A Short Note on the Definition of Justice


“maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims” — merriam-webster.com

“the quality of being fair or reasonable” — oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

By the above references, the definition of justice seems fairly simple enough: reasonable and impartial judgment. 

But like any other intangible model, society has a way of twisting its meaning… constantly stretching and rationalizing until the word finally suits their desired version.

Justice is NOT letting the minority be heard. It is NOT defending the weak, NOR is it assisting the poor.

Justice hears EVERYONE. It protects the weak AND the strong. It helps both rich and poor.

The common misconception in many societies today is that when somebody is born with all the misfortune one can think of, they automatically deserve to receive aid. When somebody is born with all the wealth and blessing in the world, they have a responsibility to give back. People think it is JUST and RIGHT to “take some from the rich and give to the needy”.  

If you think that’s natural, that it is how things should be… then you are wrong.

Let me make something clear, I’m not saying people should just go on their own ways without helping anybody. It would be great if the unfortunate and downtrodden receives help, but they don’t necessarily deserve it. They are not entitled to some form of automatic help. It would be great if those blessed with material possessions give back to the needy, but it is not their responsibility. They should not be pressured to do so if they are unwilling. Helping should come from the heart, and only if they really want to.

Justice doesn’t work one way. When we say impartial, it means justice sides with no one but the truth and what is right. It does not mean taking from somebody who has more to give to somebody who has less just to balance the scales. Doing that would be unfair to the one who has more. Who cares if they have more? They still deserve to be treated fairly. 

In another example: Say in a typical state, the minority is oppressed and instructed not to say something against the majority. Because this is unfair, the minority gradually learns to fight back and soon, the minority is heard and the majority is quieted down. Now the previous majority is afraid to voice their thoughts against the previous minority in fear of retaliation and conflict. This is not justice, merely a reversal of roles. Justice means nobody can dictate and oppress somebody else. Just as anti-gays cannot tell pro-gays to shut up, pro-gays cannot tell anti-gays to shut up as well. Just as racists should not judge others by the color of their skin, anti-racists should not have the right to tell them what to believe.

As long as one side is trying to convince the other that they are right, they are still wrong.

See? Simple. If justice is fair, it must go both ways. 


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