August 3, 2006

Battles, Battles, Everywhere, Battles!

Posted in philosophy, politics, psychology at 4:04 pm by Jerry

This isn’t to say all battles are exactly the same. How do we compare the consequences of our personal battles with the consequences (deaths of innocent families) of the current battles in the Middle East? No comparison.

PEACE:

  1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
  2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
  3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
  4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.
  5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

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There are so many times I’ve wanted a “cease-fire” between others, yet when asked of me with my current opponent(s), I’ve refused. When I’m fighting with someone, I often feel the NEED to express a response (be it verbal and/or non-verbal) to the perceived injustice against me or my loved ones.

What is it about this NEED? It’s never just a rational need. There are strong feelings that ride along with the rational need. Where do those feelings come from? We’ve all felt them, haven’t we? When I feel those strong feelings I want justice badly!

Sure, I value diplomacy. When both parties in opposition have to look for the ethical answer together, there’s a need for diplomacy. But when I know the ethical answer, I want it instilledNOW!! Why wait? Waiting is an injustice in itself!! Isn’t it?

JUSTICE:

  1. The quality of being just; fairness.
    1. The principle of moral rightness; equity.
    2. Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.
    1. The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law.
    2. Law. The administration and procedure of law.
  2. Conformity to truth, fact, or sound reason: The overcharged customer was angry, and with justice.

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My assumption of what absolute justice would be, ultimately, is self-awareness. To those who know me, I’m sure this is no surprise. My reason being, I think killing or imprisoning a wrongdoer will not make the wronged feel any better (at least that’s what I’ve heard, read, and in a sense, felt). There is no absolute justice because the wrongdoer has no awareness of his/her crime, other than the fact that the wrongdoer’s society says it is a crime. For myself, there are so many times when I’ve wanted wrongdoers to UNDERSTAND what they’ve done to me more than anything else.

I’m not saying there’s no purpose for imprisonment. To me, imprisonment is about making external peace in a society where wrongdoers are active. But it’s not enough. I want absolute justice. The kind of justice that not only brings external peace to a community, but internal peace as well.

But can we inforce this outcome? I don’t think so. Like I said, there are times when I’ve so badly wanted people to understand what they’ve done to me. I wanted them to feel genuine guilt for doing something THEY KNOW is wrong! But no matter what I do, I can harass them until no end, and it would only result in their feelings being hurt by my harassment! Self-awareness would lead the wrongdoer to feel convicted. The good and bad in the wrongdoer would be recognized for what they are.

I should point out an assumption here, if you haven’t seen it already. For the wronged community to be satisfied, they would have to be just themselves. They would need to be self-aware too. For instance, say the wrongdoer becomes self-aware, feeling genuine guilt, recognizing in himself *truly* the wrong he did. This wrongdoer would plead to the community for forgiveness, and the community could see the wrongdoer’s awareness of how he hurt others and himself.

Now, the question is: Would an unjust community properly appreciate this desire for forgiveness, in one who has caused them so much hurt?

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4 Comments »

  1. Jadon said,

    Have you read the book On Apology? That might explore this more…

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195189116/sr=1-1/qid=1154769259/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-3416829-4670530?ie=UTF8&s=books

  2. Jerry said,

    Jadon,

    NIce to hear from you. No, I haven’t read On Apology. What did you think of the book?

  3. Jadon said,

    Well, what I read of it was interesting. One review mentioned the author’s understanding that “all true apologies are a kind of offering intended to restore the dignity and self-respect of the offended party”. He also delves into the reasons people apologize, as well as how it functions across cultures.

    I know you can get it at the Public Library in town, if you wanted to check it out.

  4. Jerry said,

    Thanks, Jadon. It does sound interesting.


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