Thursday, March 25, 2010

No need for the large air tank, we're not diving too deep here.

Anyone who has been keeping up with this ridiculous blog knows that my last few post have been subject to some amount of levity, however, I'm breaking the humor streak (to, no doubt, the relief of the majority of my few readers) and getting "down to business," as one might put it. I will be journeying back into, what some might say is my home field, that is, moral philosophy. I hope I haven't frightened all my readers back to facebook with those two words, but I also hope they provide ample warning to the remains of my audience that this might not be the cheeriest, nor the easiest, read. For those who wish to "bail" now, here are a few exits to other, somewhat worthwhile, pursuits.

 Exit #1

 Exit #2

 Exit #3

Alright, now that we've ditched the others at various internet roadside cafes we can, just you and I, finally have out this one-sided conversation without worrying about the other's overhearing.
Now, I'm going to do a "right-side-up" pyramid thing with this article (starting with an idea about a specific subject and using it to make a broader point) I dearly hope that Mrs. Jenkins never finds this, but should she, I say, in my defense, that this is no news article, and I am no reporter.

Alright, alright, alright. I'll get get get to it. I'll just come right out and say it, what the freak is with the concept of Justice? I really don't get it anymore, it doesn't fix anything. I'm talking about punishing someone for a crime or wrongful action. I can understand imprisoning someone because they've shown that they are a threat to society and their fellow man, but why do people have to tack justice on as a reason for it? How is that any good? When did vengeance become a state endorsed activity? Now, I know the issue runs deeper than this, and there is a lot of ways one could respond to this, (something I hope happens, and which I encourage), but the point I am trying to is this: just because a concept--such as justice--has been ingrained into you by your culture or environment, does not mean that it is "good" or even necessarily that it even makes sense. It's important to think these things through with honesty so that you're not using supposed moral concepts to justify your actions or lifestyle.
I was planning on this being much longer, but--to your relief, I'm sure--I have decided to end on that note. Take this post however you want, like always, I'm just saying...


  1. So what do I do if I took the bait AND still wanted to read the rest of your post?

    One obvious answer is just threat and prevention. Justice only perseveres to serve as a threat to wrong-doing, and without justice, these threats would be bottomless. What a lot of solutions to social problems boil down to is this: everything would be fixed if humans were innately, genuinely, consistently, good. Not perfect, per se, but still.

  2. I didn't take prevention as much into account as I ought to have. But I would still argue that, to most people, justice is more of a consequence that we impose upon the criminal, rather than a preventive measure. I would also argue that this kind of justice only spirals into more senseless conflict, (i.e. We, the U.S., had two buildings and many citizens attacked by a certain organization, therefore we bombed hundreds of buildings and launched ourselves into a decade long conflict.) This is where we realize the irony: preventive measures, when carried out after the offence, lead to much more conflict and therefore "crime" than if the crime had just been forgiven and forgotten. This was the basic idea behind Ghandi's "peaceful civil disobedience." But I also realize that none of this changes the fact that, like you said, it would only really work if humans were consistently good.