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Old 2013-01-11, 22:33   Link #21
Traece
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Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
Is it that? Or is it so that society can feel a bit of satisfying revenge against what they don't like? Are those two mutually exclusive?
Justice is a human term. It's a legal fulfillment of "karma." Deciding whether a punishment is deserved, and what punishment is worthy of the crime.

Part of the reason why I say that, is because you have a lot of situations where people with bad socio-economic backgrounds who have committed repeated minor crimes and ended up in prison, shouldn't be in prison. A lot of people in those situations, especially those living in deprived neighborhoods where gangs and other small-time criminal organizations, commit those crimes because they either had no choice or they felt they had no choice.

Like most things justice is simply a concept. It's an idea. Yes it's open to interpretation, but at the same time it has a collective definition. We "know" what justice is, because it exists. We have that concept and we know what the average person considers that to be. Equating it to a sort of karmic system is just me defining what the term is as we know it. Where it gets interpretive is when you apply it.
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Old 2013-01-12, 00:07   Link #22
ChainLegacy
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I think every human society possesses a standard of justice and fairness, but the standards can vary widely and the importance of justice and fairness to a culture can also vary. I think a hunter gatherer tribe would usually place less emphasis on justice than a modern civilization, though the concept can be important to both groups. Ways of executing punishment and what acts deserve punishment can vary as well. Many societies also have a sense of fairness, but react to their conceptions of this term differently, and what type of treatment or privileges (if any) someone inherently deserves as part of a group.

If the universe itself has a conception of fairness and justice, I am certainly incapable of understanding it.

I believe that both justice and fairness can influence a society greatly, but the standards a society holds as just do not always play out in reality. A strong example, in my mind, is the status or abilities of the ruling class being seen as unfair/unjust by a majority of a population, but there being no way of absolving the situation.

I believe it's also quite possible, and seemingly the case based on some of the limited research I've perused, that intelligent animals that live socially can have their own conceptions of justice and fairness, on some level.
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Old 2013-01-12, 06:37   Link #23
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
What if we interpret justice as an extension of human morality? Morality, by its nature, is something that is subjective and variable. Now, if we happen to expand that subjective concept to encompass something much larger like, say, an entire society, that morality then becomes what we refer to as ethics. With that perspective, ethics (which are eventually sublimated into laws or cultural norms) can also be called a sort of consensus between the different individual values that make up a society or a particular community.

In that context, Justice then becomes a system by which a society evaluates actions based on its own subjective ethical system.
This is the more correct way to view it. Justice is highly subjective, just as morality is. However, definitions of Justice are prone to logic, and so I would say that ultimately definitions of justice will end out converging at some "logical end point". The trend over the past centuries has been for less "logical" definitions of justice to be replaced with more "logical" definitions of justice. So 18th century America possessed less logical inconsistencies in how it defined justice then 17th century France. Which is why France had a revolution to be more like America. It was one system of ethics (and it's definitions of justice) clashing with and displacing another.
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No. I agree with you. Justice is a necessity for any society or civilization to exist. For one thing it is the vehicle by which a society's norms and values are consistently upheld and protected. If we take the social contract theory in mind, it is the people that make up society that willingly give up a portion of their individual freedom in return for the protection and opportunity that society provides. Such has already been observed in many other animal communities. That much I can agree with.
Yes, but I don't even think you need such a complicated thing as the social contract. If people believe an arrangement is unjust, they will act to right that injustice. Likewise, people do not like to follow a leader whose conduct is not "just". Most of history's best leaders conformed to their society's idea of "justice", and so were able to inspire the loyalty of others to follow them.

If a regime is based on injustice, it usually falls apart quite quickly. Which is why it can be a very dangerous thing when large parts of society disagree on fundamental ideas of justice/ethics because then no regime could ever be viewed as "just" by both, and so within one segment of society there'll always be the seeds of revolution.
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However, one point I have to stand firm on is that the perception of "Justice" varies across different societies and cultures. You could even say that it varies across individuals. So I'd say that a large portion of it is determined by environmental factors and socialization. Yes. Part of it is somehow biological, but that would only consist of a small part of the entire picture.
It's very cultural, though the seeds of it are based in biology. For instance, no society believes it's ever correct to murder your mother. But different societies define who your mother is differently (for instance, in India some might believe that a particular sheep could be your dead mother). Generally the logic of justice/ethics are always the same but the foundational facts are different. For instance the Meso-american peoples believed human sacrifice was just, because they believed they had a blood debt to their gods, the gods had sacrificed themselves to create them, and so they had an obligation to repay that(in their language they referred to human sacrifice literally as "debt repayment"). Sacrifices were not "victims", but in fact were experiencing a great honour. Many would volunteer themselves for the privilege, after all they were saving the world... It is an entirely logical thing to do given how they viewed the world functioned.
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Old 2013-01-12, 19:31   Link #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
No. I agree with you. Justice is a necessity for any society or civilization to exist. For one thing it is the vehicle by which a society's norms and values are consistently upheld and protected. If we take the social contract theory in mind, it is the people that make up society that willingly give up a portion of their individual freedom in return for the protection and opportunity that society provides. Such has already been observed in many other animal communities. That much I can agree with.

However, one point I have to stand firm on is that the perception of "Justice" varies across different societies and cultures. You could even say that it varies across individuals. So I'd say that a large portion of it is determined by environmental factors and socialization. Yes. Part of it is somehow biological, but that would only consist of a small part of the entire picture.
Sure, that's fair.

Like many things, "justice" is a mixture of nature and nurture. In other words, it's part biological and part sociocultural.
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Old 2013-01-12, 19:43   Link #25
Qilin
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
This is the more correct way to view it. Justice is highly subjective, just as morality is. However, definitions of Justice are prone to logic, and so I would say that ultimately definitions of justice will end out converging at some "logical end point". The trend over the past centuries has been for less "logical" definitions of justice to be replaced with more "logical" definitions of justice. So 18th century America possessed less logical inconsistencies in how it defined justice then 17th century France. Which is why France had a revolution to be more like America. It was one system of ethics (and it's definitions of justice) clashing with and displacing another.
I'm curious as to how you would define "logical" in this case. Did you mean to say that the reason the French revolution started was that the judicial system of the time was no longer representative of the society's collective sense of "Justice"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Yes, but I don't even think you need such a complicated thing as the social contract. If people believe an arrangement is unjust, they will act to right that injustice. Likewise, people do not like to follow a leader whose conduct is not "just". Most of history's best leaders conformed to their society's idea of "justice", and so were able to inspire the loyalty of others to follow them.
A leader should ideally be representative of a society's collective sense of "Justice". That is what the social contract theory hinges on. It is that very adherence or rejection of the social contract that inspires either ire or loyalty towards a leader.

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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
If a regime is based on injustice, it usually falls apart quite quickly. Which is why it can be a very dangerous thing when large parts of society disagree on fundamental ideas of justice/ethics because then no regime could ever be viewed as "just" by both, and so within one segment of society there'll always be the seeds of revolution.
Agreed. Any law that does not correspond with the ethical system upheld by the majority of society cannot last very long unless it is upheld with exceptional force. The law cannot please everyone's each person's idea of justice, so consensus is perhaps the next best thing.

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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
It's very cultural, though the seeds of it are based in biology. For instance, no society believes it's ever correct to murder your mother. But different societies define who your mother is differently (for instance, in India some might believe that a particular sheep could be your dead mother). Generally the logic of justice/ethics are always the same but the foundational facts are different. For instance the Meso-american peoples believed human sacrifice was just, because they believed they had a blood debt to their gods, the gods had sacrificed themselves to create them, and so they had an obligation to repay that(in their language they referred to human sacrifice literally as "debt repayment"). Sacrifices were not "victims", but in fact were experiencing a great honour. Many would volunteer themselves for the privilege, after all they were saving the world... It is an entirely logical thing to do given how they viewed the world functioned.
I also agree with this. Preservation of the self and preservation of the species are two trends that often arise when looking at evolutionary adaptation across time. That is what I believe the idea of justice to be based on. The whole thing starts becoming a social construct when people start attaching foreign concepts like self-sacrifice or religion to it.
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Old 2013-01-12, 21:49   Link #26
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
I'm curious as to how you would define "logical" in this case. Did you mean to say that the reason the French revolution started was that the judicial system of the time was no longer representative of the society's collective sense of "Justice"?
Logical means that it possesses less internal contradictions, or is more based on fact and reason rather then faith and superstition. A more logical ethical system will be based on logical argument, with less fallacies.

You are correct in saying that the French Revolution occurred because the French system of government was no longer in step with how people (but also particularly the intelligentsia) viewed ideas of justice. Aristocratic privilege no longer made sense, and people felt it was unjust. The intelligentsia were a particularly important factor as they could lead such a movement. Peasant revolts had occurred earlier, but they always collapsed into anarchy, as they lacked the educated core to administrate the new regime.
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Old 2013-01-18, 01:49   Link #27
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According to police, the suspect dropped out of his village school in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and was taken six years ago by a relative to New Delhi to work as a child laborer in a streetside restaurant. For a time, he sent money to his family. But the payments stopped, and police said his mother assumed he might have died in the city.
He later found work as a helper and cleaner for the bus on which the 23-year-old woman was gang-raped in December. It was the teenager’s job to attract passengers by calling out to them in a singsong voice — a tone police said he used to beckon the woman, whom he called “sister.”
“This case has exposed our failure as a society in protecting our children and women,” said Bhuwan Ribhu, a child rights activist. “First a boy is trafficked and exploited — later he turns to crime to change the power equation by finding a weaker person to dominate and control. We must stop this vicious cycle.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...7b8_story.html

is 3 yrs Just and Fair?
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Old 2013-01-18, 05:52   Link #28
LeoXiao
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Just watched the Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, these films got me thinking about the subject. I don't know how much I can coherently say right now though.
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Old 2013-01-18, 06:49   Link #29
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
does Justice have to really exist or just a belief there such a thing as Justice?
Justice only exist if you believe in it.

You seem to be asking the wrong questions. You are asking if Justice exists independent of human thought. But that assumes you think only physical atoms matter.

Justice is not a substance, it is an idea. Thus it can't exist if no one believes in it. Justice is created because it benefits society. Because we humans are better off when we maintain justice.

You might as well ask if "zero" exists. or if "A hole in the ground" exists. Something doesn't need to be able to be put on a plate to exist.

The "Believe there is such a thing as justice" IS justice. They are equivalent.

As for fairness? I think the old saying fits here; "you know something is fair when both sides believe they lost."

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is 3 yrs Just and Fair?
Depending on what you want jail time used for. Deterrence, punishment, rehabilitation, taking them off the streets, or to make bystanders feel better. For all intent and purposes legal punishment severity is flexible. There is a sliding scale. And it really only mattered that the punishment is what the population believed was acceptable.
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Old 2013-01-18, 07:39   Link #30
solidguy
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When I think of justice I think of laws. And the first thing you learn in law is that law isn't fair
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Old 2013-01-18, 07:45   Link #31
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When I think of justice I think of laws. And the first thing you learn in law is that law isn't fair
On the contrary. What you are feeling isn't unfairness, but that the laws didn't benefit you.

But as I mentioned, "fair" is by its very nature unpleasant. You can never "win" in a fair scenario. Fair is when everyone loses.

Laws are created to try to generate fairness, flawed as they were. Because if you think absence of law is fair, you haven't been to a lawless land.
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Old 2013-01-18, 08:06   Link #32
solidguy
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
On the contrary. What you are feeling isn't unfairness, but that the laws didn't benefit you.

But as I mentioned, "fair" is by its very nature unpleasant. You can never "win" in a fair scenario. Fair is when everyone loses.

Laws are created to try to generate fairness, flawed as they were. Because if you think absence of law is fair, you haven't been to a lawless land.
Law being unfair doesn't necessarily mean no law = fair. And I have lived in a (nearly) lawless country in the Pacific Islands for 2 years. I can tell you from my experience that the lack of law in no way makes the country a bad place to live.

If laws do not benefit the majority of the people in a democratic society i'd say by democracies very premise that those laws are unfair yet still just.
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Old 2013-01-18, 12:47   Link #33
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post

Justice is not a substance, it is an idea. Thus it can't exist if no one believes in it. Justice is created because it benefits society. Because we humans are better off when we maintain justice.
so you are saying Justice is a lie then?
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Old 2013-01-18, 13:02   Link #34
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so you are saying Justice is a lie then?
It is a concept, or ideal. It doesn't fit in all places, but becauae it fits most of the time it is thus widely accepted.
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Old 2013-01-18, 13:17   Link #35
DonQuigleone
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Law being unfair doesn't necessarily mean no law = fair. And I have lived in a (nearly) lawless country in the Pacific Islands for 2 years. I can tell you from my experience that the lack of law in no way makes the country a bad place to live.

If laws do not benefit the majority of the people in a democratic society i'd say by democracies very premise that those laws are unfair yet still just.
A sufficiently small society does not need a rigid system of law to govern itself, as everyone will largely know everyone else, and social pressures can be used to enforce conformity. But even that society will still have a "law", except it will be largely unwritten.

While such societies can often live harmoniously for long periods, if some kind of dispute arises between two factions it can often lead to escalating and ultimately ... murderous consequences, as no one has defined a regular set of penalties, so people will keep seeking revenge against one another.

But I disagree that the law is "unfair". It's the definition of fairness. Everyone gets what is due to them, and everyone is equal before it. I can't really think of any better definition then that for "fairness".
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But as I mentioned, "fair" is by its very nature unpleasant. You can never "win" in a fair scenario. Fair is when everyone loses.
Aren't there many scenarios where everyone wins? Surely that is fair too?

For instance, when two people trade fairly, everyone wins, as each person gets rid of something they didn't want, and obtains something they did.

Fairness should mean that everyone is equally satisfied (or unsatisfied) with the outcome.
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Old 2013-01-18, 14:28   Link #36
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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so you are saying Justice is a lie then?
How did you come to that conclusion from what I said?

So I guess you believe the number "Zero" is a lie too? After all, it is a symbol of literally nothing...

I need to make it clear, only some things in this world are PHYSICAL. If you want to claim everything non-physical is a lie, then you might as well claim there is no such thing as a hole in the ground.

Just because it is created by humans and require maintenance by humans to exist, doesn't mean it is a "lie". Justice is a CONCEPT. To say that concepts are lies is most bizarre. Lying implies deception; are you saying someone is being deceived? Who?
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Old 2013-01-18, 15:37   Link #37
monster
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
But as I mentioned, "fair" is by its very nature unpleasant. You can never "win" in a fair scenario. Fair is when everyone loses.
That may be true in a "fair compromise," but not necessarily in all matters of fairness. Even then, it's less about everybody losing and more about nobody getting everything they want.
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Fairness should mean that everyone is equally satisfied (or unsatisfied) with the outcome.
A competition where one party wins and all other parties lose can still be fair even if not everyone is equally satisfied with the outcome.
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Old 2013-01-18, 16:55   Link #38
solidguy
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
A sufficiently small society does not need a rigid system of law to govern itself, as everyone will largely know everyone else, and social pressures can be used to enforce conformity. But even that society will still have a "law", except it will be largely unwritten.

While such societies can often live harmoniously for long periods, if some kind of dispute arises between two factions it can often lead to escalating and ultimately ... murderous consequences, as no one has defined a regular set of penalties, so people will keep seeking revenge against one another.

But I disagree that the law is "unfair". It's the definition of fairness. Everyone gets what is due to them, and everyone is equal before it. I can't really think of any better definition then that for "fairness".
Law intends to establish fairness in society but there are so many instances where the execution of it is both unequal and unfair. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not demanding a perfect system where theres 100% fairness all round, just trying to explain that there are instance of lawful justice being unequal and unfair. Fairness is a concept and law is a system. Although related, I don't see them as being one in the same.

Maybe this boils down to defining fairness? Of course each definition will differ depending on what derives from your philosophical/political foundation of thought. I believe in practical equitable outcomes...but I know that school of thought isn't too popular these days...
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Old 2013-01-18, 17:22   Link #39
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post

But I disagree that the law is "unfair". It's the definition of fairness. Everyone gets what is due to them, and everyone is equal before it. I can't really think of any better definition then that for "fairness".
Well, in reality, some laws are more convenient for some than others because different people have different circumstances etc, as mentioned.

Like abortion ban is more of a burden on women than men, on poor than rich, on unhealthy than healthy.

And then if you bring politics into this, some laws would seem even less fair because they were made with the "ulterior" motive to differentiate and then target specific group of people even though they seem to apply to everyone on the surface.

Last edited by maplehurry; 2013-01-18 at 17:54.
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Old 2013-01-18, 21:25   Link #40
DonQuigleone
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That may be true in a "fair compromise," but not necessarily in all matters of fairness. Even then, it's less about everybody losing and more about nobody getting everything they want. A competition where one party wins and all other parties lose can still be fair even if not everyone is equally satisfied with the outcome.
The loser would only be "unsatisfied" if he felt he had unjustly lost (Say if the winner had cheated). If the loser lost through fair play of the game, he should be equally satisfied with the outcome as the winner (though obviously not as happy about it).

Of course, sore losers would not be satisfied if they lost, but then the law isn't built to cater to those sorts(thankfully).

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Originally Posted by solidguy View Post
Law intends to establish fairness in society but there are so many instances where the execution of it is both unequal and unfair. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not demanding a perfect system where theres 100% fairness all round, just trying to explain that there are instance of lawful justice being unequal and unfair. Fairness is a concept and law is a system. Although related, I don't see them as being one in the same.

Maybe this boils down to defining fairness? Of course each definition will differ depending on what derives from your philosophical/political foundation of thought. I believe in practical equitable outcomes...but I know that school of thought isn't too popular these days...
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And then if you bring politics into this, some laws would seem even less fair because they were made with the "ulterior" motive to differentiate and then target specific group of people even though they seem to apply to everyone on the surface.
These are specific instances where the law is unfair. However I was disagreeing with the notion that the law is generally unfair. If the Law is unfair, it is the exception not the rule. As a rule the law is constructed to be fair, though it being a human construct there will be instances where the law is not as fair as it could be.

The Law could be unfair in specific cases, but in general it is fair, because by definition the law is the human sense of "fairness" codified. If the law was inherently unfair to it's core, no one would follow it, because the reason people consent to the law is because we think it's fair and just (and laws that are seen as unfair/unjust quickly get ignored by the public at large EG Drug Laws).
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