(Re)Thinking Justice

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As a kid who grew up Lutheran, studied criminal justice in college, and graduated law school, justice has been on my mind most of my life. Everyone supposedly knows what it is. Nobody really agrees on it. One person’s notion of justice is going to be different from someone else’s. For something so important (every justice system, in theory, has the power to change someone’s life), it doesn’t get looked at very much.

One big reason is that justice is this thing that everyone assumes is part of an ongoing process. The process isn’t perfect, but it’s been refined. It’s very rare that someone stops and asks if what we’re doing is desirable in the first place. Those people get ignored, because our justice process works just good enough.

By and large, people who do terrible things get caught. But they don’t always get caught. Even worse, some people get to make the rules so that whatever they do will never be caught.

There are hidden defects in most systems that try to do justice. If there’s anything I write that I want people to read, this subject is high on that list. Justice is important to any society. It is one of the aspirations that make societies worth having. Thus, it is one of those things that people might want to have a closer look at.

59 thoughts on “(Re)Thinking Justice

    • If it is possible, I don’t think it can be found in many of the world’s current institutions. Personally, I think it can be possible so long as expectations are managed. Justice needs to be more about strengthening the relationship between societies and individuals. It needs to have a function rather than a ritual.

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  1. I am fascinated that people think their lives have meaning, yet when it comes down to it we can agree on the “meaning” of words like justice, love, hate, etc. We also seem to crave certainty when all around us we are governed by institutions that work … just good enough.

    You would think we’d all be quite comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty but we are not. Is this wishful thinking or hard-wired in I wonder?

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    • Certainty might be hard-wired. I can’t recall the source, but I remember a brain scientist talking about how acting with certainty is rewarded in evolution. Hesitation makes you a meal for predators, and all that.

      On the plus side, it’s that desire for certainty that prompted the scientific method.

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    • People have been claiming final judgment is just around the corner for thousands of years now. Also, I don’t know if what happens in Revelation is anything resembling justice. Some pretty dark stuff happens to sinful people, and that’s before they get consigned to a lake of fire. Forever.

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    • I am curious, farmgirl, how do you know only god and in this case it seems your chosen god can execute true justice?
      Since you are giving bible reference, what justice was there in making all the men in the city blind in that little affair at Lot’s lodgings?

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      • Genesis 19:11? Jehovah sent angels to protect Lot as lot was a faithful man. Everyone in the city was deemed wicked by Jehovah. As we see in the previous versus. They tried to break in the home. Jehovah caused them to go blind protecting Lot and those inside. He always helped his faithful servants.

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      • Farmgirl, posting Bible verses doesn’t work like a Jedi mind trick, you know. Proselytizing won’t have any effect here either. Go search the truth about the truth.

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      • No it doesnt. Only ones that truly want to learn what the bible says will read it. Takes alot of effort to find the truth.

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      • Dig deep, farmgirl. You may escape that foolishness some day. But you’re correct. It does take a lot of effort and you risk disfellowship. Control should be in your hands, not the organization (which is primarily a Bible and tract-selling enterprise, by the way).

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      • The organization doesnt sell anything. All free of charge. Yea hard to fathom when every church around the corner charges for every lil thing. Their was a grieve session at a local church that charged! Unbelievable

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      • Not free to its members, farmgirl. You all pay for those tracts at the end of the day. You see the control the organization has over even your thinking? Of course you don’t. ..that’s part of their brilliant marketing scheme. You are making men at the top rich.
        Do some research.

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      • We live by bible principles. Giving what we want..collection never taken. Our literature is printed in over 1000 languages. They arent just sitting on our money. We see where it all goes. Times are changing and research is available too all.

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      • Did you know they dont print as nuch literature anymore due to the internet now being available. So the money from donations can be better spent to fund disaster relief and build new halls for people in very poor countries. Its all well spent. Unlike the catholic church. Ive seen with my own eyes the differences. Not blindly following any organization. Not for me thank you.

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      • You parrot what the organization tells you, farmgirl. The Bible and Tract Society only supports OTHER JEHOVAH WITNESSES; they do absolutely ZERO outreach. These are facts, please take some time to do research. And please don’t suggest to me that you don’t contribute to the baskets on your way out of meetings.

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      • You can say what you want. Doesn’t make it true. Id know, im in it. 😂 i live it everyday. Im not telling you this for you to believe me. Look into it. Its all on our site. Be careful what you “hear” from people who have only heard what its about.

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      • Here’s a ‘real world’ exercise for you, farmgirl. Go to your local soup kitchen or food bank. They have a list of donors on the wall. You’ll read that the local Baptist, United, Pentecostal, Catholic – and whatever other denomination is in the area – are listed as contributors. You will NEVER, EVER see Jehovah’s Witness on there. EVER. They do not do outreach – that means money out of their pockets for ‘worldly’ people. They want it all for themselves (particularly the men in Warwick – used to be Brooklyn, but the head office was moved)
        Again, you are not part of a noble enterprise, farmgirl. You are simply a tool for spreading Watchtower literature around. I have read extensively on this cult and when they used to come to my door I’d warn the young women (and it’s always women around here, the men get to drive cars and be elders and have all the power) about giving up their lives for this money-generating farce of a ‘religion’. It’s anything BUT. (SB, my final comment before you give me shit). 🙂
        Oh, and by the way. I was a public school teacher and felt terrible for those kids who got no encouragement for further studies — another control feature of the business; keep ‘em ignorant and fill their heads with JW bullshit. Farmgirl, thanks for demonstrating your compliance. 😦

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      • Wowzer. Im glad i did my research. I came out of the world. So thank you. I know what it offers. One meal? Ive learned how to live my friend. Wont give you any helll as i dont believe in it. Ha. Hope you are able to see past the lies you’ve been told. I was not raised a witness.

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      • What are your beliefs? You obviously are not Christian. As they can not back up any beliefs with scriptures. I know i grew up in Presbyterian, baptist,Methodist and catholic faiths.

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      • If you’re asking about religious beliefs … I have none. I was a Christian for over 15 years but have been away from ALL religious beliefs for 30+ years. I have absolutely NO desire to return.

        I think anyone who believes in and lives by the dictates of an unseen and mute supernatural entity (and prays to same) is missing out on what LIFE is all about. But until each individual recognizes this fact, s/he will continue to “trust and obey” what their religious leaders tell them is “truth.”

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      • Ah. Ok. I see. Thank you for sharing. Mainstream christianity has a way of doing that to people. Lies make a person untrusting. I know. I was on my way out until i decided to learn what the bible says. Christianity looks nothing like what the bible teaches it is.

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      • I guess I should have included that I also have no faith in the bible … or any other religious book.

        Religion in and of itself points to some sort of supernatural or divine power, so any books that are written about or for that religion will naturally contain information that I no longer find credible.

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      • Yes i can see that. If you dont believe in God you wouldnt believe in “his” word. But you didnt always feel that way…what changed it? Church? People?

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      • Perhaps a little of both. I think many people who have left religion find it difficult to pinpoint any one thing that changed their thinking — although one of the things that’s often repeated is inconsistency; that is, the contradictions between religious teachings and actual practices.

        You seem to put a lot of faith in the bible (from the JW’s perspective), yet when you look closely, there are numerous actions and practices of God/Jehovah that are repugnant. Yet, people defend them simply because “it is written” and they simply refuse to see their deity in a negative light.

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      • Most of the time its misunderstanding. People take it at face value or dont understand why God acted the way he did. The bible doesnt contradict itself. People make it do that, with what they think they already know about God.

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      • Oh, c’mon, farmgirl! It’s “God’s Word”. To NOT take it at “face value” is to disagree with “what is written!”

        As far as “understanding” God … that, in a nutshell, is the crux of the problem with religion because it leads to interpretation and is the core reason why there are thousands and thousands of religious sects! Including Jehovah Witnesses.

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      • I like to base my belief on reasonableness. Some people dont share my faith. Its not a given quality. Or humbleness in order to learn anything new. I hope you have a good day.

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      • I have so enjoyed that chat. We dont all have to agree on things. Everyones journey is different but i firmly believe were all created equal. And to get along with one another to show love and respect to each other. 🙂

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      • I guess the best way to answer your question is to simply say … life is about living. It’s definitely NOT believing that some sort of “divine power” should have control over what we do, say, or think. It’s simply accepting each day as it comes.

        In other words, I don’t believe we need “guidance” to live our lives. What happens, happens. It is what it is. I recognize that for some people, that isn’t enough. But for me it is.

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      • Do you have children? Just wondering. My husband was kinda raised that way. No guidance. He made it ok but scary way to grow up.

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      • Most people look up to someone or have a role model for the way they live. Sometimes thats not such a good thing. Just because humans are human and are limited in their knowledge. We are a product of our surroundings. Which is not always a good thing.

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      • Let’s say the city is a small one, a damn small one, of a 100 people. Are you saying in this group of 100 men and boys, there were none happily married, gay or old to such an extent they wouldn’t have an erection that all of them went to Lot’s house?

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  2. I am studying law as we speak, and let me tell you , that was my first question
    What is justice ? Your article is a representation of my thoughts right now and i am very happy that i stumbled on it .Keep up the good work and always questioning stuff ;P

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