General Question

halox0x0's avatar

What is the nature of justice?

Asked by halox0x0 (5points) May 12th, 2009

What individual rights are people entitled to?
How would you define the relationship between the needs of the state and personal liberties?
Who has the right to excercise power?
What is the most enlightened form of government?

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3 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

No one is entitled to any rights. Rights are conferred by agreement of a group of people. If we all agree that we all should have free speech, and we’ll all protect each other’s attempts to speak freely, then we have that right. Otherwise, not.

The state represents the interests of a certain portion of the people. In a democracy they should represents maybe 99% of the people. In a totalitarian system they might watch out for the interests of, say, five percent of the people.

Some states spend a lot of effort protecting the liberty of its citizens, since that is its mission. Other states have a different mission. The “state” is not a person, and doesn’t need anything. People need things, and some people grab power, and others let them get away with it.

No one has the right to exercise power. Some people arrogate that right to themselves. Some people are conferred that right by others.

Well, I hear the Dalai Lama is enlightened, so maybe, if he ran a government, that would be the most enlightened government.

If these are homework questions, I just dare you to use my answers. I dare you! Everything I say is correct, but there’s not a soul on the planet who sees it like I do. If you do use my answers, you better attribute them, or I will hunt you down, tie you up, and feed you to the ACLU!

AstroChuck's avatar

There ain’t no justice.

Jayne's avatar

I take the view that morality is arbitrary and so justice is meaningless, and that it is therefore not the government’s job to enforce morality. Its job is, by social contract, to maintain a standard of living, to balance security and prosperity with freedom and quality of life, according to the will of the population. Part of this balance involves the institution by force of laws governing behavior. These laws should not seek to address the “moral” character of the individual, but to keep them from infringing on the social balance the government is set to maintain. Thus, a law should never punish, and it should only provide the means to reform; its goal is to protect society from the criminal, not force the criminal to conform to society. There is no “justice” here, because that implies casting judgment on an individual’s actions and punishing or rewarding them according to their “value”. There should be no such judgment in the criminal system, only the practical expedients needed to enforce the laws and maintain the community.

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