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- 1 Opening Sentence
- 2 The Tick?!
- 3 Justice as trickery
- 4 a question
- 5 Mill
- 6 fairness, impartiality, justice and philosophy
- 7 Short Essay
- 8 Removed Links
- 9 history
- 10 Revenge
- 11 Proposed renovation of this article
- 12 Peer review request
- 13 Revising this page - collaboration
- 14 New version
- 15 Bibliography
- 16 Divine command theory
- 17 Legal positivism
- 18 Utilitrainism
- 19 User:Alexjohnc3's changes
- 20 For the sake of the viewpoint...
- 21 Plato's dialogues
- 22 Corruption of Justice and its logic.
- 23 The opening sentence
- 24 new approach
- 25 Just a Thought
- 26 People vs Persons
- 27 Rambling
- 28 The Intro
- 29 Here's a crack at a neutral lead paragraph
- 30 Eternal Justice...
- 31 Understandings of Justice
- 32 Retribution also means prosperity
- 33 Undid: "The Term Justice, or Servin' Justice, can Refer to:"
- 34 justice
- 35 Definition
- 36 The Meaning of American Justice
- 37 Lead problem
- 38 Definition of Justice
- 39 Opening sentence issues
Who miscounted?!?!?! Justice is a term that is divided into two categories: behavior, the treatment of others, and the administration of law should be Justice is a term that is divided into THREE categories: behavior, the treatment of others, and the administration of law
OK this is obvious vandalism very funny haha i'm deleting the link. (There's a link to that comic book character/TV show on the bottom)
Justice as trickery
The comment from Nietszche requires context. As it stands he could be referring to the absence of eternal justice in terms of an afterlife.
Erm, excuse me, but why does the statue of Justice carry a sword, blindfold and set of scales? I would like to know ASAP...
because people like you only see the symbol and think its justice to know why the symbol is the way it is. To see the shadows of reality and contest with others why the way things are instead of looking at the light and helping others realize... plato
0.o, okay... im confused.....
-- The sword represents the power government has over the people and the power the people have over the government. the blindfold symbolizes that your appearence has no bearing on right and wrong and the scales represent the weighing of one's rights against anothers. How's that? - Texx Smith —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 04:09, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
This article says that John Stuart Mill was a utilitarian thinker, but he argued against the idea. Perhaps that sentence should be re-worded.
fairness, impartiality, justice and philosophy
I'm new here, but aren't "fair" & "impartial" in the definition of justice (1st sentence) the same thing? I would recommend saying "the moral and impartial treatment..."
Actually, justice and fairness are two entirely different topics, while impartiality is derived from justice. Justice is a universal law that rules over all things, and applies to all instances of the same sort in the same manner; thus is the nature of impartiality. Fairness varies in definition (as does any doctrine that is not based on truth), but typically incorporates the easing or utter omission of the natural consequences which must follow any action (please don't confuse this with mercy, which derives from man's natural compassion toward others of his kind; in that it is a sort of violation of justice, but the only explanation is that humans are imperfect). I realize that this comment and those which I have added to the main article will likely earn me something of a reputation on this site, but I'm simply trying to fulfill the encyclopedia's goal of describing fact. --Undomiel 00:17, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, but this is clearly a contraversial issue among philosophers (assuming that this article ought to reflect the views of philosophy in some way). According to Rawls, justice IS fairness, so I really doubt your authority to make this claim as if it is "describing fact". And the claim that the principles of justice are like the laws of physics is misleading, if not incorrect. Are you sure you're not writing this from some ideological bent? Obviously, this wikipedia entry isn't where we're supposed to share our own beliefs about what justice is, but to reference other literature on the subject.
Okay, first of all, this newbie that is arguing against putting "fair and impartial" in the introduction needs to learn to not be so snotty and to sign after their comments so we know who is talking. We aren't going to settle anything if one party involved takes such a condescending attitude. And furthmore, this is encyclopedia is a place of fact, so we should look at the definition of the words fair and impartial. I have found that impartial sometimes appears in the definition. I believe that we should remove both words because, however trivial a complaint this may be, and however much a true waste of time it is, technically the person who has posted complaints with putting both words in the introduction is correct. The complainer does have a point about quoting philosphy as if it was fact. This article should only discuss what hard evidence can prove. I think all future references to philosphy should be identified as philosphy in the article. Undomiel has every right to put their opinion on this talk page however, because that is what a talk page is for. Stop Me Now! 23:57, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Ah yes, it certainly is difficult to move forward in the midst of condescension, isn't it? You know...like, belittling and name-calling because one does not agree with another's point of view...hmm kind of like the use of words like 'newbie' or 'complainer' or saying that addressing someone's viewpoint is a 'waste of time'...
I'm not saying I am not new -and I am- But dude, you are a newbie. And it was not used as a derogative term, a 'newbie' is mearly someone new at something. If he had said 'noob', it may have been meant to insult you. And you were complaining about its usage. Wrycu 2:00, July 16 2006
A few things. First, I've been here slightly over two years and I'm still a newbie. I've never once been offended by the term. Second, fairness does not always imply or even mean impartiality. Thus using the two words together is appropriate.
Also, the words "moral and impartial" could have religious implications. "Ethical and impartial" might be the better phrase. Wjbean 19:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
- OK, I'm late to this argument, but for what it's worth: 'The article should only discuss what hard evidence can prove'. The article is about justice. I'm very unclear what Stop Ne Now! believes can be said about that topic without discussing philosophy, and I'm equally unclear what distinction he/she is intending to make between philosophy and 'what hard evidence can prove'. Can someone enlighten me? Cheers, --Sam Clark 11:22, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
No problem. As far as i know, Philosophy is questioning things, and beliefs. Hard evidence PROVES things to be right, and can be backed up in a way anyone can see. Philosophy doesnt really prove anything, and when it does, it cannot be backed up except with speaking and discussion. Hopefully that helped! Wrycu 14:29, August 7 2006
- I didn't mean the question very seriously, to be honest, and your answer's interesting, but I don't buy it. Philosophy is (amongst other things) a professional academic discipline. It has a long history of giving reasons for and against beliefs about, for instance, how one should live. And it has a couple of thousand years of proofs of things including, for instance, the incoherence of basing justice on God's command, the self-defeatingness of rational self-interest, the conditions of validity for logical argument, and so on. All of these things are contestable, of course - not everyone accepts them - but that's true of pretty much anything interesting. Not everyone accepts Einstein, either. I could tediously go on about this all day (it's my job, after all), but the points I wanted to make above were really just these: 1. If you want to say anything interesting about justice, you need to draw on the history of philosophy; and 2. The idea of 'hard evidence' is a pretty slippery one, and the subject of a great deal of philosophical argument itself. Cheers, Sam Clark 09:23, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
- I see your point about 'hard evidence', but I still believe that there is such a thing. Since 'fact' is a man made item, it can be achieved. And a few thousand year of proofs does mean a lot- since we, humans, dont even live for a hundred years (for the most part). --Wrycu 9:19, October 12 2006 (EDT)
Philosophically, this entry is confusing. Justice is the personal excellence (virtue) of the Mean between the excesses and deficiencies of the extremes (vice). Ergo, Justice is a personal excellence first and foremost. Applied socially, we recognize three types: Rectificatory (corrective, restorative) Justice, Retributive (Punitive) Justice, and Distributive (egalitarian) Justice.
What does Natural Law Theory have to do with "justice?" "Do good, avoid evil?" That's Thomistic, but not classically understood as "justice" at all. Justice is the Mean (virtue) between extremes (vice). Good and Evil are biblical concepts, right action and wrong action are classical concepts, and justice concern the latter, not the former. Should courts administer "righteousness?" "Sin?" We hope not! Social Justice is Personal Justice "institutionalized."
Since J. S. Mill's resurrection of the "Harm Principle" in 19th century, before going off half-cocked on utilitarianism, he reminds society of the Universal Moral Imperative from classical times: Do no harm or injustice. This form of justice is not the classical variant at all, but a moral imperative, which society can enforce of others (it cannot enforce virtue or vice). So the false nonsense that "morals cannot be legislated," is not only untrue, but the contrary the only true. We can and do legislate the Harm Principle. It's when we go beyond or outside of the Universal Moral Imperative that we get goofy, sidetracked, and unjust.
Ergo, this entry is rather confused for something so basic as JUSTICE. As far back as Aristotle, "equality before the law" was the measure of administering justice, where some harm had caused a disequilibrium, and the courts sought "to redraw the line equidistant" again, either through rectificatory justice, punitive justice, and occasionally distributive justice." In the U.S. at least, few courts seek rectificatory (restorative) justice and almost entirely rely of punitive justice under a misguided deterrent theory. The notion that "laws trump justice," rather than reflect justice, illustrates how far the legal profession has subverted the classical value.
Clearly "fairness" is the core concept behind justice, and in order to be "fair," was must judge "impartially" to the Mean (or against the standard lex talonis). 22:09, 26 June 2008 (UTC)~dshsfca
This an Introduction to Justice, written by the "user" Ghitis. It should not be cited as a source of authorized information.
Justice The word JUSTICE brings to mind the idea of punishing the wrongdoer while comforting and compensating the aggrieved party. That was, at least, the image I held all these years, until I was encouraged to write a mini-essay on the subject. I started, Descartes-style, to think about the possible evolutionary origin, yet could not envisage any animal, even as advanced as the chimpanzee, evincing a group behavior even remotely resembling an act of punishment. Thus, I had to assume a human origin, and remembered how not so far in the past, the accused was judged by exposing him to absurd physical trials, whereby stamina was the determining 'proof.'
Looking up the dictionary, I found that the Latin word 'jus' is the root for 'just,' justice' and derivatives, such as 'judge' and 'judicial,' the basic meaning being 'RIGHT." In Hebrew, I had learned that there are two kinds of 'justice,' there being among religious Jews a preference for associating the 'heavenly' one, called "Tse'dek," while the earthly one is called "Mishpat," from a root used for 'judge' too. The biblical Judges were the highest civil authority too, until the people under Samuel, fearing the Philistine might, forced the election of Saul, the first King, a symbol of true courage, "in the manner of the other nations." A person fulfilling all of God's commandments to the letter is called a "Tsadik," by association with the heavenly justice, being then a personification of righteousness.
It became clear to me that justice embodies the concept of right behavior in a society that upholds the laws. This sounded trite, but then I remembered that in Israel, people, starting from childhood, have adopted the English word "fair," preferring it to the time-honored one meaning "all right." At that moment, I realized that justice is actually a concept of FAIRNESS. From this point on, I had to think about the time when an inchoate concept of UNFAIRNESS makes its mark in the infant's brain, because Tse'dek, Mishpat and Justice make their appearance at that very moment!
And what happens when a human fetus is born? It cries 'angrily,' as if stating: "This is unfair! I was cozy until this moment: what have you done to me?!" After that, the infant starts to become possessive, interested in his own well being, and rejecting a sibling's appearance. It is a question of survival, of being 'bad' for self-advancement. Proper education will guide the inborn --but not yet manifested-- need to be 'good' for the benefit of the group.
In adulthood, unfairness to a person, a group, a society and a nation, is dealt with using all the instruments of 'justice,' as defined by each one of those who feel unfairly treated. People vary in the weight attached to such feeling. The reaction varies from mild reproof to physical attack, and from diplomatic friction to full war. Upon 'discovering' what justice really is, I realized that its understanding is paramount for a person's self-knowledge.
Fundamentally different to such 'natural' sense of justice, so similar among different individuals, is the justice based on laws. Millenia have left their prints on laws, and we know about outstanding lawgivers, such as Hammurabi, Moses, Solon, Roman legislators, and Napoleon. Natural laws are probably related to the individual sense of justice, while the positive law is the written, evolutive one.
In Israel, where no trial by jury exists, judges are guided by the written ('positive') law: the personal sense of justice (the 'natural' law) plays no role. Therefore, "aggravation," so important as a component of the feeling of unfairness, by itself has scarce judicial meaning. The result is dissatisfaction (a feeling of unfairness) for a complainant receiving the measure of his material loss, with complete disregard for his anguish.
Aug 17 2004, 14:00 (GT)
- Can I just add that not only is this original research, it's very bad original research? Anyone editing this page: please don't draw on this!--Sam Clark 12:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I removed the following two links from the entry.
\ One of them is a blog[amend], and the other is the short essay above with no qualifications listed. Given that none of these seem to be particularly authoritative or helpful discussions of justice, I thought they were inappropriately in the article. --Kzollman 01:57, May 3, 2005 (UTC)
<galler </gallery> ==
we really need something about Plato's Republic on this page. I certainly won't be the one to write it, but someone more knowledgeable than I on the subject certainly should.
The article on revenge mentions in its introduction the (sometimes fine) distinctions between it and justice, yet this article never even mentions "revenge". This should be considered when revising the article, as this is an important ethical consideration, and certainly has plenty of reliable sources from which to draw material. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 12:10, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Proposed renovation of this article
The article as it stands is not remotely NPOV: it presents an extremely controversial account of justice as if it were common knowledge. I plan to rewrite it.
UPDATE (1 Aug 2006): rather than keep making small edits to the plan which was previously here, I've started drafting a new version of the article at
User:Sam_Clark/justice. If you're interested, please check there and leave any comments on my talk page. In particular, comments are solicited on what to do about the two articles distributive justice and retributive justice. Neither is currently much good; the latter is downright misleading. Should I expand into a more general renovation of the articles in the justice category?
--Sam Clark 11:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
UPDATE: first revised version now live - see below. Sam Clark 14:39, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Peer review request
Has fair justice ever really been given? Might want to comment on that... --Wrycu 11:26, 28 July 2006 (Eastern Time Zone)
- Might well be worth pointing out that justice is an ideal, and very rarely a reality, yeah. Thanks for your input. Cheers, --Sam Clark 10:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Revising this page - collaboration
Dear all - as noted further up this page, I'm currently engaged in a major overhaul of this article:
see User:Sam_Clark/justice. This doesn't mean I think it's my personal property or anything silly like that, but it does mean that I'd appreciate it if anyone who wants to make changes to it would collaborate rather than making unilateral edits. Comments on my draft new version very welcome. Cheers, --Sam Clark 13:27, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
New version now live. Comments and improvements actively desired. Cheers, Sam Clark 14:37, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
- Additionally: I should say that my new version is pretty skeletal at the moment - most of the sections would benefit from a bit of fleshing out with further analysis, criticisms, cross-references to important thinkers, etc. Sam Clark 09:41, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I've just cut a couple of articles which had been added to the bibliography and further reading. I'm sure they're interesting, but the bibliography (as I originally put it together) was intended to consist of 1. general introductions; 2. wide-ranging collections; and 3. major contributions to the subject. The added articles were a bit specific and non-notable for that purpose, and open up the door to making the list vast and unwieldy, as everyone adds their two-penny-worth. Any views either on these specific articles, or on the above-suggested purpose for the bibliography? Cheers, Sam Clark 16:15, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Divine command theory
The section above needs to be edited because in my opinion it does not conform to a netural point of view. After a previous reversion of my edit, I decided to post my suggestions for correction here to avoid an editing war. Hopefully an agreement can be reached about my proposals for change in that section.
The argument I see being given here is that God's commands are arbitrary. I therefore propose the following changes which I hope answer that objection; please feel free to discuss:
"Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice, and indeed the whole of morality, is the authoritative command of God. Murder is wrong and must be punished, for instance, because, and only because, God commands that it be so. This faces the objection that it makes justice arbitrary: God might equally have commanded that murder is just, if he had chosen. The response may be that God's justice is not arbitrary, but his commands are rooted in His very nature." Ben 14:36, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
- Hi. Of course, let's agree on an edit rather than warring over it. Your 'his commands are rooted in his nature' is better than my way of putting the point, and I'm happy to adopt it. But your version doesn't capture the Euthyphro dilemma, which is what I'd intended in the rest of the section. The question is then, whether we should include Euthyphro or not. I don't think it violates NPOV to include it - after all, this is one of the oldest arguments in philosophy, not my POV - but it should certainly be better expressed and referenced than currently. Perhaps the argument against inclusion would be that several other sections set out their positions without any criticism; but that's perhaps an argument for including criticism elsewhere, rather than removing it here. What do you think? Cheers, Sam Clark 15:16, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
- FURTHER - I meant to address this above, but forgot. The argument being put isn't just 'God's commands are arbitrary'. It is: if we say that justice is the command of an authority, then either a. the authority has rational justification for its command or b. it doesn't have such justification. If a., then it's the rational justification which is fundamental, not the command; if b., then the command is not rationally justified, and there is therefore no good reason to obey it. Either way, divine command theory is refuted. I mention this just to be clear what it is that we're disputing over the inclusion of, which is the main issue, rather than the coherence of this particular argument. Cheers, Sam Clark 15:22, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
- Hi again, sorry for the delay in this response. Yes, I agree that including the Euthyphro dilemma would not violate the NPOV, provided that it gives the criticism and response. As we have agreed on the above text so far, what I propose below would be an appendage to the above paragraph:
- The theroy also faces an objection known as the Euthyphro dilemma which essentially states, "Is the morally good whatever is commanded by God, or does God command what is in fact morally good?" An advocator of the divine command theory could respond by arguing that the dilemma is false, that goodness is the very nature of God, which is expressed necessarily in His commands, that then become our moral duties.
- I've tried to avoid going into too much detail here. I don't think that is the best way of putting it but see what you think. Ben 19:45, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
- Hi Ben - how about the following compromise:
- Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice, and indeed the whole of morality, is the authoritative command of God. Murder is wrong and must be punished, for instance, because, and only because, God commands that it be so. This faces an objection known as the Euthyphro dilemma, which asks: is what is right whatever is commanded by God, or does God command what is in fact morally right? If the former, then justice appears arbitrary, and we seem to have no reason to conform to it; if the latter, then morality is independent of God and he becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge. Either way, divine command theory is refuted. A defender of the theory could respond by arguing that the dilemma is false: goodness is the very nature of God and is necessarily expressed in his commands.
- Cheers, Sam Clark 11:04, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
- Hi Sam. I've added in a few words because it makes the argument sound like there is no rebuttal even though one is stated in the next sentence. In my opinion the edit carries on the flow into the defence better and reduces the certainty with which the statement is made, again opening the way for the possible rebuttal:
- Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice, and indeed the whole of morality, is the authoritative command of God. Murder is wrong and must be punished, for instance, because, and only because, God commands that it be so. This faces an objection known as the Euthyphro dilemma, which asks: is what is right whatever is commanded by God, or does God command what is in fact morally right? If the former, then justice appears arbitrary, and we seem to have no reason to conform to it; if the latter, then morality is independent of God and he becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge. Either way, it appears that divine command theory is refuted. A defender of the theory could respond by arguing that the dilemma is false: goodness is the very nature of God and is necessarily expressed in his commands.
- Apart from that I would be happy to accept that version. Ben 15:10, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
- Cool. I've added the new version to the page, with a couple of small edits for flow. I agree that 'it appears that divine command theory is refuted' is more appropriately neutral. Good job, I think - article improved, civility maintained. Nice working with you. Cheers, Sam Clark 15:52, 4 September 2006 (UTC)#
- Good, I'm glad we could work together rather than against each other to improve the article. A pleasure working with you. Ben 08:52, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
The stanford online encylopedia of philosophy disagree's with the claim made on the page that legal positivism argues that laws create justice and illegality create injustice, it states ( along with innumerable other sources I've googled) that positivism argues that what is legal and what is just are seperate. I'll change the page to reflect this.
Timothy J Scriven 03:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
- Thinking about it, my (careless) reference to legal positivism is probably unnecessary anyway. The point of the section is just to raise Hobbes's claim that justice == the command of the sovereign. I've edited to reflect this. Cheers, Sam Clark 11:08, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the whole section on utilitrainism need's citations. Consider:
"Either way, what is important is those consequences, and justice is important, if at all, only as derived from that fundamental standard."
As far I can see a utilitrain would simply claim that the standard IS justice. But I don't know enough to say for sure so I'll just point out that this section, along with many others, desperately need's citiations.
Timothy J Scriven 03:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
- That section as it stands is reporting Mill's view in chapter 5 of Utilitarianism, and is cited as such. Perhaps it needs a broader focus, though. The main section on utilitarianism in general is further down, under 'Justice as welfare-maximisation'. Cheers, Sam Clark 11:09, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Alex - between us, BenPhil and I have, I think, reverted all of the changes you made to the article. This isn't intended as an attack, we just don't think what you did was an improvement. In particular, you cut a section of 'Divine command theory' which we'd worked quite hard on (see discussion above) without explanation; you partially cut one of the lead sentences so that it no longer made sense; and you added a fact tag to the claim that we think that justice is important, but aren't sure what it requires, which seems to me to be common sense. One of your edit summaries is 'this page definitely needs cleaning up' - I'd be interested to know what you think is wrong with it, so we can discuss it. But please don't make any more unilateral changes to content, for the moment. Cheers, Sam Clark 09:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
- It appears to be seriously NPOV. The world is full of injustice is definitely not NPOV, so is "We are in the difficult position of thinking that justice is vital, but of not being certain how to distinguish justice from injustice in our characters, institutions or actions, or in the world as a whole". Wikipedia isn't a place to vent your feelings on the subject of justice, it's an Encyclopedia. Neither is Wikipedia the place to advance arguments, such as the one under "Divine command theory" (see WP:V). It being refuted is up to the reader to decide, not you. Nor is it up to you to argue against your own refutation. Two contradicting POVs do not make an NPOV.
As for the removal of "and it is overwhelmingly important", that isn't a complete sentence. When a semicolon is used the text should be able to stand by itself and remain remaining a sentence. Plus it didn't make any sense, so I removed it. I'm pretty busy, so if you guys could think this over and look for other violations of Wikipedia's policy it would be useful. And I'm fine with you not thinking it's an improvement, that's why we're discussing it, and I thought my reasons were obvious so I didn't really think I needed much of an explanation. =P (sorry for any grammatical mistakes, I'm in a rush.) --AlexJohnc3 (talk) 21:44, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
- OK. 1. I know that WP is an encyclopedia, thanks. I suggest you have a glance at some encyclopedias of philosophy to see how they deal with justice and other moral issues. There is no way to introduce such topics without raising moral intuitions and the dilemmas they get us into, and that's what the lead does - 'venting my feelings' has nothing to do with it. 2. I also know how to use semicolons, thanks, and you're mistaken: check under 'Stops' in Fowler's Modern English Usage, for instance. 3. The sentence you edited makes sense, or at least I don't understand your reasons for thinking that it doesn't. Your revised version - since we're discussing usage - was an ungrammatical run-on. 4. the suggestion that 'Neither is Wikipedia the place to advance arguments' is absurd - if it were true, WP could have no content relating to any complex subject, and especially no content on philosophy, which largely consists of arguments. Further, you've read the section carelessly - it offers both sides of an argument of central importance to the issue under discussion, but doesn't decide between them (it doesn't say that divine command theory is refuted, it says that it appears to be refuted, and then advances the counterargument - this is precisely the work that Ben and I did above). So, in this case, 'two contradicting POVs' definitely do 'make an NPOV': how else should we be neutral in describing an argument, except by letting both sides have their say? So, overall, I don't think this article does violate WP policy, and if you're too busy to pursue the issue, I'm happy to leave things as they are - I'm also pretty busy writing lectures for next term. Cheers, Sam Clark 23:25, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
- I wasn't trying to insult you at all, but apparently that's how you took it. Okay, I have a bit more time now, but I'm still a bit busy, so I'll try to make this quick:
- Wikipedia relies on the research of others and it must be from a reputable source that is cited. Unlike other encyclopedias, Wikipedia itself is in no way a reputable source for anything, but the places that it receives its information from must be. If you want to raise a "moral intuition", that's fine, but please cite it. Example: "Encyclopedia Brittanica raises the question of..." Then source it.
- "the world is filled with injustice; and it is overwhelmingly important". What is "overwhelmingly important" exactly? The world? Injustice? And why is it important? Maybe I missed something, but this part seems oddly phrased to me.
- "We are in the difficult position of thinking that justice is vital, but of not being certain how to distinguish justice from injustice in our characters, institutions or actions, or in the world as a whole." The use of "we" infers that the reader thinks justice is vital and ignorant to how to distinguish between justice and injustice. This statement appears to be a bit bloated because of that.
- You may post sourced arguments on Wikipedia, but you may not post unsourced arguments that are intended (or not intended even) to advance an argument per WP:V (which I already pointed out). You can be NPOV by citing what you write from a reputable source, that's how. --AlexJohnc3 (talk) 00:47, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
- I think, AlexJohnc3, the edit you made was certainly not NPOV. WP:V is not violated (in the counter argument to divine command theory) because I took the facts from here, prehaps though it would be an idea to add it as a reference? Ben (talk) 20:41, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello again. Don't worry, I wasn't insulted, just mildly irritated at having my prose 'corrected' wrongly. I'm over it now. There are a few different issues here. In order of increasing importance, from 'pretty trivial' on up: 1. What is 'overwhelmingly important' is the subject of the sentence, 'this ideal'. The dashes parenthesise the second clauses of each side of the semicolon. If you really dislike the sentence, fine: the same point can be made by changing it to something like 'According to nearly all theories of justice, it is both overwhelmingly important and far from achieved: the world is filled with injustice, most people think that injustice must be resisted and punished, and many social and political movements worldwide fight for justice.' I think this is duller and less readable than the current version, but I'm not going to war over it. 2. You're equivocating on what not 'advancing' an argument means. Earlier, you seemed to suggest that it was a matter of avoiding POV (and you had misread the particular text you cut); now, you say that it's a matter of citation. If the second, then I agree with you that the article as a whole needs more supporting references. I don't have time to provide them right now, but feel free to have a look yourself, or to wait. 3. I disagree with your interpretation of WP:V, which seems to be the same narrow and constraining one currently used (for instance) in discussions of featured article candidates. The important distinction the policy makes is that the standard is verifiability not truth; it does not say that every statement, however innocuous or necessary to introduce a topic, must be quoted and cited from some other publication. To enforce the narrow interpretation would be to make writing impossible on WP, and to hamstring WP's main asset: contributors who care and know about particular subjects. So, I say ignore all rules for the sake of writing a better encyclopedia. Cheers, Sam Clark 11:47, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
For the sake of the viewpoint...
A quote from a book I much adore, on the subject of justice.
"Justice? What's that?" the human said with an amiable smile. He turned his palm upward. "Here. Put some justice in my hand. No? Then just tell me what it tastes like, huh? What's it smell like? What color is it?" He shook his head and scooped another forkful of eggs into his mouth. "Don't talk to me about justice. We're both grown-ups here, right?"
Then, from later in the chapter...
"You were talkin' about justice awhile ago, too. How about that?"
"You said you don't believe in justice."
Tommie shrugged. "Depends. You gotta be more specific--gotta get right down to dowels and dovetails, Changeling. Don't say justice, say 'The guy who stole my purse, I want him locked up' or 'The guy who raped my sister, I want him dead.' That I can believe in. You see what I'm sayin'? You gotta be specific."
I think the viewpoint touched upon by this exchange is worth considering. Is it just to treat every similar offense the same? Howa0082 20:17, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
- This is good. Most of the actual article sucks, but your quote is both timely and relevant. The article is so bad, that I think if someone unfamiliar with justice read the whole thing (and it is long) they would walk away without any concept of justice. Sadly, if we were to attempt to improve the article, our edits would likely be reverted and people would label us as trolls. Really, this page attracts people who think too much and would rather write about what they want justice to be rather than what it actually is. I ask you, is this justice?
In response to Sam Clark. Thanks for the editing that you do, but please be careful about deleting too much, since some people have put years of effort into these articles. I agree that we all should add new material with care, but also delete with care and with the intent of improving what was added. Obviously we must delete false statements and absurd claims. As for my comments about Plato's dialogue on justice, it was clearly said by Socrates that the city is in speech, not reality, and that the city he describes is not only impossible, but undesirable. The philosopher kings are a bit of a self-contradiction or inconsistency. The city is used to magnify the soul, and maybe as some ideal blueprint that never will exist. It is actually a bit comical at times when Socrates describes the ideal city-state. Please try to clarify this in the article on Justice. In addition, Plato is a profound influence in history on the subject of justice and politics. I can give you the line numbers if you wish. Saying he is in the "west" is too vague. He was exiled, persecuted to some degree, and his teacher, Socrates, was killed, or forced to die if he stayed in Athens. These are hardly the dominant ideas of the west at the time, or even now. How many today read Plato really well and over and over? In fact, philosophers are often persecuted , and mainly false philosophers and false versions of their philosophy becomes popular because some humans tend to be lazy or uncareful readers. What Socrates really said is rarely read over and over again to understand his true meaning and intent. I hope this explanation helps, and I hope we all read these ancient classics with a bit more care, instead of watching too much television.joseph 14:41, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
- Hello again - I completely agree about care in both editing and deleting, but I'd expand your list of reasons for deletion: not only false and absurd statements, but also POV and unencyclopedic material need to go. My reasoning for removing your interesting additions was not that I thought they were false, but that they didn't improve the article as an encylopedia entry. I don't really understand your comment about Plato's influence: of course he's important, but all I said was that he's not - as you'd made the article assert - the single source for philosophical argument about justice. I don't see the relevance of the death of Socrates to this point. On the city/soul analogy: as I said, there is controversy about this. You have a view about it; I remain neutral. But the points are, first, that simply to assert one side of the argument is not good encyclopedic practice; second, that in an article about justice, Plato's importance is that many people, rightly or wrongly, have taken him to be sincerely describing an ideal state, not only a virtuous person. Yours, Sam Clark 15:13, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Corruption of Justice and its logic.
A lawyer, (Sutherland) informed me that under the second law of justice, 'people should be treated equally if they are equal, and they should be treated unequally if they are unequal'.
There is a logical element of fairness, and discrimination in this law.
Problem is that someone has corrupted this law, by corrupting a well known phrase. Tim was here. hehehehehe. It is like someone changing a part of wikipedia and getting away with it.
The statement is as follows:
We are all equal before God. We are all equal before the Law.
Both statement include an element of logic and inference in that we are judged according to our merits, or related truths.
These two statments are corrupted to a literal half-truth.
Ie. "We are all equal'. Which is false.
--Son of Maryann Rosso and Arthur Natale Squitti 19:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
- Hi. I don't mean to be unfriendly, but this is page is for discussing the article and how to improve it, not for discussing its subject. Cheers, Sam Clark 09:37, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
May I suggest that the site give examples how justice can be corrupted. It is said that the greatest injustice is done in the name of justice, so here is a good example of such. Just an idea.
--Son of Maryann Rosso and Arthur Natale Squitti 22:59, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
- If you can provide reliable sources for such a claim, then fine. Remember, this is an encyclopedia: its purpose is to report the sum total of existing human knowldege, not to add to it. No original research is allowed. Cheers, Sam Clark 13:56, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
The opening sentence
- Justice is the ideal, morally-correct state of things and persons.
Although I think the introduction is, overall, very good, I have a couple of small points with this opening line.
First, I'm not sure if 'things' is a good term to introduce. Justice is about people and their relationships, not so much the accoutrements – handcuffs, courtrooms, prisons, and gallows.
Second, should we really be speaking of 'the ideal', as if this is something that is known, or constant? I am very optimistic, but I am hesistant to suppose that 'the ideal' of justice is something that can ever be known.
Best regards — Vranak 23:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
- I have since made a few minor changes. Vranak 23:09, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
- The claim that justice is not about things seems to me to be bizarre: what exactly is the HUGE literature on distributive justice about, if not things? 126.96.36.199 00:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
see: justice is mutual respect in effecting choices (2.6 under justice in Wikipedia)
- I've cut this: it's not remotely a mainstream understanding of justice, and it's absurd to list it as if it were of similar standing to the other understandings in the section. 188.8.131.52 00:26, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Just a Thought
This article really isn't bad, but it could be better. Now, i know anytime someone brings up a POV issue people get defensive, but the opening lines, I think, are a bit more loaded than they may appear. As it reads, it does the following: -Makes a conclusion about the definition of justice, despite thousands of years worth of philosophical struggle to find consensus on the question. While the statement itself is, in my POV, quite reasonable, it seems akin to opening a scientific article with something along the lines of "Life is defined by the presence of metabolism in carbon structures" and only later going into alternate definitions, historical discussions, etc. (It's interesting to see how the life) article looks in this regard, actually) -Makes a conclusion about the desirability of justice, even as an ideal. Again, while I, and most human societies in history (this line of explanation would be really good in the article--why justice gained it's reputation in socities) might agree that justice is an ideal, there are plenty of philosophers who wouldn't. Thrasymachus, Polemarchus, Callicles, Nietzsche, Foucault, perhaps Camus even (and of course their views are more complex than that, but the point remains.) -Immediately follows the opening line by stating whether the ideal is attainable is an "open question," which (unless it's just me) subtly suggests that this is the only relevant question regarding justice.
My solution, roughly, would be to consider framing the open paragraph in a more detached manner. For instance, "Justice is a philosophical(or perhaps more) concept concerning the arrangement of societies, souls, and individuals." That could be tweaked, but yall get the idea.
People vs Persons
Persons seems more accurate, has specific philosophical content ascribed to it. Anyhow.
I've cut a couple of large chunks of unsourced POV rambling (under 'Divine command theory' and 'Demands of justice in distribution and retribution'). No offence intended, but this is an encyclopedia, and undirected musings about the topic of the article are out of place. In the second case, it was also clear that whoever wrote the cut section hadn't bothered to read the rest of the article or even the next paragraph. Martian Inca 08:59, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
"Justice is the ideal, morally correct state of things and persons." That's wrong. In fact, it's so vague you can take it to mean so many different things and that hardly suites the purpose of an encyclopaedia, which is to answer and not to confuse. The Ideal is the morally correct state of things and person... and not justice.
Justice is a virtue that pays recognition to the earned/deserved. If a person helps another then a reward is warranted. Justice here is the recognition that the actions taken by the helper are virtuous and are to be praised, which in turn promotes/encourages such action. Therefore he is being praised for his virtue. While a person who steals is properly punished and that is also justice. He deserves/earned a punishment for acting in a way that is un-virtuous, he is punished for his vice and therefore the actions is discouraged. For someone who acts virtuously, justice demands that it be recognized and rewarded. For someone that acts un-virtuously, justice demands that that be recognized and punished.
To be “just” means to act and treat people rationally based on their virtues and vices; granting people what they deserve. Justice presupposes a moral code by which to judge. Western values hold that “rape” is morally wrong and justice therefore requires that it be punished. According to the moral code espoused by the Koran, rape is a virtue when committed on an infidel; justice, therefore, is being served. Promoting justice is essential to living because, as a human being, everything is either pro or anti-life and therefore we must evaluate/recognize things properly in order to promote our lives; this is being “just” to oneself.
Those are my thoughts on justice and I think that it’s more valuable than what is currently on the page. Although it is not condensed and essentialized it can be made so. I’ll log back on tomorrow to see if anyone has replied. darnoconrad 07:19, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
- An anonymous user, possibly the one who commented above, deleted the disputed lead sentence, but I restored it pending discussion and an improved alternative, if one is deemed necessary and can be negotiated. The first thing that should be recognized is that the word "justice" has, from its earliest citations, been used to mean differing things which have in common a metaphor with "uprightness", as the word's etymological origin attests. Any discussion that will lead to a meaningful, consensus definition for the lead must begin with the word's etymology and not get too wrapped up, from the start, in various dogmatic interpretations of justice that are prima facie disputable. The above user states that he thinks the present definition is wrong, but does not explain why it is wrong (i.e., what about it conflicts with the explications given later in the article); the user states that he thinks it is vague, but is a broad concept not better served by a vague premise definition which can be expanded over the course of an article than a limitingly precise definition that is only challenged by the article's fleshing out of the term? All the best, Robert K S 21:51, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Here's a crack at a neutral lead paragraph
Justice concerns the proper ordering of things and persons within a society. As a concept it has been subject to philosophical, legal, and theological reflection and debate throughout history. In modern times, for many, justice is overwhelmingly important: "Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought." Few theorists, however, believe that the current world comprises a fully just system: "We do not live in a just world."
A number of important questions surrounding justice have been fiercely debated over the course of western history: What is justice? What does it demand of individuals and societies? What is the proper distibution of wealth and resources in society: equal, meritocratic, according to status, or some other arrangement?  Answers to these questions are diverse, and come from divergent perspectives on the political and philosophical spectrum.
Some theorists, such as the classical Greeks, picture justice as a virtue — a property of people, and only derivatively of their actions and the institutions they create. Others emphasize actions or institutions, and only derivatively of the people who bring them about. The source of justice has variously been attributed to harmony, divine command, natural law, or human creation. It may be considered subordinate to a different ethical value.
The demands of justice are pressing in two areas: distribution and retribution. Distributive justice may require equality, giving people what they deserve, maximising benefit to the worst off, protecting whatever comes about in the right way, or maximising total welfare. Retributive justice may require backward-looking retaliation, or forward-looking use of punishment for the sake of its consequences. Ideals of justice must be put into practice by institutions, which raise their own questions of legitimacy, procedure, codification and interpretation.
--I'd be happy to justify any of the above. Balonkey 19:56, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
- I think it's good. I have a few cosmetic suggestions. I'd switch the first "which" to a "that". The repetition of "concept" in the first two sentences is slightly jarring and should be avoided if it can be. The "2,500 years" number sounds slightly arbitrary and should be justified with a citation. Good work and cheers, Robert K S 00:12, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
- I would add that justice is concerned not only with the guilty being punished, but also with the innocent going unpunished (i.e. no false convictions, due process guarantees), and also the concept of proportionality of punishment to crime (i.e. no over-punishment: most people would feel that a fine is a just punishment for minor traffic violations, but life imprisonment or execution would be an injustice; and no under-punishment: a $100 fine is not a just punishment for mass murder). I think the description of retributive justice needs to include all these aspects. Also, I think that the last paragraph about distributive and retributive justice captures the essence of what the concept of "justice" in fact is, whereas "the proper ordering of things" seems overly vague and fails to capture the concept's essence. Therefore, I think at least some of the contents of the last paragraph should be moved to the first paragraph. Other than these comments, I think the introduction is good. --SJK 10:02, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Nietzsche is dead and God lives on.
It is laughable to assume that a quote from a dead madman can sum up the concept of Eternal Justice. Without fixing this subsection (at the very very least) this article is somewhat lacking in basic credibility.
This article says that John Stuart Mill was a Utilitarian thinker, but he argued against the idea. So perhaps that sentence should be re-worded.
Understandings of Justice
This section seems a bit overlong. I think it needs to be trimmed down. Surely any important information from section 1.7 Justice as Economics should be placed within the Theories of redistributive justice section? I think 1.6 Eternal Justice should go somewhere else too since its not discussing what justice is, just a quote telling us that it doesn't exist universally. Perhaps it can be joined with section 1.5? Where should information regarding instinctual recognition of injustice go? Wertypants (talk) 16:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
- Ok, I've edited this section to make it a bit more clear. - "it has allready been noted" deleted. - the part in the introduction which commented on the importance of justice was removed in an earlier edit. Quotations "required" and "overwhelmingly important" not referenced, so replaced with referenced quote I changed the part which emphasised Justices links to the word justification because justification derives from justice rather than the other way around. Justification is not the basis for justice, justification is showing that something is just. I felt this sentence confused the matter. Also added information regarding a possible instinctual basis for justice in this part. I deleted the eternal justice section and placed the Nietche quotation within the "justice as human creation " section to improve flow. I have deleted the Justice as economics section - "justice as a concept has no meaning to those without clean water" is a bit tenuous and any other ideas contained within about redistributive justive should be placed inside the Redistributive justice section. As it stood, this part had less to do with what justice is, and more to do with how to achieve it. Wertypants (talk) 01:59, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Retribution also means prosperity
Prosperity results in crime reduction, utilitarianism results in crime prevention. Retribution delivers proportionate response, please be more respectful towards eachother.
Undid: "The Term Justice, or Servin' Justice, can Refer to:"
It was only one sentence that, if necessary on the Justice page, would be somewhere above Notes. I erased that section and put it under the Other section of the Justice (disambiguation) page. -BlueCaper (talk) 15:35, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
My definition for justice (equity,fairness) is: the situation when the ratio between the value that any individual in the society creates and the domain that he/she controls equals to the ratio between the value that any other individual in the society creates and the domain that any other individual controls. What I mean by “domain” here is the sum of “power” and “wealth”. This definition demonstrates that the individual’s gain will have to be in direct proportion to his/her contribution. The more one works, the more one gains. The less one works, the less one gains. No work, no gain. Question is, though, that “value” as a thing is difficult to measure. What is the value of Einstein’s theory? Newton’s? Control on human is “power”, and control on things is “wealth”. Power is measured by positions and ranks whereas wealth is measured by money terms.
Because people are selfish. If everyone works for others without bothering about reward, there would not be any talk of fairness; there would be no such thing as justice. Those who raise the issue of fairness are the ones who consider that they have been taken advantage of; that they have worked too hard for what they are paid or worked without pay. Both working without getting paid and getting paid without working are inequity. However, when people talk about inequity, they usually refer to the former scenario. Those who have been convicted of corruption and those who have won the lottery get paid without working. They have no complaints of inequity. They only laugh all the way to the bank.
- I am a bit confused by this. But it is a good idea (opinion) to discuss it here before putting it in the article. For example, ." The more one works, the more one gains. The less one works, the less one gains". So, the more one works refers to, hours in a day? Millions in a bank? What? I've tried but I (not much of an abstract thinker) really don't quite get it. One of the usually agreed upon definition of "JUSTICE" is that it is (should be) evenly applied to all, regardless of how much one works or contributes to the general or individual good. Einar Carptrash (talk) 23:58, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Written By Daisy Moore :-D Justice is a body of laws people must follow.
Two types of Justice are is an eye for an eye, and the other is turn the other cheek.
An example for a eye for an eye is if somebody does something like kill or hurt a family member, the person who is the family member of the person who got hurt, will go to the guy that harmed his family and hurt his family members. An example for turn the other cheek would be if somebody hurt their daughter, the adult would probably say ‘I hate what you did, but I forgive you.’ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 03:06, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The Meaning of American Justice
This was vividly demonstrated in one of the most revolting scenes in recent U.S. history: Krupuk's Pimp My Ride episode featuring the Chrysler 300cc at the McDrive.
Krupuk proudly held up this hideous system as an example of what he called "the meaning of American justice." And the assembled legislators applauded. Oh, how they applauded! They roared with glee at the leering little man's bloodthirsty, B-movie machismo. They shared his contempt for law -- our only shield, however imperfect, against the blind, ignorant, ape-like force of raw power. Not a single voice among them was raised in protest against this tyrannical machtpolitik: not that night, not the next day, not ever. Krupuk aped the turbaned barbarians and gave Europe a haircut. But Europe is too blind to defend itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 21:56, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
WP:LEAD states that there can't be anything in the lead that is not in the main article. You addition of references is pointless because that information is not in the article. Govgovgov (talk) 14:38, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
- Noted. I've been intending to substantially expand the article and I will be doing so over the next several days. The OHCHR reference is especially valuable and useful, and it's surprising that the article has little information related to its content (non-discrimination in the administration of justice). --Scientiom (talk) 14:41, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
- The addition should be removed until the article is expanded. I'm not saying that because I want to uphold WP:LEAD but because I don't yet know if that content should be in this article in the current form that you want it to have. Namely that this opinion of what justice is is universally held and completely factual. Govgovgov (talk) 15:32, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Definition of Justice
I think in the opening sentence the "or" could be changed to "and" -> "Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness" as all things (except maybe religion and natural law) together result in justice.
Opening sentence issues
"Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness, as well as the administration of the law, taking into account the inalienable and inborn rights of all human beings and citizens, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law of their civil rights, without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, or other characteristics, and is further regarded as being inclusive of social justice"
This is a particularly western view of justice. Ideas like rights and discrimination are not universally important throughout the many different conceptions of justice--some notions of justice don't deal with things like 'rights' at all. They're certainly worth including in the article, but to place these ideas in the opening sentence is a mistake. Moreover, this sentence outright asserts that people have inherent rights, and that all people are entitled to the equal protection of the law, and that such protection should be free of discrimination. These are philosophical ideas that can't be asserted as objective truth. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 08:01, 23 October 2013 (UTC)