Talk:Just-world hypothesis

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The examples given seem to have a strong 'male vs female' kind of emphasis. Is this just the nature of the examples chosen, or does the just-world phenomenon apply primarily to this kind of situation? Either way, I think it would be nice to be more explicit in the article. -- S

This article was at the very least inspired by the mention of the JWP in the Rape article, where unfortunately it had been placed there by an anonymous editor pushing a POV. If you can balance out the examples, please do so, it'll improve the article. -- Antaeus Feldspar 11:49, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I believe the universe is totally just, thats why there's reincarnation, Karma, spirituality, etc.. --Jondel 05:37, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Victim Blame: A Bibliography[edit]

Victim Blame: A Bibliography -- I found this link iffy enough as an external link to Rape, since it's less a "bibliography" and more a collection of quotes and links for those who hold a particular POV. I have even more misgivings about making it an external link here at Just-world phenomenon, since it cites the JWP but provides absolutely no information that the article doesn't about the JWP. Does anyone disagree and think there's a reason it should be kept? -- Antaeus Feldspar 11:49, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Karma as a cognitive bias[edit]

20040302: "Karma is not about Just-world cognitive bias." JoshuaZ: "It is a related notion and as colloquially used is very similar"

I am sure JZ must be aware that the notion of karma as cognitive bias is impressively provocative. I agree that the (somewhat reductive) colloquial use of 'Karma' bears some relevance to Just-world, but the Karma article is more focussed on the religious doctrine of the Dharma religions, against which the assertion karma is a cognitive bias is a statement of doctrine which indicates Belief bias. I can recognise the potential for a Karma (colloquial) article, which could provide an intermediate link between this and the Karma article. However, the current link shows a strong cultural bias away from the primary sources of Karma - where it (karma) represents the metaphysical assertion of psycho-physical causality: that we are subject to the consequences of our actions, and not that we get what we deserve.

If we are to bring religion into articles on cognitive bias (which IMO is treading on dangerous ground) then there are plenty of links missing for this (and many other) articles within the cognitive bias category and I substantially object to the singling out of one religious doctrine as an example of cognitive bias. It could be argued that early civilisation developed religion as a means of social control - and the use of the just-world hypothesis was developed by most societies as a successful means of improving social cohesion, which in itself provided us with the stability that allowed for the development of modern constructs such as cognitive science. (20040302 09:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC))

I think it would make more sense to add a section into the Karma article about the colloquial meaning. I may do this when I have time. JoshuaZ 16:01, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, fair enough - but until you do that, it is a mistake to link to Karma from this article. (20040302 09:42, 7 March 2006 (UTC))
Okay, it's been four years. It didn't happen, and since then, WP has upped it's requirements for WP:RS. I am removing Karma from the article. (20040302 (talk) 12:09, 20 February 2010 (UTC))
I see that over the last year, Karma has once more been added to this article. As I have mentioned over the last five years, Karma as a religious concept has very little to do with the just-world hypothesis. A modernised non-contextual and western colloquial reading - as "he got his karma" is justifiable, but a link to the Karma article is not. The religious concept of Karma is deeply related to continuity of consciousness after death, and for most traditions the doctrinal usage of considering Karma as a means of describing a just-world is an anathema, and unrelated to this article. (20040302 (talk) 20:13, 24 May 2011 (UTC))
and again (20040302 (talk) 13:46, 2 February 2015 (UTC))


I look at the article, and every second sentence wants a citation. Where is this information coming from? Remember, Wikipedia isn't an indiscriminate collection of information... 16:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

This sh** is so wack I don't even know where to start. It begins by claiming that "the world is fundamentally UNjust..." I mean, where is the evidence? How do we know that there is not an opposite tendency to view the world as fundamentally unjust? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

You're very funny! Believing in a just world on the comment section of this article. Hilarious! -- (talk) 16:18, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Style of Writing[edit]

"In this way, if something good (like winning the lottery) or bad (like getting hit by a car immediately after winning the lottery) occurs, people attribute the occurrence to the person, not to a chance turn of events." This line seems to strike me as somewhat satirical, if anything. It's enjoyable to read, don't get me wrong, but is it really Wiki-worthy?

Odd grammer[edit]

One study gave women what appeared to be painful electric shocks while working on a difficult memory problem. Those who observed the experiment appeared to blame the victim for her fate, praised the experiment, and rated her as being less physically attractive than did those who had seen her but not the experiment.

Loss of faith: yet another application of "jaw"[edit]

Firstly, I personally prefer hypothesis over phenomenon, for the reason that it implies the aspect of thinking that is in the pre-theory phase of the scientific method; that "jw" is as much a scientific issue as it is philosophic or psychological.

In the two years I have been going to a fairly conservative back-woods church whose pastor is a protege of Norman Vincent Peale, I have found that the parishioners' religious zeal against the various ills of the world (pure constructivism) is seemingly negated by the concept that God is fully in charge, and that things really are the way He means them to be. I am personally classifying this phenomena as "jw," and viewing it as a cognitive issue, sort of like fear of flying. Has anyone had similar thoughts?

This may also go to "loss of faith" issues that affect people of Western monotheism, but not other religions that put God farther out, and hence are less "in control" such as traditional Native American faith and Buddhism. I may pursue "jw" wrt religion on the wv.--John Bessa (talk) 13:45, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I listed carefully to the pastor's core mini-sermon that "our God is a loving god" and "a parent to us all" that he recited especially deeply now that Christmas is coming. It confirmed for me that, despite Christianity's closeness to Judaism, Christianity is fundamentally revolutionary (in the long-term scope) in that it conveys spirituality purely in terms of emotional communication. The emotional benefits are implicit, so perhaps it is a the concept of God as a controlling, rather than permissive, parent that is creating the quandary that is frustrating the long-standing naturally moral influences of compassionate religions on society. And perhaps there is a parallel within churches that likewise frustrates these influences internally. These frustrations may be leading society into the religious decline of our time, allowing a complete take-over of society by exploitative forces. --John Bessa (talk) 13:33, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The idea of comparing God to a father is to say that God has absolut limitless authority. Under Roman law the oldest male in a household had power of life and death over all them member of the household. So saying God is like father meat that God had that kind of power. Seano1 (talk) 00:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)


Unless someone objects within the next few days I'm redirecting this to Victim blaming since it is better covered there. MartinDK 11:28, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Page is misnamed[edit]

I have known it always thus, and it isn't just me:

  • Google search hits for "just world phenomena" -- 12,200
  • Same for "just world hypothesis" -- 160,000

I think I can explain this "phenomena" in terms of creep . --John Bessa (talk) 15:06, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

It has been more than a year w/o comment, so I think the "phenomena" change needs to be reverted.--John Bessa (talk) 16:54, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I think this proposal is non-controversial so i should just go ahead and move it. --Penbat (talk) 18:53, 24 May 2011 (UTC) Just done it myself--Penbat (talk) 19:14, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Woo hoo! I expected long, drawn-out trench warfare; thanks for the admin work, Penbat. --John Bessa (talk) 19:54, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Explanation: "phenomena" is plural. The word that should have been used is the singular, "phenomenon". And "just world phenomenon" has more hits than "just world hypothesis", despite two years of Wikipedia's influence. Kolbasz (talk) 00:15, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

As a world-view in psychological assessments[edit]

Doing a psych masters degree has brought me in touch with endless personality theory, which, from what I can tell uses theory as a vehicle for personal or cultural world-view. In other words, you can learn about different world views by looking at assessment tools and their manuals such as comparing the five-factor personality test that is online and the six-factor commercial version that competes with it: night and day differences. Going to the Myers and Myers-Briggs adulteration of Jungian personality typing, you get the feeling that introverted and judging link to just world views, and that the introverted and judging attempt as hard as they can to be flexible, because it is necessary for life, but cannot -- they really need the rule book to function and cannot conceive of others not needing it, and hence they are forced to control them with it.--John Bessa (talk) 17:02, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Revisions and Expansion[edit]

Hello, I am planning to add to this page in the next week through the WikiProject Psychology and the APS Wikipedia Initiative. I will primarily be fleshing out the theoretical information and adding more information about applications and empirical explorations of Just World beliefs. Thanks! Cheaal01 (talk) 23:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)cheaal01

As part of the APS Wikipedia Initiative, I have nominated the revisions of the article for the Did You Know... feature. Thanks! Cheaal01

As the ultimate metacognition[edit]

This line is excellent (paraphrased): "rearrange" "cognition[s]" so that victims "of suffering" are "deserving of" it.

I believe that "just-world hypothesis" provides a perfect, if not central, example of highly-structured metacognition as a cognitive (dialectic) outcome in line with established civilized doctrine (didactic). As it is synthetic and credits civilizations' founding philosophers for having replaced the natural, original world with a perfect synthesized world by virtue of their "virtue." Thus, the natural world is perceived as faulty, and attacks against it, including the organisms in it such as humans, are valid. A cognitive therapist treating this would dialectically hypothesize and synthesize an alternative metacognition with which to replace the maladaptive metacognition of a necessarily "just world." Thus, the chain of synthesis continues. --John Bessa (talk) 12:41, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Warning: description and article out of line[edit]

The article, all the research in it, describes situations in which people believe that "what is, is just". You got an electric shock? You must have deserved it. But the intro describes beliefs like "justice will happen eventually", which is very different. To believe that the world is (ultimately) fair, that good will prevail in the end etc. isn't enough to believe in the just world hypothesis - you need to argue from the fact that a thing has happened, that this thing is just, right and proper. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree, the first paragraph is misleading. "Just-world hypothesis" as a term of art is an explanation of victim-blaming (if X suffered then X was bad). The "you reap what you sow" proverb is the converse (if X was bad then X will suffer) Palpable (talk) 06:11, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

DYK nomination[edit]

No modern concepts at all[edit]

The whole article is from the viewpoint of 19th Century (early 20th Century) Western Psychology.

So, not one word is present about the DNA/instinct basis for the reaction, how the behavior originated in the EEA, and like most behaviors, why it is a good thing in a group of 200 people whom you all know personally (see the wiki article on Dunbar's Number), and not a good thing in a group of 10 million strangers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


Hi U3964057,

Let's talk about this reversion. Here are my two thoughts:

  • If you want a better source, then feel free to supply it in conformance with the policy to WP:PRESERVE relevant and encyclopedic material. Sources are only required to be strong enough to support their claims; they don't have to be gold-plated.
  • Why shouldn't we introduce "new" ideas into an article, assuming that they're published in a proper WP:Reliable source? I'm no fan of WP:RECENTISM, but deliberately refusing to update material—so that the article is factually incorrect with respect to whether cancer patients are blamed and stigmatized (you've never spoken to a smoker with lung cancer, have you?)—seems like a bad policy to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:31, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing. Sorry about the delay in getting to this. I will do my best to respond properly tomorrow. Kind regards Andrew (talk) 12:42, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
No problem: I'm pretty far behind on my watchlist, so take your time, and feel free to ping me or leave a note on my talk page if you don't hear back from me before too long. WP:There is no deadline as far as I'm concerned. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:20, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing. Again, sorry about the delay and thanks for your patience.
Hi WhatamIdoing. I here!
I hope it will help if I elaborate on my two concerns. The first I mentioned related to the introduction of this phrase:
One theory about blaming or stigmatizing sick people is that blaming the illness on the patient's actions or attitudes allows the blamers to regain a sense of control and a comforting feeling that, so long as they make better choices, then they will not get sick as well.
This implies to me that a new theory is being introduced that is distinct from JWT. Given that this is an article dedicated to JWT, this would seem inappropriate. Of course the source relates it to JWT, but I would still argue that this sort of theorizing should be restricted to a theory section, rather than this section, which in my mind should remain focused on providing elucidating examples of JWT.
My concern about sourcing is obviously more trivial. That being said, a quick google scholar will offer up a variety of peer reviewed sources that substantiate the stigma that can be felt by cancer sufferers. Anyway, I hope that helps. Cheers Andrew (talk) 09:22, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not seeing this as being a separate "theory", but more as a psychological motivation that is intimately connected to and supportive of the just-world hypothesis. It's not like people sit down and calmly say, "Well, I believe in a just world, and this is a bad thing, so therefore it logically follows that you are a bad person who deserves this bad thing". It's more emotional/irrational: This is bad, I feel scared, it's more comfortable to blame you than to confront my mortality and the fact that bad things could randomly happen to me, too.
As usual, if you want to upgrade a source, then you should feel free to do so. Keeping known-wrong material in an article merely because the initial source is lightweight is never good. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:35, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing. I do think that you have unintentionally added content that reads as new theory. For one thing you describe it as "one theory", presumably in contrast to other theorizing. Beyond that though, JWT is a bit of a slippery fish as a theory, but as i understand it JWT is generally described as the impact of an overarching ideological expectation that permeates various contexts. I know you say that the content you introduce is congruent with that, but I do think that what you introduce is instead meaningfully dissimilar. That is, the psychological mechanism you introduce is not one where ideology influences perception top down, but rather one where the desire for immediate reassurance results in novel rationalization. Another way to think about it is that the content you introduce is fully explicable without positing the existence of a 'just world ideology'. This is why I at this stage do not think it should be added to the article. Or if it is, it should be supported by more reliable references and clearly flagged as related but different theory in a more appropriate space in the article. Does that make sense to you? I hope so, but if not I am happy to try again. And happy to hear your further thoughts. Cheers Andrew (talk) 13:26, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
"One theory" is imprecise, of course. What would you say about this issue?
I'm going to remove the errors about people with cancer being exempt from victim blaming. It's wrong, and that can be verified easily. WhatamIdoing (talk) 11:01, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi again. You latest edit seems pretty good to me, although I have just given it a slight tweak to keep content consistent with the source. This type of integrity is obviously important. Cheers Andrew (talk) 10:33, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Your "slight tweak" appears to have been to reinstate the error that concerns me the most. Have I not been clear about this? Cancer victims are being blamed for getting sick. Saying that cancer patients are exempt from the rule that people with severe illnesses are blamed more, is factually wrong.
Yes, I know: exactly one 30-year-old primary source said that, in their little study, they found that some fictional cancer patients weren't being blamed for getting sick by the college students they surveyed. But WP:MEDRS opposes the use of this kind of weak primary source to make any vaguely medicine-related claims to begin with, and there are whole books published on the problem of victim-blaming (and self-blaming) of cancer patients. The typical readers isn't going to grasp the "well, it was just one study" phrasing: they're going to take away the overall picture, and then wonder why people with lung cancer are so sick and tired of being asked whether they used tobacco, people with colon cancer are sick and tired of being asked about their diets, and women with breast cancer are sick and tired of being asked about their weight, their diet, their exercise history, their childbearing choices, whether they breastfed any babies they had "long enough", and whether they've ever taken artificial hormones for any reason.
I'm open to a lot of ways of presenting information in this article. I am not open to saying that people with cancer do not suffer from exactly this kind of derogation—the idea that their cancers are their own fault because of their "sins".
If you'd like, we can ask for help at WT:MED. If you'd like to see more recent sources, then PMID 18837603 and PMID 19237493 (in which just-world beliefs are associated with believing that people who have unpreventable brain cancers should have somehow prevented them) might be interesting, but they also are both primary studies; their main virtue is not being three decades old. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:01, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
This source might be the most pointful, but it's in German. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:14, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing. Please revisit the paragraph. Despite your concerns, I did not reintroduce language that suggests that people presenting with cancer were not being blamed. Exactly the opposite in fact (see "In comparison to healthy people, victim derogation was found for persons presenting with indigestion, pneumonia, and stomach cancer."). The section you keep removing simply refers to the fact that the derogation was moderated by severity for indigestion and pneumonia but not for stomach cancer. This should be uncontroversial to you as it implies a ceiling effect (i.e. cancer is always considered to be severe). Does this make sense to you? If so, please reintroduce the part of the results that you are removing. This removal misrepresents the findings of the source. Cheers Andrew (talk) 14:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Cancer isn't always severe. The most common form of cancer (non-melanoma skin cancers) is quite mild. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:23, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
That might be true, but it is irrelevant to our discussion. When I suggested that "cancer is always considered to be severe" I was describing the perception of study participants. That is, the general perception of cancer as 'very bad' explains the interaction effect between illness type and severity. Again, please attend to the paragraph and carefully read the portion that you keep removing in the context of the broader study results. I think you will see that no-one is suggesting that cancer sufferers are not blamed. Cheers Andrew (talk) 16:02, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing. I know I am not in a position to set timeframes, but have you had a chance to revisit the paragraph or the source article? If so, are your concerns now assuaged? Cheers Andrew (talk) 04:45, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder. It's better than it was. However, I'm always going to be uncomfortable with basing this section on a 30-year-old primary source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi there, as discussed the issue is that the article is currently only selectively reporting the results of the study. This is to misrepresent the source and thus not acceptable. I have suggested that we report the full results, which in no way suggests that cancer victims are not subject to victim blaming, but you seem to not be happy with this. Alternatively, we can remove the section entirely. The article after all is about JWT and I don't think this particular example is necessary. Cheers Andrew (talk) 00:29, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi all. After a month without response I am going to go ahead and make the change. That is, I will augment such that the full results of the source are communicated. Cheers Andrew (talk) 13:16, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
I give up. You seem absolutely determined to say that cancer patients don't face any stigma because one, single thirty-year-old primary source happened to come to this conclusion. The existence of many, many, many other sources that contradict this one, including the one that I linked above that directly ties this stigma to the just-world hypothesis, just don't seem to matter to you. Perhaps someday, someone else will have the energy to deal with your zeal for misrepresenting the facts and giving seriously WP:UNDUE weight to a single old study. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:24, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing. There really is no need to be disheartened. As I have explained here and here, including that phrasing in no way suggests that those with cancer do not suffer from victim blaming. If you are still confused after re-reading the paragraph then it may be worth familiarizing yourself with what ceiling effects are. Cheers Andrew (talk) 01:25, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Why was "Natural disasters" section removed?[edit]

On 24 Nov 2013, I added the following to the additional evidence section of the page:

Natural disasters
Some people appear to hold a belief that the natural world is just in response to the harms that humans cause it. A series of experiments in Poland showed that those who believed in nature's justice were less inclined to donate to help human victims of natural disasters compared against donating to environmental restoration. This effect was only sustained when the victims were seen as responsible for causing environmental harms in the past.[28]
[28] Wojcik, Adrian and Cislak, Aleksandra (2013). When Appreciating Nature Makes One Care Less for Human Beings: The Role of Belief in Just Nature in Helping Victims of Natural Disasters. Social Justice Research, 26(3), 253-271.

A few hours later it was removed by User:U3964057 with the comment: "Removing recent good faith addition. Multiple issues (e.g. relationship with JWT tenuous and not made clear, some misrepresentation of source, possible well intentioned spam).)" I'd like to discuss these points.

  • I read most of the article that I was citing and don't see how I misrepresented the source. Could you clarify?
  • The relationship with JWT is that this study goes along with the general trend explained in the "Additional evidence" opening: "This work, which began in the 1970s and continues today, has investigated how observers react to victims of random calamities like traffic accidents, as well as rape and domestic violence, illnesses, and poverty." Natural disasters are much like traffic accidents, and the study's finding was that some people attribute the harm experienced by the victims to their misdeeds. Why is this not a straightforward example of JWT?

Thanks for the clarification. :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brian Tomasik (talkcontribs) 13:24, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Brian. I am of course happy to elaborate. First, my latter two points are somewhat trivial. Your misrepresentation was that the research was not, as you claimed, conducted by way of experiment. As for possible well intentioned spam, the recency of the source article is an alarm bell for me, but I am happy to disregard this concern.
My substantive concern is of course that “the relationship with JWT [is] tenuous and not made clear”. The lack of clarity I am referring to is the fact that it is not to my mind made sufficiently clear that this article is exploring ‘belief in a just natural environment’, which is a different construct to BJW. This leads to the other part of this concern. That is, I do not agree that this is “a straightforward example of JWT”. It is quite clearly a different thing. For this reason I do not think the content is appropriate for an ‘additional evidence’ section (which is a fairly dubious section anyway). The research doesn’t measure BJW (despite the apparent typo in table 4), or manipulate BJW, or discuss implications for BJW. At best we can say that the research is inspired by the JWT literature, but this does not obviously qualify it for inclusion in this section, or perhaps even in an article about JWT at all.
Anyway, I hope this resonates with you and let me know if any of the above is unclear. Cheers Andrew (talk) 04:37, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Andrew. :)
Okay, yes, these were surveys rather than experiments. :P
I dont see how "belief in a just natural environment" is different (apart from the name) from "belief in a just world." This seems to be a specific case of JWT rather than a related side theory. What are the exact defining characteristics of JWT? Everything I saw in the JWT Wikipedia article itself suggested that the "just nature" finding is a subset of JW beliefs. The authors of the paper say: "However, even the disastrous effects of natural catastrophes on human beings may be perceived as resulting from human activity. Just as people may tend to perceive the social world as just and therefore tend to blame the victims more severely, they may also tend to perceive the natural world as just." Is your view that JWT refers only to social payback and not natural ones? But in that case, it seems traffic accidents and illnesses should not be part of JWT either. Brian Tomasik 09:25, 26 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brian Tomasik (talkcontribs)
Hi Brian. My view of BJW and whether I think that BJW is different to ‘belief in a just nature’ (BJN) is irrelevant. What is relevant is the evidence and source article, and in that article BJN is described as a different thing to BJW. BJN is also measured using a different scale, and investigated in the context of different outcomes. The quote you provide simply makes the case that BJW and BJN bare some similarities, and no actual investigation is conducted as to the relationship between BJN and BJW (e.g. convergent and discriminant validity tests). It may be that BJN is subsumed within BJW, but this is not how it is described in the article and to make this claim would be our own extrapolation and thus original research.
This also does not bring into the question the presence of content around victim blaming for traffic accidents and illness. The reported research was conducted firmly within the JWT literature and using BJW scales. Does this all make sense to you? Cheers Andrew (talk) 02:59, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I see. That argument makes more sense. :)
We could include a separate section about BJN, but one could argue it would clutter the article.... Brian Tomasik (talk) 15:55, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Brian. I would not get in your way if you were to add an accurate and relevant new section around BJN. But yes, I also think that this might unnecessarily clutter the article. Really my preference would be to not include the content at this stage. For me it does not add meaningfully to our understanding of BJW, and the content is of suspect notability anyway. I would prefer to wait until the paper has received substantial citations and some of the empirical aspects have been replicated. Wikipedia is after all an encyclopedia and not a space for reporting the latest research activity. Cheers Andrew (talk) 01:01, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Lead section - Karma, Destiny, Divine providence,[edit]

I added Karma, Destiny and Divine providence to the lead section. The last sentence of the first paragraph now reads:

The fallacy is that this implies (often unintentionally) the existence of cosmic justice, Karma, Destiny, Divine providence, desert, stability, or order, and may also serve to rationalize people's misfortune on the grounds that they deserve it.

Perhaps there should be a citation. I've just seen discussion of Karma here and the fact that previous editors think it's not relevant. The Karma article states "it also refers to the principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual.[2] Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering" which I think is relevant.

The Divine providence article describes belief in the "natural order of the universe."

I think the lead section should more clearly state how the formal philosophy/theology of divine/cosmic retribution and divine providence leads to an ad-hoc/imformal personal fallacy of belief in vaguely defined justice. -- Aronzak (talk) 05:36, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

cf talk above: #Karma_as_a_cognitive_bias . If you wish to use 'Karma' in this context, you need to specify the Karma that you are talking about. Outside of a loose colloquial context. 'Karma' means cause, not consequence, and likewise Karma isn't an assertion of a just world. Karma is a technical term. The use of Karma as a topic of meditation is to encourage an understanding that actions have consequences, and thereby to promote responsibility for one's actions. Such a discussion hasn't got much to do with this article, so I have excised it.. (20040302 (talk) 11:26, 15 May 2014 (UTC))

Reaping What One Sows[edit]

The Bible does not say that the world is just, it says that Satan is the ruler of Earth. I'll remove that bit as a result. Reaping what one sows refers to being rewarded proportional to how much effort is put in; not bad things happening to someone because they acted immorally. (talk) 02:14, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi Anon. The idiom is not restricted to the positive outcomes of effort (e.g. explained here). As such I am going to revert your removal for the meantime. Of course, if there are further sources that suggest that the phrase should be limited to your almost literal interpretation then I am all ears. Cheers Andrew (talk) 01:58, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm normally here just monitoring for the presence of links to Karma - (Still waiting for someone to compose a 'modern street meaning for karma' article, I guess), and I see this 'reap what you sow' being used in the article. I find that a bit hard to buy. Maybe you can help me with this, Andrew (or others) - namely, does an assertion of causality have belief in a just world as a corollary? I really don't think so.
My understanding (and I'm the first to admit that I may be wrong) of JWH is that it implies a non-causal 'self-righting' mechanism, or if one wants to be biblical, 'Judgement of God' of some sort. However, ideas of causailty such as 'if you do well in school, you are more likely to get a good job' doesn't sound like JWH, but just common sense. For instance, I would have thought that strong believers in JWH would argue that there is no need to imprison (or otherwise punish) a wrongdoer, because the world will give her what she deserves anyhow?
Therefore, it seems that, without secondary reliable sources, using idioms on their own, and then stating that they are demonstrations of JWH is both not wiki, and also conflationary. Is it not WP:OR or WP:SYN? (20040302 (talk) 14:03, 2 February 2015 (UTC))
Hi 20040302. I actually think that you are pretty much right in terms of your interpretation of BJW research, however, like, your approach to the idiom 'reap what one sows' is too literal. Regardless, to follow up on your comment about reliable sources, the phrase is regularly connected with BJW in the literature (e.g. here). In fact, here is an example where the idiom is used as part of the methodology for a BJW study. Does that all make sense? Cheers Andrew (talk) 01:25, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

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Always a bad thing?[edit]

Is believing in this theory always a bad thing? It seems like this article believes this theory is always wrong. The truth is that people's action have natural consequences and they have to face them. Marideth1996 (talk) 14:33, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Weird. I got the opposite impression; that this article is too favorable towards those who follow this theory. Fluous (talk) 16:40, 27 September 2017 (UTC)