"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day

11.11.2006

Justice.

Over the past few weeks things I've been reading and discussions I have had have made me think alot about what justice actually means. What does it mean in the Justice System? What does it mean for the poor of our nation? What does it mean for the world community? And is justice equivalent to venegence, which often brings violence?

As I am a pacificist-to-a-fault, I cannot see a time when I would ever believe that violence is the answer to anything. Whether this means finding for the death penalty in a murder trial, or retaliation in a time of violence between two nations, I cannot wrap my mind around it and how this is getting us anywhere. Violence only begets violence, thus creating more violence and more injustice, more people seeking retribution. And I feel like answers lie in this sentence. So many things in the world that are not physically violent acts can be seen as acts of violence and sometimes escalate into acts of war. Not treating people as equals. Not being respectful of difference. Actively not meeting the needs of your country's poor. Sitting idly by while people die for lack of simple healthcare and nutrition. Seeking to deprive people of their basic human rights, because they are not a part of your mainstream. So with all of these things, in my mind, justice is found through equality. Using our food surpluses to make sure that everyone has enough healthy food to survive; using our technology and vast scientific resources to wipe out epidemics without care of the profit margins on these life-saving medications; providing the children of our country with an education so that they have the opportunity to compete; not seeing difference as deviance, as dangerous.

During one of the discussions that prompted this, it was made very clear to me that my ideals are not so practical. I am well aware of this. I, afterall, believe that if I could remove one thing from human nature, it would be competitiveness. Can you imagine...no greed, no war, no playground bullying, no sibling rivalry, sports played just because we like to play, advancement for the sake of humanity rather than profit and prestige? If only the world existed as it does in my head...

3 comments:

jch said...

Casey, if you continue this line of thought you will soon venture into theological discourse. The questions that beg to be asked next are, "Why is the world in my head not practical?" and "What is it that makes this world so unjust, etc.?" I believe its in dealing with these questions that humanists and secularists lose their way. While we God-fearin' folk don't have the perfect answers either, they make so much more sense to me.

Anonymous said...

This Christian humanist thinks that a better question is, "What is justice, really?" followed by, "and why should we think God is just?"

Casey said...

Hmmmm....I do believe that the Earth God created was intended to be a just one. I heard someone say once that "there is no poverty in this world of abundance that God created, accept by human will, by human choice." And I fully believe this. If it was not for the systems of inequity that man imposes upon man, the world would be a just place, with everyone having enough and being taken care of as was intend for all human beings regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or geographic locale.