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Switch to Forum Live View justice or vengeance
7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 7:24AM #1
daddywags
Posts: 118
hi,
i thought a new thread, if not somewhere else, would be a great topic for discussion and to define in our lives, one more step on the path.
what is justice?
what is vengeance?
are we willing to change our stance if we find a new understanding?
may the peace of the son warm your soul...
daddywags
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 5:25PM #2
mindis1
Posts: 7,930
Well, in many cases in the law, justice includes punitive measures.  For instance, many deceptive trade practices acts include treble damages from offender.  The same goes for a landlord mishandling a renter’s deposit on a rental property.  I think these laws are good because they favor the less-powerful party in the contract, and they probably serve as a deterrent.

In other cases, the mere market value of some piece of property is not adequate to compensate the victim, e.g., when the property has great sentimental value to the victim.  I think in these cases justice would include compensation in excess of the market value of the property.  And sometimes even when property that doesn’t have sentimental value has been stolen, intentionally damaged or destroyed, the assessed market value cannot replace it.  Again, I think justice here would include compensation beyond the assessed market value and/or punishment.

However in many kinds of crimes, it isn’t possible to compensate a victim.  One cannot un-murder or un-assault someone, and there are many cases in which someone has stolen so largely from others that the offender could never fully compensate the victims (e.g., the Enron case).  I think punishment for such acts is certainly just, even while attempting to rehabilitate the offender.

Are there other examples of justice vs. vengance that you wished to address here?

In fact, I'm not confident that any of the above is in any way related to the issues you wished to raise here. 


[QUOTE=daddywags;414084]are we willing to change our stance if we find a new understanding?[/QUOTE]

I am.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 5:33PM #3
Ithilien
Posts: 1,597
I think, personally, put simply, justice appeals to our higher natures and vengeance appeals to our lower.

Justice attempts to find both redemption and rehabilitation, I think (at least ideally), while vengeance serves only to alleviate one party's pain--and often badly.

Justice comes from the head and heart, while vengeance comes from the gut.

This is overly simplifying, of course--any concepts put into pragmatic action will blur and bleed a bit--but this is a topic I have though much about in my own life, and these are my conclusions.

--Kj
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 7:14PM #4
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
The root of vengeance is fear. The root of justice is love.

My .02.
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 9:01PM #5
Ithilien
Posts: 1,597

richardt wrote:

In many cases justice never seems to be served, and vengeance seems more appropriate. To me there is a minor difference between the two. Vengeance can seem like justice in certain cases. Vengeance can feel much better than justice given the right situation. Your young daughter is murdered, slowly tortured over many days, raped, and then slowly strangled, the killer confesses, and then laughs about it in court. He is given a light sentence because he is a first offender, and as a parent you sit in the court room and think what? That this is justice? or do you think of vengeance? You must not answer in a vacuum, you must try the best you can to put yourself in that parents shoes. If you say you could forgive this person, then in my opinion two things are possible, One, you are a liar, and two, you have a mental disorder. I already know how I would feel, there is no possibility of justice here, only vengeance, and it would feel very satisfying, believe me.



Ah, yes--very true.  But then the parent will have succumbed to base, lower desires just as the original perpetrator did, just with a different victim.

And if that is the case, then we should judge punishments based on who the victim is rather than what the crime is, which seems a bit ridiculous.  (If the torture and rape had been of someone not loved, let's say, or someone who is herself a rapist and torturer.)

I think that giving in to vengeance may "feel good" for a short while, but it is destructive in itself.  Justice would not have a hangover--but it's also harder to achieve--than vengeance.

--Kj

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7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 11:02PM #6
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
Did the parents of those murdered Amish children speak in a vacuum?

They had only words of love and compassion for their children's killer and his family.
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 11:03PM #7
Ithilien
Posts: 1,597

richardt wrote:

As I suspected, spoken in a vacuum.



No, not a vacuum, and it's beneath you to assume as such.

I simply believe that a principle doesn't alter when it alteration finds (to paraphrase Shakespeare); I, too, would want very much to torture and make miserable anyone who harmed a loved one of mine, especially a child.  That's human, natural, and understandable.

I also believe that should I succumb to those feelings, I will have lost myself and become no better than he/she who harmed my child. 

--Kj

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7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 9:39AM #8
mindis1
Posts: 7,930
[QUOTE=richardt;415886]In many cases justice never seems to be served, and vengeance seems more appropriate. To me there is a minor difference between the two. Vengeance can seem like justice in certain cases. Vengeance can feel much better than justice given the right situation. Your young daughter is murdered, slowly tortured over many days, raped, and then slowly strangled, the killer confesses, and then laughs about it in court. He is given a light sentence because he is a first offender, and as a parent you sit in the court room and think what? That this is justice? or do you think of vengeance? You must not answer in a vacuum, you must try the best you can to put yourself in that parents shoes. If you say you could forgive this person, then in my opinion two things are possible, One, you are a liar, and two, you have a mental disorder. I already know how I would feel, there is no possibility of justice here, only vengeance, and it would feel very satisfying, believe me.[/QUOTE]

(1) Certainly in the US, at least, no one convicted of raping, torturing over many days, and then murdering a young girl would be given a “light sentence.”  In many states, such an offense would receive an automatic death penalty or life imprisonment sentence.

(2) Forgiveness is a virtue, not a “mental disorder,” if there were such things, nor a matter of lying.  To be able to forgive is obviously the healthier and more intelligent response than taking the revenge you are advocating.  After all, where will extracting vengeance take you?  Perhaps to a nice long stay in a prison cell.

The magnanimous response of the Amish community to the massacre of their schoolgirls is one of the most admiral and mature things that any humans have ever done.  I think it’s better to figure out how to learn from our betters rather than belittling them.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 7:31PM #9
Yodalady_AA
Posts: 291
Think about it another way...iS  childsupport payment justice or vengence? 

Depends doesn't but it is the law. 

Anna
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 7:38PM #10
Ithilien
Posts: 1,597

richardt wrote:

Then here you have an example of how religion can brainwash a person. to me that is so frightening, to love and show compassion for someone who has murdered your child. That religion can make one an emotionless insipid robot is clear. Where would these people be if we were attacked, if this country where attacked, they would be cowering in a corner somewhere saying how much they loved their enemies. It is truly sickening what religion can do to a persons mind.



Wow...if it's religion that can lead people to justice rather than vengeance, then I think I'd better get me some.

--Kj

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