Author Topic: What Is "Justice"?  (Read 5756 times)

Lord J Esq

  • Moon Stone J
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5463
  • ^_^ "Ayla teach at college level!!"
    • View Profile
What Is "Justice"?
« on: October 21, 2009, 11:34:43 pm »
This is a thread to discuss the nature and significance of the concept of justice, to each of us personally and to all of us collectively as denizens of Civilization.

One bit of advice: Don't give a dictionary definition. Anyone who gives a dictionary definition will be met with the utter disgust and disappointment of all. If you have to use the dictionary definition, use it supplementarily.

FaustWolf

  • Guru of Time Emeritus
  • Arbiter (+8000)
  • *
  • Posts: 8972
  • Fan Power Advocate
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 11:48:10 pm »
Naturally I looked this up in the dictionary when you suggested doing precisely the opposite, and it would be helpful to note that the dictionary is of little help:

Justice (jes-tes) n: The administration of what is just.

Literally, that's what Webster says. So, there!

But it could, perhaps, be useful down the road to note that "justice" is supposedly about "administration" of something. Implying that doing things in a "just" way could be an individual function, but only the state can mete out "justice." But that's only an extrapolation from Webster's exact language.

Anyway, all highfalutin guessing and joking aside, I guess I'll have to go with "justice" being the equal treatment of a.) all people or b.) all conscious beings. I provide a multiple choice because it really is quite shocking just how differently we treat non-human animals compared to fellow homo sapiens sometimes.

And it's also to highlight that justice may not always be desirable. If we wanted justice for all living beings, for example, we'd either have to begin eating people or else stop eating animals. When we talk about "justice" in the common sense, we're already talking about something that only applies to people for some reason, unless you're a vegetarian of course.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 12:13:39 am by FaustWolf »

IAmSerge

  • Temporal Warrior (+900)
  • *
  • Posts: 964
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 01:53:13 am »
The government's definition of Justice is screwed up, imo.


Mr Bekkler

  • Bounty Hunter
  • Zurvan Surfer (+2500)
  • *
  • Posts: 2736
  • So it goes.
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 11:34:52 am »
Justice from any "superheroic" standpoint would be simply anyone who would willingly hurt another person getting hurt themselves. This is the inherent flaw, and the probable reason superheroes (at least in the Batman/Watchmen sense) don't exist in real life. By this definition, superheroes themselves deserve to be hurt. Similar to Dexter's ideals in the showtime show. He is a serial killer. But he ONLY KILLS SERIAL KILLERS! Does that make what he does right? Ethics is a bitch, either way.

My personal thoughts on justice are that the concept is nearly identical to karma. Justice is people getting what they deserve.

The American government's version is a bit more like "people getting punished for what they were caught for". Sometimes the two overlap, like in a venn diagram, but they are separate just as often.

Prince Janus

  • Mystical Knight (+700)
  • *
  • Posts: 717
  • What?? what do you want?
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 12:17:57 pm »
 Justice in the individual is having all parts of your soul working in harmony and performing their appropriate roles.

 Justice in the city is everyone doing their appropriate jobs and not trying to do someone else's.

Ramsus

  • Entity
  • Chronopolitan (+300)
  • *
  • Posts: 313
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 12:31:08 pm »
I am justice.

Now bow down before me and be judged.



Of course, if anyone wants my real thoughts on what justice is in my experience, I'll put them in my next post. If you ask me though, most of the responses here seem a bit too simple and impersonal. Half a dozen posts already, and yet there's not a single anecdote. I'm really interested in how people's concept of justice relates to what they actually feel in their day to day lives.

Just throwin' that out there so maybe the discussion changes direction a bit.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 12:37:54 pm by Ramsus »

Lord J Esq

  • Moon Stone J
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5463
  • ^_^ "Ayla teach at college level!!"
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 12:37:36 pm »
Yes, I want your real thoughts. "A bit too simple and impersonal" is an understatement. With you I can hope for something more substantial.

Truthordeal

  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1133
  • Dunno what's supposed to go here. Oh now I see.
    • View Profile
    • Youtube Account
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 01:38:42 pm »
I'm the son of a corrections officer, so my notion of "justice" may be skewed down a hard-nose line when looking at criminality. I realize now, looking over my post in the other thread on the topic, that my explanation of justice was a bit too broad. When something is done for the greater good of humanity, it is a just action. That was my basic stance, but now I see that just actions and justice have very little to do with each other. All of us commit just acts when we pick up a piece of litter off of the streets of our neighborhoods, but the word justice is only thrown in when the original perpetrator is fined for throwing the trash on the ground in the first place. That's not to say that the two of them don't go together. Surely putting someone in prison for 30 years for littering is not a just act, nor does it serve justice.

Generally speaking, justice requires justness. With my background, I tend to think of justice whenever someone has committed an illegal, unethical or immoral act and deserves some sort of punishment for it.

I'll go into nerd-mode here for a second and use the manga/anime Death Note as an example. For those of you just tuning in, Death Note is basically the story of a bored student genius named Light Yagami who is outraged at the world around him and how perverse and violent it is. One day he finds a magical notebook on the ground, later revealed to have been dropped by a Shinigami, which says that if he writes someone's name in it, they will die(there are various other rules around it, but it's not important). The rest of the story involves his gradual decline into madness while he's wielding the power of the Death Note, calling himself "Justice," and even going so far as to proclaim himself "God of [his] New World."

The story's always interested me for it moral and ethical message(or lack thereof).

One of the questions posed was "Is it right/just to kill bad people?" Surely we can agree that the world would be a much better place if every murderer, serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, child molester, etc. suddenly all died of heart attacks. At the same time, killing someone in cold blood is equally as immoral. So, was Light Yagami's quest to become "God of the New World" really justice?

I, myself, would say no. He started out with honorable intentions, using the term lightly, but near the end he basically became a homicidal maniac, filled with much more sin than any of the people he killed.

To further elaborate, if I possessed a Death Note, not many people would disagree with me killing off people like Osama bin Laden or your friendly neighborhood child molester. However, if I were to start using it to kill off other people I find disagreeable, say Michael Moore or Little Timmy that picked on me in the fifth grade, this certainly wouldn't be a just act or justice.

I'm afraid my attempt to elaborate threw me off track here, so let me get back on.

Justice to me, means more about punishing bad guys than doing good. Just action means more about promoting or engaging in good behavior that benefits mankind. I'll try explaining better a bit later, but right now I'm strapped for time.

Sajainta

  • Survivor of the Darkness
  • Radical Dreamer (+2000)
  • *
  • Posts: 2004
  • Reporting live from Purgatory.
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 01:41:39 pm »
Justice in the individual is having all parts of your soul working in harmony and performing their appropriate roles.

 Justice in the city is everyone doing their appropriate jobs and not trying to do someone else's.

Plato, correct?

GenesisOne

  • Bounty Seeker
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1215
  • "Time Travel? Possible? Don't make me laugh!"
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 01:50:48 pm »

I know a couple of things about justice:

Justice is never fair.

Justice is blind.

Justice is a concept involving the fair, moral, and impartial treatment of all persons. In its most general sense, it means according to individuals what they actually deserve or merit, or are in some sense entitled to. Justice is a particularly foundational concept within most systems of "law". From the perspective of pragmatism, it is the name for a fair result.

(Last one courtesy of Wikiquote.  Hey, plagiarism isn't my style.)

BROJ

  • CC:DBT Dream Team
  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 02:41:54 pm »
Does justice exist in definition, and how does it mean one thing to everyone:

If it cannot be contradicted that Justice can have more than one (unique (quick def'n: inherently singular)) definition (or worse, it is undefined), does that not imply further, a contradiction of the term definition? If so, by the laws of logic, the opposite is true--Justice cannot exist, at least not definatively. And since justice is a subset of Justice, than it is a faccade of definition as well: a prevailing conjecture.

So, by substitution:
Justice (jes-tes) n: The administration of prevailing conjecture.

That is what justice means to me. It can only be viewed just collectively if, exhaustively, everyone agrees of their own volition; good luck with that one.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 03:00:10 pm by BROJ »

GenesisOne

  • Bounty Seeker
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1215
  • "Time Travel? Possible? Don't make me laugh!"
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 02:50:34 pm »

I'm sure you mean "contradicted" and "contradiction", BROJ.

BROJ

  • CC:DBT Dream Team
  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 02:59:42 pm »

I'm sure you mean "contradicted" and "contradiction", BROJ.

Typos aside, do you have a real argument, other than just to troll.

GenesisOne

  • Bounty Seeker
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1215
  • "Time Travel? Possible? Don't make me laugh!"
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2009, 03:16:00 pm »

What have I done so far that you consider to be trolling?  If you can't provide an example, is that a fair accusation?  If not, then the spellcheck was a temporary inconvenience.

No need to make a mountain out of a molehill.

BROJ

  • CC:DBT Dream Team
  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
Re: What Is "Justice"?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2009, 03:32:46 pm »

What have I done so far that you consider to be trolling?  If you can't provide an example, is that a fair accusation?  If not, then the spellcheck was a temporary inconvenience.

No need to make a mountain out of a molehill.
a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community
Is pointing out minor typos germane to a conversation about justice? That is all.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 03:34:28 pm by BROJ »