A Conversation for The Alternative Writing Workshop

A37031401 - Justice

Post 1

Cruentos Solum

Entry: Justice - A37031401
Author: Cruentos Solum - U11854219

Open to Discussion and Modification


A37031401 - Justice

Post 2

Cruentos Solum

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/F10373060?thread=5548544 Sorry I think I created the thread before submitting the entry for review :) Sincerely, C.S. Cheers


A37031401 - Justice

Post 3

Array

Definitely interesting and well worth thinking about. smiley - smiley

The cynical tone is somtimes amusing (particularly the section on advice). I wondered if it was too bitter, but I think it succeeds in making people think.

Crits: I'm not sure I understood the numbers at the beginning - are these references to different dictionaries?

Some of the sentences are over long and get a bit tangled up -eg paras 4 and 5.

In the section on 'Law, law courts and justice', are you confusing civil and criminal law?

For my sins, I volunteer as an advisor in an advice centre, where we try to redress the balance a bit by helping people exercise their rights and cope with their responsibilities under the law. And the law is terribly complex. smiley - headhurts


A37031401 - Justice

Post 4

Cruentos Solum

Hello,

Please omit the definition part, I'm trying to think about a definition that will both be amusing and practical at the same time, and 'original'... euh, I'm working on itsmiley - smiley

As to the length of the sentences, thank you for pointing that out. I agree with you.

Euh, I'm actually referring to justice on planet earth in general and not some specific country, and while certainly some countries, or most, do defend justice, the fear is that in some, justice has basically become an excuse to separate the poor from the wealthy. Well, considering the fact that we share the same planet, we should do something about that...

I do agree that I need to tackle the aspect of responsibilities a bit more: make it quite clear that this doesn't dispense one from his/her obligations as a person towards society, which is basically what the law is here forsmiley - smiley The rights, I think I'd rather not dwell in since I think it's too complicated an issue to deal with: in some developing ( ... ) countries, rights, privileges, and discrimination are very hard to tell apart... And I think that pointing fingers will not do any good to the countries in question... It seems 'everybody' is corrupt... It's kind of like the lizards ruling the world story from Douglas Adam's trilogy: if you don't vote for a lizard, the wrong lizard might win the vote... Basically the best of the lot are not that good, and blaming them isn't helpful, we should rather explain to them, not necessarily using firearms and such, that justice is a good thing, and injustice usually only tends to lead to loss of balance, unrest, and more and more frequently, war...

I'm thinking of considering the following ( please let me me know if there is anything you like, dislike, or think I should definitely omit in the following )

1. idea: If somebody feels the urgent need to see some justice, turn on the TV and look for an American police series ( actually, this is very true and is really helpful, tends to restore one's belief in goodness and honesty in general, and has personally helped me out of digging a hole and burying myself in it as a result of fear from what could happen the next day... this was during one of my stays in a somewhat icky part of this planet but thankfully that is all behind now :p ). I can think of plenty of series but is it 'ok' to mention them here? ( e.g. NCIS, Law & Order, Prison Break, CSI, ... )

2. idea: If somebody suspects the presence of confusion in the air, to simply remove oneself from the equation in order to make sure it stays as balanced as possible instead of adding more confusion by choosing one side or another.

3. idea: judges are better people than we are. Try being a judge for some time and you will see how hard it is to take a decision. Basically what I want to bring into focus is the difficulty of a judge's task and how unnecessary any confusion we may add by actually causing a tantrum, directing threats ( personal or otherwise ) to anyone in a judge's position, and so on.

4. idea: Justice is actually there for a reason. Countries like Canada, the U.S., and most of Europe, have established justice after having suffered from many wars, injustices, failures to accomplish justice, so much in fact that the general population has come to understand that justice, equality, moral rectitude, fairness, and other moral guidelines are 'necessary' to obtain a universal state of peace or tranquility... So well, that kind of puts justice back in its place...

5. idea: I think mentioning Jury Trials and some sort of how trials are conducted in different parts of the world would be a good idea, but that risks making the entry a wee bit longer than anticipated...

6. idea: the law is nothing without the lawmakers and the law enforcers... The police, the Judges, the Witnesses, the politicians, the voters... And that tends to be towards the process of involving as many people as possible: the majority. That way it will be really hard to 'twist' justice around, since the people involved are simply carrying out tasks that are towards the accomplishment of universal justice, and no single one of them is responsible really.

I hope this kind of explains the angle from which the entry tackles justice and the final result I'm working towards. In the meantime please do let me know if you have any more comments, suggestions, or remarks in regard to this entry. Best regards,

Thank you once again for your feedback,

Sincerely,

C.S.

Cheers


A37031401 - Justice

Post 5

Cruentos Solum

Hi again,

I have updated the entry a little bit. I sort of just talked by and large about everything I could possibly say on the subject... From here we can 'remove' stuff, maybe add ideas if you guys have any, and I hope you guys help me with making the entry looking tidy... I sort of lost grasp of the situation and it does look somewhat messy to me ( long sentences, repetition, ... that sort of thing ).

Your comments are most welcome at this point smiley - smiley

In the meantime, hoping you the best, smiley - ale

Sincerely,

C.S.

Cheerssmiley - ale


A37031401 - Justice

Post 6

Cruentos Solum

Hi everybody,

I have made some new modifications to the entry. It should be better now. Please let me know what you think of it.

Sincerely,

C.S.

Cheers


A37031401 - Justice

Post 7

LL Waz

This is big subject.

I hope you won't mind my being honest and saying I find it hard work to read - too hard really. My limited brain is protesting at the number of ideas it's being given to sort out before I've read half way smiley - winkeye. A more planned, focussed treatment would help a lot.

The mix of seriously thoughtful, ironic and Douglas Adamsesque styles adds to making it a difficult read. I'm not convinced they mix well.

Having said all that, that last paragraph you have, about 'just ice', is fantastic imo.


Slight change of subject, just out of curiosity, do you really think nature is just? I've never thought it so myself.






A37031401 - Justice

Post 8

Cruentos Solum

Hello,

The thing is there is too much to say and 'serving' it in any sort of organized manner would mean a long, long, long entry. Is that ok?
I did by the way delete a lot of things and most paragraphs you see before you were like, pages long. I'm working on itsmiley - smiley Hopefully it'll make more sense when it's done.

Euh, justice, I think, is an attempt to explain things. I rather think there is some sort of balance. Not justice necessarily as we like to think about it, but more like 1 = 1... 2 = 2... 1 million = 1 million. In other words maybe I get to be God for a week, you for six weeks, but then me God for seven weeks, and then you God for a day, me God for 13 days then you God for 14 days. That sort of thing smiley - smiley There is justice, it isn't about revenge or punishment or anything like that, it's more about cycles. Euh, but we don't like to think about those things now do we? smiley - smiley

I would love some input about any parts that you think could be omitted altogether, perhaps some that are too fanatical or that don't make much sense. Stuff like 'just ice'...

Yeah, I have no idea how to fix this really, I just sort of 'crack' it. Trying to break things down as much as possible and organize it to make some sort of sense out of it all, but, in general, do you think that it's providing some sort of vague notion that it could end somewhere near pleasant stuff to read?

In the meantime, thank you very much for your feedback. Have a pleasant evening.

Sincerely,

C.S.

Cheers


A37031401 - Justice

Post 9

Array

I didn't really want to get into a complex philosophical discussion smiley - erm because I'm not an expert, but I think it is relevant here.

In looking for a definition of justice you're following an ancient and honourable tradition that goes back to Plato. In the Republic, Plato discussed the just society.

Plato thought that, when we use words like 'justice' or, indeed, 'horse' our idea of 'justice' or 'horse' corresponds imperfectly to an ideal of justice, or an ideal horse, which exists in a realm of ideals.

More modern thinkers like Wittgenstein have argued that the meaning of words is determined by their use, rather than their definition.

If Wittgenstein is right, you don't need to look for one meaning of the word 'justice'. The word 'justice' will mean rather different things in the wide variety of contexts in which it is used.

Phew! smiley - headhurts


A37031401 - Justice

Post 10

Cruentos Solum

Hello there,

I agree with you so much that all I can do is laugh. That is actually what I am trying to say. Phew, it kind of makes me reflect on justice itself. Basically justice is called upon when two people disagree. What you just said kind of reminded me of very distant memories. That all mankind are simply the same. Each trying to be happy. That we simply all love each other. That when we say love and hate, we actually mean the same thing. That words, are actually meaningless because the end is what's important, the 'ideal', the goal, because we do after all have the same goal. Perhaps we are all 'caught up' in endless mazes, dead ends, trying to achieve that goal. The problem with the ideal is that when you do reach it, you tend to 'throw' away everything else and euh, that sort of puts you in a sort of 'red herring experiment' as explained by Douglas Adams. That is why I love Douglas Adams. In fact I love him so much because I think I was him. Do you know, what Adams' had in mind when he first that book, long, long, long ago ( millions of years, before people even started fighting on who should become Douglas Adams, who is a better Douglas Adams, and then ultimately, who is the real Douglas Adams... Kind of like God but you really don't want to know, lol, no puns intended ).
The thing is, Douglas was trying to immortalize the 'best' things in life. The very best of humanity. The best achievements of humanity that absolutely needed to be saved, because the planet was ultimately doomed. And you know what, he didn't actually get creative or anything, he kind of 'crammed' the best stuff people had to say, philosophers, and the sort, in a book, so much in fact it looks 'dense' philosophically, dimensionally deep. The book is lovely, but once through reading it, you actually say 'boffo, good one'. No one actually knows that Douglas was really, really serious in his job. He was really doing something to save mankind, or the best mankind has to offer. Inevitably, it makes us laugh. It makes us laugh! The best mankind has to offer, makes us laugh. That's it! The end does not justify the means, the means justify the end. We are trying to be happy! We are not happy. We should be happy, then have whatever it is we 'can' have in order to stay happy. In doing so, we should 'drive' away from situations that cause problems.
Shoot, I'm beginning to sound like someone that just escape from a mental hospital. Anyways, the thing is, all people do believe that what we have, actually does anything good. Everything you see on this planet is basically a problem. If it isn't somebody's problem, it's an SEP ( Somebody Else's Problem ). And that, is that. Of course, when we realize that, we let go of all the problems and hold on to happiness. Then we get back to square one when we start losing it. Slowly, we start wondering why, we start 'building', and 'protecting', and 'punishing', until there is so little significance in what we do that we have to, ultimately, let go of it all again in escape for 'happiness', and nothing else.
Kind of sadsmiley - smiley Isn't it?
I think I unloaded the burden I had in my chest by wanting to write the entry in question. I don't actually want to imply that justice is a good or a bad thing. I just want to imply that it's a thing that's there, that may or may not mean anything at all. How we look at it, how we each 'idealize it' to signify something 'great' that can help 'everyone' reach happiness, is a big problem because there is basically, as far as I know, an infinite number of ideal justices. Some are a great deal less pleasant than others, maybe, but they all do tend to work towards the achievement of happiness, for all mankind, possibly with credit given to the author... That sort of thing. I'm waiting, 'cruel world'. smiley - winkeye
Oh well, it's funny. I don't even want to know anything about anything at this point, including happiness itself which seems to be simply a big, big, big problem that no one has ever managed to solve. Not even though justice.

Sorry for deviating from the subject. Have I? ( scrolling up ), Oh God!!!!

Sincerely,

C.S.

Cheers


A37031401 - Justice

Post 11

Cruentos Solum

I have a question that is inevitably linked to justice. What is 'perfection'? Is 'Perfect' a thing as such? Or is it actually just an 'ideal' as well that may differ from one person to another? Can someone actually tell me exactly what Perfect is? Because justice would 'have' to be based on that, it would have to 'have' perfection as an attribute in order to be 'possible', otherwise it's not even something that is possible, even as an ideal... Right?
The reason why I ask is because it invariably puts justice on quite another turf. If perfection is more to do with 'everyone and everything', then no one can actually define perfection because he is only concerned by that small part that concerns him. In other words, perfection would have to be simply 'lines' drawn across where every person gets a 'piece of the pie', and where all pieces of the pie are equally cut by some supreme authority that is perfect. That is exactly what justice is, I hope. Isn't it? More to do with 'balance', making sure the pieces of the pie are equal after all, isn't it? If the pieces of the pie are not equal. But suppose what we have is not a pie, but a chicken. Then we may have a person that wants a drumstick, a person that wants the chest, a person that wants the wings, ... And we may be left off with a spare wing, a spare chest, a spare drumstick... But what about the chicken? Does it actually have a say in that? And if not then is that justice? Does it actually count as justice not including the chicken in the process, and why? Is that why laws are made? Or are laws simply 'constructed' on a need basis, i.e. played by ear, really?
The problem with defining justice is basically the same to do with everything else: the norm. In providing a definition, do we actually account for what we 'want' something to mean, as per our 'ideal', or do we account for the different parts that are identical in the different versions of 'justice ideals' that we all may have? In other words, if we both consider that killing a person is wrong, and that anyone who kills should be killed, and that justice is to kill the killer, then our definition of justice would imply killing the killer. But what if your definition of justice implies that killing is wrong, but the killer must be incarcerated, while I say the killer should be admitted to a psychological therapy center? Then will the definition simply say Justice implies that killing is wrong, and that some punishment may apply, but no punishment applies since no universal agreement has been reached?
The point that I am trying to evoke here is that look at how many countries we have, how many continents, how many belief systems, how many continents, and how many different 'ideals' of justice. Some people regard 'Divine Justice' as justice: i.e. let God do the punishment, while others, who do not believe in God, and consider that kind of attitude 'pointless' - they prefer shooting the offender...
If you look at justice from a global point of view, considering the different mentalities, religious beliefs, attitudes, political systems, governments, ... you actually come to realise that 'justice' is a term that defines nothing in particular. Some people consider it justice to 'sacrifice' a lamb to God whenever two people beat each other to death. Of course, the point here is that something has to be done in order to prevent two tribes from 'eradicating' each other, but in Canada, that is 'Illegal'. You cannot sacrifice a lamb on your private property... In the middle east, I have been to countries where hanging people from dusk to dawn is 'justice', where beating thieves up and showing them on TV bruised, humiliated, regretful, guilty, and begging for public mercy, is 'justice', and I have been to countries where 'eternal incarceration' is justice simply because you believe that beating thieves up and showing them on TV bruised as their are is justice. Go figure...
The more you learn about justice in each of the different parts of the world, the more you are aware that people deal with the matter in radically different approaches, so much in fact you wonder why some may be insane, or others 'suicidal'. But in fact, experience has shown that the people are right, because trying things differently certainly doesn't solve the problem. The people believe in some sort of justice and it works, take that away and there is 'chaos'. But viewing their justice as chaos is inevitable because it can lead us to do the same: we do not want countries that cut off the hands of people who steal bread! But hey, let people steal bread and suddenly a revolution sparks up, chaos erupts and the next week a whole country is in ruins, millions dead, simply because of a difference in 'ideals'.
I am pretty much 'feeling' the same thing about everything on this planet. It is weird that when people travel though, that they escape the questions in search of security. It should rather let us learn something because after all, we are not perfect. Maybe the whole system is, i.e. the planet, nature included, but individually, human beings are as far away from perfection as perfection can witness: ask any computer.
We do need some 'universal' norm. For everything, not only justice. Only, justice is the most controversial of all because it tends to imply 'interactions' between individuals, and in a global society, where anyone can be anywhere, it is urgently needed. Otherwise, problems like terrorism are only the start... We need to understand each other, then deal with each other's needs. Maybe not using restrictions so much as by trying to understand and adapt. And a unique global system of justice shouldn't be placed by one certain group, it should include everybody. Last time I checked they do things in the U.N. exactly differently. I don't know if I can do 'justice' to the topic in one entry, I have too much to say and more questions than answers. But I definitely have important 'observations' to make. I'm kind of a 'lost soul'. I have no identity because I tend to 'pick' where I want to be. But that makes things hard because there are so many 'norms'. You can't just walk into a country and call it home. Although I admittedly do, but it mostly has to do with 'changing' so many of my habits that it tends to get very boring and I 'change' where possible. In other words, there isn't a single 'perfect' society on this planet. Or country. However, having been to many places, I spent the best time of my life in Canada, and Morocco. Both offer more 'freedom', although the latter country does so by means of 'corruption'. In other words, if you have the means, you're 'ok'. I have been to Syria and I consider myself being lucky to 'survive' there for four years. There is 'nothing' to do in the place. It's absolutely boring. Even T.V. is 'off'. Save some Israeli Channels, which, by the way, if you are caught watching, you can consider yourself in jail or dead or if you are unlucky, both. People tend to be snoopy and that is just the way they are, and if your girlfriend is a westerner, she had better 'hide' herself and refrain from doing stuff like 'sunbathing' in the balcony in her bikini. It'll take 30 seconds to find a street full of 'whistling' audience...
I have seen people 'amputating' people's hands and legs with a kitchen knife for some crime or other in Iran. The scene is disgusting. Especially with audience cheering. And well, I had the scare of my life when a rally passed by my cab in Damascus 8 years ago cheering loudly 'God, get off your throne, let Hafid al Assad take your place'. That, for me, isn't justice. I know the people were scared. I know they didn't mean what they said. I know they didn't care the guy died, much less that his son was going to be elected, in fact I knew they'd prefer to rip the guys' guts together if they could. But that would mean injustice because the people were 'brutal'. I mean they didn't fear death. You have to live in Syria for a bit to Understand... They are the real meaning of terrorists when they are pissed and on a vendetta quest.
So I guess, justice... is a big question. Then mother nature comes in to tell me that there is stuff like evolution, physics, geology, and so on. And science teaches me about computers, possibilities, and I take a quick look at a big picture I immediately want to just run away from. And yet, for some reason, I strongly do believe in justice. I just do not know what it means anymore...smiley - smiley


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