul S.

      We all get why this is so funny, because this is what we as humans have reduced religion to. In fact, we are all one.

      November 18, 2013

  • Nick M.

    This meet-up session was insightful and more than that, delightful; it was "just" what I hoped.

    November 17, 2013

  • Kraye G.

    If you look up the historical concept of justice, there was no equal ness about it. It was just another term for "Da Rules". Plenty of biblical examples of what they called justice that most present dayers would be horrified at.

    November 17, 2013

  • Paul S.

    I think the key here is a confusion between justice on the one hand, and love and forgiveness on the other. Justice requires that all be treated equally, and that individual actions can and must have consequences administered by the community. Love and forgiveness come from individuals (and from God), and justice comes from a strong social order.

    "The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes."
    (Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

    November 17, 2013

  • Kraye G.

    Not saying that people haven't been using it forever. "God" is another of those. "Bigotry" is another. "Slavery" is another. You can point to these things and say, "Human beings are taking action based on their belief in the reality of these things." The effects are real. Much like the belief that drinking spiked kool aid is going to get you into heaven.

    November 17, 2013

  • Nick M.

    Interesting point, Kraye, about the non-existence of "justice", a word which goes back to Latin. You'll have to explain how, at the very least the ostensible concept, "justice", and value doesn't exist, when for almost 2 and a half centuries people have been struggling to get at its meaning and dying in the name of it.

    "Righting wrongs" is only an aspect of justice, although, a very important one. People do seem bent on doing just that. Why?

    November 16, 2013

  • Kraye G.

    I've always looked at "justice" as an attempt to balance the scales. Personally, I don't think justice exists. Punishment exists. Education exists. Doing things to other people because they did certain things exists. But "righting wrongs"? Not in my world.

    November 16, 2013

  • Mandie S.

    It seems like justice can be used as a tool to restore balance. However, in a 'just society' in which the guidelines of what is just are clearly laid out then the use of justice as a restorative measure would not be necessary. Maybe it's through trial and error that we discover the true essence of justice.

    November 16, 2013

  • Nick M.

    Justice seems to refer to some form of restoring "balance", creating "harmony" or "rightness." Of course, these terms themselves need to be explored. Many people believe that revenge, getting back, or getting "even"( there's that balance notion again) constitutes "justice". Does it? A reading of Plato does not seem to support this view of justice. But, a form of balance does.

    November 16, 2013

  • Katherine L M.

    I am quite regretful that I cannot be there. I was looking forward to revisiting justice, especially with the centerpiece having been forgiveness, since I think the connection and struggle between the two is crucial. When Tosca murders Scarpio, she says "Only in death, do I forgive you." The Abrahamic religions all have a history of revenge for justice. If you get vengeance, if evil is punished, then you can be at peace. Isn't this is the substance of the political situation in the Middle East: retaliation, revenge, get your own back? Can the view that forgiveness comes only after justice is meted out be changed in so much of humankind to regard forgiveness as a nobler form of justice?

    November 16, 2013

  • Phil L.

    Does Justice imply fairness?

    November 12, 2013

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