Class Forums › Government 2017-2018 Essay Assignment 2 › how society shapes the individual's view of justice › Reply To: how society shapes the individual's view of justice
Yes, I know we went on a tangent, but I am still going to speak on your point. I guess I’ll do it now:
Mostly I agree with you. To say that justice is only revenge is distorted, because it is incomplete. Justice more completely defined as righteousness, which is not just about punishing wrongs. Also, society further limits justice to that revenge which benefits one’s self, either by avenging an injury to one’s self or by avenging wrong that was done to somebody that person loves because it makes him sad/angry/mad (and only secondarily is it really for the sake of the injustice to the other person).
The latter half of that sentence was probably confusing. I was trying to say that even when it looks like someone is avenging another person, say, his aunt who was shot, he is doing it more because of the pain it cost himself, that is, the pain of losing the aint, than because it was unjust that the aint was killed. Do you see what I mean?
I read a book called Starkindler which is a good example. In this book, a group of genius teen agers live in a dystopian earth far in the future. Just after they graduate college their parents are killed in a horrendous incident involving the horrible Mars military. Mars is a huge military base for a corrupt empire. The teens are able to find a living in their harsh cruel world, but they are filled with hate. When they discover their parents’ top-secret technology, they decide to build a war machine that will make Mars and all the evil company-empires pay for their parent’s death. Throughout the book I read about the main characters rage and hate and his ‘righteous anger’, his bloodlust, his revenge, his desire for justice. While I think he was right to fight the evil government, his reasons for doing so were twisted. It wasn’t because the government was so evil as much as because the government was evil to him. If the parents had not died, the teens may never have lifted a finger to stop the government. Their hate motivated their every move.
While there were some qualities about the book I loved – the science fictional ideas, the action filled scenes – every moral seemed tainted, twisted. Justice was twisted into something like revenge but worse. He wasn’t going to exact a just punishment for his parents’ death and for the deaths and tortures of all the millions of people subject to the evil government, he wanted to go much farther justice, his bloodlust would never be satisfied.