The conceptual theory of justice is not and cannot be properly applied to any human society. In order to explain and begin to further explore this statement, the term at the very root of the matter “justice” must first be defined. This term has been used very loosely for centuries to describe and make the rules which govern the way our society punishes the un-just, but what many don’t realize is that the term has much further reaching meanings than just that. The term justice is more than a simple means of saying what is right and wrong, and it has much deeper implications than just punishing what is wrong. It is because of the false definitions and uses of this term that justice must be re-analyzed, why it is ultimately impossible and why for the good of society, it must be abolished.
Justice is an equal and opposite reaction for every action we perform with the purpose of validating our past by our present. This can be a negative reaction to a positive action or a positive reaction to a positive action. Justice is a finely tuned equation organized to exactly balance every aspect of human existence. It attempts to validate the past through the present.
The use of the past in the equation of justice implies that the equation starts at zero, so if there is no initial action than there is no need for reaction and the balance is held at zero. If there is either positive action or negative action, than there has to be opposite reaction in order to bring the equation back to zero and keep justice balanced. The use of the present as a means to justify the past is nothing more than a sick form of human validation. It is impossible to validate every action with reaction, and living life with hopes of future validation in mind only reflects on the selfishness of man-kind.
As Aristotle discovered in 450 B.C.E, justice should also be defined as the quest for absolute zero, but not all equations stay balanced to have a product of zero. This has to be especially true when it comes to equations involving so many human variables, because each person’s equation would have to be balanced between all of their actions and appropriate reactions. Inevitably some people have a positive justice balance and some have a negative justice balance, but these unbalances cannot be rectified while still maintaining justice for all others. It is clear that there is no perfect balance in human justice and realistically there never can be (Aristotle 741).
If someone takes by performing a negative action, an equal amount of negative reaction should be directed their way to bring balance. If someone gives by their positive action, than they should be rewarded by an equal amount of positive reaction, but his is quite obviously impossible to perfect in every situation.
Why does man strive so tirelessly for such an unattainable goal? Some would say that an attempt of justice is better than complete injustice, but the very term justice is an absolute term which cannot be compromised lest it loses all meaning. Many people are dealt a negative justice balance and yet can go on to be perfectly happy. Many people can also get more than they deserve yet suffer from depression their entire lives. Obviously there are outside factors governing their outlook on life, and if some people can see past the injustice they are dealt, why can’t all? It is very evident that things other than justice impact our lives in a much bigger way.
It is the quest for such a concept as justice that binds people to its rules and downfalls, by trying so hard to bring the balance a person can trap their mind into needing that balance which only perpetuates the imperfect system.
Justice also has some morality issues as seen in Plato’s Republic. To consider this it is necessary to define the term “just”. The truly just person gives what he expects to get, and takes what he expects to have taken from him. This means someone that takes could be considered just, and in light of this it could be said that a just person is one who exercises all given freedoms with knowledge of the rewards or consequences. This would imply that justice is also a system of fair trades, but then who is to give out the penalties or rewards? In this system of rewards and penalties, to keep balance those in charge of dealing the rewards and penalties would be changing their own balance simply by attempting to restore someone else’s balance. This would mean that keeping justice would go beyond the simple idea of the “just” being charged with keeping the balance for the “unjust” (Plato 1). For true justice, the person who is wronged would be expected to bring the balance back by dealing the punishment, but this then begins to sound like revenge, not justice. To prevent this, it should be expected that the taker takes of himself to restore justice. This would bring about a whole new level of understanding and responsibility for the actions people take, but this then begins to sound like the honor system, and humans historically cannot be expected to self monitor and self punish.
After viewing these descriptions and facets of conceptual justice, it is now possible to draw some conclusions. Justice is a grand plan that is and will remain impossible to implement in its entirety. Justice is a delusional that we protect and live our lives by. Justice is an absolute term, and by compromising for half of it we are actually subscribing to injustice. True utopian justice is a concept we will never attain, and mankind must not be allowed to further taint its existence by enabling injustice to live; by contrast it is justice that must be abolished.
It is only through relativity that we can truly end injustice, because without the perceptual good of the supposed “just” there can be no relational bad of the “unjust”. It is without the perception of good and evil that mankind can be allowed to return to more natural means and simpler achievements in life.
Aristotle, and C. C. W. Taylor. Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford: Clarendon, 2006. Print.
Plato, and Elizabeth Watson. Scharffenberger. Republic. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004. Print.