Only that which is right and good is just

May 14, 2015, 10:04 am

Agree11 Disagree20


The debate "Only that which is right and good is just" was started by I_Voyager on May 14, 2015, 10:04 am. 11 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 20 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

PsychDave posted 1 argument, I_Voyager posted 5 arguments to the agreers part.
Sosocratese posted 4 arguments to the disagreers part.

I_Voyager, PsychDave, charliec1007, jonatron5, Pamelamccubbins and 6 visitors agree.
sighnomore99, Sosocratese, toughgamerjerry, soullesschicken and 16 visitors disagree.

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Please let me know if I didn't make myself very clear, because I don't think I made myself very clear.

4 years, 5 months ago
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The problem is the perception of justice in a center, being administered by agents, on the behalf of those seeking personal justice. Because the way the person seeks personal justice must be taken and remodeled to fit a perceptual system. It seems to me what a state is doing is judging the value and merits of what people seek for personal justice, and dispensing it's conclusion regardless. Which is perhaps its own activity. If a state or organization instead dispensed true personal justice, it would have to act at the behest of the grieved, would it not? What if lawyers and judges and laws themselves manifested out of the relationship between a personal law, and agents of law, who must relate personal law with the greater law representing local and general human morality?

4 years, 6 months ago

I see what you're getting at. But can you really separate the administration of justice and personal justice? Since both deal with the rights of people. They're intrinsically intertwined as a matter of utility in the very least. Now, i think we can differentiate between a just state and a just person by giving special exemptions to the state for what constitutes good, right, and true. However, these concepts would have very different meanings in a States guidance on justice.

Perhaps then, the better definition for being just is to ensure that the rights of all individuals are equally valued and equally protected. It leaves a lot of moral ambiguity, however, it wouldn't produce conflicts within the state's administration of justice as opposed to an individual acting justly.

4 years, 6 months ago
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Now, justice is an interesting concept because justice is ill defined. I wonder if that thing which we call "justice" is necessarily just at all? We've used the one term to refer to the act of the other sometimes, but sometimes not. Because justice is itself also a conversation about what is just. Yet our conversation of what is just has concluded that not all acts of justice are just, and yet in another context they are just. So perhaps state justice and just state actions are not "just". I would argue this similar to the failing the ancient Greek language had in uniting the words "art" and "skill" in "Technae" when they are not the same thing and must be approached differently.

4 years, 6 months ago

We can absolutely have a discussion on objective morality v moral nihilism.

I agree that justice is inseparable from morality. It's a necessity in all moral frameworks. I think we're on a very similar page as to personal justice. Perhaps Kant summed it up best when he said, and I'm paraphrasing here: "we ought to see people as an end in themselves rather than as a means to an end".

I would further agree that you're assertion of justice on a personal note, I.e. How to be a just person means to act in a manner which right, good, and true. I can't think of a scenario where that ideal would infringe in a person's right and cause an action to be unjust.

I can't say, however, that states enjoy that same privilege. They must sometimes violate a person's rights in order to protect the rights of others. Now, I will grant you, that this is only the case if we are in the confines of objective morality. Since only in that context is an action good, right, and true onto itself. If we're talking subjective morality, then an act which violates a right may still be good, right and true.

So while I agree with you that a person may act in a just manner if they simply act right, good, and true, a state is a special exception which must some times act in a manner that is considered wrong, bad, and perhaps even false in order to administer justice. Being a just state then is to violate the rights of an agent only if those agents encroach on the rights of others and must have their rights stripped in order to stop this encroachment. So the state must act in manner which is good, right, and true unless it seeks to protect or redistribute rights and inequalities.

4 years, 6 months ago
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I can't really restrain myself for the purpose of conversation. My disclaimer is that I'm not particularly interested in only living up to or determining the philosophies of the past or those from which we derive the framework for societies. I'd rather know if there's a better place for us to be philosophically. I can't easily carve justice from the hide of philosophy and analyses it in a concept-void. I suspect morality, ethics, justice and virtue share a spacetime-like fabric.

I think discussing objective morality versus nihilism would be a great conversation. But not here. Mind if I start another statement elsewhere?

Justice is a virtue establishing rational order that prunes states of redundant elements. It does this by inflicting punishments where due to the infringement of rights. More specifically, it is thought that people as parts in organizational structure are more relevant as original and necessary parts to the fact of the structure of justice then firstly the fact of themselves as objects. Do I understand what you want to agree to rightly?

It isn't very nihilist of you if you think the base element is more important than those parts which the elements build together ;) But I get it, we're just discussing applied justice as it exist...

Now, it could be said that a human in the right is a human respecting rights. If justice is morally right, then respecting rights would be just. If the persistence of shared rights is a shareable moral virtue, it may be that someone with hostility against a verifiable right becomes also a violent event akin to a tornado, and since the persistence of shared rights is a moral virtue, taking steps taken to end or remove true violent events may be moral, just and right. It may be that rights and morals are not intrinsic to the human, but that the active state of the human has some determining factor.

4 years, 6 months ago

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this.

The reason why I say that we have to assume objective morality is simply because it sets a nice parameter. I'm personally of the believe that morals are a human construct, I.e moral nihilism. But that doesn't make for an interesting debate.

Now, on to justice being vengeful. Perhaps a poor choice of words. Justice, in the traditional sense is punitive in nature. When we talk about the state only. Vengeful, ascribes too much intent I suppose.

The other reason why I'm imposing objective morality into the context of the conversation is that it makes dealing with justice easier. That way we don't have to deal with conflicting subjective morality theories and trying to weave our way through all that mess.

Let's see if we can agree on what justice is and what justice can speak to.

Justice is a virtue establishing rational order, with each part performing its appropriate role and not interfering with the proper functioning of other parts. It's a way to manage personal rights in interpersonal relationships in a sense. Justice consists then in what is lawful and fair; fairness meaning the equitable distribution of rights and the correction of inequitable distribution of rights or the violation of given rights.

So being a just person is then one who respects others rights and doesn't infringe upon those rights.

Political justice is then the equitable distribution of rights and the correction of inequitable or violated rights. This is where the punitive portion of justice comes into play. The state has a role in legal justice that is largely punitive. It sets up the boundaries of what rights we have and then deals with the infringement of those rights.

So if someone kidnapped a person, held them hostage against their will, they would be infringing on the victims rights. It's now the state's job to deal with that infringement. The state may then choose to punish the perpetrator by imprisonment for example. This is the contradiction of justice and morality. We see imprisonment as a violation of human rights and therefore immoral, yet when it is done in a punitive manner the act becomes just. There is no difference in the act committed by the perpetrator and the state. Both imprisoned another human against their will, yet we call one just and one unjust.

4 years, 6 months ago
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I don't think it's necessary to assume objective morality. After great effort it's possible to distil at least a foundational moral principle by comparing - assuming you find them - valid metaphysics, logic, epistemology and philosophy of mind.

I would add "true" as well. What is morally good and right and true is just. I haven't determined yet whether everything that is good is true yet. I lean towards believing so. But I think justice must be based on truth.

I wonder why fulfilling the need for vengeance is just? Perhaps it is, but you haven't explained why. But if so, this condition must necessitate "truth" since anyone may have the need for vengeance, but unless it's predicated on a true slight then it's just a desirous impulse. Achieving desire is not necessarily just.

4 years, 6 months ago

I hope I'm getting your argument right since it could make for an interesting debate.

I'm guessing you mean what is morally good and right is just.

I would argue that morality and justice can be mutually exclusive, not always, but in certain cases. With justice sometimes fulfilling the need for vengeance while moral goodness judges individual actions regardless of circumstances under which these actions are that is assuming objective morality rather than moral nihilism.

4 years, 6 months ago

I agree with the sentiment with a single caveat. What is right and good for one may not be for another. Therefore all three concepts are based on perception and perspective.

4 years, 6 months ago
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